This is a question that we hear quite frequently from website owners that have invested in an e-commerce website solution? Unfortunately, there isn’t a single answer to this question.
In fact, there are many more reasons than it is possible to go into in this article. For that reason, we’ve chosen to look at some of the main reasons why your site is failing to convert visitors to sales.
Bounce rate is a term that you may not have come across before, but is used in the web industry to describe a user that lands on your website and within a matter of seconds leaves.
So what are the reasons why they might do this? It could be that your website isn’t what they expected to find eg a user searches for ‘Honda’ expecting to find websites featuring Honda cars and lands on your Honda motorbike website.
How do I know if this is happening on my website?
There’s a free piece of software available from Google called Google Analytics. There are many useful functions in Google Analytics that let you see how your site users interact with your website. There are in fact, too many functions of Google Analytics to go into them all here. The most important thing for this article is that Google Analytics records the bounce rate of visitors on your site. If you see a high percentage of your visitors bouncing off, it is time to find out why this might be.
Of course there might be other reasons why your users aren’t staying on your website. Poor design and not being able to find products are just two possibilities. Both of these are discussed later in this article.
Getting Google Analytics up and running on your website is a fairly straightforward task that should take your website developer about 15 – 30 minutes to set up for you. We’d recommend that all website owners get Google Analytics set up, it offers so much more information than just the bounce rate. Having an insight into your user behavior is a very powerful tool.
Good design doesn’t just mean a website that looks pretty. A website needs to be easy to use and appealing to the eye to keep your visitors engaged. Poor design of a website is the leading reason why people abandon their shopping carts before checking out their purchases according to Fortissimo.com an e-commerce website analytics provider.
A further thing to add here is that your website also needs to work on all devices. We spoke to Liam of Identify Web Design, a leading design agency in the North West, about designing websites for all devices. He told us “Going back 5 years, you could pretty much guarantee that your site visitors would all be using laptops or desktop computers. In 2015, the majority of your site visitors will be using a tablet or a smartphone. This means your website needs to be fully usable by visitors on mobile devices and this includes the e-commerce parts of the site.”
What can I do if my site doesn’t work on mobile devices?
If this is the case for your website, getting your site mobile friendly should be your first priority. Speak to your website designer about making your site ‘responsive’. A responsive site is one that adapts itself to display and work properly on the screen size it is being displayed on. This means no matter what device is being used to visit your site it will offer your users a good experience
Unable to Find the Product
We never fail to be amazed by how many websites have a search facility that only works on the general page content but doesn’t search for products as well.
Put simply, if your potential customer can’t find out quickly if you have the product they are looking for, they won’t stay around to buy them.
What can I do if my product catalogue isn’t searchable?
Another discussion with your web developer and maybe an hour or two of their time should be enough to create a full site search that covers both page content and products. Once your site offers an easy way to search amongst the products you offer, you should start to notice that your conversion rates begin to increase.
What Else Can I do to Improve My Conversion Rate?
Even when you have taken care of the bounce rate, design and searchability of products on your website, there is still much that can be done for improving your website in terms of its sales performance.
Knowing where to start in this regard will depend on your particular website. For this reason, we’d recommend that you get a digital marketing specialist to perform a website audit of your website to identify its strengths and more importantly its weaknesses.
When you are empowered with a report on your website you’ll be able to priorities the necessary action to improve your website’s sales performance.
We hope this article has given you some ideas of what you can do in both the short and long term to improve the sales conversion rates of your website. If you have recent experience of improving your site performance and would like to share your experience, please leave us a comment on this blog post.