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August 11, 2009

Guide to eCommerce: Usability, Upsell, Cross-sell, & Conversions – Part III

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Amazon Web Services

With the use of an analytics program like Google Analytics, you can review visitor statistics to determine a great deal of how your site is being accessed and review entry and exit points. In many cases, you would be surprised to find out how one little issue in the buying cycle can me significant loss in potential buyers.  It could be that the checkout process is difficult to complete or the price point is too high or the offer/incentive lacks…well a true incentive.  The following are aspects of an E-Commerce site that should be tested on a regular basis.

Checkout Process

When a user is ready to buy, the last thing you want to do is put up a road block and make it difficult to checkout. The hard part is getting them to buy, checking out should be a walk in the park.  Keep the buying cycle as easy as possible by keeping the steps to a minimum.

Checkout Process Quick Tips:Google-Goal-funnel-784339

  • Give multiple payments options
  • Do not require the user to sign-in to purchase
  • Do not try to add additional fees at the end of the purchase
  • Give access to return policies, contact information, shipping tracking #s, privacy policies, support
  • Only require information that is necessary to complete the purchase
  • Send a confirmation email after purchase

One of the most important aspects of the checkout process is to track the abandonment rate using an analytics program like Google Analytics.  If your checkout process is flawed it will not matter what the user has done prior to checking out, they will not buy.  If you have multiple steps in the checkout process, make sure you setup your analytics to track every step.  If you have 3 steps in your process, there may be a reason why 65% of users are abandoning their cart at step 2.  Try an A/B or multivariate test to see if you can increase the percentage of checkout completions.

Timely Offers/Incentives

You would be surprised how far an offer as simple as “Free summer-saleShipping” can go.  Even if you are not giving a discount on the product itself, you can give the impression to the user that they are getting a great deal!

Timely offers can act as a great reason to speed up the buyers decision.  If you are offering a special 3 day sale, with 20% off everything in the store a user will feel the sense of urgency to purchase before the sale ends.

Cheaptickets.com does a great job of creating a sense of urgency in their buying cycle.  When you go to purchase a plane ticket, they will show “3 Seats Left” at that discounted price.  This will help the user want to buy sooner than later, to take advantage of the lower rates.

Seasonal Product Offerings

Take advantage of users searching for seasonal products, by tailoring your messaging for that holiday.

For Example:

  1. Christmas: Circuit City, 12/25 — Merry Christmas! Find Santa-sized savings on TVs, cameras, GPS & more
  2. Halloween: Dell, 10/27 — Un-Boolievable Savings – Up to $345 off Select Systems
  3. Mothers Day: Lands’ End, 4/19 — Mother’s Day is May 11 – consider us “landsend.mom”
  4. Easter: Finish Line, 3/21 — The Easter Bunny Wears Chucks—-Do You?

Seasonal Products Quick Tips:

  • Bundle similar seasonal products
  • Tailor the offer to a specific gender/demographic (mom, dad, children)
  • Offering FREE gift wrapping
  • Offer a customized message
  • Offer customized engraving
  • Guarantee delivery before the date of the holiday
  • Have multiple timely promotions that end the day before the holiday
  • Give extra savings after the holiday has past

<< Guide To E-Commerce: Part II

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Amazon Web Services

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