Discover The Hidden Secrets of E-commerce Success
Selling Products & Services Online Is An Important Retail Skill For Solo Businesses & Corporations. Failure Rates Are High. Discover E-commerce Success Secrets Here.
Are potential buyers visiting your site and leaving without buying?
Do they start to buy only to abandon their shopping cart for no apparent reason?
Perhaps you aren’t even getting enough visitors to begin with.
The Laws of E-commerce Success
In the following minutes, we are going to show you how to get more qualified traffic and how to convert more of them into buyers that return again and again?
It doesn’t matter if you are selling low-cost products, online courses or even large expensive aircraft online (yes, you can sell aircraft on Facebook), there are e-commerce success rules that apply to every business.
Let’s start with why so many people are abandoning their shopping carts without buying.
Why Do People Abandon Their Shopping Carts Without Buying?
Cart abandonment isn’t automatic. something triggers it. And usually its something wrong with our website or buying process.
Cart abandonment isn’t close to nil in bricks and mortar shops. How often do shopping carts get abandoned in a physical store? Virtually never, it rarely happens. It’s an extreme rarity.
So why do the same supermarkets get abandonment online? to be fair supermarkets don’t suffer from cart abandonment as badly as most other retailers. In the UK, where online grocery shopping is very common, most people start to fill their shopping trolley early in the week and keep adding to it as they run out of things, then the day before delivery they confirm the order. So the abandonment is usually only a delay rather than a true abandonment.
But other retailers suffer badly from cart abandonment with financial sits such as insurance companies suffering abandonment rates in the 89-90% region being the norm. Travel sites are the next worse with rates around 80%. And if we look at all sites the figure for abandonment is around 70-80% depending on the age of the country, buyer and other factors.
The biggest reason is that the prospect was just looking to see what was available or was comparing quality, prices or whatever. However, there are many other reasons that are down to the website or buying process.
Why Do Serious Buyers Leave Websites Without Buying?
Often people leave because there is a lack of information on the site or it is too difficult to find.
Or the buyer wants to see what is available and will then go instore to actually purchase.
The next reason is that they are put off by shipping concerns. For example, they start to buy a £5 item only to discover, as they go through the purchase process, that shipping is £15!
Another reason is discovering that shipping is from the other side of the world and will take six weeks. That’s no good when a competitor site will deliver the next day.
Other people get put off by the payment options. They may, for example, prefer to use PayPal but the facility isn’t offered.
Sometimes the buyer is put off buying simply because they can’t see a button to let them buy. You’d think this basic piece of information would be obvious but amazingly some web designers forget to place it where it can be seen. Often it is “hidden” below the fold and the buyer is unaware of this fact and doesn’t scroll down. Designers would be wise to follow the old adage .. Don’t make me think. If the buyer has to work too hard they simply give up .. and the sale is lost.
One site I was asked to advise on required the buyer to provide their Date of Birth (DOB) before they could buy. This is understandable where the product is age-related and laws govern sales. But there were no limitations on their products, just a crazy shopping basket checkout that asked unnecessary questions.
How To Decrease High Shopping Cart Abandonment Rates
Cart abandonment is a fact of life. It will probably never be reduced to zero, but we can improve the purchase rate by improving website features and the buying process.
Firstly we need to determine what information the prospective buyer wants or needs. It might be as simple as a list of colours or sizes available. The shipping date, payment options etc. Most of these can be determined by talking to prospective buyers and just plain common sense. Adding extra information can be split test very easily and answers can be obtained very quickly. For example, it’s not difficult to add the words, next day delivery available, or a small graphic showing the colours available. Look at the image to see how an online site is displaying size, colour and other information by using simple graphics. Not the large buy button and how they say add to bag rather than add to cart. It’s a subtle way to make the buyer feel more like they are shopping in a store rather than online. Subtle but effective.
Because the above purchase is being made via a UK based retailer the buyer will assume it will be delivered from a UK warehouse and be delivered in a few days. However, if there is any doubt about this it is necessary to add the delivery details to the page. This needn’t destroy the look of the page as a link is all that is needed. The image here does this with regards sizes with just two words, Size Guide. Simple but effective without cluttering up the page.
The payment methods available can be placed on the checkout page as in this image or it can be discreetly added to every page next to the product or in the margin or footer. The trick is to make people aware without reminding them they have to part with their cash!
What is important to know is that we can see where in the shopping process people change their mind and abandon their cart. And that is what I’ll cover in the next section.
How To Analyse Shopping Cart Abandonment Rates & Ensure E-commerce Success
If we add Google Analytics to our website its easy to see where people are in the buying process when they actually abandon their cart. All that is required is to have analytics on the site and to set up a buying funnel. Once we have done this Google analyses every shopping cart session and provides huge amounts of aggregated data on transactions.
Each website is slightly different so the steps in each buying funnel will vary. But a simple one will record when an item is put in the basket. It will then record every other page visited and items added to the basket. Plus you can add other touchpoints such as the shipping or refunds page to see if they are visited.
The next steps in the journey will be the payment page. Each step should be added to the “Goals” set up in Google Analytics. Once we have every step set up as a goal its quite simple to then view the Goals funnel to see where those leaving go after abandoning their cart.
If, for example, they visit the shipping page and then abandon their cart clearly something about shipping put them off. If this happens on a very regular basis we can closely examine the details and perhaps make some changes. Simple things like adding a graphic on the sales page that says, Free Delivery for Orders over £20, lessens the shock that they have to pay for orders under £20. Just prewarning them can dramatically reduce abandonment rates. In some cases, it prompts them to spend more to get free delivery. Amazon is very good at this where they say … You need to spend £x to get free delivery. It prompts people to buy just that bit more.
Website Psychology: How To Prevent Website Confusion
In one of the images above they have added an Add to Bag graphic. It makes it obvious what is expected of the prospective buyer if they want to buy. Sometimes however, such as on a small screen, it isn’t possible to see the whole screen and the Buy button might be hidden. In this case, we need to give the visitor a clue about where they can find the button or what to do next. For example, we could add a simple arrow pointing down the page to nudge the buyer to the next step.
Good clear uncluttered graphics are essential. An example of a cluttered website is shown in the image. This site is http://www.arngren.net/ Avoiding this sort of clutter can improve sales
People hate confusion and leave confusing websites. Another thing that confuses people are sires that have rapidly moving gifs or videos. They distract the buyer from buying.
Sites that are hard to use because they require software or plugins to be downloaded also annoy website visitors. Avoid this if you can .. you usually can!
Poor colour contrast is another No-No. In the image demonstrating this, the text is in white on a grey background. Almost impossible to read and in breach of Accessibility rules.
And if your background takes away from the website’s message people will be confused. Often designers get carried away and forget the purpose of the website is to sell your products or services. They see it more as an ego trip where they can show off their fancy shiny new design tools and flashing backgrounds. In most cases, a simple plain white background, free of distractions, works best. Black backgrounds are a total no-no unless you are a photography site where they are used to show off the photos.
Why Google Hates Shopping Sites
those Doesn’t hate all Shopping Sites. Just those that have poor websites. The trouble is many provide a poor User Experience (UX). Here’s a list of things that Google hates .. that you need to get right if your site is to work well.
No one likes a slow website. No one enjoys waiting for the page to show ages after they’ve clicked. So speed your site up. Start by checking the speed of every page – use one of Googles tools such as https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
If the results are like in the image then you need to improve your results. The results will indicate what you need to do. Often its simple things like compress images so they load faster.
Websites With No Https
If you intend to take money on your website then people need to know it is secure. Http sites are regarded by Google as insecure and they warn visitors of this fact in search results. So check your web address and see that it says https Eg. this site is https://www.mediaset.co.uk/
If it’s not https you need to update it asap.
Poor Or Thin Website Content
In most cases, thin content is no good for anyone. The exception would be when someone searches for things like When as Queen Elizabeth II crowned? The simple answer is 2 June 1953. But even then a page with more content would be better.
What is needed is the sort of content that visitors like. Usually, they need content that answers their question in-depth and doesn’t waffle. That usually means a minimum of 5-600 words. It could mean several thousand words where, like this article, the answer is complex.
Of course, it depends on the nature of the question asked and that is often the product of where in the buying cycle people are. People maybe just getting an idea of the features they need to look for in a particular product. Or they may be comparing technical specifications, price, colour. delivery or a host of other details. Clearly, these questions are different and require separate pages that address them. For example, you might have a page that addresses the question, what washing machine features to look for or is entitled Washing machine features and benefits. This will be a much broader wide-ranging piece of content than the one on a particular model that you have for sale.
Websites That Lack H Tags
H tags are the headings in your article or post. There will be a main title or page title. That’s an H1 tag.
Then there will section or paragraph headings. That’s an H2 tag.
H3 tags are the subheading within a section. Just like the one above that says Websites That Lack H Tags
The reason we need to add tags to these headings is to help Google identify what the content is about and the relative importance of each heading.
Poor Imagery Without Alt tags, Meaningful File Names & Captions
The tags we use on images or photos are called alt tags. We also need a file name for the photo that Google can read and make sense of. Names like IMG-007 make no sense at all. Google wants plain words it can understand. Adding a caption confirms the first two tags and also add information and makes sense to your web visitors
More E-commerce Success: How To Encourage Non-Buyers to Return and Buy …. Again and Again
The simplest thing to do is to capture the visitor’s email address or other contact details and contact them on a regular basis. A monthly, weekly or perhaps daily update from you could convert them into a buyer. But there are caveats to this. You need to obey andy laws around adding people to contact lists. For example, in Europe we have GDPR legislation. Take care with content, we need to ensure the content we send people is interesting and adds value. Sending spam drives people away.
Another way to encourage people back is for them to get prompts elsewhere to return to your site. For example, your followers might see your posts on social media. Or if you write a regular column or blog they may see you there. Alternatively, you can remarket to them via adverts on places like Facebook.
Re-marketing Beyond Facebook to Ensure E-commerce Success
Marketing on Facebook
Facebook Marketplace allows anyone with a profile to market their goods and services (certain restrictions apply) on Facebook. The ads are quick and easy to produce and automatically go onto Marketplace right away. If they don’t sell after a few weeks you may get a prompt via SMS to ask if you want them relisting. You can also update the listing manually with a new price, updated text or whatever.
In addition to your ad being listed on Marketplace, you can add it to your profile and up to TEN groups. You have to be a member of a group to have your advert listed, but when writing the ad you only need to tick a box to have it added.
Can expensive aircraft sell on Facebook?
My colleague Mark regularly posts aircraft for sale on Facebook. It’s not unusual to get an enquiry for a helicopter or fixed-wing plane costing several £100,000 after posting it on Facebook. The reason is that some people use Facebook as a search engine for aircraft .. I know that sounds strange, but it’s true. If you set up your website correctly it’s possible to auto-populate your Facebook page with aircraft or anything else you sell.
If you need help with how to do this contact Mark for advice.
E-commerce Success: Commonly Missed E-commerce Opportunities
Not Updating Product Posts or Posting New Products
It seems incredible to me that when businesses obtain new stock they forget or take too much time getting the stock online. Every hour, day or week it isn’t online is time when it can’t be sold. And if the price has changed, make sure you post an update. There’s nothing worse than someone not buying because the price is listed incorrectly.
Orphaned Web Pages
When you get queries and FAQs its a perfect time to write some content that clarifies a situation. It therefore surely makes perfect sense to ensure that prospective buyers can find this information. A link needs to be provided from wherever visitors tend to run into trouble … checking your Goals on Google Analytics will give you a clue where this is.
The worse situation is where I discover a page of content has been written but it is totally orphaned as there’s no link to it from anywhere, not even from the menu. It’s an opportunity to sell that has been totally wasted.
Empty Thank You Pages
When someone has bought it makes sense to confirm the sale and take them to a thank you page. Usually, this page just says thank you. That’s a wasted opportunity.
Why not use the page to signpost the buyer to your blog? Or better still offer them a discount if they buy an additional product or service. You’ll probably have seen Amazon saying “people that bought that also bought this”. And it’s not too late to signpost your buyer to another purchase opportunity. Offering a discount on the second product if they buy within a time limit provides an added incentive.
Your Default Email Optin Confirmation
If your email opt-in confirmation says something like “thanks for subscribing we are going to send you some great emails”. Saying this is a waste. Don’t tell them what you are going to do … do it now.
Demonstrate great value by making them a great offer there and then. It could be a discount off their first purchase. It could be a one-time reduction on selected products if bought within 24-48 hours of signing up. You decide what you are going to do to demonstrate the benefits of subscribing; but do it now not next week.
Your Neglected Email List
So often when I troubleshoot businesses I discover forgotten email lists. Time and effort have been put into building a list and no one has bothered to send a single email to the subscribers, or haven’t done so for a considerable time.
Often I’m told that the business is waiting until the website is finished, new product is available, or the next full moon. There always seems to be a reason to delay. But delays don’t sell products and the subscriber will soon forget how you are or why they signed up.
Your Very Very Annoying Pop-up
There’s nothing worse than a visitor arriving at your site and being deluged with pop-ups before they can find what they are looking for. A discount being offered, before they can find something to buy, is more likely to drive them away than buy. And the popups that occur as they are loading their shopping cart is even more annoying and often results in a lost sale.
Let Me Demonstrate E-commerce Success
Having written more than 3000 words on E-commerce success I’d be mad if I didn’t practice what I preach.
If you need E-commerce Success help contact Mark or Stefan Now