Do you run an e-commerce website for your business?  Big or small, all online merchants face the familiar challenge of trying to get visitors go ‘pull the trigger’ and BUY.

It’s a familiar story.  Site owners, even if they get visitors to their websites successfully with search marketing strategies and/or offline print campaigns, will likely see (on average) just under 7 out of every 10 visitors (66% give or take) put something in their cart only to then LEAVE without making the purchase.

So, what to do?  I think about myself as a shopper visiting a site.  Yes, sometimes I just want to check on a price with shipping with no real intent to buy.  Some people even like to ‘virtual shop’ because it gives them gratification to put the items in the cart as if they were on a post lotto spending spree (my wife).

Whatever the case, merchants are always looking for ways to help visitors make that final decision to buy.  Here are some things that help me when I’m serious about making a purchase on an e-commerce site.


Limited Time Offer

This should obvious, and it often seals the deal IF I’m remotely serious about buying a product or service.  Often times, I might be looking for an office supply (printer ink let’s say) in the next week or two for instance.  Usually, I begin my online shopping with the intent to buy ‘at some point soon’ but maybe not today.  I do this usually thinking that some vendor might have a sale today that I can snag.  If not, I’ll wait (and thus, abandon my cart) up to a point and then buy regardless.

However, for the vendors offering the product I’m casually checking, the LIMITED TIME OFFER or SALE can often be the catalyst I’m looking for to make the purchase today rather than next week.  A time sensitive word or phrase is key here.  Think about the hot button phrases like ‘TODAY ONLY’ or ‘TILL MIDNIGHT TONIGHT’ or ‘THIS WEEK ONLY’.  These all make me think twice about leaving, and if you are an online merchant you should likely consider being a more ‘active’ seller in this way.  At least consider the possibility!

Again, I’m not talking about a straight SALE on your site necessarily, but a SALE with a time limit, followed by an active promotion through social channels, etc, to bring people to your site to BUY NOW!


Some call this the ‘ordering now bonus’, but essentially it’s making an offer that encourages your online customer to buy more than they intended.  If I’m going to buy a one pack of printer paper but an offer pops up that I can save 25% on each if I buy three right now, what do you think I might do?  Knowing that the printer paper is not going bad, I’ll likely not only buy the ONE I was considering, I’ll probably buy more than I planned to get the lower cost per pack.  This one gets me all the time in the grocery store!


Well, duh, this one always makes people jump IF they are considering a product in the first place.  Good example?  My daughter is into the American Girl Doll craze like all her buddies.  Here comes Christmas, and we have the choice to get to the store in December or pull the trigger on the site NOW in late November.  I get an email stating that they only have ‘so many of Doll xyz’ (the one she wants of course).  What do you think I do?  I go to the website and ‘secure the doll.’

Otherwise, I procrastinate because after all, a 9 year old can change her mind right?  Better safe than sorry….I’m buying online in November to be sure.