We all make mistakes. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from or what you’ve done, it’s just a fact of life that we’re not perfect. The world of Ecommerce is no different with conversion errors that keep happening all the time.
ECommerce is such a fast-paced, competitive and complex industry that’s always growing and changing. Because of this, Ecommerce managers are sometimes guilty of losing sight of their goals and making conversion errors while they focus on other areas. It’s not an uncommon problem but it’s what you do about these mistakes that will make all the difference to your conversion rates.
We’ve conducted a lot of successful conversion rate optimisations over the years and here we’ve listed the eight most common conversion errors that we see when helping businesses increase their conversion rates.
Most common conversion errors
1. Creating confusing landing pages
Whether it be to purchase a product, join a mailing list or fill out a survey, it needs to be immediately clear to the user what the purpose is of the first page they land. If this purpose isn’t clearly defined, the likelihood of these visitors bouncing away is massively increased.
This is a matter of basic page optimisation. Google Analytics will tell you what your most common landing pages are and the bounce rate metric will tell you if they need work, but really all your pages should be as clearly defined as possible.
Let’s take a product page as an example. The purpose of the page is to advertise and sell one individual product. Here, you really need to consider two things; your product images and call-to-action buttons.
The page should be reinforced by features such as product description, delivery information and maybe even some product recommendations but those first two are what clearly illustrates the purpose of the page. A clear, decluttered page is much more user friendly and provides them with fewer reasons to drop off prematurely.
2. Obstacles in the customer journey
ECommerce customers demand a comfortable experience above all else. So much so that 88% of adults say that they would not return to a website after a poor user experience. Simply put, any obstacles in the customer journey could become a grave conversion mistake.
The Behavioural Flow Chart on Google Analytics enables you to easily plot how customers travel through your site. The chart is filled with dozens of metrics that can help you identify bottlenecks, stumbling blocks and other points that are confusing customers and causing them to abandon their purchases.
Every barrier you remove will benefit your conversion rates so looking for them is a no brainer. Furthermore, not only does removing these sticking points improve your site’s overall UX and CRO but will also have a positive effect on your SEO.
3. Slow loading speed
47% of Ecommerce customers say that they will leave a site if it takes more than two seconds to load. It may not seem like a lot, but how your website performs is intrinsically linked to how your brand is perceived and a website that takes just a second longer to load than its competition is already out of the race. What’s more, Google has now made loading speeds a major factor in search rankings.
There are a number of things you can do to avoid making this conversion error. Firstly, Google PageSpeed Insights will give you a clear picture of your site’s current condition. If you find that your loading speeds are poor, consider implementing bandwidth saving features such as lazy loading. Features like this allow the user’s browser to prioritise the download of only the most important page elements, making your site responsive sooner and upgrading your user’s overall experience.
You can take it one step further by ensuring that all code elements are compressed into files smaller than 150 bytes and that all images and videos are in modern, low-memory formats.
4. Poor mobile optimisation
Sales from mobile devices are forecast to make up 54% of all Ecommerce purchases in 2021 and you can expect this number to continue growing as we head into 2022 and beyond. MCommerce only made up around 34% of the market in 2017, meaning it has been growing at an impressive yearly average of 5%.
The demands of consumers have also come a long way in recent years. Mobile devices are no longer seen as a side show and many now see them as completely interchangeable with conventional computers, with 85% of adults saying they expect a brands mobile website to be as good as their desktop version. Analytical data and customer journey mapping will also show that it is very common for the purchasing process to take place across multiple devices, so if your mobile capabilities are not up to scratch this could have a massive impact on your customer’s buying experience.
Basically, the days of neglecting mobile optimisations are long past us and you could be making big conversion errors that are costing your business dearly if your site isn’t up to scratch.
5. Poor product visuals
There is no sales tool in the Ecommerce arsenal with more influence over your conversion rates than your product pages, especially product visuals.
Your product images should do as much of the heavy lifting as possible in terms of answering potential customer questions. For example, if you’re an Ecommerce business that sells clothing, including photos or videos of your products on models will show customers how your items actually look on people, making it much easier for them to imagine it on themselves. If you sell home appliances, include photos of them in use or in locations where customers can get an idea of their practicality and scale.
Above all else, your product images need to be clear, prominent and of high quality. Images form an important part of your brand identity and are the feature that customers will be most naturally drawn to. Poor product images will lead to bad first impressions that are hard to make up for further down the line.
6. No user testing
One of the most common conversion errors we see when working on new CRO projects is that previous techniques were implemented without proper testing. Consequently, we find that sites have been left with unsuitable implementations that are not tailored to their needs and are actually a hindrance when it comes to boosting conversion rates.
A/B testing is by far the most effective test available when reviewing potential new CRO implementations. The concept is simple, you show a test subject two options, one with the CRO change and one without and they tell you which one they prefer. After you have done this enough times, you should have a clearer picture of what your target audience wants and whether the features you are looking to implement are likely to yield results.
This type of feedback is enormously valuable to Ecommerce businesses because it eliminates a large portion of the risk associated with change and could save you a lot of money if done correctly.
7. Poor quality user tracking
A large part of successful conversion rate optimisation is in understanding your user’s behaviour and the typical journeys they make as they travel through your Ecommerce store. Understanding this helps you to identify potential roadblocks that are leading to customer drop-off but can also give you new ideas for further CRO.
There are plenty of fantastic tools out there that can help you do this effectively. For example, Hotjar allows you to build heatmaps that accurately plot how users are interacting with your pages. You can then combine this information with metrics from Google Analytics to clearly identify areas where your CRO efforts have the highest potential for benefit.
Going further still, session recordings, customer journey mapping and direct customer feedback are also great ways to understand how your user experience can be enhanced to drive up conversions.
8. No customer support
Customers need to feel that they are in safe hands before they can trust a site enough to make a purchase. The easiest way to do this is to make it clear to them from the start that you are always at hand to answer their questions, handle their problems and offer any support they might need along the way.
Think of your Ecommerce store as a conventional high street store. If you need assistance, you would expect someone to be on hand to help you right? Think how likely you would be to return if no one came to help or the service was poor.
A good customer support service could be as simple as a customer review option and a clear returns policy and can go a long way towards building trust in your brand and growing your reputation as a place where customers can feel safe in the knowledge that their needs have been considered.
Having a robust, efficient network in place could have untold benefits on your conversion rates as returning customers are statistically worth 10 times the value of their initial purchase as they not only make more trips to your store but also spread the word about their positive experiences.