2 Big Secrets of Online Conversion

You’ve worked really hard to get your potential customer to your website. The challenging part now is to convert that visitor into a customer.

Drop off rates tend to be high across all consumer facing industries, some are as high as 80%, and only go as low as 50%.

This makes conversion a key opportunity for increasing sales.

Challenging checkout:

The reasons for drop off rates vary (more of that in a moment), but what is sobering is that the 51%* of visitors, who do get as far as the checkout process, drop out at this point. Of those that continue into the checkout process itself, only 16% complete the checkout process.

Clearly, there’s work to do. When you dive a little deeper into the reasons for abandonment, it’s interesting to see that with a little forethought, there could be some easy opportunities for uplifting online sales.

1. Managing shipping expectations

One of those is making sure that you’re correctly managing customer expectations in terms of additional order costs.

The biggest reason for abandonment is unexpected shipping costs (28%). This is not all that surprising, as it clearly breaks an expectation the customer has of one order cost, only to be presented with something different. If their need to buy that item is not completely committed, at this stage they’ll be more likely to abandon, or go and find a competitor.

Sometimes you’ll see companies try to “fix” this with free shipping, but that’s ignoring the reason for the abandonment.

It’s not about the shipping fees themselves, it’s about setting the expectation that there will be fees. Set the expectation way before they get to the checkout, and you’ll see some uplifts in conversions.

2. Create an account, or leave!

The other big reason for abandonment was having to create an account (23%)*, the benefit to the company of customers creating an account is clear, but it’s important to think about what the consumer would want.

For a one off, commodity purchase, is it really something they’d want to commit to?

You can capture their data anyway during the delivery and payment screens, so it’s not necessary to put in an extra step that’s losing customers.

Always offer an option to proceed without creating an account so that you engage the people who want to be engaged, but let the others pass through unencumbered. Better still, make setting up an account a one click process once they’ve entered their delivery and payment information,.

Next step: Utilise analytics to uncover other revenue opportunities.

These are just two examples, but there are plenty more, such as checkout processes that are too complicated, and unclear field layout and naming conventions.

As an organisation it’s crucial to be able to analyse what your specific problems are, and when you’re dealing with thousands or millions of transactions, normal web analytics presents you with too much information to trawl through.

You need to be able to see where people are dropping off, and analyse behaviour patterns during the buyer journey to see what your website is doing to turn them off. More sophisticated web tools such as IBM’s Tea Leaf Web Analytics can help you understand WHY people are behaving a certain way on your website, as opposed to just WHAT they are doing.

Download this report to examine many more examples, and to see how you can analyse thousands of transactions using technology to identify patterns.