But imagine if two out of three shoppers got to the checkout queue, then suddenly changed their mind and left the store, abandoning their shopping cart full of products.
In the real world, this would be bizarre. Sure, there are valid reasons for this behavior – the queues might be too long, they realized that they’ve overspent their budget, and so on. But these are the exception rather than the rule.
In most cases, shoppers will dutifully fill their shopping carts and complete the transaction at the checkout.
But it’s the other way around in the on-line world. Studies have shown that most shoppers who start buying on a Web site abandon the process before completing it.
Why? The reasons vary, but in most cases it can be summarized as: The Web site makes it too difficult to buy.
Remember that the Internet is probably the least-trusted shopping medium in history. Lots of people are making lots of money from it, but many others lose potential sales because of a poorly-designed ordering system.
Here are some of the dumb things that Web site owners do to annoy, upset and even scare their users:
- Force them to “register” as members before they can buy anything
- Not using a secure server.
- Adding unnecessary steps to what should be a straightforward process.
- Not providing a variety of payment options, especially for people who are worried about giving their credit card details on the Internet.
- Not publishing a telephone number that allows a wary customer to talk to a real person.
- Not publishing a full street address that reassures the customer that this is a legitimate business.
- Assuming that all customers are from the same country, and not providing a handy currency converter for international customers.
- Making it difficult to determine postage and handling costs, or not even publishing them at all.
- Including a whole block of incomprehensible fine print for Terms and Conditions, instead of writing them out in plain, easy-to-read language.
- Not publishing a refund policy, or making it so heavily weighted against the customer that it’s a deterrent rather than an incentive.
You’ve probably seen some of these mistakes already on other Web sites. Make sure that you don’t make the same mistakes.
You could be losing most of your shoppers!
Remember that the research shows that most shoppers abandon the shopping process. In fact, some of the research suggests that the number of these shoppers is as high as 80%! If you believe that research, it means that you’re missing out on 4 out of every 5 sales.
So that hard work you put into getting more traffic to your site is wasted!
Imagine what would happen to your business if 80% of your customers came in the door, talked to you about your products and services, made the decision to buy, but then walked out before completing the transaction. That might well be happening on your Web site.
But you CAN turn this around!
The good news, of course, is that if you could convince these potential customers to complete their order, you would increase your profits instantly! And all this happens without having to get one extra visitor to the site.
Look at how much of a difference this could make to your business. If we take the 80% figure quoted above, convincing just half of those people to complete the transaction would mean that that number drops to 40%. This means that you’ve now got a 60% completion rate, compared with 20% before making the change. That means you’ve just trebled your income!