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Converting Lookers Into Buyers – What Shoppers Don’t Like in Online Store

March 3rd, 2013 by Skip McGrath

When you consider there are millions of websites, just having a customer arrive at your online store is a huge accomplishment. Now that they are here, how do you get them to “buy?”

It may seem like an easy thing to do, but the reality is actually the opposite. Shopping cart abandonment rates run as high as 40%, even for some of the larger, more popular web stores.  It is not uncommon for online shoppers to abandon their shopping carts because they  encountered an online store operation or feature that turns them off.  This list is a must-read for every online retailer:

Absence of Trustmarks — Trustmarks are images or logos that could be placed on online stores, indicating that the site has passed different security and privacy tests. The absence of such is a huge turn-off to potential buyers since they won’t be able to trust the website.

Poorly designed, unprofessional-looking website — Crazy & animated GIFs, colourful fonts, jammed webpages, poor grammar and spelling—these are some of the elements of a poorly designed website. And these are sure to make shoppers “run away” from an online store– with passion.

Small, almost invisible search box — A small search box is another factor that discourages people from browsing and buying. Some may actually not see that a search box does exist, while some may switch sites because they deem that the online store is not user-friendly at all.

Unclear search results — There’s nothing more annoying than searching for shirts, and getting pens in the results. This discourages online shopping because it shows how difficult the online store’s search process is. Another discouraging factor is a search engine which doesn’t allow shoppers to search by specific bar codes (ISBN, EAN, etc). The search box must present an easy and convenient way for shoppers to see what they need, and if it fails to deliver, then the shoppers will most likely stop from browsing and buying.

Too much information in the products page — A “clean” products page is usually composed of product photos, star ratings and tabs that will allow the customer to click and know more information about the product, such as the delivery timescale and charges, product description and reviews. Any additional information may already clutter the products page.

Compulsory registration — Making registration a requirement is a turn-off because a number of shoppers aren’t interested in becoming a member of an online store, and they’re just there because they saw something that they need or want. Also, some consumers simply don’t have the time to fill-out a lot of required information.

Long Personal Information form — Some online stores don’t require registration, but still ask too many information before checkout. Again, online shopping should be quick and easy, that’s why asking too much personal information will annoy or scare customers away.

Unclear shipping fees and/or hidden charges — Being upfront and transparent about all charges is a smart move, and doing the opposite will just drive customers away. Shoppers must be aware of the fees that they’re paying even before they arrive at the last page of the checkout.

Vague instructions whenever the shopper enters erroneous data, or forgets to fill-out a blank — It must be easy for shoppers to know which portion of the form to re-do. Unclear or very generic instructions annoy shoppers because they will, again, spend much time determining which blank is still missing, or which information is erroneous.
Online shopping should be an easy and fun alternative way of buying products, that’s why it’s important for retailers to be sure their online stores function the way they should.

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