The most vital component of your online store is its conversion stage. This is the stage where users become customers and finally opt to buy from your ecommerce site. In other words, this is the stage where revenue is generated. Due to its paramount importance in the successful operation of your online store, you should give the utmost attention to optimizing this stage of the buying funnel. This article highlights best practices from the ecommerce industry for the optimization of your conversion process.
When a user has proceeded up to the stage of adding something to the cart, it is now the responsibility of the ecommerce site to make the buying process as easy and hassle-free as possible for the user. This includes several factors that are outlined below.
There should be an option for the user to add a product to cart and then continue shopping, instead of being redirected to the checkout page immediately. This is best implemented by means of a ‘pop-out cart’ typically placed at the top right corner of the website. This pop-out cart usually gives customers the option to view its contents or to check out. If the customer wishes to shop further, they can just minimize this cart and continue shopping.
Mango.com has a great pop out cart that shows immediately when a user clicks to add a product to the shopping bag.
Another way to ease the conversion process for customers is to enable them to edit the products added in shopping cart. This means letting them increase or decrease the number of products that they originally added to their shopping cart. It becomes very irritating for customers to return to product pages in order to increase/decrease the number of items added. Some users might even leave the site if they have to visit individual product pages in order to change their order.
The carts of online stores should also include the option of letting users email or save their selected products for later perusal. Sometimes users are in a hurry but they really like a product that they would like to know more about and ultimately purchase later. Alternatively, users might save some items to their shopping carts via their mobiles and wish to view them in detail on their tablet or laptop afterwards. They are quite likely to purchase their selected products from a different device when they have the time to do so. This is why providing the option of saving or emailing shopping cart items also results in increased sales and conversions.
Amazon.com is a great example of an online retailer that lets users save products to a list, as well as share them via email and social media accounts.
It is imperative that ecommerce sites repeat their value proposition even when customers have added products to the cart and are about to check out. This value proposition could be as simple as ‘Free Shipping’ or ‘Fast Shipping’. This is done to reaffirm to customers that they are making the right choice by buying from your online store.
Another value proposition could be centered around the creation of account in your online store. Ecommerce sites can offer users a particular discount on signing up. They could also display numerous benefits of signing up, including initial sign up discount, reward points for regular customers, ability to add products to wish list, and so on.
Mango.com entices users with a 10% to sign up on arriving at their online store.
Online stores have to compete with hundreds and even thousands more rivals to catch the users’ attention and retain it long enough for them to make a transaction. Imagine doing all the hard work of capturing users’ interest to get them to add products to the shopping cart and then users abandoning the checkout just because the store didn’t offer a guest checkout. This is precisely what 35% of users do while shopping online. That is why it is vital to provide a guest checkout option to users.
Macy’s website offers the option of guest check out to users.
Another way online ecommerce retailers can facilitate the checkout process for users is to offer them the choice to sign up via their social media accounts. This saves time and energy for customers that they can better spend on browsing and buying more products from your online store.
Yayvo.com, one of Pakistan’s leading online shopping stores, offers users sign up through their Facebook accounts.
In addition, as mentioned previously as well, online stores should offer users some advantage on sign up. This would motivate users to register properly on your ecommerce site. Also, don’t make users repeat information that they have already given such as email or passwords. A sign up process with repetitive steps may also discourage users from continuing to the final stage of buying from your store.
Another trick to expedite the purchase process for the customers is to use credentials manager to remember passwords and enable auto sign-ins.
Once you have got the user to shopping cart and close to checking out, make sure that there are very few, if any, exits for them. This is especially crucial if the user is at the delivery options or payment options page. Ecommerce sites should reduce their return points to include only the Shopping Cart, Contact Support or Homepage. A menu of the whole online store must not be presented at this stage. This is due to the fact that users might get distracted by the menu and start browsing again, instead of checking and might not even buy the products they earlier added to the cart.
Additionally, if there are multiple steps in the conversion process, it is a good idea to use pagination or a progress bar to inform the user about which step of the process they are on. Research has proved that it is also beneficial to show users how many steps towards the final order placement they have already completed. This would motivate users to finish the remainder of the process and make the purchase.
Moreover, it is helpful for customers if the online store has detailed Calls to Action (CTA’s) such as ‘Add to Cart’ and ‘Proceed to Delivery’ instead of just ‘Buy’ and ‘Delivery’.
It is also useful to give users the summary of their order prior to the final step of order placement. After the customer places the order, you can take them to a page where you inform them of the delivery time or the tracking info of their order, in addition to thanking them for the purchase.
Shophive.com, another leading online store of Pakistan, outlines the complete order process for users once they proceed to checkout after ordering a product.
With the above tips in mind, you can design a conversion process that is smooth and simple for users. However, as with all the stages of the ecommerce retail process, it is advised to implement and test the various guidelines diligently in order to achieve the best conversion rates for your particular online store.