A scary statistic: the failure rate for eCommerce businesses is between 80 and 97 percent. In India, with its population of 1.3 billion people, eCommerce is struggling: Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal made a loss of over 100 million Rupees in 2016.
While it seems easy in theory, eCommerce is a tricky business. Businesses fail all the time, for many different reasons, sometimes cosmetic, and sometimes not.
Even beautifully designed, well-executed, or well-known eCommerce sites can fail too. In 2015, UK retailer Poundland launched an eCommerce trial, which was later pulled due to a failure to convert core customers.
Poundland’s conversion strategy just didn’t resonate, so here are three ways you can you tell if your conversion strategy is broken and crucially, what you can do to fix it.
1. Your visitors are abandoning their carts en-masse
According to Adobe Digital Insights, cart abandonment averages out at about 75 percent. With mobile phone abandonment rates at around 85 percent and desktop slightly lower at 73 percent, these are worrying statistics for eCommerce sites.
You may have a well designed website but your conversion strategy could still be broken. High shopping cart abandonment means you’ll need to take another look at your sales cycle and checkout process.
The reasons for cart abandonment vary widely, but include:
• Poor User Experience
Making it as easy as possible for your visitors to find and purchase what they want needs to be a high priority for brands. A cluttered interface, website that’s hard to navigate, or an overly-lengthy cart process, just won’t cut it.
When a visitor lands on your website, wanting to purchase your product, that last thing you want is for them to have to leave your site in search of where to purchase your product. This lengthens the path to purchase and increases the chances of consumers abandoning the sale or getting distracted along the way. Providing clear ‘Buy Now’ call to action buttons can help combat this.
• Unflattering images and product descriptions
Low-resolution, dark, poor quality images are instant turn-offs. Likewise, your product descriptions need to be optimised both for search and the user. Images should be bright and visually interesting, with a product description that matches your unique selling point. Firebox, an eCommerce store selling unique items, hits the nail on the head getting both elements right.
• No HTTPS or signs of secure transactions
• Too many clicks in the buyer journey
27 percent of US shoppers abandoned their cart because the process was “too long/complicated”. Limit your form fields and pages to the absolute minimum to save sales. For return shoppers, make sure you offer easy registration, the ability to store details or guest shopper options to help shoppers complete their purchase quickly and easily.
Putting the user experience front and centre, will not only keep your shoppers happier but more importantly, increase your conversion rates.
2. You’re getting traffic and referrals, but visitors don’t seem to know what to do next
The behaviour flow option in your analytics tool will give you a solid idea as to how your visitors are travelling around your site. Take note of the pattern of arrival and exit. If it’s fast, it’s a problem.
A bounce rate of 55 to 70 percent is very high for eCommerce, and is a clear sign your conversion strategy is broken. In many cases, visitors leave your site because the content isn’t relevant or because they don’t know what to do next. So you need to take note of how many pages they are visiting and at what point are they dropping off?
German retailer L’Axelle was struggling with its conversion rate. In a simple test, the brand changed its copy to more action-orientated language i.e. solve your problem by doing [x] and saw a 38 percent conversion rate, up 93 percent on the original.
Your site structure and content strategy should work cohesively to inform your visitors of the next step in the process. Do you want to direct them from a content-rich blog to a landing page specifically designed to capture their details? Or do you have an algorithm in place to show them similar products in order to upsell? Do you have a ‘Buy Now’ button to quickly link customers to options to purchase so that the sale is as efficient as possible?
Regardless of your end goal, smart call to actions (CTAs) and better data will create an experience that’s optimised for the buyer – and in turn, will increase conversions.
3. You lack a 360-degree approach to your analytics
Analytics are the most important tool an eCommerce store owner has. You can’t adequately track your conversion strategy unless you have access to robust data, especially if you sell through third-party retailers.
But how can you tell if your conversion strategy is working if you don’t know your conversion rate – or what a good conversion rate is? At the end of Q1 2017, the global average conversion rate hovered at 2.48 percent.
A large drop-off generally signifies a broken conversion strategy, but it can be fixed with detailed analytics and a streamlined cart process.
Using analytics, delve into your stats to determine your goals and your traffic source/medium. For example, if most of your conversions come from desktop but your traffic is largely from mobile/social, you’ll face a problem – especially as conversion rates are generally lower across mobile.
You need to have the insight to link the final goal (e.g. a sales conversion) with initial brand interaction. It’s particularly important to understand which channels and content are driving the most traffic and influencing final sales conversions, so you know where to best invest your marketing budget. Consider where buyers are converting from and if they’re not converting, at what point are they dropping out of the sales funnel?
Analytics are even more informative for retailers after a shopper clicks through to buy their product from a third-party seller e.g. Amazon. Platforms like ChannelSight can empower brands with the visibility to track data from end-to-end, right through to the final purchase. With this data, you can quickly see what’s working and what isn’t so that you can rectify any issues along the way.
Given that so many eCommerce websites fail, fixing your conversion strategy and increasing your conversion rates is the obvious answer to eCommerce survival and giving your customer the most efficient user experience possible.
Do you want to increase your eCommerce conversion rate?
ChannelSight makes the world instantly shoppable, enabling brands to increase sales conversions and market share by providing a digital ‘Buy Now’ service that allows online shoppers to quickly and easily buy products they want, from their preferred retailer.
If you want to better understand your conversion strategy and improve your ROI, get in touch today to see how we can help you.
Digital Marketing Manager