E-commerce customers are, by nature, multitaskers. Like many of us, they need to clean, run to the grocery store, finish up multiple projects at work, go to PTA meetings, and find a house warming gift. Apply that same distraction to a website, and it’s a wonder any buyer actually makes it through an online purchase with all of the email checking, instant messaging, and internet detours. The customer’s goal is to get it all done in the least amount of time while balancing a litany of other activities. No wonder so many house warming gifts lay abandoned in idle shopping carts. What’s an e-commerce merchant to do? Luckily, there are a few tricks you can use to help escort the easily-distracted from wandering birds outside their window to the purchase button.
Here are 5 ways to capture attention and convert a multitasker.
Call to action: Buying now
It may sound simple, but if you want people to buy goods and services from your site, your call to action should be clear and concise — BUY NOW. However, many sites get caught up in branding and lose sight of functionality. Do your pages load slowly because of too many pictures? Is it clear where to click to check out? Can you easily edit and manage the contents of your shopping cart? Making sure the customer knows where to click is imperative. Streamlining the process from choosing a product to paying should be seamless.
Search Bar: Navigating with clarity
Does your site have a search bar? Multitaskers don’t want to scroll through pages to locate an item. If you have a search bar, it should never show “0” results. That is the most depressing, I’m-totally-going-to-surf-away-from-this-site answer to a multitasker. You are basically saying, “What you want isn’t here. Go somewhere else.” Instead have the search query ask, “Were you looking for X?” or “Others who searched for this bought X.” Increasing their choices will increase your odds of achieving a purchase.
Readily available information: Helping the cautious buyer
Ideally, a customer will have no questions about your product or services, but having an FAQ section on your site isn’t just helpful, it’s necessary. If you don’t include this information, you risk losing the consumer to a Google search, which can ultimately lead to him or her purchasing from another site. Recently, many sites have implemented an online chat with a customer service representative or even educational videos. The more information the better. At the very least, there should be a phone number that has a professional voicemail.
Log-In: Making it quick and painless
The best shoppers are the aggressive shoppers. They click fast and buy fast. However, this same group is often annoyed by filling out information and deterred by clumsy checking-out processes. These consumers want to add their credit card information once and be done with it. They want to click one button that will populate their delivery and billing address. Also, this type of buyer will frequently forget passwords. It is important to make resetting a password easy and automated.
Incentivize: Marketing to the savvy
Due to sites like LivingSocial and Groupon, people expect a deal. Savvy shoppers know that if they leave a product in their cart and leave the site, they will most likely get an email offering them a discount on said product/service within a day or two. However, you run the risk that they won’t visit your site again, the email might go to spam, or they could find another coupon and seller. If you’re willing to offer a discount, do so upfront. Don’t wait. The offer can be simple. 15% off for new users. Registration required.
Ultimately, the easiest way to test your site is with a fresh pair of eyes. Enlist some friends and have them walk through the process. Your best feedback will come from an actual multitasker. You can even take it a step further and visit some competitors’ sites and see what works.
What sites do you feel streamline the process best? How could you incorporate these features?