The recent survey by Corporate Executive Board (CEB), a leading research and advisory service provider, a leading research and advisory service provider, shows that many customers prefer simplicity more than over-the-top promotional offers.

CEB’s survey seems to suggest that the best type of customer engagement happens when you offer a fast and seamless purchase experience. The survey reveals that simplifying the decision-making process for the customer by 20 percent would increase the likelihood of purchase or re-purchase, and increases brand recommendations by customers by a whopping 96 percent.

There is one other thing, though: they claim that simplicity is more valuable than engagement. We claim, however, that simplicity and engagement can be one and the same. Add simplicity and purpose to your communications and buying process by talking to people appropriately based on their profile, engagement levels and, most importantly, where they are in their relationship with your brand.

The big question is, how to simplify the purchase process. These simple steps will point you in the right direction:

Make site navigation simple. Many companies take for granted the basics such as a logical process flow, easy to identify call-for-actions, a clear option to return to the previous stage if needed, simple and unambiguous language or instructions, pleasing color combination and font size and more. Add clear and streamlined brand-specific information relevant to the decision stage.

Invest in transparency. Do not hesitate to disclose all relevant information upfront. Many marketers make the mistake of building up hype and pushing important catches to the fine-print or not disclosing them until the customers asks for it. Offering customers transparent buying guides and making brand differentiated information easily available has its advantages.

Provide trust information such as recommendations by consumer advisors, ratings and reviews by independent third party sources. Make sure not to sugar coat such information. In today’s information age, customers see through the obvious.

I suggest you take a look at your online buying process and see how easy it is from the perspective of a potential customer. Take a step back. It’s easy to get caught up in your own world of understanding – how would it look if you had no exposure to your company beforehand? What changes can you implement to make the purchase easier for the consumer?

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