10 Low-Cost Tips to Increase Web Sales
Want to improve your online customers’ shopping experience? In its new report, “10 Retail Site Fixes That Won’t Break the Bank,” Forrester Research offers these tips culled from a recent study of 100 retail Web sites.
1. Don’t let customers get away. Customers who mistakenly type in “wwwhomedepot.com” are still directed to Home Depot’s site. But those typing “wwwjcpenney.com” end up at a casino site. “Register and use common domain name misspellings of your site,” says James Crawford, a Forrester analyst.
2. Make it easy for customers to look around. Don’t force them to complete a long online registration form just so they can buy a single item from your site.
3. Help customers buy ASAP. Says Crawford, “Usability barriers, like making a customer click through multiple pages to find what he wants, prompted users in one study to abort 65 percent of shopping trips.”
4. Showcase bargains. Consider unloading overstocks or clearance items on your site.
5. Make “search” work the way customers think. Because 52 percent of Web shoppers use a search field to locate products, analyze your search logs weekly and add common misspellings to your taxonomy.
6. Ask manufacturers for digital collateral. Get product copy and images from manufacturers rather than creating and paying for it yourself.
7. Offer shipping information early in the shopping process. To capture the 63 percent of consumers who’ve abandoned shopping carts to find shipping data, show shipping times and costs before asking customers for their credit card numbers.
8. Promote on-time delivery to gift shoppers. “By marketing next-day delivery of gifts on its home page, 1-800-FLOWERS convinced 50 percent of its existing flower-
buying customers to purchase from a new product category,” says Crawford.
9. Weave customer support throughout your site. Frequently cull your customer service queries and returns data to uncover problems, then address them, unasked, in FAQs, product descriptions and navigation links.