Anyone can build an eCommerce site. Getting traffic is going to be the first hurdle, but doing so will only matter if you can convert it.
You Work Hard For Traffic – Get It To Convert
Getting your traffic to convert first requires that you understand a few parameters. To have a clue regarding how you are doing, you need to understand server statistics and conversion ratios.
I am continually amazed at the number of sites that do not look at their server statistics. Your server stats are incredibly important because they tell you how many people are coming to your site, where they are coming from, how they found you, how many are turning into customers, and, if not, what pages they are leaving from. Without this information, you are just guessing at how well you convert traffic. Don’t!
Once you start looking at server stats, you need to determine your conversion ratio. The conversion ratio is the number of sales you get per visitor to the site. Importantly, it is not the number of sales per hit. A visitor may generate multiple hits, so just focus on visitor statistics. Some stats programs refer to visitors as “sessions.” Regardless, conversion ratios vary by product or service. Some may be as low as 1 in 25 visitors while others will be much higher. If you convert at anything over 1 in 500, the site probably needs some serious tweaks unless you are in an extremely competitive or general market.
Making your convert is all about providing a convenient solution for your prospects. You should review your site from this perspective. Is it easy to find and buy a product or do you have to click through four or five pages? Make it as simple as possible.
Advertising links can cause poor sales. Many people make the mistake of having their advertising link to their home page. If your advertising refers to a specific service or product on your site, the advertising should click through directly to that page. Never make your prospects hunt for what they are looking for on the site. Many of them will not do it.
As strange as it may sound, the load time of your site can kill your sales. Remember, 40 percent of Internet users are still on dial-up modems. While your site might load quickly when you look at it on your cable, T1, or DSL connection, how does it do on a 56k modem? Don’t guess. Go find one and try to load your site. If you have a lot of graphics, you are going to be in for a shock!
Even if your site loads quickly, most eCommerce sites have time glitches on the order page. This glitch occurs when the customer fills out the order information and clicks the processing button. Sites can grind to a halt as they convert to the secure credit card processing system. This is such a prevalent problem that a majority of eCommerce sites will lose up to 40 percent of their sales on the order page. Make sure your site loads quickly, particularly the order page.
Improving your conversion rates is all about understanding how your site performs. If you can focus on your subject and get the site to load quickly, you should see dramatic improvement.