What to do when customers want to try things on before buying…

Sometimes it’s hard for customers to buy online. Not because of the website itself, but because the product is difficult to choose without seeing it or trying it on.

You may find this if you sell items like clothes, underwear, swimwear, shoes, make-up, or fashion accessories.

Or indeed if you sell any kind of product that requires detailed explanation on how to use it, which was my own experience.

My client Chelsea, from Tiptoe & Co, sells kids shoes, which is definitely harder to sell online than many products.

Here’s how overcome eCommerce roadblocks to success:

Overcome roadblocks when selling products online

The two biggest roadblocks

Chelsea discovered two big issues when selling footwear online, both of which negatively impacted on her profitability.

1. Customers kept choosing the wrong sized shoes. Either the size was wrong, or the style really didn’t suit the shape of the foot.

Chelsea already made things easy to exchange an incorrect size, but that meant paying extra in shipping costs.

Because shipping was already expensive (thanks to posting boxes), a size exchange really ate into her margins!

2. It’s hard to judge the quality of the products when you can’t touch and feel them. This definitely impacted her sales conversions, as a high quality shoe is an important factor for many parents.

How to increase conversions and reduce returns

In addition to the usual strategies to increase traffic volumes to her website (paid ads and SEO), Chelsea took three important steps to overcome the eCommerce roadblocks she faced.

1. Help customers to choose the right product

By helping customers to choose the right shoe in the first place, Chelsea was able to reduce her rate of return.

This then reduced her shipping costs and increased her products.

She did this by creating a size guide that customers could download and print. Her guide is really cool. It’s not just a list of measurements – it’s an outline of a foot that the child can stand on.

Another way some brands help customers to choose the right size product is using a quiz. Here’s a great example of a cool quiz I’ve seen recently on Andie Swimwear.

2. Find out what your customers really need to know

It’s always important to find out what your customers need to know, understand and believe in order to want to buy your product.

But it’s even more important to understand this when your product is hard for customers to buy successfully in an eCommerce environment.

By surveying her customers, Chelsea learned that quality and fit were the two most important things they looked for.

Quality is difficult to convey online when customers can’t touch and feel a product. It’s hard to get a sense of the fabric quality or whether the stitching and finishes will last the distance.

A few strategies Chelsea used to help communicate quality include:

  • Show multiple views of each product (front, back, sides, top etc)
  • Detailed product descriptions
  • Collecting lots and lots and lots of customer reviews (social proof is persuasive!)
  • Stocking well known brands that customers are familiar with

3. Remove any perceived risks for purchasing online

If there is a high chance your customers are worried they will choose the wrong size, style or option, then you need to do something to minimise that risk.

Chelsea’s customers were definitely worried they might choose the wrong size, and this was impacting conversions.

By providing a ‘Happiness Guarantee’, Chelsea made it really easy to return a pair of shoes. By removing this perceived risk, her sales conversions improved.

The results? More than 200% sales growth!

Whilst the pathway to success is never straight, Chelsea has doubled her business in just over 12 months!!

“Working with Catherine was real game changer for my business. Previously I was always stuck working IN my business rather than ON my business, and much of what I did was reactive rather than proactive.

Catherine taught me the importance of planning [everything], tracking my numbers and optimising my website! Implementing her system of attracting new customers [on autopilot] was exactly what I needed. While lots of the things I learnt were ”big picture”, the support network provided was also fantastic. As a solo business owner it can be quite isolating and I really enjoyed the regular meetings with both Cath and her other clients too as they also helped keep me accountable!”

Want to see results like this in your own business?

Implementing the strategies I teach my clients can be the quickest way to fire up your eCommerce store and start making some serious dough.

I see it all the time, and also speak from personal experience. This was the key to me growing my own online product-based business from zero to multiple 6 figures within 12 months, and then taking it international before ultimately selling the business.

Just like the other now successful entrepreneurs I have taught, it CAN happen for you too.

I have a great track-record of turning people, products and ideas into lucrative brands. That’s my zone of genius. If you’re sick of waiting to be discovered and have what it takes to be my next star then click here to get started right now!

The first step is to book a no-obligation strategy call with me, where we’ll discuss your current business situation and your goals, and work out if we’re a good fit to work together.