Earlier this year, Bespoke celebrated the fifteenth anniversary of landing our very first client.
And while it’s almost impossible to imagine now, the digital landscape back in 2002 was a world away from the one that surrounds us now, with websites still very much in their infancy. Fast forward to 2017, and the likes of Amazon are constantly raising the bar in terms of customer satisfaction, whether it’s through ever-improving delivery speeds, or the introduction of on-the-spot re-ordering technology.
Despite the relentless improvements at the very top end of the market, we still see lots of common reasons why many websites are failing to convert their visitors into customers. Here, we take a look at the top five eCommerce conversion fails, and reveal some of the ways we might go about fixing them.
1. The Importance of Trust
Before people even consider buying anything online, they are consciously and unconsciously assessing the website. And just like a bricks-and-mortar shop window, or the manner of a receptionist’s greeting, the first impressions of your website really do count. So if a cheaply-built or identikit site looks a bit ‘shady’ - people will simply go elsewhere.
Ultimately, no reputable business should have a website that looks like it’s being run from a shed at the bottom of the garden (...even if it is!).
Our development, user experience and design specialists implement professionally designed websites that include a range of common trust signals, from simple and transparent contact details, to personalised ‘About Us’ sections - which all help shoppers to understand exactly who’s behind the site.
Successful e-Com websites will also display safe shopping logos and web security badges prominently, providing customers with the peace of mind that the information they enter will be secure. Research suggests that these badges really do reassure shoppers, particularly when they’re paired with product reviews that provide plenty of social proof.
2. Poor Site Navigation
Before people can buy, they need to find the products they are looking for - and quickly. In fact, within a minute of landing on your site, consumers will begin asking themselves if they’re wasting their time. A cluttered site design, or poor navigation and search features will send shoppers away.
Working closely with our development team, clients are encouraged to arrange products into categories, whilst smart features such as autosuggest, and searchable categories can also be implemented. Your e-Commerce site should also be optimised for mobile, so that shoppers can find what they want easily, even when they’re on-the-go.
3. Lack of Payment, Shipping and Returns Information
User testing proves that one of the most annoying gripes on e-Commerce sites, is when consumers don’t know how much an item is going to cost. Tiny or hidden prices don’t help anyone, whilst adding other costs during the customer journey (such as booking, credit card and complex delivery fees) tend to annoy customers. After all, no one wants to think they’ve landed a bargain, only to discover they’ve paid double because they weren’t paying attention.
Meanwhile, difficult to find, or hard to understand returns policies also prove to be a major barrier to placing an order.
We would always advise making shipping and returns information completely transparent - and to consider free shipping wherever possible. Two separate studies show that the absence of free shipping can be a deal-breaker for 73% and 93% of shoppers respectively, but if you can’t stretch to free shipping, we can offer tips on how to make your pricing policy more appealing.
Meanwhile, our Development Team will also ensure the PayPal functionality (or your online payment gateway of choice) is installed successfully on your site.
4. Security Fears
If you ask anyone about their biggest hesitation when it comes to online shopping, most will refer to the risks associated with making payments digitally. And whether it’s an avalanche of spam emails, poor customer service or shoddy products - nothing will steer customers away from an e-Com website more than the fear of credit card fraud or stolen personal information.~
In fact, a website’s security and the credibility a brand go hand-in-hand - because if a website doesn’t offer security for customers, it won’t gain credibility or consumer trust - making it far less likely they’ll buy from you.
Our Development Team can protect your online store from spammers, hackers, and identity thieves by adding additional protection such as a Security Sockets Layer that encrypts credit card numbers, and hides them from hackers. With an SSL certificate, your e-Commerce URL will begin with ‘https’ - the ‘s’ of which stands for secure - allowing your customers to shop with complete peace of mind.
5. Lack of User Testing
When it comes to designing and improving a website, how does a business owner know if everything is in the right place? Are appropriate keywords being used when making an offer? And have the right colours been implemented to influence the subconscious of the users?
Without user testing, all you can do to make these decisions is take a best guess.
One of the most valuable pieces of work our team can provide is A/B testing, which gives our clients the opportunity to try out two different variants of a given element. For example, we might present a red call to action button to one set of customers, and a blue button to another. Or pop the search field at the centre of one of the pages, and to the right on the other.
Using the data collated from the most frequently used variant, we can make an educated decision before making wholesale changes.
Of course, these aren’t the only e-Commerce fails we’ve come across in our experience, but they are some of the most annoying. For more advice on how our team could help your e-Commerce website avoid further eCommerce fails, and achieve disproportionate growth in relation to your investment, contact us today, or give us a call on 01772 591100 to arrange a conversation in more detail.