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Seven ethical ways to convince your customers to buy from the website

You want your visitors to buy from your website and at the same time sleep well at night. It's a good setup for sales, I think.

Today you'll get some tips that help me and others to make buying decisions online.

1. Show what others have bought
This type of  ”social proof ” for what you sell is good and makes me more confident. Many other people will, like me, make purchasing decisions based on what other people do and buy. You can do this by creating charts, highlighting your bestseller better or asking satisfied customers if they can say something nice about the items they've bought that you can publish.

2. Use old customers feedback
You can allow your visitors to review what you are selling in different ways, not just on the website, but on Facebook, Twitter and all other channels for user-generated (neat word) information.

3. Create a need
You can make offers or otherwise restrict the ability to make a good deal if you don't buy now. I buy almost everything online and enjoy making a good deal. You can make an offer that says ”available just this week”, ”Just today, ”or talk about how many items you have left in stock. You can also have a countdown:”This offer ends in 2 days, 3 hours 27 minutes and 14 seconds.”

4. Pictures are important
You can convince people to buy with good product photos or video clips. Good pictures are a persuasive tool, make sure it's good quality  artwork and you will help me and others to feel sure of what we get when we buy. Perfect pictures are of high quality, they can be enlarged and show what you sell from different angles (if needed) to make the buyer feel more confident.

5. Always show complementary products
The person who came up with the method to ask customers: ”Do you want fries with that?” found a key to success. Once I've decided to buy something, I have released my resistance and I'm happy to look at other things to buy at the same time. That's why it's smart to suggest, and add closely related products close to each other on the website.

6. Show that you really know your stuff
I like companies that are dedicated and know a lot about what they sell. I trust them to give me advice that's good for me and at the same time show me the facts (verified by a third party), has tips articles, buying advice and other things that show that they want me to buy the right thing.

7. Take away my fears
What if I want to send back what I bought? Are there any hidden costs involved? When can I get what I ordered? These are all common questions that you can answer as quickly as possible on the website to get me and others to feel safe when we order.

It's actually quite simple. It's about giving customers the chance to make decisions based on information and to help them to trust you by letting you quickly remove their concerns over various things. It's not about manipulating someone. It's about being a good company.
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About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

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"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
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