Wait, Don’t Leave! Battling Slower Web Traffic (Part 1 of 2)

Wait, Don’t Leave! Battling Slower Web Traffic (Part 1 of 2)

slower web trafficBounce rate, cart abandonment–call it what you will, but the bottom line is that it is a missed sales opportunity for your website. There are a lot of reasons why a customer might put your product in an online shopping cart but not complete the sale – and the good news is that some of them are under your control! Let’s look at a few of the things you can do to keep customers on your site and convert their shopping cart contents into sales.

There are two key points at which you are losing potential sales: site abandonment and cart abandonment. If customers are leaving your website before they even begin to explore your offerings, you need to look at website issues such as loading times, navigation and keywords. “Spinning” is a great example of a mistaken keyword. You sell spinning wheels and fibers, but your shopper is looking for an exercise routine… *sigh*. On the other hand, If they are putting spinning wheels in their carts but not buying them, you want to consider your checkout procedures, your product information and added costs such as shipping and handling.

You can figure out when and where in the sales process customers are abandoning your website by looking at Google Analytics and comparing your Overall Traffic with your Bounce Rate. Experts suggest that anything over 30% bounce rate can be improved upon.

Combat Site Abandonment

Eight seconds or less: that’s the amount of time you have for your website to load before your customer gets bored or frustrated and goes elsewhere to shop. So many elements affect loading time: file size, scripts, image resizing, caches…again, analysis is going to be crucial to determining what sort of changes to make. Then you have to factor in the devices on which your customers are viewing your website and make sure that your site loads as quickly on a mobile device as it does on a laptop or desktop computer.

Site navigation is another important factor in customer retention. The easier your site is to navigate, the speedier their shopping experience and their overall satisfaction. Think of your action buttons as road signs for your site. They should direct your customers from Search to Results to Buy Now to Checkout. How complicated is it for a potential buyer to look at one product and go back to the Search Results to compare it to another? If they have to start the Search all over again to view details on a second option, they are going to shop from a site that makes it more convenient to revisit Results.

And you want to go back to Google Analytics to see exactly how they are searching on your site and what keywords they are using that directs them to you. Some free apps such as hotjar.com will also allow you to see heatmaps and collect valuable user data from your site.  

If you’re selling a clothing care product, are your top keywords wash, soap, detergent, cleaner or refresher? While it technically may not be a soap or a detergent, customers searching for it may not know that until they arrive at your site, and they aren’t going to arrive there if your keywords don’t match what they are searching for. In the same way, if they are searching internally on your site, you may want to add software that suggests related or similar search terms so that you don’t lose them on a matter of “You say toMAYto and I say toMAHto.”

Combat Cart Abandonment

What do you do if a customer has spent plenty of time on your site, filled a shopping cart with products they intend to buy, but never completes the sale? Here’s where paying careful attention to your checkout process can help your conversion rate. It’s the point in the transaction where the customer actually has to do the work, so make sure it’s easy and seamless for them.

At the point that they are putting products into their carts, give them all the information they need: all the color combinations in which that particular printed fabric is available for the quilter’s palette should all be on that page or suggestions below the Add to Cart button. Having customer reviews readily accessible can also help conversion. People like to know how your product works for someone like them and reading relevant reviews can help them feel confident about their choices.

Now they are ready to check out. Is that in fact the next step, or does your site force them into a cumbersome registration process before they even get to entering their credit card number? That’s a classic point of cart abandonment. Always give them an option to check out as a guest; your billing and shipping forms will collect the contact information you want. At the end of the check-out process, you can ask if they want the information saved for future purchases. They are likely to respond positively if the experience has been smooth for them so far.

Maybe the addition of shipping and handling costs put the product out of their price range. Here’s the place for a pop-up ad offering free or flat-rate shipping to new customers. Better yet, offer it upfront for all your customers to build a loyal following. Or waiving shipping charges for purchases greater than a specific dollar amount can incentivize a customer to stay and add more products to the cart. Show them a “You’re only X dollars away from Free Shipping!” message here and you’re certain to see results.

Finally, a little thing, but an important one: as they are giving you sensitive information like their credit card number, make sure it’s on a form that prominently displays your security information. New customers especially don’t want to feel like they are putting their personal information out there into the great unknown; security information lets them know yours is a legitimate company that operates under professional standards. Customers who can’t figure out how their information is being protected may have second thoughts about completing their purchase.

If you need help figuring out how to lower your bounce rate or get some feedback on how your website is and isn’t working for your company, contact Leanne@stitchcraftmarketing.com. We can find ways to keep your customers.

Leanne Pressly
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