Converting visitors to buyers is one of the most important components of a successful ecommerce business because increasing this conversion rate has a direct effect on sales revenue. The following are the 8 most common ecommerce mistakes that relate to sales conversion and by successfully addressing each of them you should see a direct increase in revenue.
1. Not Enough Product Information
Online customers do more product research than ever when making a purchase decision. Your product pages should contain all details about the product as well as answer any questions the customer might have relating to its use.
2. Poor Quality Product Images
Do your product images show your item from all angles? Are they clear and high quality? Where possible, include images of your product in use which can make them seem more tangible and desirable in a shopping environment where the customer can't actually touch the product themselves.
3. Complicated Checkout Process
Research into online buyer behavior consistently shows that the fewer steps in the checkout process the better. These steps should be designed to provide an intuitive and straightforward experience, guiding the customer through basket, delivery and payment details. Don't neglect to include an order confirmation page with any relevant reference numbers, estimated shipping dates and customer service contact details.
4. Not Allowing Guest Checkout
Forcing a customer to register for an account before placing an order adds extra steps to the checkout process and lengthens the time it takes for a visitor to place an order - both of which directly reduce sales conversion rates.
5. Not Clearly Showing Delivery Costs
Unexpected costs are the number one reason for cart abandonment. Don't let your shipping costs come as a nasty surprise to your visitors. All delivery rates should be clearly explained, ideally with various options for your customers to choose from, allowing them to decide whether cost or speed is more important.
6. Lack of Payment Options
While credit or debit card is still the most common way to pay for online purchases, the usage of alternative payment methods such as Paypal, e-wallets and mobile is growing, making up over 40% of all online transactions. This percentage is expected to rise, eclipsing traditional payment methods by 2017. With 50% of online customers saying that they wouldn't complete checkout if their preferred way to pay wasn't available it's important to make sure your ecommerce website doesn't miss out on these transactions.
7. Poor Site Search Functionality
Let's say a visitor finds your website through a search for "wool socks". Once on your website they want to find "blue wool socks for men". If your site can't refine a list of products based on variation options, your customer will need to spend time manually browsing your catalog. The longer the user experience the less likely the purchase.
8. A Lack of Customer Service Options
You should provide multiple ways for your customers to get help. Offering multiple communication methods such as phone, email and live chat increases the accessibility of your brand and increases customer trust. Quick responses from customer support also boost the likelihood of a visitor completing a purchase.
Steer clear of these common 8 ecommerce mistakes and you can enjoy higher conversion rates as well as happier customers. If you are looking to start an online store or you're already an experienced ecommerce retailer but want to make sure you are handling the fundamentals, this checklist for any ecommerce website is a great resource.