How to convert window shoppers into buyers

How to convert window shoppers into buyers

Online window shopping.  As an eCommerce merchant, you’re all too familiar with the term. You’ve got customers onto your website, they’re browsing online, and some may have even added items to their carts.  But (and here’s a big but),  more often than not, these window shoppers abandon your site without buying anything. This can be incredibly frustrating, especially because you’ve done the hardest part – getting their attention! It’s clear that eCommerce retailers need to take steps to boost customer engagement and increase conversion rates.   We outline 11 tips for converting window shoppers into buyers:

Put yourself in the customer’s shoes

Providing an end-to-end customer experience is paramount. Audit your website as if you were a customer. Is it user friendly and easy to navigate? The more users are forced to click around your site to find what they’re looking for, the more likely they will abandon it. Ensure your site is as easy to use as possible by making key information easy to find.

Make it interactive

If a customer can’t find something In a brick and mortar store,  they find a shop assistant or manage  to ask. Online, live chat software adds a human connection to the transaction by enabling the window shopper to receive real-time answers to their questions and concerns. 79% of consumers favour live chat support as it allows for almost instant responses.

Lure them with offers

Who doesn’t love a good deal? Use your data to understand what the most popular or most searched for items are on your site, and then create special deals and offers around these products to convert window shoppers to buyers.

Customer reviews are king

Customer reviews are hugely important to the credibility of your site. It is critical to build trust among your audience. Strong testimonials provide potential customers with the assurance that your site is reliable and secure.

Change up your payment options

A shopper has added to cart and is in the process of checking out, but realizes his preferred payment method is not offered. This can be make or break. As an online merchant, choosing efficient payment gateways for your online store is one of the most critical things you can do. Get it right and you create a seamless checkout experience, but get it wrong, and your cart abandonment rates will soar. Ensure you choose a variety of payment options from credit cards to instant efts to  apps to flexible payment options.  Flexible payment options like Payflex allow you to increase your sales by 30% while at the same time rescuing your customers from any incurred debt.

Reconsider your shipping rates

Delivery is a key component of the eCommerce experience, and high shipping rates can be a huge deterrent.  If your shipping rates aren’t competitive, and you do not offer free shipping over a certain minimum amount spent, shoppers are going to go to another site that offers quicker, cheaper or even free delivery.  Convenient options like next day delivery and click and collect will set you apart. It’s also a good idea to let customers personalize delivery times that suit their needs.

Visual is everything

As the saying goes, a picture really is worth a thousand words. People are visual by nature, meaning a site with high quality images is likely to draw in the visitor.  Obviously, there is no substitute for seeing and touching an item in person, but high quality images taken at different angles are a close second. Showcasing your products via low resolution, and badly photographed images, will only drive customers away.

Make customers feel secure

Payment security is a huge consideration for customers especially on relatively unknown sites. You need to reassure your clients that your site is safe and that their payment information won’t be compromised.

Omnichannel Retargeting

Retargeting is a great way to help eCommerce sites to convert window shoppers into customers by recognising a user who has visited a site across various devices but has not purchased anything. You can use a host of platforms to reconnect with these potential customers either via Facebook or Google advertising and banner ads. You need to use an omnichannel approach (use multiple platforms) to connect with potential customers.  Today’s consumers jump across devices and channels throughout the day.  Using only one channel is like putting all your eggs in one basket. Different channels also appeal to different audiences, meaning you can reach a wider pool of potential customers.

Don’t make it hard for people to buy from you

A major drawcard for shopping online is that it is quick and convenient. If a customer has too many hoops to jump through when trying to purchase an item, they will go to another site that offers a more seamless, user friendly experience.  Make sure the checkout process is as uncomplicated and simple as possible by giving customers a clear and simple buying path.

Lower your prices

Online shoppers look on various sites for the best deal. A major reason customers abandon their cart is because they find a better price somewhere else. If your prices aren’t competitive, you can guarantee that your customers will buy somewhere else, and probably won’t come back to your shop.

Keep returns simple

Spell your returns policy out clearly to ensure customers are comfortable making the purchase. The more work required for the customer when it comes to the return, the less likely they will buy their desired product on your site. Customers don’t want to have to go into a physical store to return. Online shopping is after all, all about convenience. We recommend considering  a free returns collection service to ensure a full end-to-end customer service experience.


It’s crucial for  South African eCommerce merchants to focus on getting the basics right. Significant value can be found in consumer data that provides important insights into individual customer habits and preferences. Merchants can use this data to understand why window shoppers are not converting into sales, and determine the most effective strategies to encourage them to follow through on their purchases.