Right now, there are shoppers visiting your website with the intent to purchase, and in a moment, many of those browsers will leave without spending a dime. What if you could have captured just one percent of those visitors? While you cannot realistically expect to convert every web browser into a customer, you can take some important steps that will help you increase your conversion rate. The answer is in the data.
Capture Them Where They Are: Enhance The Mobile Experience
Earlier this year, mobile-only users surpassed desktop-only users for the first time in history. Even consumers that use desktops report that mobile is becoming their primary entry point to the Internet. Smartphones and tablets put the power in the customer’s pocket, creating a phenomenon of showrooming—looking for a product online, then visiting a store to test it out. From there, customers hop onto their mobile device to locate the absolute best price on that item.
If your item doesn’t show up on a mobile search, the business is lost even if the customer is standing on your showroom floor. You’ve got to have a searchable site to ensure you’re in the game, but it doesn’t stop there. The user experience must be quick and seamless. Let customers know up front how long the mobile checkout process takes, and only ask for the information you need to make the sale at that moment. Simplicity and ease are keys to capturing business when the customer is ready to buy.
Allow Guest Checkouts
It is essential to eliminate as many barriers as possible that could trigger frustration for the user. Do not require customers to register with your site before they buy. Instead, give them the option to remain a “guest.” While this may make some marketers cringe, identifying unknown customers after the fact is much easier than it was just a few years ago.
You can tack on incentives such as shipment tracking to entice customers to register, but forcing them into your database adds an unnecessary barrier that decreases conversions. Remember, the smoother the sales funnel, the higher the conversion rate.
Let Customers Empty Their Carts
Online shoppers often use the cart as a “holding pen” for items they are “thinking of purchasing, just as they do in-store. However, many retailers don’t give customers an easy option for comparing items in their cart and deleting items they do not want as they shop. Typically, “compare” and “delete” functions are not available until the browser is already in the checkout process. What if Walmart made its customers keep all items in their shopping cart until the checkout line? The result would be a customer experience nightmare.
While it may seem counterintuitive to give shoppers an easy way to delete items, it actually helps keep them on the items they will realistically purchase. A dedicated page for shoppers to compare and remove items can increase the chances they will make it all the way through the checkout process.
Don’t Hide Your Shipping Costs
Hiding shipping costs can make customers feel like the victim of a bait-and-switch. Think of all the steps a customer must go through when shopping online. They spend time browsing, choosing styles, decoding sizes, reading customer reviews, comparing items, etc. Burying shipping costs halfway through the checkout process is an instant path to a dead conversion. Display shipping costs early so customers can budget properly. You might incentivize them by saying, “Add X more dollars to receive free shipping,” to encourage them to shop more, but even if you don’t offer free shipping, don’t hide the costs from consumers. Relationships are built on transparency.
Deploy Analytics Because You Can’t Fix It If You Don’t Know What’s Broken
The only way to learn how shoppers use your web and mobile sites is through analytics. You can guess where you’re losing browsers, but only through long-term data collection and analysis can you pinpoint potential pitfalls. Analytics allow retailers to follow shoppers through the buying process from the moment they land on the page until the time they check out. Add to that data the insights gleaned from successful conversions, and retailers will have the tools they need to develop a site that captures a greater share of wallet.
Turning web browsers into buyers isn’t magic; it’s all about strategy. Analytics lays the foundation for offering a simple, efficient user experience retailers can use to capture a shopper’s business quickly, and form the foundation of a lasting relationship.