Leading online payment provider PayPal gives us some insider tips on getting more customers from homepage to checkout.
It's great when people visit your site, but it’s even better when they stick around to make a purchase! If you're wondering how to convert window shoppers to actual paying customers, we've got some really simple tips to boost your business.
1. Keep it simple
Customers want an easy time when shopping online. Even the slightest thing that seems slow, annoying or time wasting will cause them to abandon their cart and move on. So your main goal is to provide a user-friendly experience – which will increase your chances of creating new custom.
Good search function - help them find what they want easily with a simple search function, navigation and clear-cut categories on the homepage. Always have payment buttons on all product pages – and obviously, use a secure payment system. Remember – the less clicks to checkout, the better.
Avoid distraction - and by distraction, we mean background music, pop ups, and having complex stuff that needs updated versions of Flash. In other words, anything which creates a reason for them to leave.
Step into their shoes - think about your own experiences when you shop online – if something tends to annoy you, it'll probably annoy your customers too.
2. Keep it transparent
If you're open and upfront about everything that you as a customer would want to know, your customers will thank you for it.
Show all your costs - a business only hides its costs if they're too high. And if visitors can't see what you're charging they'll simply go elsewhere. So, show your prices when the visitor sees your product, offer or service for the first time – and ideally try to make sure that what you're selling and the prices are (at most) one click from your homepage.
Be accurate and informative - use detailed product information on the product pages, label out-of-stock items clearly (with an ETA of when they'll be back), and be very clear about guaranteed delivery dates. The idea is to avoid disappointing customers by making promises you later can't keep, or misleading them with inaccurate information. It also helps to make suggestions about other things they might enjoy (and a bit of cross-sell never hurt a seller!)
3. Keep it reassuring
Use trusted symbols for payment - a lot of people prefer a system like PayPal because they don't need to share their details over the internet. Offering it is a clear sign that you take customer financial safety seriously.
Customer reviews - reviews are very powerful for letting people know you're trustworthy. Even bad reviews can work in your favour, as they show you're honest and can lend credibiltiy to positive reviews. Of course if something is getting consistently low reviews, make sure you address the issue to show you take feedback seriously.