eCommerce Conversion Tips
You can have a beautiful website, excellent SEO, and a large stock of popular items, but if you do not have a good conversion rate, none of that will matter. Experts have studied this problem for ages, and a few things that you can do to improve these numbers have become very apparent.
Delivery costs – research shows that consumers have varied preferences when it comes to delivery type and costs – but the one thing that seems to be pretty universal is that shoppers want to know what the delivery costs are going to be very early in the purchasing process. There is nothing more annoying than to get to checkout and discover that the delivery costs are something they just canâ€™t accept.
Flyout navigation menus – these types of menus received high marks almost universally. They have become pretty standard in modern shopping carts. Flyout navigation menus also offer a great opportunity to provide additional product information to the shopper. It is important, however, to maintain a clear, legible, well laid out navigation menu design.
Homepage link – surprisingly, most of the participants were unaware that the company logo usually acts as a homepage link. Therefore, it is very important that the home link appears first on any navigation menu – it can be very irritating for the consumer to have to resort to the back arrow for navigation.
Breadcrumb trail – if your ecommerce site has a large amount of categories and products, it will be very necessary for you to provide a clear breadcrumb trail. This will enable your customers to backtrack, if necessary, without having to start their search over from the beginning.
Product filter options – it is a well known fact that ecommerce sites should offer its customers the option to refine their product search. In addition, the filter option should automatically update as the options are amended, without the user having to wait for a total page reload. Remember, the longer a customer has to stay on the site in order to make a purchase, the higher the chance that you will lose the clientâ€™s purchase impulse.
Pictures – this is perhaps one of the most important tips of all. Pictures are absolutely essential when you are selling a product on the internet. Pictures need to be of sufficient size so that details are clearly shown, and it is best if you offer pictures of the product from all angles. A zoom feature is also helpful, especially if your product is very detailed.
Videos – although not as common as pictures on ecommerce shopping sites, videos are gaining in popularity. The major purpose of videos on your site is that it further recreates that face-to-face shopping experience.
Auto-fill address fields – while many browsers offer this option, may consumers are reluctant to store their personal and credit card information on their browser. And we all know how tedious it can be to have to repeatedly enter the same information. An alternative, becoming more popular, is to have software attached to your ecommerce site that, based on an input zip code and the first letter of the street, intuitively offers a drop down of street names that correspond to the information provided.
No forced registration – studies show that customers dislike being forced to register with a site before theyâ€™re allowed to make their purchase. It is commonly believed that registration forms are much longer and more difficult to fill out. Most sites that require registration justify it by saying that it will speed up the purchasing process next time – studies show that this is not an effective motivation. What would be more effective is to explain to the customer that registering would enable them to track their order if necessary. Consumers would prefer to simply be offered an opportunity to choose a password, and then continue their purchase. Password requirements should be lenient, again a password requirement that you use both lower and upper-case letters, plus numbers, plus special characters, seem ridiculous and annoying to a purchaser.
Broad validation criteria – Most consumers find it frustrating to complete a form, hit the submit or continue button, only to be taken right back to the form because of input errors. It can save your buyers a lot a grief if you make certain to keep your validation criteria as broad as possible. Take, for example, telephone numbers. It would be helpful to allow phone numbers to be input either with or without spaces, or with or without brackets. It is also possible to use Ajax script which allows synchronization with your database in real time and can advise the shopper of any errors as they make them.
The whole point of these tips is to insure that when a consumer visits your site, they will actually purchase something. Any steps or actions that you can take to make your ecommerce site as user-friendly, easy to navigate, intuitive, and simple, will pay dividends when it comes to converting visitors to buyers.
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