Establishing Purchase Incentives in Ecommerce
Every time an online shopper visits your website, your ecommerce company has an opportunity to earn a conversion. But first, you have to convince website visitors to take the leap to become bona fide customers.Because your store interacts with customers through a screen rather than face to face, it’s paramount to provide the right motivators throughout the purchase journey. Doing so successfully is as simple as establishing purchase incentives in ecommerce.
What Are Purchase Incentives?
As Inc. writes, purchase incentives “reduce buying friction and entice customers into seeing their purchases through.” Customers can exit the sales funnel if, at any point, they feel a purchase is too expensive, inconvenient, confusing or inaccessible.That’s why it’s so important for sellers to convince shoppers to proceed with their purchases using a combination of incentives.Examples include:
- Free/fast shipping
- Free/simple returns
- Limited time offers
- Freebies or bonus items
Let’s take a closer look at where these purchase incentives fit into the overall buying process, and how stores can harness their power to drive conversions.
Free and Fast Shipping
A customer is browsing your ecommerce store. They find a handful of products they want, each with the right mix of specifications and features, so they add them to a shopping cart. They then proceed to checkout—only to abandon their cart just before finishing. What gives?
In many cases, shoppers bail on their purchases after seeing the order fulfillment options. Does your store offer free shipping? One recent survey found nine out of 10 shoppers rated free shipping as the top incentive for shopping online more. In other words, this purchase incentive is in hot demand. It’s less a perk and more of an expectation nowadays.
Offering free shipping—plus expedited shipping for an extra fee—is one way to make sure everyone can get what they want from your site. People who need their products pronto can choose to speed up delivery, while people who simply want to save money can opt for free shipping. This way, you accommodate every type of buyer.
Free and Simple Returns
Some customers will want to return the goods they purchase from your store. They know this before they buy, which is why it’s comforting to see you offer free, simple returns. In fact, this incentive alone may motivate them to buy.
How can you streamline your return policies?
Start by creating an easy-to-find landing page devoted to explaining the terms and conditions. Then, advertise your free, flexible return policy across your website to motivate shoppers. Using a cloud ecommerce platform that integrates with apps like Return Magic makes it much simpler to handle returns—including executing logistics like label generation and customer communications.
Limited Time Offers and Promotions
Urgency can be a very compelling force in ecommerce. Giving shoppers a reason to act now, especially those who are on the fence about buying, boosts your likelihood of making a sale. This is where limited-time offers and promotions come in. Believing the offer will disappear after a certain time or date adds urgency into the equation. Try utilizing a countdown feature on your website for sales and promotions. When you send out marketing missives, make sure they emphasize the ephemeral nature of the offer.
Freebies and Bonus Items
People love free stuff. Adding even a small freebie or bonus to a purchase makes shoppers feel like they’re getting more bang for their buck and they’re more likely to convert. Offer freebies for consumers who surpass a certain spending threshold. For example, you could display a banner on your home page advertising a free surprise gift with purchases over $50. If your product lineup lends itself well to free samples, giving away small sizes of new products is a great way to make buyers feel reciprocity with your brand.The better you are at establishing purchase incentives in ecommerce, the stronger your sales figures will be.