These are the Top 10 Reasons Your Ecommerce Site Isn't Converting
Lack of sales is one of the top frustrations for online merchants. Peruse the user forums of any ecommerce platform and you will find query after query regarding poorly performing websites. Choosing a product line and creating an online business website is the easy part; attracting customers and getting them to buy is the real challenge for ecommerce merchants.
It doesn't have to be this frustrating. You don't have to accept that poor conversion rates are just a natural part of being an online merchant. You can take charge of the future of your business and build a profitable company. The same factors affect customer conversions regardless of business niche. Understanding which website components are causing your conversions to be lackluster allows you to fix persistent problems and boost revenues. If you are tired of abandoned shopping carts and high bounce rates, following are the top ten reasons your ecommerce site isn't converting:
Believe it or not, poor product descriptions are one of the top reasons customers fail to complete an ecommerce transaction. You might think pricing or the lack of a free shipping offer is the main reason customers abandon an ecommerce site, but the truth is inadequate product descriptions deter far more buyers. Website copy is one of the most critical factors in a top-performing ecommerce site. You can have all the pretty pictures in the world, but if your product descriptions don't entice buyers, those lovely images aren't going to do you any good. If you invest in only one component of your online business' website, product descriptions should be your top priority.
Since we mentioned pricing, let's discuss your pricing before we go any further. Incorrect pricing doesn't mean you are charging too much (although that is a possibility). Wrong pricing can mean you aren't charging appropriate for your market and/or the value you offer. Does a competitor offer the same return policy as your business? Do they offer free or expedited shipping? If their after-care customer service is non-existent, your value to a customer is stronger. Knowing your differentiation points and being willing to market yourself accordingly is an essential component of pricing your product appropriately.
Lack of Customer Support
Just as lack of customer support can affect your pricing, so too can if affect your conversion rates. Buyers want 24/7 online support when making a purchase, and they want post-purchase support too. Even if you can't afford to offer 24/7 live customer care, consider using a chatbot to connect customers with answers to frequently asked questions. Answer common questions on your ecommerce site's blog (you do have a blog, right?) and include a FAQ page on your website. Anything you can do to make sure customers feel like you care about their business and product satisfaction will go a long way towards improving your conversion rates.
Lack of Customer Testimonials
Buyers trust other buyers. If you aren't showing positive feedback from previous customers on your website, you are doing your online business a huge disservice. What sort of feedback do you receive from customers? Are they pleased with your product and would they happily refer your company to their friends? Encourage customers to leave feedback on your Facebook page or comment on the product pages of your website. Display those customer testimonials on the home page of your site, and refresh them on a regular basis to ensure you're not offering positive reviews that are out of date.
Today's mobile-enabled consumer wants a variety of payment options when shopping online. They don't want to have to choose only between Visa and MasterCard. There are a growing number of digital payment options being developed by entrepreneurs in the mobile payment space. From prepaid debit cards to virtual wallets, online payment options are rapidly changing. Stay up-to-date on the latest trends in mobile/online payments to ensure you are offering your customers a variety of payment options.
Lack of In-Stock Product
Nothing frustrates a customer more than finding an ecommerce product they like, only to discover it isn't currently available. If a product isn't available for immediate shipping, hide it from view on your site. Too many 'out of stock' notices on your site tells buyers you can't manage your inventory. If you aren't capable of managing your own inventory, how are you going to manage customer after-care appropriately? Whether your website is based on platforms like WordPress, Shopify, or WooCommerce, chances are good there is a plugin available that allows you to temporarily hide out of stock items. Only show customers items currently available for shipping and you'll not only improve your conversion rates but your customer happiness scores too.
Slow Loading Website
A growing number of online shoppers are purchasing via a mobile device. If your ecommerce site takes more than five seconds to load, your customers are going to go elsewhere. Anything from large image files to poorly configured plugins can cause your page to load slowly. Check your URL on Google (developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights) to ensure your site is loading as fast as possible. Analyze your page speed results and then make the changes necessary to keep customers from bouncing away from your business.
If customers can't find what they want on your site, they will go to your competitors. A powerful search interface is a crucial component of a top-performing ecommerce site. Use a real-time search interface like Algolia.com to help customers find the products they seek. Make sure your product descriptions are keyword-optimized for a variety of search terms. Finding products on your site shouldn't be like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack. Your site's search function should be simple, fast, and reliable.
Far too few ecommerce merchants realize the impact user interface has on conversion rates. If your website is poorly designed and doesn't flow naturally, your CRO will suffer. A buyer's journey should be reflected in the way your site is displayed; from discovery to purchase decision, you should make it easy for customers to use your website.
A saturated market can affect conversion rates. This doesn't mean you close up shop; you simply double-down on your top sellers or narrow your focus. The adage 'go niche or go home' applies to ecommerce retail. Pay attention to your competitors' weak spots and focus your efforts on areas where the market isn't quite so saturated.
Increasing ecommerce conversion rates doesn't have to mean lowering your prices or splashing annoying advertising banners on your website. If you understand the key factors influencing conversions, you can make a concerted effort to improve performance in those specific areas. Will you be reviewing your site's performance in the above-listed areas to ensure your ecommerce conversion rates are as high as possible?