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Imagine going into a grocery store to buy a loaf of bread. Before you can grab the bread, the store makes you look at other products first. Then, before you can check out, they ask you for your name, address, phone, e-mail, and want you to register a user name and password. Ridiculous, of course…
Yet it’s exactly what many e-commerce sites force you to do. Unless the site has a search and you can provide an item number or precise description, odds are you’ll have to go through multiple clicks to find the item you want. Worse, some of these sites make you create an account with a user name and password before you can check out. In a few cases, they ask for contact info as well that may have to be retyped when you enter your card info.
If you had access to the webstats of these sites, you’d find an alarming number of people leave once they are forced to create an account before completing their purchase. Unless I really want the item and don’t feel I can get it elsewhere, I’ll bail on these sites every time.
There are three things to keep in mind to convert visitors into customers on e-commerce sites:
1. Make it easy for them to find what they want. Minimize the number of clicks to get to products, and/or include a site search.
2. Establish trust so the visitor feels comfortable doing business with you. Make any return, guarantee, and warranty policies easy to find.
3. Make the purchase process as quick and easy as possible. Don’t force someone to create an account, take a survey, or enter address info multiple times. You can always include the option of surveys or subscriptions as a link in the receipt you e-mail to them after the purchase.