Tips for eCommerce conversions

Hey all,

I was starting this thread in hopes that you’d share your best or favorite trick for conversions in your eCommerce business.

As for me, I think one of the most important things you can do is to simplify the buying process. Don’t make it hard for people to buy things. You can do this by having some kind of progress meter for the checkout process, so someone knows exactly where they are and what they have to do to complete the checkout. (Less hesitation/uncertainty, more conversions, right?). You can either number it or provide a meter of sorts.

Like Godaddy. Stupid amounts of upsells, but you always know which step you’re on and where you have to go to finish the checkout.

How about you guys?

I try to not just make the checkout process transparent (progress meters as you’re suggesting) but as quick as possible as well. Minimize the time between the purchase decision and the purchase action. On several of my sites checkout consists of only a single form with both product selection and billing information on that one page. The most complicated store I run has only a two-page checkout flow, with an optional third page in the middle for high risk orders (automatic in-checkout voice verification by phone).

I also only collect the bare minimum information necessary – name and e-mail, credit card details, street and zip. No full contact information, no surveys, I don’t even want to know the city and state of the customer since those aren’t used in AVS. I can always try to entice the customer to provide more information after they’re a customer.

I also use trust marks wherever they can fit into the design, while still being frugal about it. Credit card acceptance marks (Visa/MC/Discover/Amex/PayPal logos) cost nothing but make payment options clear and associate you with known brands. Virtually all SSL certificates, even the $20 ones, come with a “secure site” seal which I always incorporate into the design. I try to have one or more marks both at the top of the page and visible while filling out the checkout form(s).

checkout process should be simple, so easy to be used by a stupid person.

the whole site actually plays a big role.

Wow, this is the subject entire books are made up of… so many ways to improve conversions…

  • Reduce distractions… remove unnecessary navigation and only have simple header/footer
  • Have prominent contact information (including a toll-free number!) to ease the customer’s worries… sure some people will call with questions but just having the number will increase conversions
  • Simplify the checkout process as much as possible. This is a huge topic… eliminate questions and fields that aren’t absolutely necessary, don’t require registration, one page checkout (or as few as possible) etc. Make it as easy as you can.
  • Add validators… Trust logos, customer testimonials, security information, guarantees. They all increase trust and will dramatically increase conversions.
  • Offer free shipping. Our conversion rate almost doubled when we offered free shipping and made it standard (no coupon required)
  • Make the call to action clear. Make the “submit” button the biggest, easy to see in the bottom right (and preferably top right as well). Make all the other buttons less visually stimulating (smaller, less saturated or bright, even grey) to draw more attention to the action you want the visitor to take.

These are just a few tips… there are literally hundreds. Check out Grokdotcom for lots of good tips and be sure to use Google Website Optimizer (or another multivariate / ab test software) to test test test!

So would you say this site has a bad, complicated footer? because it shows alot of information. I personally think it is very detailed and organized. What do you think?


[*]Simplify the checkout process as much as possible. This is a huge topic… eliminate questions and fields that aren’t absolutely necessary, don’t require registration, one page checkout (or as few as possible) etc. Make it as easy as you can.

When people purchase an item, you still need all the information from the checkout page that would be on the registration page. How else are you supposed to bill and ship out the product? Doesn’t it automatically save the information and create an account if you simply add a ‘Password’ & ‘Confirm Password’ at the bottom? Once they simply add that in, you have everything you need from them for future purchases. Now they’ll have an account for future shopping. Seems to me people are just getting lazier. Rather than going to the store, asking around in attempt to find a product in a store, then waiting in line, etc etc? What’s quicker than online shopping??

Not to sound like I’m arguing here. I do agree with you 100%, “make it as simple as possible”. I guess Perhaps I havn’t really seen some annoyingly complex websites that ask for such details like serial number, banking routing number, First girlfriend’s name, elementry school teachers name. etc. Or perhaps I’m just not some typical ‘Americanized’ , “I need everything super simple and immediate in my life.” type of guy. If someone may please show me an example of such sites that asks for “too much”, I’ll understand moer clearly. Advertising is one thing, but asking for things that is necesarry for shipping , billing , and email confirmation is a must.

hehe sorry for the sarcasm. :slight_smile: