The struggle for purchase clicks

The vast majority of users leave websites despite an interest in buying. In many shops, this accounts for 99 percent of visitors. In most cases, the product is then bought from another retailer.

Reasons include better pricing, shipping terms and payment options as well as emotional factors including better descriptive text, a customer-friendly appearance, a more likeable design, more detailed pictures, the integration of social media recommendations and simpler purchase navigation.

Every little improvement to the conversion rate has a direct effect on sales and therefore it is always worthwhile to take a look at the multitude of possible adjustments. Seemingly unimportant details are often the deciding factors as to whether site visitors click on a link, read a text or immediately leave the homepage again. Analysing the conversion path with Google Analytics is a good initial step toward defining such factors and detecting where precisely visitors leave the site. Once a goal (e.g. a sale or newsletter registration) has been entered in Google Analytics, the respective analysis views can be used to precisely observe where visitors come from, which order paths they take and at which point they leave the site. After all, not only the landing page and shopping cart are relevant, but the pages in between as well. Even a form that requires entry of too much unimportant information such as city district can result in users losing patience and leaving the site.

E-commerce experts also recommend putting oneself in the customer’s shoes and visiting one’s own shop with a critical attitude. Another testing measure consists of looking over the shoulders of test persons of different genders, ages and professional backgrounds. Google 2 or 3 products from your offering and then follow the links (as well as those of your competitors for comparison) and let it all sink in.

  • Can potential customers immediately find information on the products they are looking for? Or do they land on a neutral homepage, the wrong product or even an error page? Does the page load quickly enough?
  • What is the first impression that a visitor on your site has? Do the design, images and texts look professional and appealing? Does the product description include all the relevant information? Is the overall impression attractive and does it also inspire trust?
  • Can you see all the important information above the fold in the directly visible area? Or do you have to scroll to find it?
  • Do all the important standard components of the site, such as the internal search engine and category trees, links to similar products, accessories and the shopping cart work properly?
  • Is there a clear “call-to-action” to achieve conversion?
  • Is there a service area with detailed information on the company and ordering process, an FAQ section and detailed contact information?

And finally, fine-tuning your AdWords campaign is one of the basics of conversion optimization. The goal is not simply to attract a lot of traffic, but to maximize the conversion rate. And this can only be achieved if clicking on an AdWords ad takes the user precisely to the page they were looking for. Therefore the selected keywords should be tailored specifically to the respective products. For example, a company that sells women’s jeans may achieve high click rates with the general keyword “trousers” among users who are looking for trousers, but most of them are actually looking for something else entirely. More concrete keywords like “women’s jeans” provide for qualified traffic which is more easily converted to sales with less wastage. When offering a wide product range, it is therefore particularly important to have the landing pages well segmented. Create separate landing pages (e.g. for women’s, men’s and kid’s jeans) for each of your target groups, products and keywords and launch targeted campaigns with finely tuned keywords.

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