Online retail is a quickly growing channel; in the US alone, ecommerce sales are expected to increase by almost $43 billion in 2015. Your business may have been focusing on content marketing, SEO, or improving your mobile approach, but bringing people to your website is worthless if they aren’t buying anything. Before spending money to build your community (content marketing) or to help your website be found (SEO) you want to make sure that you have your customer process down pat.
Here are 5 factors affecting your ecommerce conversion rate and how you can fix them:
1. It’s too complicated.
Research has shown that people are affected by decision fatigue: this means that when people have too much choice, they often choose to do nothing. Keep your website clear and simple: one or two obvious calls-to-action and a simple, easy-to-use navigation bar will help keep customers on track.
Make sure that your payment process is seamless. Don’t require customers to log-in or sign up for an account when they’re ready to buy. Any forms should be minimal—this isn’t the time for confusing wording or questionnaires. The best example of this is Expedia: they increased their profit by $12 million simply by removing one field from their payment form. The less people have to think, the better.
2. Not enough payment options.
This seems to contradict the previous point, but this is one time you can forget it. Customers want to pay with their preferred method: credit card, visa debit, PayPal—maybe even Bitcoin. You could be losing customers because they have to have a PayPal account to make a purchase. If there aren’t enough payment options you will notice that you lose customers at check-out.
3. You don’t know your buyer.
It can be challenging to get to know your buyer but you should be understanding customer journeys and getting data-driven answers to questions you have about your customers. Do they browse on mobile devices or are they purchase-ready? Where do they use each device? Where are they getting stuck and why? This is where speaking to real customers comes in handy—your staff already understands the website and the brand, so it’s important to get an external opinion.
4. Your images aren’t high quality.
Pictures sell products online. People want to see what they are getting so allow customers to zoom into photos and view them from all sides. Bonus points for videos that are helpful and tasteful.
5. You charge for shipping.
Nothing leads to more abandoned shopping carts than charging for shipping—in fact 93% of study participants responded that free shipping would encourage them to buy more products. Find a way to offer free shipping for your customers and you are guaranteed to see an increase on e-commerce conversion rates.
Photo by Simon and His Camera.
BuyerSynthesis brings consumer insights to food, culture and clothing brands and their agencies to refine product strategy, user experience and communications.