Are you in business to make money? Do you make money by convincing people to give you their money in exchange for goods and services?
If you answered yes to these questions – you are in the majority – most business’s make money by selling products or services. Assuming that you have a good value product/service (which doesn’t necessarily mean cheap) surely the success of your business depends on making the sales process as painless as possible ?
So why is it that so many online businesses seem to insist on placing one hurdle after another in the way of potential customers?
A traditional shopping experience goes something like this :
You go into a shop, you see something you want to buy, you pay for it, and you leave with the item.
Whilst there are undoubtedly benefits in buying things online – it is not always convenient (or possible) to pop down to the shops to get exactly what you want, the process often seems unnecessarily complex, and in some cases a great deal of commitment and perseverance may be necessary. As a comparison to the above example, here is a typical scenario for buying something online :
- I see something I want to buy
- I convert the price to my local currency (where is my calculator)
- I check to see what the shipping costs are (and if they actually deliver in my area)
- I add the item to my shopping cart
- I go to the checkout
- I’m asked if I’m a registered user :
If I am not already registered, I need to provide a variety of userid/email address/password/contact details and have to wait for my email address to be confirmed before I can proceed.
If I am already registered, chances are I can’t remember my login details, so try a variety of userid/email address/password combinations before giving up and requesting a new password. I then have to wait for my new password to be emailed out before I can proceed.
By the time I get to check my email, there is a good chance that I’ve now lost interest in / run out of time for / been distracted from or am annoyed about, buying the thing I had wanted to buy in the first place – simply because they made it too much trouble to give them my money and leave with the thing I wanted to buy.
Get the picture ? These are just a few of the hurdles you may have faced yourself when buying something online, I’m sure you’ve experienced all of these, and could probably list many more.
In light of this it is remarkable really that online sales are becoming increasingly popular – but how many sales from your website might you be missing out on, simply because of unnecessary or awkward steps in the sales process?
Here are some scary stats relating to a “forced registration” process:
75% of people clicking the “forgot password” button don’t come back to finish the purchase.
23% of people abandon the checkout process at the first sign of a registration prompt.
45% of registered customers have bad memories and register multiple times
In most cases you can make it easier for people to give you their money, by streamlining the sales process, removing unnecessary steps, making it quicker and easier for users to complete a sale, and by not forcing them to register (give them a choice instead).
If you are concerned about the sales process on your own website, you should consider having a Conversion Optimisation Review undertaken – as a means of reducing or eliminating hurdles in your sales process.