12 Reasons Your Conversion Rate is Low

Posted by on April 12, 2011 in Featured, Web strategy insight | Comments Off on 12 Reasons Your Conversion Rate is Low

1. The user does not intend to buy

Instead the user is adding items to the cart or proceeds to the final step to see the total price for this purchase in order to compare your prices and advantages against your competitors.

  • Use calculators or other means of providing pricing information to help the user understand the total price.

2. You’re asking for information the user is unable to provide

This is very common for order forms within sites made for specialized sectors like insurance and banking, where the user is required to give up information which is not available from memory but rather in the existing contracts or hidden elsewhere. This means that the user will have to stop, step away from the computer and then come back later.

  • To prevent this from happening, explain to the user what he or she needs to have ready before starting the check out process.

3. You’re asking for information the user does not want to give you

Users are sceptical by nature. If you fail to explain to the user why you are asking for this particular piece of information or the user does not trust you to handle the user data in a professional manner, a user will stop due to insecurity or just plain annoyance.

For each input field you place in a check out process or an order form you should be asking yourself – “Do we really need this information?”, “Have we explained to the user why we require this information?” and “Have we done enough to help the user gain trust in our ways of handling this information?”

  • Associate yourself with genuine and trustworthy security providers and use it to build confidence in the check out process
  • Make a privacy statement available which is easy to understand and which makes sense to the user
  • Give clear explanations where you’re asking for information which goes outside the typical areas of name and address

4. You’ve focused all your efforts onto increasing visitor traffic

Rather than putting resources into optimizing the check out process, some companies put all their money into driving traffic to the site. The revenue may increase, but in reality you’re losing profits because the end results could be higher if your conversion rate was higher before the traffic came pouring in.

Imagine that by getting more visitors you increase the top part of your funnel – unless you optimize your check out process as well, the end of your funnel will remain the same.

Also, remember that the quality of your vistior traffic matters – differentiated leads are warmer than undifferentiated.

  • Be aware of your traffic sources and make yourself visible where you are most likely to reach your key audience

5. Technical errors or usability flaws deflect your users

Poor user experience prevents your users from completing their journey through their check out process. Set alerts for each step and monitor your check out process closely.

  • Perform usability testing. hire interaction designer professionals and simplify the business process to help your users complete their orders successfully.

6. The transition from research to purchase is too complex

The first step inside the check out process must validate and confirm that the user is on the right way to order the right product. Typically, for companies that are selling service based solutions or complex products, a check out process which is too generic will demotivate the user. A “Click here to buy product x” should take the user to a page designed for just that product.

  • Support and reinforce the users scent of information and make sure the context is conserved as the user transitions from a product page and into your check out process

7. Not designing for user exits

Typically, a user deciding to break off an order form or a check out process has four options. Closing the browser, navigating to a new URL by typing one in to the address bar, clicking out via the back button in the browser, or using the “cancel” button in the check out form itself. The first three you can’t do much about, but building a proper cancel page can make a huge difference on the conversion rate.

  • When a user decides to cancel an order form or check out process, present the user for a “cancel page” with options such as 1) Continue check out, 2) Start over, 3) Contact customer service, 4) Close and return later.

8. Desired option not available

Users going through a check out process can discover that the product they desire is not available to them because the item is out of stock, because it takes too long before it can be delivered or used, or that it can not be shipped either due to limitations in delivery options or just not fast enough, or that the product has the wrong attributes (color not available etc).

  • Consider how well your product configuration works and if you are giving the right kind and sufficient information on the product presentation to make sure you include all attributes the user needs to know placing an order.
  • Unbundle your products and let your customer do his preferred configuration instead

9. Insufficient product knowledge to make a rational decision

Your check out process needs to be streamlined and simplified. Some order forms can appear so complex they require a specific product knowledge in order to place an order.

  • Make sure your order forms are designed so that they guide the users gracefully through the purchase process and are tailored to help them make intelligent decisions by exlpaining how one option differentiates from another and what the implications of making that choice is

10. The user does not want to register with your site to place an order

Requiring registration or login can be an obstacle to users who are in a hurry, who have forgotten their login information or who does not wish to receive anything from you but the product they are interested in.

It’s always a good idea to check your web analytics tool to see how many users you lose from forgotten passwords on this step in the check out process. Fixing problems concerning logging in to complete purchase can positibely impact your conversion rate. Have control mechanisme in place to ensure that your password email service is working correctly, and consider using alternative login mechanisms that allows for more convenient ways of proceeding like SMS based authentication.

  • Have an option available for those who wish to place an order without registering, and use the information they provide to create an account for them or just let shop without using an account

11. The check out process is not designed for my needs

If you’re a travel agent and provide both tourist travels and point-to-point travels, make sure you tailor the check out process to match the needs of both these target groups. Check out processes that are too generic will cause difficulties for users who as they become frustrated from being presented with options that are not relevant to them.

  • Use personas and scenarios to get a clear view of who you are designing your site for, and make sure to optimize their complete paths through your site
  • Create different order forms for to cater for different customer needs

12. Not listening to the customer

Your customers are your primary source for information on how you can improve in order to accomodate for their needs. Any opportunity to ask them how their experience with you, your shop or your products was can help you build a better site, write better content and produce a better experience for future customers.

  • Use Voice of Customer surveys for completed orders in order to get user feedback on their experience. Keep it running continuosly, motivate the user to participate and be aware of any comments or sentiments from the surevy results that indicate complications with your check out process.
  • Consider implementing user feedback widgets (was this helpful to you + comment) on your product pages to get user input on what questions they have so that you can improve your product and processes.



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