Converting Online Shoppers


HD Moderator
Staff member
Let’s start with the design of your website.

Design is about perception (by the visitor) so user-centric designs lead to more successful & profitable websites. The key here is to approach your design from your visitor’s point of view. How do you see them interacting with your site?

The importance of first impressions

Just as in personal encounters, first impressions are killer. Load up your home page with clutter and you’ll lose your visitor faster than … well, faster than my Goldendoodle can woof down a hot dog.

Long unbroken blocks of text will turn off your visitors

Ponder this. What do you do when you stumble across a site that has long blocks of unbroken text on the home page? Most visitors simply glance at new pages, then maybe scan some text. They’re searching for something, so if they find that SOMETHING or even something vaguely similar, more often than not, they’ll skip everything else on that page and click through.

Your content needs to be value-add

What are your visitors thinking? Basically, user habits on the Web aren’t that different from customers’ habits in a store. Once they find something of interest and click through, if the new page doesn’t immediate match up to their expectations, what do they do? MOVE ON! Why? Surfers have become accustomed to instant gratification.

Is your SOLUTION reasonable

Once you’ve captured their attention, what factors motivate visitors to convert? Converting to me could be giving up their email address, going to live chat to speak to an operator, filling in a quote request or actually calling via telephone for more info. Of course, ordering online works well also. Here, I believe great content out-trumps visual design. As far back as I can remember (in sales), solutions and NOT products or services carry the day. If your solution eases some pain & is reasonable, the odds increase exponentially that visitors will buy.

Shopping cart abandonment

With shopping cart abandonment hovering between 50-70%, understanding WHY could help you refine your checkout process and improve conversions.

Whereas getting from Point Query to Point Buy (complicated checkout process) used to dominate shopping cart abandonment, today’s shoppers cite shipping costs high on their list, followed by a desire to shop around. About 1/4 of prospects leave simply because the price is too high.

What makes you unique and sellable?

So, what makes your site unique and sellable? How does it differ from sites your prospects just came from or are going to? If your strategy relies on lowering prices alone, you’re not necessarily missing the boat, but it’ s never venturing far from the dock. If your product or service doesn’t require shipping and handling charges, offering a special coupon code helps.

Trust is HUGE!!

Again, trust remains high on everyone’s list. Do you have a return policy? Do you provide contact information on your site, like a brick and mortar mailing address and phone number? Do you reassure your shoppers by providing privacy and trust language? Do you offer PayPal and why is that important? Some prospects aren’t comfortable entering their financial information on a site they just found that day, even if you’ve got the best deal.

I wrote this some years back, but it just briefly touches conversion tactics. I'm looking for your thoughts on what's worked for you.
This falls in line with a lot of what I know. il make one or two addition though.

Payment gateway, try to offer multiple payment gateways because Paypal, it's not trusted in our country and also to get past those people an EFT option seems to go down well.

Heck, you could even put a manual option in there as this also gets you their contact details and allows you to pursue the lead.

Delivery times and transparency - I know you touched on that, but WHEN they get your product is a key in making the decision to buy.

Reviews have always been helpful on sites, I think that this is even more important on a commerce site.

Referral bonuses, gifts, and rewards ( please not all at once) - this one will depend on your product's cost and profit but these incentives if not overplayed can drive additional traffic to your site.

DECENT product images, this is a major one I see sites miss. Yes, you know your product looks good, but if that image is grainy or in a bad light, a bad angle that is in the eyes of the customer is a lesser quality product. The opposite also applies.