Online shopping is too big to ignore! It is an increasingly normal part of our lives, professionally and personally. Two thirds of American adults shop online at least once a month according to a recent study. In fact, one in three Americans shop online every week! As huge as this number may sound, it’s actually fairly understandable. E-commerce provides access to a far greater range of products at lower prices with the added convince of not having to make a trip to the store.
Unsurprisingly, the more children in a household, the more frequently online shopping is used. Only 23% of online shoppers without children will make weekly online purchases. Meanwhile, 40% of shoppers with one child purchase things online weekly, 56% with two children and 66% with three or more children. Busy families have lots of needs and little time so going online for purchases can make a huge difference for them.
If your business has a product that can be sold online, it should do so! There’s simply too much opportunity to ignore.
Unfortunately, however, there are some unique challenges facing e-commerce that aren’t associate with traditional shopping set-ups. The largest issues are, of course, shopping cart abandonment and conversion rate drops. Sometimes, online customers simply stop, leaving their purchases incomplete. Traditional stores may occasionally have the rare customer show up to the checkout counter and then suddenly walk away, leaving their items behind, but it is a far larger issue online.
To a degree, e-commerce websites have to accept that a slight drop off is to be expected. No matter how engaging your website is, some customers are going to get distracted. Those 66% of parents with three children are occasionally going to get pulled away from the computer to deal with an issue that is entirely outside of anyone’s ability to control.
Nevertheless, e-commerce businesses should not simply accept whatever drop off rate they have as natural. Plenty of times, there is something that could be done better to keep customers engaged in the checkout process.
Here are three issues that can increase your e-commerce site’s drop off rate and how you can fix them.
LOG IN/SIGN UP
Since ease of access and use is a large part of the appeal to e-commerce, having to stop to sign in can be a deterrent to busy customers.
For new customers, there is a sign up process that may involve them having to leave your website to check their email for a verification code or link. As obvious as it sounds, every time your customer leaves your page, there is a chance they aren’t coming back.
For existing customers, they have to remember which email they used to create their profile as well as the password they selected. If they don’t recall, this could sent them through various password recovery steps or force them to set up a new account entirely.
As minor as this seems from a business’ outlook, this is a literal barrier to entry to a customer, standing between them and their purchase. With so many alternative options, customers are not inclined to stay whenever they feel frustrated. Whatever you are offering, they can almost certainly get elsewhere!
To avoid this issue, don’t place a speedbump in your customer’s way. Instead, let them move straight into the checkout process. Then offer a login or sign up option in the corner as a way to speed up their process if they want to take advantage of it. You can also provide an option to sign up after check out has been completed.
Similar to the previous issue, some e-commerce sites make it difficult for customers to continue shopping once they are in the checkout. It seems like common sense that sometimes people forget an item and need to go back. However, a surprising number of e-commerce sites forget this. Some sites will even get rid of items when a customer navigates away from the checkout!
To a lesser degree, other sites also hinder customers’ ability to add things to their cart by removing them from the rest of the e-commerce site. By taking customers to a site that looks completely separate or even off brand from the rest of your website, you run the risk of having them wonder if they are in the right place.
Make it easy for customers to navigate your e-commerce site in a natural way. If they want to pay you for more items, don’t get in their way! Keep your site visually consistent and store their progress no matter where they go.
The number of steps involved in completing an online purchase can vary widely from website to website. Unsurprisingly, if your checkout process has two steps, it’s more likely to be completed than a checkout process with ten steps. Every additional page separating customers from finalizing their purchase is another opportunity for them to leave your website. This can be because of distractions or due to technical problems.
Keep your checkout process as minimal as possible. The less customers have to do, the more likely they are to do it.
If you can’t keep your process to one or two steps, then consider having a progress indicator on the page. Customers can’t know how far they are in your process unless you tell them. If they know how much more they need to complete, they are more likely to stick with it, since they won’t feel trapped in an endless process.
These are only three issues facing e-commerce sites. While they cover some of the biggest issues, they are hardly the only ones! Including security seals to build trust, adding checkout buttons to every page, indicating the final price prior to checkout, offering promo codes on site, and many other smaller details can make a huge difference in the reaction your customers have to your e-commerce site. If you are not well-verse in website design and marketing strategy, it’s easy to overlook all these important details. To get help, reach out to Digital Marketing Sapiens at (210) 582-5842 today!