Friday, October 16, 2009

The Topmost Priority in an Online Business

To convert visitors to buyers is your primary goal with an on-line business. Pre-selling the product through your well written content begins the conversion. They decide to make a purchase and add the item to the shopping cart.

Navigation is the key to a good shopping experience, so keep it simple and user friendly. Organize your pages in an understandable fashion. Your on-line shopping pages need to be fast loading and easy to view.

You can do this by keeping your graphics small with an option to view full size. Large graphics slow down page load times and visitors are impatient and will leave your site if it is not up to speed. In order to convert visitors to buyers you have to keep them on your website enjoying the shopping experience.

Using smaller graphics will enable you to show a larger number of items at a time which makes for a better experience when shopping. Include multiple graphics when necessary to completely view a product.

Converting your visitor to a buyer involves a shopping cart process, which needs to be clear and simple also. Now that you have that important sale, don't confuse your buyer with complicated steps.

The Check out page of your website is crucial to your success, if the process is too complicated or a long drawn out process you will lose buyers. Simplification is the key to completing the sale.

Another stumbling block is personal information; only ask for what is essential and nothing more. A study by Global Millennia Marketing states additional reasons for not making the sale are poorly designed navigation, requesting registration in order to purchase and a confusing check out process.

The check out process should be an enjoyable, easy step. The fewer steps required the better. First off never require registering prior to making a purchase. This can be presented as a benefit to the customer after they have completed the purchase.

Your Thank You page can be used for this purpose. Ask if buyer would like to be able to track their purchase and get the information you want then. Remember your goal is to convert visitors to buyers.

Every step you add to checking out increases the chance it will be vacated. Your goal is for the buyer to click the submit order button. Check out is not the time to ask for them to fill out a survey or do anything except complete the deal.

If your check out is more than a page long, break it down into smaller bite size pieces. Keep the forms small and concise and be sure that the secure page icon is always visible.

Each form you use should only ask for crucial information to insure expedient and proper delivery of purchase. Your server needs to be able to handle many visitors at a time; you certainly do not want the server to crash and lose all those converted visitors to buyers in one big crash.
It is highly unlikely that those visitors will return to your website if it crashes on them and is off line for any period of time. Your website needs to be up and running 24/7, if it is not, you’re losing potential customers. Consider outsourcing live chat support to companies like to ensure that customer’s needs are met at all times and properly handled by competent staff thus allowing your company to generate more income.
Are you tracking your shopping cart to check out submission flow?

This is called "cart conversion".

Once you've converted the visitor to buyer you need to follow them through the completed process. Many times a buyer will back out due to shipping costs or other complications dealing with delivery and you need to be able to pin point where the problem is originating.

This can be done by using a separate page or form for each step and tracking it accordingly.

Converting visitor to buyer does not end with the shopping cart.

Cart conversion rates affect your bottom line so watch these closely and correct any problems that seem to cause your buyer to abandon the purchase.

Keeping your buyers happy and secure will pay off during the shopping and purchasing process. Back this up with top notch customer service and you will have return customers.


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