With the eCommerce market as saturated as it is, comparison shopping has essentially become standard practice among consumers, and individual eCommerce brands can take a hit as a result. Let’s take a look at what comparison shopping is and how your business can combat it.
What is Comparison Shopping?
As its name suggests, comparison shopping is what takes place when consumers compare similar products or services before making a purchase decision. While there are many comparison factors, a survey by BrizFeel found price to be the most important consideration in 89% of purchase decisions. Of course, a business can only lower its prices so much before margins take a hit, so we’ve identified the following strategies to help convert your comparison shoppers into purchasing customers.
7 Strategies to Prevent Comparison Shopping
1. Have a Mobile Optimized Site
The BrizFeel survey found 49% of online shoppers use mobile devices as their preferred shopping platform. The same study also reported 73% of consumers saying they will visit another website if they had trouble accessing the first one. If you want to keep potential customers interested, a mobile optimized shopping experience is vital to the success of your business. Otherwise you risk losing an entire group of shoppers to other online retailers.
2. Offer Incentives or a Free Gift With Purchase
To account for the 89% of comparison shoppers who put the highest value on the lowest price, consider offering incentives to make them feel like they are getting the best deal. Exclusive discounts can go a long way in converting a bargain hunter. Another offer to consider is a free gift with purchase, which makes your company stand out from the competition by adding additional value to shoppers’ purchases for the same price.
3. Allow Shoppers to Sign Up for Price Drop Alerts
If offering incentives is not an option for your business, you might consider giving shoppers the opportunity to sign up for price drop alerts. Price drop alerts double as a lead capture opportunity, allowing you to collect new-to-file leads in exchange for personalized price drop notifications. This strategy enables you to leverage normal price fluctuations and push comparison shoppers to convert.
4. Include Social Proof on Product Pages
One of the drawbacks of shopping online is shoppers not being able to touch, feel, or try a product as they would in a store. This is where social proof like customer reviews can be a huge asset to your product pages. Even if you don’t have the lowest price on the market, you can reinforce the quality and trustworthiness of your brand. With 89% of consumers consulting reviews before purchasing and 76% saying they trust reviews as much as personal recommendations, including social proof is a proven way to move comparison shoppers down the funnel.
5. Have a Multi-Channel Strategy in Place
When people comparison shop, they can be redirected from your site quite quickly. You can use their abandonment as a lead capture opportunity with an offer such as Save Your Cart. Once you have a shopper’s contact information, you can implement a remarketing campaign. Remarketing emails not only keep your brand top of mind but also streamline the shopper’s experience by making it easy for them to pick their session up where they left off from any device at any time.
6. Offer Free Shipping and Returns
One reason a shopper may pass you up for your competitors is wanting to avoid shipping costs. Shipping costs create large barriers for many consumers, especially with companies like Amazon popularizing the free 2-day shipping model. Free shipping reduces friction to conversion because shoppers know they won’t encounter any unexpected costs at checkout.
7. Make Your Website User Friendly
Comparison shoppers dedicated to vetting their decisions take all factors into consideration. The best way to cater to this is to make sure your policies are clear, FAQ’s are available, customer service is easily accessible, and any product details are easy to find. Since it only takes a second to derail shoppers from their path to purchase, it’s important to streamline their purchase decisions every way you can.
From Comparison Shopper to Loyal Customer
A key trait of comparison shoppers: they pay attention. When you set out to provide an enjoyable shopping experience, your customers will notice. The easier you make it for them, the more likely they are to seek you out for future purchases
People are going to comparison shop and everyone loves a good deal. Make sure you stack up well against the competition by paying special attention to the features comparison shoppers value most.
To learn more about how to cater to different shoppers on your site, check out UpSellit’s 5 Types of Shoppers & How to Win Their Heart. This infographic covers the unique needs of any consumer who may happen upon your site, including the Bargain Hunters we touched on in this article.