By Michael Heraghty on October 28th, 2011
When your website is not achieving its projected sales targets, your first instinct will probably be “get more traffic”.
But those striving to grow online sales tend to focus too much on generating new visitors, while neglecting the experience of visitors on the site.
You can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.
Recently, the manager of a large retail store told me that he was embarrassed about the number of homepage visitors that were converting to paying customers. They had spent a lot of money on SEO, SEM, Google Adwords, social media marketing, etc.
I logged on. His site looked user friendly — the design was clean and professional, and simple tasks like finding a product were easy.
But I tried to buy a product. I was confused about the price: did it include shipping? Would I get free shipping if I added one or more products? I couldn’t find any links to the shipping policy or shipping rates. I proceeded through the checkout, to see if shipping would get added to the price — my frustration building — when, suddenly, I was asked to register.
Like most people, I hate filling registration forms. I hate filling any forms. Do I create a new username and password, or take the security-weak decision to reuse an existing username and password?
I didn’t proceed. I suspect many other people abandoned their carts at this point.
For the owner of this store, a few design tweaks could have removed my frustrations (make the shipping policy/price clear; remove the need to register, or push it to later in the cycle).
I believe that this web business owner has never observed real users interacting with his own website.
By spending a small portion of his budget on usability — testing, iterating the design, first aid webmedqualityshop24.com online, etc. — he may see his conversions improve quickly.