E-commerce Link: Convert Browsers into Buyers
5. Eliminate stumbling blocks: Shoppers will leave your site without buying if your Web site malfunctions, has an overly complicated checkout process, or becomes too difficult to use for any reason. Your checkout process should be no more than three or four pages long. If your site offers personal account registration, checkout can easily be as short as one page. Pre-populate as many of the input fields as possible with whatever information you already have. An abandoned cart rate of more than 50 percent can indicate serious usability problems or technical failures. Use your Web site's reporting features to determine where most of your abandoned carts occur and then use that information as a guide to fix the problem. Conversion rates should increase simply because you are removing impediments.
6. Layer your information: Customers want to know a good deal about products before they buy them. The best sites on the Web offer a good deal of content regarding products, their use and related information. Put a summary of the most pertinent product information right on the product page, and then provide links for fit and care, usage tips, warranty information, technical specifications, etc. Provide additional product images; enlarged or alternate views, different color options and material swatches are all commonly used.
7. Provide customer friendly return, security and privacy policies: Make these policies as favorable to the customer as possible. They also should be visible and easy to access from your home page, checkout pages and customer service section. Many sites include a smaller link to these policies on every product page. Customers who feel confident about your business and the purchases they make are more likely to buy.
Do all you can to make your site respond to all visitors with material that is relevant to their interests. Make every shopping session a positive and rewarding experience, and your customers will see there is more value to be gained from buying from you than from shopping around.