The Decision Making Process – Purchase

That’s right, we’re in the 4th part of a 5-part series talking about the consumer decision making process and especially the web-based side of the equation.

Decision Making Process:

  1. Need recognition
  2. Information search
  3. Alternative evaluation
  4. Choice (or purchase)
  5. Consumption / evaluation

So, you’ve made it this far in your prospect’s decision making process, and they’re ready to buy. You have their full attention, but the process can still be broken quite easily.

The biggest way that companies lose sales at this point is having an inefficient or confusing purchasing software (or cart). Cart dropoff is a big problem for E-commerce stores and it’s often easily preventable. If your consumer gets confused or frustrated, it’s likely that they will make the decision to purchase from someone else.

Problem #1 is making it too hard to buy from you. This could mean having a difficult navigation, not having appropriate purchase gateways (missing popular credit cards like Mastercard or Visa), or adding too many steps to get through the purchase.

Problem #2 is having confusing shipping options. If you can get free shipping on Tuesdays from 3:00 – 3:15 and only if you’re in zip codes 80521, 80107, and 12345, but never on the third Tuesday of the month, then your shipping is too difficult. This may sound like an extreme example, but anything other then live shipping rates can seem this confusing to customers. People have a general idea for how much it costs to ship items, so if you’re not meeting those general expectations, than you will be missing out on customers.

Problem #3 is a third-party payment system using a re-direct. This includes Paypal and any re-direct based payment system. As we’ve covered in other blogs, web users have become quite sophisticated, and this means being very wary of possible thefts or cyber-attacks. Any re-direct is considered quite suspect and will result in a lower completion rate.

If you fix several of these problems, you’ll see a significantly higher cart completion rate – which means more money in your pocket.