How do your customers prefer to buy? Too many businesses try to force customers into doing things the way that is most convenient for the business, not the customer.
Do your customers know exactly what they want, or do they need some help choosing the right products and services? When customers know what they want, they usually like to take as little time as possible to make the purchase. Those who do not know (perhaps first-time buyers) appreciate having someone to answer their questions and guide their choices.
Do your customers like to come to a store to buy, order over the Internet, or review choices in a catalog or online then order over the phone? The average age of your customers may be a factor here, as well as the types of products you sell.
Help them comparison shop. Do you have the lowest prices, the best selection, the fastest delivery, or some other advantage? Point it out. If you show why you are the best choice, some customers will buy now instead of doing more “window shopping.”
How do they like to pay? Offer options: cash, check, credit cards, PayPal, charge to account, etc. Although I have a merchant account and accept credit cards online, I added PayPal as an option at my Web site. I was surprised how many people chose to pay through PayPal. It may be that they have some funds in their PayPal accounts and want to spend them, or they do not like giving out their credit card numbers to online merchants, or some other reason. It doesn’t matter. What matters is I allow them to pay the way they want to.
Don’t make customers jump through hoops to buy from you. Making them click on several screens before they reach your shopping cart, or making them stand in one line to pay and another to get their merchandise, can cause them to go elsewhere.
Make it easy for customers to buy from you and they will not only buy today–they will keep coming back.