Why customers still don’t buy from your website

In the bustling markets of Ghana, a digital transformation is underway. Small businesses are increasingly moving online, creating websites (e-commerce website) to showcase their products and streamline their sales. Yet, despite these advancements, a significant number of customers in Ghana continue to favour WhatsApp, Instagram, and direct phone calls for their shopping needs. This trend poses a unique challenge for businesses that must engage with each customer individually, often leading to a heavier workload. But what drives this preference for personal communication over the convenience of e-commerce websites?

Messaging platforms have become an integral part of daily life, serving as a primary means of communication for many. Their user-friendly interfaces and the ubiquity of smartphones have made these platforms second nature to users, who find it easier to navigate a familiar app than to explore a new website.

The impersonal nature of a website checkout can’t compete with the tailored experience offered by a direct conversation. Customers can receive immediate answers, seek deals, and feel a sense of connection with the seller, transforming a simple transaction into an engaging experience.

Online payments remain a hurdle for some, with not everyone equipped to navigate digital transactions. Messaging platforms allow for a variety of payment methods, including cash on delivery or mobile money (momo) transfers, accommodating a wider range of customers.

Trust is paramount in any transaction. Direct interactions with sellers on messaging platforms provide a sense of security and authenticity that a faceless e-commerce site might not convey. This personal assurance is crucial in a market where trust can make or break a sale.

Not all customers have the same level of comfort with digital technology. For those less familiar with online shopping, the simplicity of a text message or a phone call is far more accessible than navigating an online cart and checkout process.

The e-commerce infrastructure in Ghana is still evolving. Customers often find it more reliable to arrange deliveries and resolve issues through direct communication, avoiding the potential pitfalls of automated systems.

The preference for messaging platforms over e-commerce websites in Ghana reflects a complex interplay of familiarity, personalization, trust, and accessibility. As businesses continue to develop their digital presence, understanding and adapting to these customer preferences will be key to success. With time and continued investment in digital literacy and infrastructure, we may see a shift towards a more balanced use of both e-commerce websites and messaging platforms.

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