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  1. #1
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    SELL, SELL, SELL --- why can't we sell more?
    Interesting ...


    Source: Forrester

    If affiliates assuage some of these trepidations ... can our conversions increase?

    What do merchants need to do?

    How can affs help merchants to convert better?
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  2. #2
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    I'm fairly new here, and to affiliate marketing

    shouldn't we be promoting an ezine so our visitors can get to know and trust us?

    would testimonials from customers help?

    advise customers you use a secure server for orders?

    what else?

  3. #3
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    I'm curious about the original date of that survey as well as the margin of error.

  4. #4
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    I'm curious as to what percentage of the Internet falls into the category of "Online buying holdouts."

    If it's just 1% of the people, needless to say that's a lot different than something like 30%.

    As for what to do, if the amount of holdouts is negligible, I'd say, NOTHING, let the world keep passing them by.

    But if there's a lot, I'd say that convincing people of the security of their data would hit the biggest Luddite fear mentioned, but affiliates may be leaving themselves open to legal issues if they claim a merchant is "secure" and then it turns out that the merchant had less security than a screen door! So I'd say that affiliates should make their sites "imply" professionalism and security, without coming right out and saying so.

    As for merchants, almost all of the serious ones have an SSL certificate/secure server, so they should say so (or show a seal that says so) prominently. There are many merchants, some that are quite big, who manage to miss this detail.

    ("Almost all" because some are serious, yet have the CC-info part of their shopping cart hosted on someone else's secure server [usually the "someone else" is a cart-hosting company]. Personally I think that screams "not arrived!" but I see it from time to time...)
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  5. #5
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    First of all - great topic, Haiko!

    Now - to the topic. I believe, that every merchant and every affiliate is to address these issues point-by-point counter-opposing sound reasons FOR purchasing online to every reason NOT TO. Let me start on this...

    1. I don't want to give out my personal financial info...
    Provide them with third-party (a well-known and trusted one) proof that they are insured and will not be held liable for unauthorized purchases made with their credit card. Tell them all you can about SSL's, etc.

    2. I want to be able to see things...
    Provide them with images of the highest quality possible. That's what you need to pay utmost attention to when selling on the Internet.

    3. I prefer to research ... online and then buy in a store
    I am afraid, this is really not a "reason" not to purchase online, but an extablishment of a fact/tendency.

    4. Delivery costs are too high.
    Work on your shipping rates, making them flexible and attractive.

    5. I've heard about bad experiences...
    Delstu is right - let them hear about good experiences (through testimonials)!

    Geno

  6. #6
    Internet Cowboy
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    There will always be people who will not buy online because of these issues. I say leave them alone. They will come around sooner or later and will provide growth somewhere down the road.


  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herb ԿԬ
    I'm curious about the original date of that survey as well as the margin of error.
    Herb:

    Recent research here, as well as recent focus groups, confirms this, even with regular Internet users.

  8. #8
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Great find, Haiko, and great discussion!

    I think there's a lot that merchants can do and a little that affiliates can do also.

    1. I don't want to give out my personal financial info...
    Most people don't care about third parties, liabilities, and SSL. A little education about those is good, but an even better option is to allow them to give their credit card number over the phone. No, don't take the order over the phone. Give them an option during checkout for you to call them and get their credit card number. Promote it on the front page with something like this: "Concerned about using your credit card online? Choose 'Pay By Phone' during checkout and we'll call you to get your credit card information."

    2. I want to be able to see things...
    I agree. High quality thumbnails and larger pictures of products will really help. I had a friend email me about his online store, wanting to know what he could do to increase conversions. I went to his site and one of the first things I noticed was that the thumbnails were so small that I couldn't even tell what the products were. (Shipping costs and the number of distractions on the page were other big factors for his site.)

    3. I prefer to research ... online and then buy in a store
    Make it easier and more affordable to buy online. If you have free shipping, point that out. If you don't charge sales tax, point that out. Point out the convenience. You don't have to leave the house, mess with traffic, park, etc. An educated consumer will say that they prefer to research in a store and then buy online!

    4. Delivery costs are too high.
    Set a reasonable shipping cost and offer free shipping above a reasonable threshold. Studies have shown time and time again that free shipping is usually the biggest motivator to enduce people to shop online. There's no reason not to do it. Adjust your prices if you have to, but find some way to offer free shipping.

    5. I've heard about bad experiences...
    I'm not sure I would suggest testimonials. Seeing them (even though they're positive) will remind shoppers about the bad experiences they've heard about. I think this problem would be best to just ignore. Telling how long you've been in business (assuming it's a while), linking to your BBB report (assuming it's pristine), and showing ratings from companies like BizRate or ResellerRatings.com (assuming they're good) can help. I toll free customer service line can also help.
    Michael Coley
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  9. #9
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Thumbs up
    Thanks for picking up on the discussion, MichaelColey! Analyses like these are always better than the "just leave them alone, they'll come to it one day (and if they don't - their problem)" argument...

    Agree on the BizRate (and alike) ratings. Tho' I wouldn't do them instead of testimonials, but rather along with them.

    Geno

  10. #10
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    With companies losing sensative data about their customers by the shitloads. Should they not be afraid?

  11. #11
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardwareGeek
    With companies losing sensative data about their customers by the shitloads. Should they not be afraid?
    they should be very afraid.

    and add to that the idea that their purchase habits could be reported somewhere?

    it may be quite a while before consumer confidence in Internet buying perks up again.

    This puts us as sellers between the proverbial rock and hard place: it is hard enough to find people who want to buy -- and if we wait for search engines to send folks, we wait and wait and wait . . .

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador netnow22's Avatar
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    What most people don't know, it is far more easier to have your personal information (and credit card information) stolen in the offline world. How many times do you use yourcredit card to pump gas, or buy anything. If the employees wanted too they could still your inforamtion everythime you gave them the card. And this happens alot more han you think as this has happened to me.

    And besides if the banks are doing it ,k why would you not?

  13. #13
    Internet Cowboy
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    Quote Originally Posted by netnow22
    What most people don't know, it is far more easier to have your personal information (and credit card information) stolen in the offline world.
    Agreed. DSW Shoe Stores are a great example. 6 million customers' credit card and check information recently breeched.


  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Akiva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    Give them an option during checkout for you to call them and get their credit card number.
    For high-volume merchants it would be nearly impossible and even if it was, costs would shoot up as each person you have calling to get CC's would need to be on salary etc. For low volume merchants it's definately doable.
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  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador
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    "1. I don't want to give out my personal financial info...
    Most people don't care about third parties, liabilities, and SSL. A little education about those is good, but an even better option is to allow them to give their credit card number over the phone. No, don't take the order over the phone. Give them an option during checkout for you to call them and get their credit card number. Promote it on the front page with something like this: "Concerned about using your credit card online? Choose 'Pay By Phone' during checkout and we'll call you to get your credit card information."

    That i'm not so sure about. If i had that concern and i saw that message, that would just reaffirm my concern instead of alleviating it. If they got to that point, checkout online, they must have some comfort level. But seeing that message, would be kinda like "I was comfortable until i saw that message, now i'm not so sure"

  16. #16
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    How about this? Scan Alert Hacker Safe Certification

    I've seen this seal on quite a few sites, and the place is claiming that it rose merchant CR by 14.2%...
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  17. #17
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    I've seen this seal on quite a few sites too. Anyone here used them and can testify to how true the 14.2% rise is?

    Thanks.

    Geno

  18. #18
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    How about this? Scan Alert Hacker Safe Certification

    I've seen this seal on quite a few sites, and the place is claiming that it rose merchant CR by 14.2%...

    This could be used on the merchant's site because the merchant is actually selling the product and getting the private information from the customer.

    I seems to me that this could NOT be used on a affiliate site because we are not selling the product or getting the customer's information.

    If we did have the seal on our site and then when the customer clicked on through to the merchant's site - if something happened at the merchant site and they were sued - couldn't we be encluded in the law suit because we had the seal on our site and in a way that would say that we were also telling the customer that the merchant site was safe when maybe it was not really safe at all.

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador
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    Don't think Leader meant that for an affiliate site. More to what can merchants do or put on their site to make people feel comfortable with buying stuff online.

  20. #20
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    Don't think Leader meant that for an affiliate site. More to what can merchants do or put on their site to make people feel comfortable with buying stuff online.
    Right.

    If our merchants can get people to feel more comfortable, that's good for us, too. But I didn't mean to put that seal on our own sites.

    @ Geno--I don't know how accurate the claim is. It could be one of those "exceptional case" kinds of things...
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  21. #21
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    @ Geno--I don't know how accurate the claim is. It could be one of those "exceptional case" kinds of things...
    Any merchants here work (have worked or worked) with these guys?!?! Any feedback?

    Geno

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