Five Reasons You’re Losing Online Sales And How To Fix Them

It is a new year, and for ecommerce merchants, this means an opportunity to set and hopefully exceed sales goals.  Many retail chains have sales in January as a way to both jumpstart their sales year and attract shoppers online and in the brick and mortar stores who are searching for after-Christmas bargains.

Happy Ecommerce Shopper

Most online merchants don’t realize that far more dollars are placed into their Shopping Carts then ever actually convert into real sales. In fact some metrics we’ve seen from our partner Runa show cases where $10 or more were being abandoned in a merchants shopping cart for every $1 in actual sales.

1. Checkout Process Doesn’t Seem Secure

Don’t have your SSL certificate displayed on your checkout page and in your navigation menu? The average online customer understands what this means, and will look for your SSL seal and other logos that indicate that they are buying from a secure site.  If they aren’t convinced that this is the case, shoppers will be more likely to abandon their carts and click away.

2. You’re Asking The Customer For Too Much Information

Online shoppers don’t want to spend a lot of time filling out fields asking for unnecessary information, and they don’t want to be forced to create an account in order to buy from you, either. Keep the amount of information that you require from them to a minimum, focusing on the bare necessities such as name, address, phone number, email address, and payment information.

Easy Online Checkout Your checkout process should be short, sweet, and to the point.

3.  Customers Think That There Will Be A Hassle If They Have A Problem

Imagine that you are ordering a backpack for someone you know who likes to hike. You found a pack that you like-it has a lot of pockets is rugged and durable, has great customer reviews, etc. You are ready to order it, but then you stop to wonder whether or not the bag is water resistant, and what the store’s return policy is.  You search and search the site, but you can’t find the info that you need, and when you try to contact the company, you either can’t find their contact info, or you aren’t able to get a hold of a live person.

One of the top reasons customers provide for failing to complete an online purchase is they believe it would be difficult or impossible to get help if they’re unhappy with their purchase. Little things like easy to find contact information and return policy’s and guarantee’s can make a radical difference in your checkout conversion percentage.

It shouldn’t take more the five minutes to add in your company’s contact information and Return Policies (which are also a requirement for your merchant processing). You may also consider integrating live customer chat as well. Here at Miva Merchant we use Live2Support.com and find it’s a great service for the price, I know there are dozens and dozens of options in the market for Live Chat.

4. Don’t Give Your Customers Sticker Shock

Customers who shop online are savvy enough to know that it’s total price paid which matters. They’ll check out your site if you have a low price on a product, but if you’re trying to make it up in Shipping, Handling or other Special Fees, you’re most likely “cutting off your nose to spite your face” as they say. The easiest way to solve this is to price your products with Shipping and Handling included and promote that you offer Free Shipping On All Orders, but that’s not always feasible.

Other tools that go a long way are Mini-Basket displays and Shipping Calculators. There are a number of ways to implement those in your Miva Merchant store, you can check Miva Central for modules like the Toolkit and ToolBelt, which do these things and hundreds of others for the cost of a single module.  You can also use our Community Forums

5. Guide Your Customers Through The Process

It doesn’t matter if you have a one page checkout or a six page checkout, your abandonment rate will be higher if your customers don’t know what to do as they move through the process. Depending on your checkout process you’ll want to guide them, down the page if it’s a one page checkout or through the pages if it’s a multi-page checkout. Personally, here at Miva Merchant we tend to see the best results with well guided 2 and 3 page checkout processes, but each store is different and what’s far more important that the number of pages is making sure the process is smooth and ultimately pleasant for your customers. The less you annoy your customers, the more they’ll complete checkout! Here’s a checkout progress bars blog post from the past that walks you through setting up checkout progress bars in Miva Merchant:

For more tips on preventing shopping cart abandonment, visit the Miva Merchant Community Forums