The Online Payment Journey Starts On Your Home Page

What is the single biggest challenge for the online retailer? Conversion. Turning visitors to your website into customers from the second they land on your home page. If you want to improve your conversion rates, read this post!

Every design feature, button, colour, image and word should serve one purpose: to increase your website’s conversion rates. ECommerce carts are abandoned at a shockingly high rate of 68.63%, costingMerchant Category Code retailers $4 trillion a year in lost revenue.

The online payment journey starts when customers land on your home page. Completing a purchase is the destination. Too often, judging by the high abandonment rate – a figure that has increased every year since 2012 – shoppers get lost on that journey and fail to complete a purchase. Here are a few ways you can avoid that, thereby increasing revenues from your business.

5 Ways To Optimise Your Website For Conversions

#1: Navigation Is About Conversions, Not Browsing

While your customer may think they are browsing, what they are actually doing is filling their shopping basket and heading for the checkout. At least this is what the aim of your online store should be.

Potential customers need to find what they’re looking for and follow the payment journey with the minimum of distractions and friction points. An empty or discarded basket is a lost sale opportunity, with all the associated costs that went into getting them to your website in the first place.

#2: Dont Let Design ‘Features’ Get In The Way Of A Sale

There are many apps, plugins and web design features on the market. From popups to email capture forms and social sharing options, the number of widgets online retailers can use have multiplied in recent years. However, will they increase the likelihood of a sale?

Too many features can easily confuse, distract and frustrate your audience. While a pop up window telling customers that they have products in their basket when they head for the ‘back’ button can be very effective, any lead conversion widgets you use should not distract from the customer journey. By all means tell customers to like your Facebook page after the transaction is complete, or when they are about to leave your website, but don’t interrupt the sale with lead generation tactics.

#3: Are You Mobile Ready?

This used to mean simply having a mobile friendly website. But after Mobilegeddon, on April 21, 2015, when Google started to penalise sites that weren’t optimised for smaller screens, retailers now need to take mobile-optimisation more seriously.

Customers want a smooth, frictionless experience on smartphones and tablets. Checkout pages need to be short, sweet, but secure. Being mobile ready is to future proof your eCommerce store since more customers than ever are migrating to smaller screens for their shopping experiences.

#4: Are Your Images Optimised?

Web pages are bigger – in terms of file size – than ever before. Images are to blame. According to KISSmetrics, the slower a page takes to load, the higher-percentage of web visitors will click off your website and look elsewhere.

Analytics software and other features take up some of the ‘weight’ of modern websites, but the ‘heaviest’ element are the images. The average size of a webpage today is 320 kb, with images taking up 206 kb.

High-quality images can make all of the difference, especially for online retailers. But don’t sacrifice quality for speed. Make sure they are optimised – i.e. shrunk – to ensure unnecessarily large files do not drag down loading speeds.

#5: Payment Options

If you’ve ever queued to buy something in a shop only to discover that the checkout only takes cash, you’ll know what a frustrating experience that can be. The same is true of the online payments journey. Having reached a retailers payment gateway the customer is only a few steps away from finalising a purchase. But if they can’t see their preferred payment option that could mean an abandoned shopping basket and no chance to turn them into a returning customer.

Providing customers with different payment options, especially regional ones if you are looking for cross-border opportunities, ensures that purchases are not abandoned at the last minute.

Remember, everything is about conversions:

  • Navigation: All about conversions. Create a frictionless experience.
  • Features: Don’t overload your website.
  • Mobile: Be ready, be optimised. Speed is everything
  • Images: They help sell products, but only when optimised for faster loading speeds
  • Payment options: As well as accepting credit and debit cards be prepared to take alternative payments too.

For more on mCommerce and taking mobile payments online, read our post: Mobile Payments And Our Multi-Channel World