To build repeat online business, offer low prices,
If someone visits your e-commerce Web site and
buys something, congratulations. Now comes the hard part: getting
that customer to buy from you again.
If you hope to turn that first-time visitor
into a repeat customer, the best ways are obvious: Keep your prices
low and your security high.
That's according to a recent survey of 5,000
households by The Conference Board, which found that 34 percent
of U.S. householders have made an online purchase, up from 24 percent
a year ago.
Price is the biggest factor in a buying decision,
the survey said. Consumers may be feeling prosperous, but they're
still price-sensitive. Nearly two-thirds -- up from 62 percent last
year -- said that the cost of goods played a major role in their
decision whether they'd make more purchases online.
Most than half (56 percent) of those surveyed
said that online security is still an important issue in making
an online purchase.
Customers will come back if they can find their
way around the site without too much trouble, and sites seem to
be getting marginally easier to navigate. But navigation is still
an issue for 40 percent of the respondents, down from 42 percent
the last time.
Forget about selling all those e-mail addresses
you've collected if you want to see first-time buyers again. With
all that personal information of theirs flying around, customers
want their privacy protected more than before. About 39 percent
of householders want privacy policies improved, up from 35 percent
in the previous survey.
The most popular item to buy online? Books,
said 45 percent of the respondents (almost the same as last year),
followed by travel-related purchases (30 percent, up from about
26 percent) and compact discs (steady at 27 percent).
What are you doing to gain repeat customers
at your e-commerce site?