2 mistakes that hurt sales and 2 tips to improve them

August 14, 2014

An attractive and functional e-commerce site is fine and great, but if visitors aren't being converted into buyers than there isn't a point.

An attractive and functional e-commerce site is fine and great, but if visitors aren’t being converted into buyers than there isn’t a point.

Increasing the conversion rate will ultimately yield more income and an improved online retail site. Getting conversion down to a science may seem daunting but some tips to stick to and mistakes to avoid should be enough to get started converting traffic to revenue.

Below is some advice to follow, as well as a few crucial errors to avoid, to ensure higher conversion rates:

Mistake 1: An unclear impression of the product 
Online consumers are becoming increasingly product savvy, and often desire as much information as they can find on items they may spend their money on, wrote Ian Mills, co-founder and CEO of Magicdust. A product page should contain every detail imaginable that could be used to sell the product. The page should be able to answer any questions the customer may have about the product, so that he or she doesn’t need to put much effort into finding an answer. 

Thorough descriptions should be matched by clear images of the product, Mills suggested. Hi-resolution images that show the item in use will engage the consumer. This is important in a transactional dynamic where the customer can’t physically interact with the product. 

Tip 1: Make the shopping experience rewarding
Having an informative product page is a part of something essential to converting traffic to sales: a rewarding consumer experience, according to BDaily. A website that gratifies the customer is necessary for turning traffic into dollars. Part of this will be enhancing the website interface as well. A site that is unusable is one that can’t be followed from product page to check out. Making sure the website is usable can be done through timely testing and accessibility audits. 

Mistake 2: A muddled payment process
Research has consistently shown that websites with fewer steps throughout the checkout process perform better, Mills explained. A responsive system that assists consumers in making their way through the check out process will ensure they complete their intended purchases. There are a number of steps that can overly complicate checking out. One includes required sign-ups for new shoppers. Not including guess checkouts lengthens the time it takes for the customer to reach the checkout page. 

In addition a lack of payment options can easily extend the amount of time it takes for a buyer to reach the checkout page. While debit and credit cards are still the most common form of payment used, others such as PayPal are fast expanding and deserve attention. By 2017 payments other than traditional cards are expected to be in the majority. 

Tip 2: Clearly identified call to action buttons
If a consumer can’t easily find what he or she is looking for, their shopping experience becomes drawn out through manual searches, according to Mills. One way to make this easier is to clearly identify call to action buttons that help the customer choose size, color, etc. It is essential to ensure that these buttons are both clearly visible and functional. Take into consideration the size, shape and design of buttons when designing product pages to make sure they will be easy to see for all consumers. 

Simple filter navigation will help with this as well, BDaily noted. Customers searching for a specific category of items will have a much easier time if the filter system used is simple and intuitive. When product filtration and the categories items are divided to are streamlined the time it takes for shoppers to find what their looking for is drastically reduced and they are more likely to follow through with purchases. 

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