As more and more organizations in the professional cleaning and building industries begin to market products and services online, they likely will encounter what is an all to common experience: online shoppers select a product or service to purchase, provide contact and sometimes even credit card information, and then . . . walk away. They do not click the “submit” button, and the entire sale falls apart.
These shoppers are referred to as the “abandoned shoppers.”
If this has happened to you, you are not alone. According to Ripen eCommerce, nearly $2 trillion worth of goods and services have been abandoned by online shoppers. While some shoppers may return at a later date and complete their purchase, many others are simply never heard from again or, very often, select another site or a brick-and-mortar location to make their purchase.
However, there are things that you can do to help reduce the number of abandoned customers on your online site. Among them are the following:
- The buttons such as “checkout,” “complete purchase,” “submit,” and so on should be large and definitely conspicuous during the online sales process; view these as your call-to-action buttons. Statistics indicate that abandoned sales drop 33 percent when these call-to-action buttons are made more prominent.*
- While online shopping is very common today, shoppers new to a site often feel some hesitation and concern. Make sure information about privacy and the security of the sale is prominently posted. This can lead to 16 percent more sales.
- Make the checkout process as quick and easy as possible. This can increase sales by up to 12 percent. Often this also entails removing “exit points,” where the shopper is provided opportunities to leave the checkout area. Removing these exit points encourages the shopper to stay and complete the sale.
- Do not require the shopper to open an account with you. As you will notice on many large ecommerce sites, shoppers can purchase items as a “guest.” You can always ask at the end of the sales process if they would like to open an account. This one step can increase sales by as much as 45 percent.
- Some sites, shall we say, bury the company’s return policy. However, statistics indicate that the return policy should be front and center. While doing so may not necessarily increase sales, more than 60 percent of online customers review a company’s return policy before making a purchase, especially if it is the first time they have done business with the company.
*All statistics are provided by Ripen eCommerce and Entrepreneur Magazine, January 2014.