10 Easy Ways to Improve the Online Purchasing Process

laptopsQ: What is one thing I can add to my online purchasing/checkout process that will improve sales?

A: Provide additional products. “Provide smaller, additional products that keep people coming back. On our POS Warehouse website, we added receipt paper and labels as products to purchase. Not only does it increase the original sale, but it keeps them needing to come back for replenishing.” Marjorie Adams, Fourlane

Shorten your checkout process. “Instead of looking for things to add to your checkout process, I think it makes more sense to look for things to remove. Make your checkout process as simple and quick as possible. Users want to feel safe and secure, so design your checkout to look professional and trustworthy and then concentrate on allowing users to get through as quickly and painlessly as possible.” Arian Radmand, CoachUp

Add a chat function. “We added chat throughout our site last year. We expected that we would get requests from folks during the entire shopping experience, but we saw a surprisingly high amount of people who had questions during checkout. Some asked about shipping rates, while others asked about their product selection. We were able to facilitate sales and even make recommendations that increased the final purchase.” Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches

Recommend items based on known data. “Understanding your clientele purchasing decisions and patterns will help you build your system to act smarter. At the checkout process, the system will know current desired items, review customer’s past purchases and define the most viewed products. Your system will be data-driven, which will allow your cart to provide product recommendations that are catered to the customer’s needs and patterns.” Dalip Jaggi, Devise Interactive

Provide reassurance. “Adding links to your return/cancellation policy and product or service guarantees on the checkout page provides transparency and gives customers more confidence that they are making a smart purchasing decision. Of course, you don’t want to take users away from the checkout process, so try using pop-ups rather than links that lead to a different page on your site.” Robert De Los Santos, Sky High Party Rentals

Reinforce the value proposition. “It’s a really good idea to reiterate your product’s value proposition on the checkout page. The checkout page is one place where a lot of people get cold feet and decide to abandon their purchase. Reminding your potential customers of the reasons why they decide to click ‘buy’ will reduce cart abandonment. If you can, collect an email in advance so you can email them as well if they abandon.” Mattan Griffel, One Month

Include a count-down clock. “When users add an item to the shopping cart there should be a count-down clock that says how much time that item will be reserved for, usually around five to 10 minutes. As users see the time remaining decrease, they are more likely to make a decision instead of waiting.” Randy Rayess, VenturePact

Make sure you have default values for any options. “Many checkout features are now common. Progress bars, instructions, line items costs, etc. are all table stakes and should be a part of your process already. More and more, companies are adding optional benefits to purchasers in an effort to differentiate from competitors. When doing this, it’s critical that you start the form field on a default value, not ‘choose an option.'” Adam Roozen, Echidna, Inc.

Add a first-time user promo code. “As an individual who frequently shops online, it would be impressive to see a first time-user/first-time check out promo code offer. When a first-time buyer is checking out, that buyer would be provided with a promo code for a discount for future use. This would not only push first-time users to come back to the site, but it would also generate word of mouth advertising among their peers.” Miles Jennings, Recruiter.com

Feature relatable past client references. “Having concise testimonials that are relevant to the buyer can help with faster decision making. For example, if someone is buying a book, then showing a testimonial from someone who previously bought the same book can go a lot further than showing a generic testimonial. Many psychological studies have proven that social proof can provide the much needed push when people are on the edge.” Pratham Mittal, VenturePact

(Source: TNS)