Jan 30, 2014

Addressing the Uncertainty of Selling Online

You might be a crook. Your products might be of poor quality. You might not deliver once you’ve got my money. You might have misrepresented your product.

These are the attitudes of the nearly one-third of U.S. Internet users who are still not buying online. With about 245 million Internet users in the United States (www.internetworldstats.com/top20.htm), one-third constitutes about 80 million Americans who have never made an Internet purchase. Some of those are too young to buy and some don’t have credit cards, but the remaining number — close to 50 million, certainly — just don’t trust products sold online or the online trading process.

In some cases they don’t trust the merchants who are selling online, either.

Those who do buy online — some 160 million of us — have adopted defensive practices to mitigate our mistrust. One such practice is “showrooming,” wherein consumers take a hands-on look at a product in an offline store before they order online. Another is keeping our bids low. Yet another is avoiding auctions where the “deal just seems too good to be true.” All of these “defensive buyer” actions are costly to sellers. Read More

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