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March 2, 2016

3 Ways You are Ruining Your eCommerce Site’s Conversions

Image courtesy of (Stuart Miles)/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The eCommerce marketplace is getting faster and more crowded by the second, which is why your site’s performance is more important than ever. Online shoppers are now faced with so many options that even a minor delay, or performance issue can push your potential customers into the arms of the competition. Here are three common eCommerce problems that might be hurting your bottom line:

Website…takes…too…long…to…load

The modern online shopper has very little patience when it comes to waiting for a website to load. In fact, according to a survey by Kissmetrics, the average online shopper expects a site to load in two seconds or less, and nearly half of them say they are likely to abandon a site altogether if doesn’t load within three seconds.

And once you lose those customers, your chances of getting them back are slim to none. Nearly 80 percent of users who encounter performance issues on an eCommerce site say they won’t return, and around half of them say that they’d tell a friend about their poor shopping experience. Which means your page speed issues aren’t just costing you your existing customers, but potential site visitors as well.

One way to go about boosting load times on your site is to take a mobile-first approach to your site’s design. This will ensure that your site is as stripped down and economical as possible, which translates to a smoother, speedier user experience. You might also consider going for scrolling, rather than click-through navigation to cut down on load times. However, if a redesign of this magnitude isn’t a feasible option, there are other shortcuts that can boost performance. For instance, since product images can seriously slow down your site, you might consider an image optimization plug-in like WP Smush, which quickly reduces an image’s file size without losing quality.

Too Much Stuff

According to the now famous “jam study” conducted by Columbia University professor, Sheena Iyengar, offering customers too many choices can actually hurt your bottom line. The study consisted of Iyengar and her team setting up a booth offering samples of Wilkin & Sons jam to shoppers in an upscale California supermarket. They found that when they offered shoppers 24 flavors of jam, they were more likely to stop and try some samples than when they only offered six choices. However, while 60 percent of shoppers stopped at the larger table—as opposed to 40 percent for the smaller selection—the customers that were offered fewer options were 10 times more likely to actually make a purchase. Thirty percent of shoppers ended up buying jam from the smaller selection, compared to a paltry three percent at the larger table.

So what does that tell us? It basically means that shoppers are attracted to the idea of an abundance of choices, but when actually faced with a multitude of options, they are likely to become too overwhelmed to pull the trigger on a purchase.

So this doesn’t mean you should reduce your inventory down to just six items. Instead, you should work on reducing the unwanted clutter and noise from your customer’s shopping experience. You can do this by improving the searchability of your inventory and offering a selection of filters to let your customers narrow their choices by things like color, size, pattern, etc. This way you can get the best of both worlds, getting them in the door with your large selection while cutting down on their options once they begin browsing, making them more likely to buy.

Problems at Checkout

A smooth checkout process is absolutely crucial to your site’s success. The checkout page is where browsers become paying customers. It’s where shoppers take one last look at their potential purchase and make that final decision whether or not to part with their hard earned money. And this is why your checkout page’s performance is so critical. One little problem on your page, and that indecisive customer might just abandon ship at the last minute.

Here are a few tips for a smooth checkout process:

• Multiple payment options — If a customer gets all the way through your conversion funnel and then finds out you don’t accept his or her preferred card, you’ve just lost a sale. Of course it’s not practical to accept every type of payment out there, but you should make an effort to at least accept the top credit cards as well as PayPal.

• No commitments — The payment process is already tedious enough, so don’t make your customers create an account in order to check out. Plus, forcing customers to create an account prolongs the payment process by adding more fields for them to fill out at checkout. And the longer your payment process is, the more opportunities you give your customers to abandon their purchase altogether.

• Easy Corrections – It’s extremely common for customers to make minor errors during checkout. Whether they forget to include their zip code, put in the wrong credit card info, or enter the wrong quantity on a certain item, make sure that these errors are easy to spot and easy to fix. If your customer has to click back, reload the page, or reenter all of their info, they’re likely to just say “forget it.”

When looking for ways to increase your sales, take a look at your site through the eyes of a customer. Think about what you would want out of a webstore, and look for things you can do to streamline your shopping own experience. The faster, smoother and simpler your site is, the higher your conversion rates will be.


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With 20 years experience building and launching five successful companies, Beau co-founded The Idea Garage and is the current CEO. Passionate about team building and producing high-level quality products, Beau knows what it takes to make a business successful. Teamwork, branding, diligence and quality control are just a few key components.

14 Responses to “3 Ways You are Ruining Your eCommerce Site’s Conversions

    Many interesting points to note for online buyers.

    Thank you

    avatar Antonios says:

    I have had all those experiences when shopping.

    1) Sites too slow: if I am extremely interested I would open another tab and do things will the interested site loads. Most times will shut it and forget it.

    2) Too much stuff: Sometimes I don’t even know if what I want is in all those other “stuff”. Confusing. And just don’t buy.

    3) Checkout problems: have had a lot on these. A few times I have had to cancel an order because realized I bought something different from what I wanted.

    You are right!

    Many online marketers are losing probably millions of dollars on sells because they haven’t taken the time to test their user friendly sites, or, user “unfriendly” site.

    avatar Sohan says:

    Great post Thank you for share

    avatar fadduz says:

    Much useful information for e-commerce business in this articles.
    Thanks

    Hello dear,
    nice information about eCommerce SEO.
    Thanks
    Sagar Ganatra

    avatar Tino Berita says:

    A lot to learn about this.
    Thank you for share

    Over crowded stuff. That is the main killer reason most people abandon shopping on the way. Most clients when they visit such websites at the end of it they even become more confused.

    Thanks for the wake-up call.

    avatar John Blum says:

    Indeed, many images goes to slow loading pages so I always use images optimization service/plugin as ShortPixel.

    avatar best axe says:

    Thanks you so much share this post

    Terimakasih atas informasinya….goodluck

    avatar A.Csaba says:

    While your points are valid, you have forgotten to mention THE SINGLE BIGGEST FLAW of all “modern” websites and online shops: THE SLIDERS/BANNERS.
    Nowadays, no one seems to give a damn about what the shop is actually selling, and what the consumers are looking for, THEY ALL HAVE THE SAME STUPID SLIDER ON TOP OF ALL ONLINE SHOPS.
    IT’s just so stupid. Sliders KILL THE CPU, on any and all computers, laptops, mobiles. Sliders ARE UNRELATED AND UNNECESSARY, yet, everyone seems to employ them, because online shops are no longer about what they sell, but HOW THEY LOOK , and how important their webdesigner’s work is. Now, please note, I’m a webdesigner myself, among other things, and I’ve installed and configured literally HUNDREDS of online shops over the years. Is it a wonder, that the shops with the MOST SALES are the ones that DON’T HAVE A SLIDER ??? I think not.
    I sincerely hope this stupid, useless, LOOK IS ALL mentality will cease to exist and online shops will revert to … well, selling stuff, and not showing off glittering but stupid and unrelated sliders, and parallax, and alike.

    My 2cents

    avatar Omar Khan says:

    I understand slider doesn’t serve any purpose other than giving snap shots of products in different settings or other related images to show case the products. Some like it , others don’t but the (slide)show goes on. My question is; does slider slow down loading the website? Any other tangible disadvantages of having a slider? Thanks in advance for some insight.

    @omar: Yes, absolutely all sliders slow down the browser, there is a specific recommandation by the google page speed insights bot to REMOVE render-blocking scripts from the page’s head. Now, because of the way these sliders operate, the great majority of them NEED to load their scripts in the HEAD portion of the HTML code. That is just simply, BAD. Very bad.

    Retailers need to grow up and understand, that a parallelized-server, STATIC, relevant image is 100 times more useful then a slider.

    By the way, there are actually studies now done on this, people have started to realise what a huge waste of bandwidth, and space, sliders really are.

    It’s a fact: they are USELESS.

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