Take Yes for an Answer: Make it Easy for Visitors to Buy and Increase Conversions
You want to make purchases on your site as fast, easy, and frustration-free as possible. Let’s examine ways that some ecommerce leaders have done it.
Filling out a Web form (your checkout) is the actal physical action that does the “converting” of visitors to customers. Checkout requires that a user provide sensitive details about where they live and their bank or credit card information in order to make a purchase.
Making checkout as easy as possible can make the difference between a visitor completing the purchase process and abandoning their full shopping cart.
- ImageScape conducted studies and found that they were collecting too much information. After reducing the number of form fields from 11 to 4, the number of form submissions increased over 2.5x and subsequent conversions by 1.25x.
- Single Page Checkout is a slightly different approach supported by many open source store platforms. It means restructuring the checkout process such that all form fields are presented at once, removing the need to load additional pages to make a purchase. The Official Vancouver 2010 Olympic Store invested some time to replace their 2-page checkout with a Single Page Checkout, increasing conversion by 21.8%.
- Popups have a bad reputation because it was overused by advertisers in the early days of the internet. This doesn’t make them bad – instead it means websites must be careful with how and when to use them. Used properly as shortcuts for common visitor actions, popups can improve signups by 50% or more, as it did for Visual Website Optimizer.
Well Thought-Out Traffic Direction
One of the great advantages of running an online store is that it enables owners to tailor the shopping experience for their visitors. One caveat is that the automation allowing tailored experiences can also replicate a bad experience for every visitor. Presenting visitors with clear cues and directions for where to go next are sure ways to make sure your site isn’t turning away business:
- Nature Air wanted to make sure that interaction buttons on their site were obvious and clear to visitors. The easy-to-find and clear contextual calls-to-action helped Nature Air increase conversions a whopping 591%!
- Slideshop.com optimized the structure of their navigation menus according to this set of “best-practices” and was able to increase conversions by 34%.
- Wondering why conversion rates were so low, Zen Windows conducted a study and found that when visitors got to their site, there was no clear place to click or go. After a redesign that added clear website flow, their conversion rates increased 4x.
- One developer found that asking for the sale too soon can turn off potential customers. When a visitor came to a site, they’re already interested in buying something – so it makes sense that holding off on calls-to-action imploring visitors to “Sign Up”, and instead simply inviting them to “Let’s Go” can increase conversions by over 350%.
- Sometimes, call-to-action buttons just don’t stand out enough. SAP BusinessObjects changed their regular blue links into buttons and saw an increase of conversions by 32.5%.
Reward Visitors for Choosing To Do Business With You
Figure out what you need, do some research, ask around for recommendations, visit those recommendations, do a few quick Google searches, read reviews, browse product offerings, compare prices, fill out numerous forms. The visitor who’s just about to click “Submit Order” has already done a lot of work!
Be it free shipping or publicizing free trials, letting visitors know about important but otherwise hidden details can be greatly affect their decision to place an order:
- 2BigFeet recognized this and started offering their visitors free shipping as a way to reward visitors who bought something. 2BigFeet’s sales went up 50% almost overnight.
- Other times, just promoting different available shipping speed options may be exactly what visitors need before clicking on “Submit Order.” SmileyCookie was able to increase sales by 41% by promoting Next Day Shipping.
- GetReponse, an email marketing software developer, found that offering their visitors a “Free Trial” of their services resulted in an increase in signups by 158% without affecting paid signups.
A Little Fun Can Go A Long Way
Shopping can be a fun experience, and online shopping can open up a world of goods to anyone with a computer. The point: shoppers want to shop. Study your website’s design and ask yourself: Is my store taking “yes” for an answer?
One last little gem of an example: Huffduffer converted their forms to a Mad Libs style, making typically dry and mundane forms much more fun to fill out. This user-oriented detail resulted in a 25-40%, so remember: keep shopping fun!