March 7, 2021

Why is my Ecommerce Website not Converting?

Dr Peter Mowforth

The question ‘why is my ecommerce website not converting’ is probably the most common that’s asked when people come to see us at INDEZ.The visitors tell me that as they go round asking different companies, nine times out of ten they get told that they need a new website. When they get told exactly the same thing after visiting a few agencies they become convinced that getting a new website will solve their ‘lack of sales’ problem and they proceed from there.There are situations where getting a new website is the right thing to do. However, for many businesses, that’s not where the problem lies. Web design agencies do exactly what they say on their tin; they will want to build you a complete new website irrespective of whether that’s what’s needed or not. Sometimes, simple fixes to the existing site are all that’s required.Any investigation into poor conversion starts with where you take the money and works back down the sales funnel from there. Customers always want to make the purchase as quickly and as easily as possible. Not offering a registration-free option will immediately lose you at least 20% of your sales while adding in extra costs (e.g. shipping) will further reduce your sales. Choose a Payment Service Provider that keeps you on the main website (e.g. Braintree) rather than sending you to a third party site will help as will avoiding asking anything of the buyer that is not essential for the purchase. Not offering PayPal will lose you around 15% of sales. What you need to do is, without distraction, shorten every possible distance between where the customer is and you getting paid. Include trust marks and anything at all that might improve usability. Having anything is the cart that might encourage the customer to ‘keep shopping’ should be avoided. Simply focus on making the sale and nothing else.The next thing to look at are the product pages. Make sure the product names include all the important keywords that might feature in a customer search for that product, Next make sure that you have good quality images that help the customer have a clear understanding of exactly what they are buying. Provide lots of details about the product so as to cover any question that a customer might have and ensure that everything about the cost and delivery options are clear and straightforward. Ensure the ‘buy now’ button is the obvious call to action on the page.With the category page if you have a lot of products then having easy to understand filters is one of the best ways to help customers narrow their search to find what they want to buy:

Example of how easy-to-use filters allow a customer to quickly narrow their search (www.trespass.com).While some websites have a menu that reflects their own products and how they categorise them, easy and intuitive menus improve site conversion. Tree testing tools such as Treejack can help optimise the menu structure while improved search technology can also help direct visitors to what they are looking for.These general guidelines to conversion optimisation always need to be backed-up by a detailed and thorough analysis of website analytics. This will not only help highlight all the points at which conversion is being held back but it can also pinpoint problems with the ecommerce marketing.In our experience, when a business has asked “Why is my website not converting”, what they actually mean is “what can I do to increase my sales and my profits”. When they ask that, most of the time the answer is that while there are always lots of adjustments that can be made to the website, the main weakness lies in the ecommerce marketing.

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