Three quick wins with your customer

December 2017

What do shoppers care about most? Recent research suggests that a few core factors play a bigger part than you might think. In this article, we identify some of the central concerns of consumers, and consider how to take simple steps to satisfy their needs.

Investing in returns

Over the past two years, searches for "return policy" on mobile have increased by 70%. Having a comprehensive, user-friendly return policy shows that you stand behind your product; it gives consumers faith both in what they’re buying and in your ability to deliver on your promises. Hassle-free purchases and returns mean customers are more likely to come back to you – and more likely to recommend you to others.

What can you do?

Ensure your policy is clearly explained. Where do customers return the item, and how does it work (do you provide pre-printed labels; is postage paid)? What timescale do they have to return the item after purchase, and how long can they expect to wait for any replacements? Are there any costs they might not have considered? It’s a good idea to regularly review your policy to ensure that it is as simple as possible, and that there are no unnecessary or over-complicated steps.

Keeping it simple

Complex purchase processes lose customers: in fact, 68% of users will abandon a site or app if too many steps are involved. Making the journey from choosing a product to finalising a purchase as swift and straightforward as possible will ensure you don’t let sales slip through your fingers.

What can you do?

Cut down on any unnecessary steps, including only the most crucial stages in the process. Allow users to purchase as a guest rather than asking them to input lengthy registration details. Provide multiple third party payment options, so that you don’t lose them in the final moments of a transaction. Look at ways to simplify and condense the process down onto fewer pages. For example, rather than having a separate page for every step, you could consider the following:

  1. Choose your product & add to basket
  2. Enter customer details, select payment option and review the order
  3. Confirmation of purchase

Making the most of promotions

Promotions are a key way to generate new sales by helping consumers to spot great deals. In 2016 a third of shoppers said that all their holiday weekend purchases were driven specifically by promotions – an increase of 11.4% from the previous year. Nearly half of consumers also tackled their holiday lists well in advance, with 41 percent saying they started shopping in October or earlier.

What can you do?

Whether it’s a discount, buy-one-get-one offer, or free gift with purchase, Promotion Extensions are the best way to catch the consumer’s eye. Merchant Promotions can be added to the bottom of a Shopping Ad with a pop-up including additional details - any discounts are then applied at checkout. This article explores how promotions made all the difference to Office Depot’s Ads.


How people decide what to buy lies in the “messy middle” of the purchase journey