Online-Shopping Journey: Where You Lose Customers We live in a world where customers have high demands and needs, and in order to satisfy their need for speed, they must re-engineer their approach. It’s all about giving them what they want at the right time and exactly how they want it, or else they will drift away. We are all shoppers, and we participate in “The Buyer’s Journey,” where we become aware of various products. We carefully consider and compare them, and then we decide about purchasing them. Some of us prefer to see a product live, hold it, and perceive it before we could make a decision. At times, we don’t trust what we can’t see in person. The journey goes way beyond the purchase, i.e., we get the product and start consuming it. And from the impressions based on the entire experience, we advise ourselves for future decisions. New Opportunities This modern landscape is the “era of immediacy” in which the shoppers operate in real-time, round the clock. With the distance from the immediacy of any human touch during the sales process, online interactions have now become more automated and impersonal. We, as customers, face a great deal of uncertainty, risk, and ambiguity when we deal with an online business. Matters like perceived trust, privacy, and security are the deal-makers and deal-breakers in the digital marketplace. Businesses need to establish trust in order to make shoppers more willing to take financial risks. Even a small error in the initial stage in the game of trust can lead to an unfavourable first impression that will eventually become impossible to be reversed. Understanding a Customer’s POV When prospective shoppers have made their mind on who to trust, and who not to, it affects how they see uncertainty, risk, and ambiguity, which can determine the payoff. The best way for online retailers to foster trust with shoppers while raising their willingness to buy and creating loyalty is by limiting the levels of mitigating factors that affect buying. You might face some resistance during this mitigation. Here are the three key pain points out of them: 1. When Online Shoppers Begin Their Journey in a State of Uncertainty Product fulfilment is one immediate concern in e-commerce, where the delayed gratification between purchase and arrival of the product can trigger a lot of uncertainty. It makes the consumer wonder if the product will arrive damaged, on time, or even meet the quality standards as mentioned in the online catalogue. How to Tackle This? • Retailers need solid policies on return and quality assurance along with efficient customer service support. • As a retailer, you need to understand that satisfaction is a core factor in retention, and it can only be established via a dialogue between shoppers and vendors. • You need to deliver nothing but quality service since it helps you set a benchmark for trust and gives deeper insight into the user’s experience.

2. When They Face Unnecessary Risks Shoppers are naturally uncertain and wary about the state of the product. Having additional risks can further jeopardize the long-term customer commitment. For instance, "dark nudging" is the case when the site’s interface acts in a misleading way for users or acts against their best interests. It could also be a hidden cost strategy hiking up the initial price of a product during the purchase. Such instances can lower future purchase intention and recommendations while violating the shopper’s trust and leading to a cause of cart abandonment. How to Tackle This? • You need to establish transparency in order to build trust online. Prefer price guarantees and one-click purchasing since they can reduce these unnecessary risks. • If you decide to introduce costs to the purchase process, make sure that they are upfront, and you are clear about them. • In a nutshell, be transparent and never mislead, i.e., provide easy opt-outs and always make decisions in the best interest of those being nudged.

3. When They Face Privacy and Security Concerns The fear of misuse of personal information and security breaches is a global concern. And the shoppers are no exception in this case. Moreover, they also face the fear of lack of visible security features at checkout, leading to an unknown potential for loss of privacy and security, coupled with a lack of influence on the outcome. All of this leads to untrustworthy interfaces. Shoppers need a reliable and credible site, where they are least worried about their personal information getting exploited. How to Tackle This? • Create an environment of trust that allows the customers to have a seamless yet safe experience. • Avoid jargon and industry-specific language for customer-facing fronts since it can lead to ambiguity that can be hard to interpret. • When in doubt, always stand on the users' side and guard their personal information.

Endnote There is no doubt that the extraordinary growth and evolution of e-commerce is helping us turn prospective shoppers into buyers worldwide. Not only this, but it also helps us turn web surfers into web spenders. However, we need to keep in mind that the way to it is establishing a well-built, reputable online presence. It acts as a benchmark for long-term success and a key differentiator in the marketplace. Because at the end of the day, it all comes down to giving customers what they want, and trust is at the top of their list.

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