Four Triggers to Convert Window Shoppers
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It’s a given that not everyone who visits your eCommerce store will make it to checkout. In fact, half of your web traffic is probably coming from ‘window shoppers’, as reported by the Reducing Customer Struggle study. The study also revealed that up to 57% of consumers were just browsing when they left without making a purchase.

Window shoppers may have particular goals in mind, like comparing prices, or, they may not have a clear intent to purchase and could just be looking at your products for fun. Whatever the reason that sparked their interest in your eCommerce website, it's important that you understand the needs of window shoppers and offer them targeted incentives that could convert them from browsers to buyers. In this article, we provide four triggers that will appeal to those casual browsers.

Set up visually stunning landing pages and product displays

Make a great first impression on your visitors. With traditional brick-and-mortar stores, a front merchandise display is often the best tactic to get passer-by's to stop, look and ultimately enter the store. When it comes to online selling, product images are your most powerful weapon to keep visitors invested. As one Nielsen study shows, product images play a prominent role in the decision making process.

This is especially true for the landing page, where an image hook can stimulate curiosity and motivate customers to further explore your website. Online shoppers do not have the convenience of touching or testing your merchandise while viewing items, therefore it is essential that all images are presented in a way that accurately and attractively represents the actual product. This means using high resolution photos with a zoom function and viewable from numerous angles.

Start with a small request

Rather than bombarding your online visitors with requests and information, you can start to win them over with a procedure known as the foot-in-the-door technique. This method requires that you create a bond with the visitor first, by getting them to complete a small step such as engaging with call-to-actions on your website that do not relate directly to selling.

For example, you can ask them to sign up for your newsletter, visit your blog, or receive free trials. This presents an excellent opportunity to engage with prospective buyers while finding out what their preferences are. Once you've established goodwill with window shoppers you can approach them with an offer to purchase something from your store.

Man messaging on cellphone

Provide a wish list

Visitors to your online store may not fill up their shopping cart, however, they may have seen a product that they like and would likely buy in the future. A wish list allows consumers to save their favourite products online for later consideration or email the list to friends and family.

The biggest advantage for the window shopper is that they do not have to search for the product again. While they may eventually not click the buy button, they can easily share their wish list as gift ideas for special occasions. As a result, someone else may end up buying the product for them. For the online store, a wish list can help to convert a window shopper into a regular customer, boosting your site's return traffic, and crucially, its profits.

Foster a sense of urgency

Window shoppers do not easily capitulate to impulsive buying. They often decide to come back in a few weeks. This is where the principle of scarcity comes in handy - where you give the impression that a product is too good an opportunity to pass at the time. The key is to convince your sales prospects to buy right away since the product they're looking at won’t be available by the time they return.

Limited stock or limited time offers are two popular direct marketing techniques used to generate consumers' interest and encourage them to act. Using words such as "hurry" and "only" can help build pressure when showing customers that you only have a certain amount of a specific item left. Consumers tend to place a higher value on products that are limited and will, therefore, be easily persuaded to buy them as opposed to regular stock. Bear in mind, however, that if the item is widely stocked in South Africa that a simple search on the browser’s part may quickly point out that there is more stock on a competitor’s site - so employ this technique with care.


In today's competitive eCommerce space, it is important to cater to all types of customers, even the ones who do not always convert immediately. Having best-practice metrics such an adaptable South African payment gateway and mobile optimisation are not always enough to provide a valuable experience to hesitant spenders; a few marketing initiatives targeted at window shoppers can also help to encourage online shopping at your eCommerce store.