In our new blog series, ‘Why Isn’t My Website Getting Sales?’, we’re exploring some of the reasons why you might not be seeing the returns you want from your e-commerce website.
The internet is such a busy place these days that simply having on online shop is not enough to guarantee sales. There are lots of factors that go into creating a profitable website. Fortunately, that means there are lots of things you can tweak or test to generate more sales. That’s what we’ll discuss in this and future blog posts.
We’ll start at the very end: with your website’s checkout pages. While that might not seem like the most logical starting point, it will avoid the problem of continuing to fall at the final hurdle after making improvements elsewhere. So, let’s get to grips with that final hurdle…
The checkout pages are perhaps the most important ones on your website. It is at this stage that you ask people to part with their hard-earned cash. This infographic by Milo, using data from Comscore, indicates that 67% of abandoned carts are abandoned immediately before the transaction is completed. Consequently, there are a host of aspects that need to be right in order to maximise sales.
One of the key factors in convincing people to proceed with their purchase is giving them confidence that your website is secure. This needs to be achieved through design, so that your website looks and feels secure, and backed up by the reality that you do keep your customers’ details safe.
We build our e-commerce website on Shopify, which comes with its own reputable payment gateway and also integrates with other secure payment gateways. Shopify provides you with an SSL certificate through GeoTrust® to provide further reassurance to your customers that their payment data is secure.
Incorporating the logos of your payment gateway, the credit cards you accept and other security seals can help to reinforce the message that this is a safe place to shop. An Econsultancy (https://econsultancy.com/blog/7730-why-do-consumers-abandon-online-purchases) survey found 48% of respondents said the use of trustmarks did indeed build trust when they were shopping on a website they didn’t know well.
This boils down to the design of your checkout pages. Ideally, you - and your customer - want them to be clean and logical in layout. A minimum number of clicks required and minimum fuss.
The exception that proves the rule: give people a choice as to how they pay. A good example would be a secure gateway (as mentioned above) plus a PayPal gateway.
Allowing guest checkouts is always a winner. Potentially laborious registration processes can put people off, especially if they are in a hurry.
Nothing is guaranteed to cause people to abandon their shopping cart midway through a purchase like a surprise charge. The aforementioned Milo infographic shows 55% of cart abandonments are due to shipping costs and that 74% of people want to see a free shipping option when they reach the checkout pages.
Is it possible to offer free delivery with your products? Could you build delivery costs into pricing while staying competitive? Failing that, make sure you’re upfront about delivery charges throughout the website. Think about how you react when the price you’re paying suddenly jumps up at the point of purchase. Avoiding those nasty surprises will reduce the number of abandoned cards and increase the conversion rate.
If that’s got you thinking about ways to improve the checkout process on your website, you might be interested in this article by Kissmetrics (https://blog.kissmetrics.com/40-checkout-page-strategies/), giving 40 ideas to improve your checkout pages.
And if you’ve got any questions, as always, feel free to get in touch.