If you’re running an e-commerce business or selling any kind of product online, I hope that you already know the main reasons stopping people from buying from you.

As a consumer, and someone who enjoys talking to random people about how they use websites and mobile apps. I tend to always hear the same thing from people when it comes to paying for something online. They say “I don’t trust them”.

Yes, the number one reason people are not buying is that they don’t trust you. They may have a credit card ready, like the product, and interested in buying, but they won’t buy it from you. They are worried. They have many reasons to not buy more than the reasons supporting their purchase decision.

  • Is that website/app trustworthy enough to give it my credit card number?
  • Is that product really as good as they describe it?
  • Would I be able to return the product and get my money back if I don’t like it?
  • Is that the best price? or would it be cheaper somewhere else?

I hope your website/app is helping your costumers answer those questions in a clear and easy way. As your A/B tests will be useless if you’re just focusing on the color of your “Buy now” button, while ignoring the road blocks slowing your customer’s purchase decision.

What about developing countries?

If you’re trying to sell to people living in developing countries, you will face one more problem; Your costumers don’t trust their governments.

Without a good legal system, “with real law enforcement”, your mission becomes harder. Your customers know that their government won’t be there if you steal their credit cards, or sell them a shitty product. Not to mention that they are getting one of the worst consumer experiences from most if not all of the businesses in their countries. This makes them develop extra protection rules that make taking purchase decisions even slower.

In MENA (Middle East and Africa), most e-commerce websites offer a cash-on-delivery payment option as most people in that region don’t use credit cards. Maybe that’s the reason that comes first to mind, still a lot of people who already have credit cards, would go with the cash-on-delivery option, especially if that’s their first try to buy from that website. Simply they don’t know if they should trust that website or not.

Also, why would they pay now if they can pay later? especially if paying online won’t come with extra benefits. (discounts?)

You don’t trust them

This point is also about those who sell to consumers/customers living in developing countries.

You know that most of the population in that region have weak purchasing power, so most of the credit cards used to buy your products will be stolen. You know that the legal system, low enforcement, and business services are not there to protect you.

It’s worse if you’re providing a cash-on-delivery payment option in a country known for being not safe. Someone will steal the product from your delivery guy and will run away without paying, and you will have nothing to do about it.

This is a complex situation that I have no idea how you can get over as an online business, but trying to be trustworthy is something that you should strive for as a business, whatever the thing you’re selling, or whoever you’re selling it too.

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