Sorry to bang on about it, but today’s post will again be related to my ‘data is the new black’ theme. In a time where value for money and return on investment are sacred, it amazes me that some businesses are still taking a laissez-faire approach to conversions on their websites – in other words, something that can directly affect the bottom line.
Figures vary by industry, but on average about two-thirds of online shopping carts are abandoned at checkout – an astonishingly high number. I’m not sure whether some retailers see drop-offs in the sales process as part and parcel of ecommerce, but we have to change this
Imagine going to your local supermarket or high street store and seeing hundreds of trolleys scattered about at the checkouts. It never happens. Why? Because bricks and mortar stores have not only had decades to streamline the shopping experience for customers, but the time and effort it takes to wheel a trolley round a shop means shoppers are much less likely to drop out at the last minute and move on to another shop to repeat the process again.
The web breaks down these barriers. A few clicks and you’re at another store with your basket refilled, hoping for a better checkout experience second time around.
There are plenty of tools available to help with conversions, and a growing industry of specialists who are helping retailers achieve their customer conversion goals.
As we see it, there are a number of ways businesses can tackle problems at checkout:
* Ensure that your analytics package is programmed to measure the right things – a must for optimising for conversion. Important metrics include: bounce rate, site search exit rate, checkout flow exits. Base your optimising decisions on real data.
* Continually test and tune. All websites and their customers are different; what works for one site may not work for another. Identify areas of improvement using analytics, then design and build alternatives to test. Let your customers decide what they prefer.
* Build your team to optimise for conversion. There are a lot of pieces that need to fit together to improve conversion. There is the backend of technical staff, ecommerce managers trying to drive traffic, designers trying to make things look pretty, etc. Make sure that they are all working together to the common goal of improving conversion.
I’d like to see e-commerce players and their agencies really getting to grips with the challenges of conversion in the months to come. The better the web is for consumers and the better their online shopping experience, the better for us all in the digital industry in the long run.