Seven deadly eCommerce Conversion Rate Optimisation sins

Ross Miles - 07.03.2017

Anyone familiar with the world of eCommerce will have conversion rate optimisation (CRO) pretty high on their priority list. However, there are a few deadly sins in the CRO process that we probably all see far too often. Here are a few common mistakes to avoid, in order to keep your site converting effectively and efficiently:

1. eCommerce Conversion Rate Mistakes

Let’s start with the basics. According to a study last year by Baymard Institute, a long or complicated check-out process is one of the top three reasons for shopping cart abandonment, while unforeseen additional costs such as shipping took the number one and four spots on the list.

2. Your site is hard to navigate

If your site requires more navigation than a round the world yacht race, it’s likely that users will get lost along the way. Ensure your site navigation and UX is simple, uncluttered and intuitive to keep users on track and minimise the time they have to change their minds.

Pay particular attention to the functionality that enables users to navigate to the most relevant content on your site.

3. Account creation is mandatory

Cut down on the hoops your customers have to jump through in order to complete their first transaction. Offer the option to check-out without a long-winded sign-up. Alternatively, consider sending out an email after the first couple of visits to encourage password creation in their own time when a purchase isn’t necessarily on the line. Put the decision in your customer’s hands and they’ll thank you for it.

4. Your check-out process is complex

A long or complicated check-out process is one of the top three reasons for shopping cart abandonment, according to a study last year by Baymard Institute. Reduce steps in the process and be transparent with extra costs to avoid this.

5. There’s no sense of urgency

Turn those browsers into buyers by creating a sense of urgency. Perhaps a time-based promotion or displaying the amount of stock that’s left; avoid any I’ll buy it later’ excuses.

6. There’s no trust

A site which conveys trust is key to encourage customers to offer their bank details. Make it a priority to reassure users with clear returns policies, safety badges from well-established brands and customer testimonials and reviews. We most commonly recommend Trustpilot to this end.

There’s a ‘But’! But don’t be tempted to let site users easily exit the purchase journey in order to review your Facebook or Twitter profile. If this content is important to you, pull it through to your site using a widget.

7. Your product descriptions are lacking

Whilst high quality visuals that take in your products from a variety of angles are important, a Nielsen study found that Amazon customers spend 80% of their time on a page reading text and just 20% looking at the pictures. Ensure your product descriptions are detailed and composed according to your target audience.

Although there are no hard and fast rules for optimising a website effectively, steering clear of these sevens sins is a great place to start. The key to CRO success is to understand your user and keep things simple.

If you’re thinking about improving your own site, the number of different aspects to the user experience may seem daunting at first. However, the good news is that you don’t have to address them all at once; in fact, you shouldn’t make changes to your site ‘en masse’ as you won’t be able to measure the impact from each specific change. Instead, your best bet is to identify the changes which are likely to have the greatest effect – ask for user input if you’re not sure – and prioritise your test options.

Even better news is that as you are improving your user experience, the benefits you see will be long lasting. Further a better experience is likely to improve referral and repeat purchase metrics, as well as boosting overall site conversion. Contact us at Fireworx if you’d like a hand getting to grips with your eCommerce site!

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