Do you wonder why the industry average of conversion rates of a customer buying on web sites is only 2 percent?
Have you tried to purchase anything online from some of the Big Boys? I have a feeling that it’s a game with them to load all the graphics they can and slow down their sites to be the slowest loading sites on the ‘Net. Once you get the site to load they make it almost impossible and frustrating to try to purchase from them.
What about the consumer who is ready to buy, if they find the product they are looking for when they hit the site? Why do some sites make it so difficult? You have to get out the magnifying glass to figure out how to purchase, find the product, and surf thru 6 pages to purchase.
Once you do purchase from them on the special that ends at midnight tonight, for a saving of 10 percent and it doesn’t arrive with the other products that were purchased at the same time, it really gets frustrating to send an email to customer service and get a reply that the shipping department is looking into it, and not getting back to you with an answer for two weeks. The kicker is that the site wasn’t updated soon enough to take the out-of-stock product off the site before I was lucky enough to purchase it.
I am to the point that if a site does not have a phone number or contact email I will not purchase from them, period! In the last year there have been a few problems with products that I have purchased online and trying to straighten them out with the company has been next to impossible. One of the only ways to get any satisfaction is to stop payment thru the credit card company that you purchased the product with.
Granted some folks are too scared to purchase online for fear their credit card info will be stolen or sold. These people are going to be a real hard sell and won’t convert until they are ready to do it themselves, and some of these people may never purchase online.
Look for sites that have Verisign, Icop, Etrust or Paypal on the secure server pages when you decide it’s time to purchase something online.
If you think that I am just blowing off steam you’re right, but I do believe there are a lot of people who agree with me. Check out Smart Business Mags article comparing and testing 20 of the major sites from eToys to Amazon with testers in the Dec 2000 issue www.zdnet.com/smartbusinessmag
The 2 percent Conversion Rate really needs work before the magnificent projected numbers that Juniper, Forrester and other Advertising watchers are predicting by 2003 or 2004. Of course with more user-friendly sites, things could change and the 2 percent could easily double or more if the larger sites take a lesson from some of the smaller ones.
One of the reasons that some of the smaller sites don’t convert customers is trust; they are unknown to the average consumer. This can be overcome by getting the customer back to your site, by offering something that will bring them back and stay or stick to your site. One of the best ways to overcome this is to get their email address when they hit your site, and give them a reason to come back.
I do have to say that a lot of the smaller or unknown sites really do make it easy to buy from them when you decide it is time to purchase their product. The smaller Internet Marketers are blowing the socks off some of the Big Boys when it comes to Conversion Rates. Their guarantees and customer service really do stand up to scrutiny when you call them on it. How else would they survive if they didn’t?