Driving traffic to your ecommerce website through paid and unpaid marketing efforts is important. But it’s what site visitors do once they get there that really matters for your bottom line. If you have tens of thousands of visitors each week but few sales, it’s a wake-up call you need to make changes to your site to boost conversion rates.
Ask yourself: Are you accidentally turning away potential ecommerce customers with something you’re doing—or not doing? Nearly every online merchant can do something to optimize their sales funnel in the hopes of turning more visitors into bona fide customers.
Metrics to Gauge Visitor Retention
It helps to have a better handle on where exactly shoppers are exiting your site so you can determine why this might be happening.
The first metric on which you’ll want to keep an eye is your bounce rate—the percentage of visitors exiting your site after viewing just one page. This metric will especially give you insight into the performance of your home page, as most visitors will likely land there first.
The shopping cart abandonment rate measures how many people complete the checkout process after saving items. A high shopping cart abandonment rate may indicate wannabe customers are encountering hurdles between adding items to carts and when they choose to leave your site. The average cart abandonment rate is somewhere around 70 percent.
Assess Your Site Load Times
Many experts believe online stores that take more than three seconds to load risk losing customers. But a recent study found the average ecommerce website took nearly 10 seconds to load on mobile devices and more than 16 seconds to load on desktop. As Retail Dive reports, the same report “noted that every second of web latency results in a seven percent loss of conversion.”
The slower pages are to load, the higher the chance visitors will leave out of impatience or frustration without engaging with your store in a meaningful way. Make sure third-party applications and plug-ins aren’t slowing your load times. Also, optimize images for timely loading.
Efficient Checkout Process
What is an ecommerce website without an efficient way for customers to check out? The last thing you want is a potential buyer to make it all the way to the final stage before exiting your site. Streamlining your checkout process, while providing flexible payment options to consumers is key.
Nix any sort of requirement forcing shoppers to create an account or register before checking out. Allow people seeking convenience the opportunity to check out as a guest, then ask if they’d like to fill in a few more fields for future use. This will encourage harried shoppers to keep going.
Payment options also serve to deter or encourage customers to complete transactions. According to one report, the worst performing merchants supported approximately four payment methods on average; the top-performing sellers supported almost nine. Shoppers expect choices aligning with their lifestyles and preferences. Integrate a healthy number of payment processes into your platform for the best results.
Responsive Customer Service
Shoppers often have questions. This turns into a cause for leaving your site when they can’t find the answers they need. Responsive customer service—especially in the form of live chat—is a must-have feature. This allows customers to get answers in real time so they can confidently make purchasing decisions. Providing immediate assistance is key to boosting conversions.
If you’re accidentally turning away potential ecommerce customers, asses these areas on your website and figure out where you can improve.