Improving e-Commerce Conversion Rate

Advice to improve the conversion rate of your website’s traffic into customer on your e-commerce cart website

I have been a business consultant for e-commerce websites for over 10 years now. I can tell you with certainty updating traffic for your website is easy to do, the hard part is converting that traffic into customers and clients. I would like to share some unique tips that can improve your website’s conversion rate.

This first tip is often overlooked in goes unnoticed:
If you do not offer any discount codes or coupon codes or vouchers do not display the box for possible customers to input these codes in your cart or checkout area. I have seen time and time again, customers, leaving the checkout area to go surf the Internet for coupon codes. Some of the more aggressive shoppers have even contacted the website owner for coupon codes. They have even gone as far as to cancel their order and wait until there are coupon codes available before purchasing.

The do’s and don’ts for required information during the account creation process:
On the Internet customers have an idea of what information should be required, this information should consist of name e-mail address address, and that’s all. If your card requires any additional information such as company name, phone number, date of birth, gender, etc. people will not enter this information. If it ends up that they cannot continue on to the checkout process to purchase their goods because they have to enter in required information that they don’t want to give and don’t believe they have to, trust me, they will leave!

Too much cross-selling, overselling, pushing of products and additional services during the checkout phase:
Potential customers prefer the concept of, okay. I’m ready to check out, please remove any additional and unnecessary roadblocks out of the way so that I may complete my order and be done with the shopping experience.

Services to offer during the checkout process can include:
Gift wrapping, additional notes and messages, minimal amount of relevant products or products that go together with items in the shopping cart such as coasters and coaster holders, specials such as if you buy this item you will get a discount or if you purchase over this amount you will get free shipping. The number one thing to be aware of is to not annoy customers when they wish to check out and make it as simple as possible.

If you do not have an on site payment processor:
and you are using a service such as PayPal, then I recommend taking advantage of custom checkout pages. Nothing looks more unprofessional than a PayPal checkout page displaying your e-mail address at the top. You can easily create a header image or logo image and log into your PayPal account and click on your profile button and go to my selling tools and look down the page for custom checkout and click update. Then in the lower right-hand corner click add, and then begin customizing the checkout page. Something as simple as making a JPEG image header and typing in your company name will improve the professional look of your website. I cannot tell you the amount of times a customer has spent hundreds if not thousands of dollars making the perfect design for the website and then drop the ball during the checkout page when using PayPal checkout or using express PayPal checkout.

Do not have link pages on e-commerce website if you not have a page to link to:
They are called “Dead Links”. A good example of this is having a news link on your website and the page blank with no news. A very common example of this practice is a page to show specials offered on your website and displaying no special. If you do not have that shows that you intend to offer on your website do not display a link to the specials page. If you do have a specials page and you do offer special then I recommend always having a special up on display. You will be surprised at how many people first come to your website and will check the link that says specials to see what you offer. The reason why you do not want blank pages on your website is because you want your website to appear to be a finished, complete, and a polished website. If customers find incomplete, broken pages, link pages, or dead links they will consider the website to not be professional, and quite possibly not in use and a dead website store which they certainly will not wish to purchase from. Customers need to feel ‘safe’ in their desire to purchase from your store, if there is ‘any’ chance that they are made to feel insecure when purchasing, they will leave and go to another website.

If you use advertising banners and specials on your website:
If you prominently display advertising banners and specials on your home page, change to rotate them at least monthly. Customers, much like Google and other search engines like to see updated websites. If they come to a website that has a special that is good for summer and it is currently winter, they will consider the website is in active or at the very least, not kept up to date with appropriately displayed advertising specials.

Another overlooked area
You should always include terms and conditions, shipping policies, privacy policies and return policies as well as an FAQ on your website. It is also a good idea to put a pop-up link to your shipping and return policy in the shopping cart or checkout area of your website. Website owners do not understand that possible customers do read these pages. And if these pages are not easy to find, are blank or are simply not there then the chances of that customer checking out the decreases dramatically. Granted, not every customer will read these pages, but I can guarantee, the customers that will read these pages are almost always guaranteed sales on your website and they are in the final process of buying from you. If you deny them the information they are looking for, then you have potentially lost a sale.

If you are and in need of additional tips or advice on to how to increase your traffic to customer conversion rate, please contact us.


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