You’re getting the customers to your site. Now getting them to make a purchase is another story all together.
If you want to make sales, you need to make the process as easy as possible.
A thread at WebmasterWorld lists 10 reasons why customers don’t complete the checkout process. While the thread is nearly 5 years old, the reasons themselves are timeless.
Make it Painless
Don’t put your customers through headache after headache just to buy your product because patience wears thin very easily. Especially when your competitor is no more than a few clicks away.
Stoney deGeyter has quite a helpful list of ways to lead your customers to the checkout. Two of them really stick out to me when putting myself in the customer’s shoes.
The first one is navigation. If I was looking for a specific product, I wouldn’t want to have to dig around for 15 minutes trying to find it. Stoney also mentions site search, which is really part of the navigation process. Products should be easy to find by a simple search or navigation path.
Calls to Action
The second tip that jumps out to me from Stoney’s article is the call to action. Be about as subtle as a baseball bat to the gut. Your goal is to get them to the checkout, and their goal is the same. Do NOT make them look for a link to the checkout page. Make it jump out at them. Just because you know where something on the site is does not mean that everyone else can find it so easily. It is your job to make sure that they can.
If you’re getting the customers to the site, you’re obviously doing something right. Don’t blow it by letting them down when they get there. Do everything in your power to get them to the checkout as easily as possible.