March 1, 2021

How to Reduce Pre-purchase Anxiety and Increase Your Shopify Store Sales

Every time we stall on a purchase, it’s our anxiety acting up. So, can’t an ecommerce live chat solve the problem?

We’re no longer making as many purchases from brick and mortar stores as we used to. Whether it’s a big or small purchase, we often choose to shop at an online store instead. Now that businesses are taking the digital route too, the last year has given us plenty of choices! 

While there’s definitely an ease in shopping online with so many options available to us, there’s also a lot more skepticism. 

We don’t know who to buy from. We have no way to feel the “vibe” of a brand. We definitely have no way to feel an assurance or trust. 

Yes, pre-purchase anxiety is a thing and we’re all facing it. 

You have pre-purchase anxiety too. Don’t believe us? 

Every time we stall on a purchase or spend an extra five minutes more thinking about whether or not to invest in a product, it’s our anxiety acting up. 

You can read all about it here in this study. But let us give you a few examples of times when we felt overwhelmed before making a purchase. 


1. When choosing a product size 

Every brand has different clothing sizes available. The fits vary too, and that’s why we all relied on trial rooms at the brick and mortar stores before making a purchase. But with that option no longer available, we’re typically looking into size guides, size charts, and the customer reviews on the product sizes available. 

Not to forget, the constant zoom in and out of product images to get an “idea” of what the fit may look like. 
No one wants to buy a size too small and end up wearing a crop top. No one wants to buy a size too large and looks like you’re three ducks in a trench coat. But more importantly, no one wants to get into the whole return and exchange process. Unless you put extra effort into making your returns policy easy to navigate, the whole process of returning products is a headache for everyone involved — both customers and brands.


2. When choosing a shipping method 

Ecommerce has made it simpler for us to shop from anywhere and at any time. But that does not mean we get our orders delivered just as quickly and easily. 

While we’re still aware of this, we tend to have anxiety over when we can expect the order to be delivered. This could be because we have an immediate need for it or simply because we need to coordinate package delivery logistics. 

Choosing a shipping method plays a critical role here. This is where we get confused about what we need. Especially if it involves added costs! 


3. When choosing a payment method 

We’re all trying to avoid exchanging cash on delivery. We want to be able to make an online payment to reduce the number of times a ‘touch’ is involved at the point of delivery. 

Despite online payments being pretty common today, each one of us holds our breath when making a transaction. 

Think about the last time you were making an online payment on a low network. You had your fingers crossed and you were just hoping it makes it through, without an error. 

No one wants amounts charged, only to be reversed later. What if you needed to place that order on that very day? 

Of course, we don’t even need to mention the trust and security that goes along with making online payments on unfamiliar websites.


4. When calculating the total cart value 

It’s not just the value of the product that you’re planning to buy. It’s also the added costs, like taxes, fees, warranties, and shipping, that impact our purchase decision. 

At this stage in the buying process, we’re looking at the cart details to understand what we’re paying for. We want to be doubly sure everything we need is being covered and we’re not being charged extra for anything! 


5. When seeking returns,  exchanges, and refunds

Online shopping comes with a con. If the product does not match your expectations in any way, you need to request a return, a refund, or an exchange. 

While making an online purchase, we want to be sure that the brand has these policies in place. We also want to be sure that it’s going to be easy to do so. 

No one wants to struggle with requesting a return, waiting two weeks and then being declined. Plus, there are set rules and regulations, such as not cutting the tags of the product being returned, retaining the product packaging, etc. But we need these return or exchange policies clearly listed out! 

Now, apply all these scenarios to different industries, and you’ll know what we mean. Be it fashion and apparel, health and wellness, beauty and cosmetics, or home decor and furnishings, every industry is impacted by hesitant or uncertain shoppers. 


And here’s what your pre-purchase anxiety leads to… 

1. Calling or emailing the brand 

This holds true especially if you’re making a time-sensitive or a high-value purchase. 

You definitely want all your doubts addressed before you invest so much money in a high-cost product. Think about Apple. If you had no guarantee of quality or trust, would you online order Macbooks that are worth thousands of dollars, just like that? 

This ends up with consumers making endless calls to brands. Or sometimes emailing them, expecting answers instantly. 

As a result, online brands are overwhelmed by an increased volume of customer support requests coming in that they can’t handle. 


2. Compromised customer experience 

When you’re constantly anxious about making a purchase decision, you tend to become skeptical at every stage in the buying process. 

Despite hearing all good things about a brand, not being able to get answers right away suddenly makes you feel that they are not as reliable.

These moments of doubt at every stage can compromise the customer experience that a brand has to offer. 


3. Abandoning the purchase 

If you’re getting too anxious and you’re not able to reach the brand, you start to reconsider whether you even need to make that purchase. 
In most cases, you’ll talk yourself right out of it. Even if it is just momentarily. 
Or you will start seeking another site to make a purchase from. In the world of ecommerce, there’s always going to be at least one other brand that sells similar products!

For you, as the online shopper, this means going through the entire buying process again — this time, with a competitor brand. 

For a brand, this means a high cart abandonment rate! 

4. Post-purchase anxiety 

You’re not sure you have the answers to everything before making a purchase, but you still buy the product. Now you’re going to try and track the order every day, staying anxious about it reaching you intact and on time. 

The post-purchase anxiety, at no fault of the brand, further negates the overall positive experience that customers have with a business! 

You can read all about post-purchase anxiety and how it impacts your business growth here

So, can’t an ecommerce live chat solve the problem? 

In one of our previous articles, we questioned how effective live chats currently are for ecommerce sites. The numbers don’t lie: 38% of online shoppers purchase from a brand if they have a live chat. 

Live chats can increase your conversions by at least 10%. But that’s only if a live chat acts like one and actually offers live support!

The current status of live chat that goes unanswered is pretty inconsistent with what our anxiety really needs as consumers. 

Here’s what’s wrong with website live chat today:

  • It takes a dedicated support agent or sales representative  to manage the live chat all day long
  • Hiring live agents increases the costs of operations exponentially 
  • You have no control over your availability
  • Customers have to wait all too long to get answers 
  • Managing live chat requires downloading and using clunky apps 
  • People don’t associate with chatbots any more 

Want to read more about it in detail? Read this article

But isn’t this the only way to talk to customers? It’s not! 

Talking to your customers is actually easier than you thought 

As a Shopify store owner, you’re probably managing a gazillion things already. 

Between keeping your store up to date with the latest catalog, creating product descriptions, and marketing your products, you have a lot to take care of. 

It’s obvious that you can’t sit in front of your computer all day to staff your live chat. It’s only understandable if you can’t reply to a live chat message in minutes. So, you’re resorting to chatbots. 

But there’s a way out. 

What if you could go about your day as you like, and the live chat came to you? 

What if you were notified of all live chat messages on SMS along with a link to join the conversation right away, without being pushed to install another app on the phone? 

Yes, talking to your customers is easier than you thought because TextChat is making this possible. 

TextChat uniquely merges the power of an ecommerce live chat tool and SMS notifications to meet the expectations of the most demanding online shoppers. 

Here’s how it works: 



What’s even better? 

With this, you can bring life back into your live chat and improve your customer experience

All without the added costs of new customer service hires or outsourced live agents! 

Ready to change how you manage live chat? 

Get the TextChat live chat on your store today

If you have a Shopify store, you can install the TextChat app here