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Keeping Customers on Your E-Commerce Site

About the author: Dan Cannon is the Lead Web Applications Developer for Nicasio Design and Development. Nicasio provides web based solutions for both individuals and businesses. Nicasio is highly proficient in WordPress design and development. Nicasio also owns and operates the E-Commerce solution NicE-Comm.

OK, if you read my article on Writing Good E-Commerce Content, hopefully you are on your way to driving potential customers to your site through improved organic search results. Now you might have the question: “OK, I’ve got the traffic now how do I keep people on my site?”

This is an excellent question, and with all the focus search engine optimization is getting these days it is often easy to overlook how the customer experience will work once your customers are on your site.

Keep Customers on Your Website

There are a variety of reasons a potential customer with money to spend might navigate away from your website. We are going to focus on the reasons we can control.

1. Don’t make customers leave the site to confirm their email during checkout
This is a big pet peeve of mine. Why on earth would you want to send your customer away from your website when they are ready to give you money to click on an activation link in their email!? If you had to stop what you were doing at a particular grocery store and fill out some paperwork every time you checked out would you continue shopping there? Personally, I wouldn’t.

I know you want to make sure you get a valid email address so that you can notify the customer about updates with their order (or market to them later if they opted in), but you can get just as valid of results by making them type their email address twice and comparing the two. Most people will not enter the wrong address twice.

2. Minimize 3rd Party Ads or Eliminate them Altogether
I know that selling advertising on your e-commerce website can be a great way to earn a little extra income, but is the advertising income you are generating more than the income you are potentially losing in sales? Many times people are shopping online with a fixed amount of money (maybe if your target customer base is the super-wealthy you can ignore this tip) so if they are already shopping on your store there is a good change they will make a purchase. BUT what if they see some item being advertised for sale on one of the ads on your site that they want more than what you are offering? You may have just lost a customer, and how much did you make for that click-through? Bottom line be careful when advertising on an e-commerce website.

3. Make the User Experience Quick and Easy
Finally, make sure it is an easy process for your customers to add products to their shopping cart, continue shopping, and easily check out when they are ready. Try to limit your checkout forms to one or two pages. Don’t ask your customer a ton of annoying questions during checkout. Don’t make them say ‘No Thank You’ for add-on products or services (but it is OK to feature some of these, but in an unobtrusive manner). Keep these simple tips in mind and your customers will thank you for it.

Summary

It is all to often far too easy for you to accidentally send your customers away from your site when they have their wallets in hand and are ready to give you money. By making your site easy to use, and not inviting your customers to leave your site you will see both sales and customer satisfaction increase.

If you are interested in an e-commerce solution that encompasses all of the topics I addressed above, I recommend that you check out our E-Commerce Solution: NicE-Comm.  We tried to develop a solution that will do the hard work for you. All you have to do is manage your new store, leave the technical stuff to us. So if you want to check it out, head over to the NicE-Comm Website or Contact Us for more information today!

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