When it comes to committing to a purchase, 60-80% of buyers feel enough doubt about their purchase to abandon their shopping cart instead of clicking the “Buy Now” button (Is this the right product? Does the product really fit my needs? Was I thorough enough in my research? Am I making the right choice?). If your ecommerce site cannot assure buyers on the spot, in real-time, with authoritative product content, your doubt-ridden shoppers will leave your site and leave behind an unfulfilled order in an attempt to find answers elsewhere, only never to return again.
The focus of creating an engaged, dynamic check-out experience (rather than a dead-end order page) starts with providing the necessary product verification opportunities for buyers at that critical moment of doubt.
Signs of an effective product verification strategy
The implementation of a product verification strategy as outlined below, should:
Reduce shopping cart abandonment by assuring customers in the product verification stage right before purchase.
Accelerate time to value by providing a seamless, uninterrupted purchase experience.
Empower ecommerce managers to capture and evaluate qualitative data of customer engagement across the purchase journey.
Implement a product verification strategy
The key element of a successful product verification strategy is buyer assurance. This section outlines the steps to effect buyer assurance and ultimately more sales.
Step 1 - Identify which buyer assurance works best for you
Include one, some or all of the following to your ecommerce checkout page to implement a close-out strategy that allows wavering customers to find last-minute assurance on product questions:
Product details. May include color, material, size, installation guide.
Comparison of similar or competitive products. Provide comparison charts of similar products offered by your company or of competitive products to highlight advantages.
Add-ons. Alert of additional products that increase the value of the product where applicable.
Visual product verification. Provide graphics or (additional) images.
Technical specifications. Include measurements, system information, standards, etc.
Care instructions. Provide post-use and maintenance instructions for the product.
Step 2 - Implement your product verification strategy
Provide access to the above-identified buyer assurance methods by following these steps:
- Establish a buyer assurance content team consisting of inter-departmental subject matter experts such as technical writers, engineers, product developers and marketing and branding experts.
- Leverage a web-accessible customer success content platform such as MindTouch to house your product verification content. The MindTouch architecture lends itself perfectly to housing content that is to be surfaced and searched on e-commerce sites with a few simple lines of code added onto the backend of your ecommerce platform.
- Grant access to the content platform for your buyer assurance team. With MindTouch you can restrict access as necessary.
- Assign the creation of buyer assurance content to the appropriate team buyer assurance members.
- Identify the method by which to provide access to product verification information on your order page: via an embedded contextual (pop-up) help window or an embedded search Touchpoint. The MindTouch Touchpoint contextual help button Touchpoint, for example, allows shoppers to review and search for your product information instantly when doubt strikes without having to leave your order page. The Touchpoint search-in-place Touchpoint allows shoppers to quickly search your product verification content to alleviate any last-minute concerns or doubts right on the page.
Step 3 - Audit your product verification strategy
In conjunction with your ecommerce platform reporting tools and Google analytics, set up an audit schedule to review your product verification strategy for the following:
- In Google analytics, identify your customers’ behavior leading up to purchasing your product. Google analytics can help you identify the following:
- Which customers searched for information but ended up not buying a product. This intelligence helps you Identify whether the product information does not exist or is simply difficult to find.
- How your buyers navigate through your ecommerce site and where customers lose interest or disappear.
- Use MindTouch reports to gather intelligence around your content and user interactions. MindTouch reports can help you identify the following:
- How consumers rated your product verification content.
- The age of your product verification content.
- Which search queries users entered to find product verification content and which content they ended up viewing.
- Leveraging your buyer assurance content team, identify the documentation in need of updating or creating.
Step 4 - Act on audit findings and maintain up-to-date product information
Identifying the content on which to approve upon is but the start. To ensure a continuing successful product verification strategy, take decisive action to improve your strategy:
- Implement a content review process that includes members of the buyer assurance content team.
- For lacking or missing product verification content identified in the previous step, assign team members to add or change new features or details.
- Once changes are approved, reviewed and published, changes appear in real-time on your ecommerce platform.
- Put new content in place and schedule a future audit point.
Step 5 - Reap the rewards of your product verification strategy
The reward of a product verification strategy is twofold: (1) The buyer reward: Buyers are invited to a low-effort, dynamic shopping experience that reassures them of their buying decisions every step of the way; and (2) Company reward: Fewer shopping carts are abandoned, opportunity for additional purchases (e.g. add-ons) are created and sales increase.