Getting someone on your site to look at your product is one thing, but getting someone to buy your product is another. Last month, I brought up a few reasons why I didn’t buy your product; today I am providing tools and solutions to help make your purchase process easier. Most people bail out in the middle of checking out because of annoying procedures or hidden fees. In order to keep your customers happy, as well as increase online sales, follow these helpful tips.
Find a Balance Between Lead Generation and Lead Management
Many companies think they can increase their sales by constantly dumping leads into their sales funnel. Unfortunately, lead generation alone is not enough. You need to focus on other aspects such as ranking, sorting, and following up on your existing contacts. Stop wasting your time constantly hunting for new sales leads and focus more on nurturing the ones you already have. By doing this, your sales results will almost always increase.
Don’t Use Impossible Captchas
Captchas systems are the worst. I am a real person, yet I still can’t decode a majority of these puzzles. Make sure your Captchas are easy to decipher, if you make them as difficult to read as ancient Egyptian symbols then you better believe that your shopping cart abandonment will increase. How do you expect to sell anything if your customers can’t get through Fort Knox?
If you operate out of WordPress, try installing the Math Captcha plug-in. If the person can’t seem to get the answer right then that’s their problem, and not because they can’t read alien writing.
Make Error Messages Obvious
There have been countless times that I have been frustrated to the point of leaving my cart behind just from unknown error messages. “Why does the page keep reloading?” Which fields are incorrectly filled out?
Place error messages at the top of the page in bold, red font. Let your customers know what went wrong. If not, the customer will not know they made a mistake and will blame the error on your website.
Also, use large asterisks to mark which fields need to be changed. Not only is it frustrating to have to resubmit information, but it makes your customers worry that they’ve ordered your product multiple times. This could lead them to bounce and not order anything at all.
Always Allow Shopping Cart Edits
I am human. I change my mind a lot. I like to change my mind at the last minute. Make sure to allow edits to my cart on every page leading up to the final buy. I may remember that I’m not as rich as I thought and need to make changes to my order. I might want to add something or change the quantity. The more opportunities for updating and editing, the happier the customer will be with the UI and your brand.
Incorporate PayPal and Other Well-Known Sites
When it comes to commenting on most blogs and websites, users can log-in via Facebook or Twitter to post a comment. This is easier than registering for a whole new website that users might not want to give their information to or create yet another account for. If possible, consider incorporating this into your website.
If someone can donate to your non-profit or make a quick purchase using PayPal or their Amazon account, they’ll know the purchase is secure and will immediately feel the stress reduce with a one-click purchase.
Show a Session Timer
Why are you only allowing me five minutes to complete my checkout? More importantly, why didn’t you tell me that you’re only giving me five minutes to make a purchase? I am slow, I need more time. If my session expires before I’m done I will most like not go through the whole process again. If you must time the sessions, be sure to put a timer that is visible somewhere on the page, so people know how long they have before it ends.
Measure Each Stage of Your Sales Funnel
Many companies focus too much on their final sale rate and don’t pay enough attention to what’s going on leading up to that. Take a look at all the stages of your sales process and check for holes and pitfalls. For example, out of 100 sales leads, how many will agree to the initial selection? How many will then make it through the next step? By keeping track of these things you can see where you need to improve on your sales funnel, which means more money for your company. Managing this should not be a one-time thing. It needs to be an ongoing effort to see what’s going on within your sales process and adjusting it along the way.
Making your checkout process as smooth and easy as possible will leave your customers less annoyed and more likely to come back for more. If you make it difficult on them, they will probably ditch their cart mid purchase.