Is your ecommerce website converting as many visitors as it could be? Online shoppers are becoming savvier about the purchasing process, but they’re also more impatient and have more options than ever before—so if your site doesn’t convert them, your competitor’s probably will. Here are five steps to improving your ecommerce conversion rate.
- Create trust with shoppers. A professional looking website that reinforces your business brand reassures customers that you are up-to-date and a “real business.” If your ecommerce site still looks like it’s 1999, it might be time for a redesign!
Of course, promoting your online data security is also crucial to creating trust. Make sure your ecommerce site meets security standards and that your SSL certificates are prominently displayed, along with any other certifications, especially on the checkout pages. Post links to your privacy and security policies where they’re easy to see.
- Share shipping costs upfront. Online shoppers often want to know shipping costs and taxes before they check out, so make it easy to find this information. You can even use shopping cart software that shows estimated shipping and taxes during the process of loading the cart. During actual checkout, shipping costs should be easy to see with the default shipping option checked.
- Drive them down the funnel. Once customers have loaded up an online shopping cart, make it simple and intuitive for them to check out. Basically, you want to streamline the checkout process as much as possible so they don’t change their minds. Five pages or steps is about the maximum you should use for a checkout process—three is even better. At the top of each checkout page, show what step the shopper is in, so they get a sense of progress. Use color, white space, and buttons effectively so it’s easy for even online shopping novices to figure out what to do next.
- Provide details without distraction. To keep the checkout process pages from looking cluttered, use hyperlinks and popup windows to display detailed information such as shipping policy, return policy, guarantees or other things customers might want to know during checkout. This way, they can access the information if needed, but it won’t slow them down if they don’t need it. Providing clearly visible links to phone or live-chat assistance during checkout can also help prevent lost sales.
- Don’t leave them hanging. Most customers like to see a “review” page before they place their final order, so they know exactly what they’re purchasing and what costs will be. The review page should summarize the order, with a large, easy-to-see “place order” button on the page.
After the order is placed, shoppers should get a confirmation page that includes order details, a confirmation number and information about what will happen next (“Watch for a confirmation email from us,” etc.) Last, but not least, keep them in the loop by sending emails when their package has been shipped and including tracking information so they can watch for the delivery.
By implementing these simple steps, you can make online shoppers feel secure about shopping with you and increase conversion.
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Karen Axelton is Chief Content Officer of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Visit her company’s blog at SmallBizDaily.com.