A complicated process is a surefire way to lose crucial conversions and testing a prospect’s patience gives them a reason to shop elsewhere. Additionally, once they’ve been through the steps and have determined it to be too cumbersome, they may never return.
Shoppers always want a quick and convenient checkout and instinctively head for the shortest line. Even if you are not “selling” anything online, the concept is no different. The number one thing you can do to increase your conversion rate is to optimize your process’ flow. Creating a process that uses as few steps/pages as possible and requires potential prospects to jump through fewer hoops can encourage them to complete the process on your site.
As IAC/InterActiveCorp CEO Barry Diller puts it in a recent CNET article, “One of the greatest barriers to buying things is the steps that it takes, and we all know the difference when you go to Amazon and you just push your little thing and it’s bought, paid for, delivered, billed, etc., instantly, and [...] how much that has made the difference between just browsing and buying…that little thing, [...] you scroll it, you do it, it comes, everything else is taken care of, is the answer to what’s going to happen on the Internet when, in fact, we get the applicability of that broadly.”
Some easy steps to help the conversion flow:
1. Low Barrier Entry:
An email address is really the only bit of information you need to contact me. Don’t scare me off by asking for too much personal info up front. Capturing my email address now gives you permission to get in touch with me… even if I don’t go through the whole process.
2. Save My Information:
If I bought something from you once, I may return. Don’t make me re-enter my information. Keeping my shipping information and credit card “on file” will make my experience quick, easy and convenient.
3. Include a Customer Service Contact:
Regardless of how much you simplify your checkout, I may still require assistance. If I can’t find the answer I need, I have no choice but to abandon my cart to find your site’s help page, or worse, make my purchase on your competitor’s site.
4. Following up is NOT begging:
Even if you optimize your process to be super low barrier, there may be “other” reasons beyond your control that cause me to not complete the process. So, don’t ignore the fact that I was interested to begin with. You have my email address now, after all, so follow up with me - remind me why I was there in the first place; ask me if I’m still interested; send me a coupon to get me to come back… just don’t forget about me once I’ve taken that first step.