The Top 10 Reasons You Are Losing Sales Online

Posted on October 26, 2011

The Top 10 Reasons You Are Losing Sales Online

 

It can be a frustrating situation for any online retailer: Countless qualified leads come by your online store but few convert into sales and, those who do, often spend less than you would expect.

The truth is that online retailing is a brutal business and one where your customers have no consequence for abandoning your store, even with a full shopping cart. Your customers came through your front door with a simple mouse click and they can leave, at any point, just as easily.

 


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Ensuring that your visitors consistently make the leap from browsing to buying is difficult and it requires a complete chain of events to take place. This includes good marketing to attract the right customers, a useful store that makes them want to buy and a checkout system that makes it easy for the customer to give you their money.

If just one link is broken, the system will fall apart and the customer will click away.

If you’re having trouble with conversion on your online store, here are the ten most common areas where problems can arise, starting with the earliest points that things can go wrong.

1. Bad Audience Targeting

Whether it’s SEO or paid marketing, targeting the wrong keywords can kill your conversion rate.

For example, if you sell office supplies, targeting the word “staples” will likely backfire as it is too broad. It could refer to office staplers, construction staples or even Staples the store.

Those who visit your site by mistake will never convert. It doesn't matter how great everything else is.

2. Untrustworthy Site

Buying a product online requires a great deal of trust as you’re giving money and personal information to someone you’ve never met. A site that doesn’t look professional and instill trust will drive visitors away.

A clean, professional and useful layout will help improve your conversion rate drastically.

3. Slow Site

Online shoppers tend to be very impatient. They are buying online in part because of the convenience so, if your site isn’t fast and convenient to use, they will find a site that is.

Make sure that your site loads quickly as, with every second that it takes a page to load, a certain percentage of your visitors are hitting the stop button and going elsewhere.

4. Confusing Layout

When a visitor lands on your site, they need to know how to get access to the tools and information that they need without too much thought.

If your site confuses your visitors, you can expect that they will leave quickly for a site they can use more easily.

 


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5. Poor Product Information

It’s very difficult to give too much information on a product, but it is very easy to give too little. Your product descriptions need to be both interesting and informative and you need to ensure all potentially relevant data is included. You also need to include good images and, if possible, video of the product.

If you don’t give the full story about your products, your customers will seek out sites that do and, very likely, buy from them instead.

6. Pricing Issues

This is possibly the single-most important factor and the toughest to contend with. On the Web, it’s so easy to comparison shop, Google Product Search being a great example, that a store simply can not survive with higher prices.

You need to make sure that your prices are competitive for what’s being sold. If others are selling the same or very similar product for much less, your customers will most likely buy from them.

7. Lackluster Shipping Pricing and Information

Customers want to know when their product is going to arrive and how much it will cost to ship. This should be made clear and put up front rather than surprising visitors with the information during checkout.

Customers don’t like surprises, especially expensive ones, and shipping sticker shock will hurt your conversion rate dearly.

8. Difficult Checkout

The fewer barriers you can put between a full shopping cart and money changing hands, the better. One click ordering on Amazon works so well because it removes virtually all those barriers, making many purchases an impulse buy.

Having visitors fill out tons of irrelevant information or set up another account they don’t need will hurt your conversion rate. Your customers value their time as well as their money. As such, it’s important to show respect for both.

9. Poor Support

If your customers have questions about a product or about how to checkout, is there a way that they can get help? Whether it’s an online chat tool or a number they can call, customers who need help should be able to, within reason, get it immediately.

If your site doesn’t provide the service and support the customer expects, they will likely find one that does.

10. Payment Processors

If your customers can’t pay you money because they don’t have the required payment format or if they don’t want to because they don’t trust your payment processor, they won’t convert.

Giving customers the payment methods they want is often an easy way to improve conversion rates.

In the end, fixing a poor converting store often isn’t as easy as changing a few site elements or tweaking your marketing. Fixing issues such as pricing and support often require deep changes in the way a company operates.

Still, many of the biggest conversion problems can be addressed by simply changing your marketing or your site. These are the best-case scenarios where the problem is something that’s simple to fix, generating huge rewards for very little effort.

To determine what the exact problem is, the best approach is to have people visit your site as if they were a customer, starting with the search and going all the way through checkout. Ask them what the sticking points are and what you can do to make the experience better.

Odds are, if you do that, these ten points will be the issues you hear about the most often.

This guest post is written by Lior Levin, a marketing consultant for a neon sign store that offers a selection of commercial neon and led signs such as a large open sign. Lior also consults for a company that provides psd to html services.

About the Author

Article By Lior Levin


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