3 Methods To Influence Potential Customers

The Internet is filled with a host of shopping cart systems but no matter which ecommerce shopping cart system you choose, you still need to market your store properly to get results. Usually, a reputable ecommerce shopping cart system will give you a few hints on how to optimize your pages and even how to market your site. But it is also important that you understand what influences your potential buyers’ purchasing decisions in order to accurately market your products.

What are the key factors that influence customer buying decisions? Read on to find out…


“Recommendations from family and friends trump all other consumer touchpoints when it comes to influencing purchases.”

– ZenithOptimedia. AdAge, April, 2008

According to Royal Mail’s Home Shopping Tracker Study, recommendations are the number one reason for choosing a particular site. If you already have a small customer base, make sure you retain your existing customers. Treat them well by offering them some sort of incentive to recommend your site to others. Issue current customers special discount coupons which can be extended to whomever else they recommend to your site. Eventually this will snowball and you will end up with higher sales and a bigger client base.

Reviews and Ratings

“Online reviews are second only to personal advice from a friend as the driver of purchase decisions; user reviews are more influential than third-party reviews.”

– Web users and web community, Rubicon Consulting, Inc. October 2008

In fact, (65% of) consumers tend to believe reviews by fellow consumers rather than experts. This means that user reviews are the most credible form of advertising. It’s no wonder then why Amazon always slips in a couple of user reviews on their product pages. Notice that they also include bad reviews along with good ones. Of course good reviews usually well outnumber bad ones but the inclusion of poor reviews lends the overall reviews a sense of authenticity.

Those little rating stars you see on the product page actually have an impact on the minds of consumers.  They suggest the quality of the product even before the customer reads any reviews (or even if the customer doesn’t even read any reviews). If there are many reviews for a particular product, even an average rating for the product may suffice to convince a would-be customer.


“Online businesses lose as many as 67% of consumers due to a lack of online product information.”

– Allurent, January 2008

Never underestimate the importance of frequently asked questions. More than three quarters of online shoppers surveyed by an ecommerce shopping cart software service stated that available content is insufficient for them to decide to purchase online. This is 3 potential sales for every actual sale that a web store makes. That’s quite a loss right there. And the likelihood of those customers returning is close to nil. Cleverly weaving answers (to frequently asked questions) in the body/product copy on product pages actually helps potential customers make their minds up sooner, before they decide to move on.

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  • mrscincali

    Thanks for the suggestions. For my online store selling pet products I use a WordPress theme called Market. It's nice and easy to use. It allows me to have more time to focus on things like marketing and the I will definitely try your suggestions. Particulary the FAQ. I don't have that.

    • Brad

      Hi mrscincali,

      Glad we could help. Lets us know how it works out for you.