If you are in the e-commerce sector, then you will know what the “add to basket” and “checkout” concepts are. For those who don’t, it is basically the conversion of liked items or products into purchases or concluded sales. Many in the industry have experienced the unique phenomenon where the website viewers add to basket, but then they never checkout. Well there are a number of factors that contribute to this.
The graph below from www.smartinsights.com shows the various factors:
Communicating shipping costs, convoluted checkout process and enforced account creation seem to be among the worst culprits. Website owners fail to communicate the costs of shipping clearly and this puts potential customers off. Most online shoppers want to be well informed about what it is they are buying. They also want the process to be smooth and quick. If it is otherwise, they become annoyed and quit the entire process.
The desire to have a simple, seamless process also means that online shoppers tend to avoid websites that require them to register or open an account. Shoppers are averse to receiving spam and constant communication from websites.
How then can an e-commerce entrepreneur avoid such quagmires? The first step would be to rethink the website’s entire presentation. Make it more appealing to your target market rather than to your own aesthetic preferences. On the www.shopify.com forum page a customer succeeding in making conversions illustrates the previous point, by giving another some advice: “Did you consider using a lighter colour for your header? I just think black is a bit too heavy for a kids shop.” A small change it seems, but it can prove to be worthwhile.
Using a more popular, user-friendly payment process may reduce frustration when making a checkout and thereby increase sales in the long run. Truconversion suggests reducing the number of clicks (or pages) leading to a checkout. It reduces the number of chances a customer has of abandoning the buy.
Importantly, minimise your purchasers’ risk by making them feel secure when transacting. Customers appreciate a money-back guarantee if the product they are purchasing turns out not to be what they expected with regards to quality, size or style. One might also consider using a very visible checkout sign that is popular with payment gateways such as PayPal. It is international as well as a familiar option for users.
Using metric tools can help an entrepreneur assess where the business is doing well, and where it is not, how business is coming in and from which platforms. Some suggestions are Lucky Orange, Kissmetrics, and Crazy Egg. These metrics websites depict the visitors’ activities and effective use of this information can help determine what to promote more and what to cut or alter. This further enables easier diagnosis of potential flaws of the website and isolates where the website is healthy and where it is not.
These are some ways to get your e-commerce business going. Furthermore look out for future reads on the subject and more great insight for your business.
Proudly brought to you the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC).