6 Things that Affect Consumers’ Buying Decisions

Looking to improve your e-commerce site’s conversion rate? You’ll first need to understand what factors affect consumers’ buying decision.

Consumers' Buying Decisions

Only then can you effectively optimize your site for higher conversions.

Product Pricing

Not surprisingly, product pricing greatly influences consumers’ buying decisions. According to Statistia, above-average pricing is the fourth most common reason why online shoppers abandon their shopping carts. If a consumer finds the same product listed elsewhere at a lower price, he or she will likely leave your site, without making a purchase.


Social Signals

While product pricing is an obvious factor that influences consumers’ buying decisions, a lesser-known factor is social signals. Social signals like Facebook likes, Twitter tweets/retweets, Google +1s, etc. instill trust and confidence in consumers, making them more likely to buy a product. E-commerce site webmasters can take advantage of this by encouraging visitors to like and share their pages. As your social signals build, you’ll soon discover greater sales.



Of course, another factors that affect whether or not a consumer buys a product on your website is security (or lack thereof). The same Statistia survey cited above found that 17% of consumers don’t purchase a product because they are concerned about the site’s lack of security. You can overcome this hurdle by displaying security badges and using HTTP encryption. These otherwise simple steps go a long ways in showing consumers that your site is secure and trustworthy.



Are shoppers forced to create an account on your website in order to purchase a product? If so, this could hurt your conversion rates. Known as “forced registrations,” this tactic usually backfires by discouraging consumers from making purchases. If your site supports account registrations, make it optional and not a requirement for checking out.


Shipping Costs

Don’t underestimate the impact that shipping costs have on e-commerce conversions. A study conducted by Deloitte found that more than two-thirds of consumers are likely to shop at an e-commerce site if the site offers free shipping. Consequently, 61% of shoppers would back out of an order if free shipping wasn’t offered.


Reviews and Testimonials

There’s a reason why Amazon, Walmart.com and other big-name e-retailers allow customers to post reviews about purchased products: because it encourages other customers to buy the product. In fact, a study conducted by Dimensional Research found 90% of customers are influenced by online reviews. So if you haven’t done so already, set up reviews to create confidence in consumers.