Why Your Website Isn’t Converting Sales

A website is no longer just a digital catalogue that enables a retailer to showcase its product line. It’s also a sales platform that helps merchants convert visitors into buyers. However, while a website can be a powerful sales channel, many brands aren’t using it effectively. Here are 6 chief reasons why your website isn’t converting:

 

  1. You don’t split-test

    The layout of a web page impacts conversion. For example, you can locate your product image on the left-hand side of the web page and the text caption to its right or place the text caption below the image. This variation in web content orientation can affect your conversion rate. Due to the culture, gender, or demographic of your audience, you need to determine which orientation garners the best return. To do this, you must split test. You can utilize services such as Visual Website Optimizer to test different layouts, messages, or call-to-actions and see which variations yield a better conversion rate. If you don’t split-test, you won’t know whether you could be getting better results.
  2. You don’t use responsive web design

    Responsive web design is essential to online retailers. IBM’s 2013 Thanksgiving Day US sales data showed that 22% of online transactions were made on mobile devices. As mentioned previously in our articles, “Why Your Business Needs to Use Responsive Web Design” and "Why Responsive Web Design will matter to Retailers this Christmas Season," responsive web design ensures your website is optimized for all mobile devices, regardless of the brand and size of the smartphone or tablet. This maximizes your opportunity to reach customers and make sales. 
     
    Responsive web design also means you can support both desktop and mobile devices from one website instead of managing one site dedicated to desktop and one for mobile -- which means easier content management. New blog posts or new product listings are available immediately to all visitors. More importantly, a single website for eCommerce ensures that your inventory data is always current. It doesn’t matter if a customer purchases an item through a mobile device or a PC, the sale will be reflected in your inventory. A single website that is responsive removes synchronization-related issues that could create poor user experiences
  3. You don’t have the proper website architecture

    Without proper website architecture, your user-experience will be underwhelming. If your website makes your visitors navigate through multiple pages before getting to the destination page, it makes your website difficult to use and unappealing to your customers. Unfriendly navigation is a proven cause of poor conversion. Shoppers don’t have the patience to go through numerous steps to make a simple purchase. It could even drive your consumers to a competitor whose purchasing process is much more friendly and convenient.
  4. You don’t offer site search

    A site search box enables your shoppers to find their desired products quickly and effortlessly. By typing product terms such as “organic soap” or “Nike runners,” your customers can find their items easily. This will help them speed up the purchasing process and receive a seamless shopping experience. Conversely, if you don’t offer such feature, your visitors may become frustrated because they can’t locate their items easily which in turn could induce them to leave your site. This will ultimately reduce your conversion rate.
  5. Your checkout process is too long

    There’s no better way to turn off your customers than by making them go through a long checkout process. Do you ask for information over 2 pages instead of one? Are you asking for too much information? Does a progress bar at the top let the customer know they’re nearly through the checkout process? By having a long, tedious checkout funnel, you’re giving your shoppers an opportunity to exit with every extra step. This is why large global online retailers such as Amazon only have two simple steps in their checkout. Unless you have a simplified, easy-to-use checkout process, your customers will likely leave your website and end up purchasing products from other merchants instead. 
  6. You force customers to create an account in order to checkout

    Similar to a long checkout process, forcing your customers to register an account in order to make a purchase can also harm your conversion rate. By making your shoppers create an account, you’re adding another step in the checkout process which could lead your shoppers to exit your website – especially first-time shoppers. This is why more eCommerce websites enable their customers to complete their orders without a registered account. According to KISSmetric, allowing customers to checkout without a registered account helped one retailer increase its revenue by $300 million. Therefore, if you want to improve your conversion rate, don’t force your shoppers to create an account. 

For online merchants, a website acts as a marketing platform, shopping channel, and a cash register. For maximum results, it’s important for online retailers to ensure their website is optimized for all devices, has the proper architecture, and delivers seamless user-experiences.Otherwise, no amount of website promotion (including all the "SEO service packages" you receive through cold-calling and emails - see our other article When SEO Firms Make Guarantees: What You Should Know) can help you grow your online revenues. To see how you can generate more sales from your website, please contact us and we’ll be glad to help you with a digital marketingwebsite audit or web design and development project.