5 Ways to Get Shoppers to Follow Through On an Online Purchase


Heather Hudson

May 04, 2021

Over the last couple of years, many retailers have put a lot of effort into creating a robust online shopping experience for their customers. If you have great products and even better marketing, there’s a good chance you attract lots of “scroll traffic” (the online version of foot traffic).

But how many of those shoppers who visit your ecommerce site end up buying something? If you’re like most online businesses, your conversion rate is around 2%. Yes, that means a measly 2% of visitors to your ecommerce store actually complete a transaction.

That number may be depressing, but there are things you can do to improve it. We’re sharing five that have the potential to move the needle in your online store.

Have a secure, dynamic, high-performance ecommerce site.

This is the big one. There’s nothing that turns off an online shopper more than an ecommerce site that’s poorly designed, slow to load, and has questionable security. Here’s how to show your visitors that you deserve their business:

  • Have an SSL certificate (https:// vs. http://) to signal to your shoppers that their information is secure.
  • Use an F-pattern and Z-pattern layout. This refers to the way web users view landing pages. Your web designer should be familiar with these design features and you can orient your offers and products accordingly.
  • Make sure your product descriptions and other website copy are clear, compelling, and error-free. Hire a professional if you need to – you won’t get a second first impression.
  • Anticipate questions that a consumer might have and include specifications like sizes for every product. It’s too easy for a consumer to click away if they don’t get all the information they need.
  • Feature high-quality product photos and even videos. The more angles of an item a shopper can zoom in on, the more confident they are that it’s something they want to buy.
  • Audit your site regularly for broken links, outdated offers, and other content that should be fresh. If you’re advertising a holiday special in February, your shoppers will lose confidence in you.
  • Add reviews. We crave “social proof” that others love the products we’re thinking about purchasing. Good peer reviews can be the final push a consumer needs to click Buy Now. Make it easy for customers to search for specific products by using ecommerce solutions like Klevu and Searchspring.

Optimize your ecommerce site for mobile.

Almost $3 out of every $4 spent on online purchases is done through a mobile device. When you consider that millennials and Gen Z – the two most digitally-savvy generations – are quickly becoming the most dominant consumers in the marketplace, it’s clear that your mobile performance better be as flawless as your desktop version.

Most of the same rules apply—the mobile site should be well-designed, quick to load, and easy to navigate. And although the checkout process should be painless and fast on any ecommerce site, that’s even more true for mobile shoppers, who seem to have less patience. According to a study, 87% of shoppers said they would abandon their shopping cart during checkout if the process was too difficult. Bottom line: make it fast and make it easy.

Allow guest checkouts and free shipping, returns.

Speaking of creating a clear pathway to making an online purchase, there are a few other things that are quickly becoming standard in ecommerce.

  • Guest checkouts. We know it’s helpful to capture consumer information, but many shoppers will choose to skip the sale altogether if checking out requires signing up or logging in.
  • Free shipping. Consumers have come to expect free shipping, particularly from larger retailers. A Canada Post survey found that 84% of consumers said they’d shop more often with a retailer that provides free shipping.
  • Free returns. Making an online purchase is always a risky proposition for consumers. Will the product look/feel/fit/perform the way I expect? Take the worry out of ecommerce by providing free returns. You also instill confidence in your customers when you are willing to stand by your brands.

Offer payment choices.

It’s no longer enough to offer MasterCard, Visa, and AMEX. People expect options when it comes to payments. And while newer choices like Interac, PayPal and Apple Pay are good, consumers appreciate even more flexibility. When you offer your customers the ability to buy now, pay later with no hidden fees or charges, you’re helping ease financial strain, which can go a long way to securing customer loyalty. PayBright’s [Pay in 4] and Pay Monthly plans boost sales conversions by 25%, increase average order value (AOV) by 30%, and grow repeat customers by 20%.

Send persuasive ‘abandon cart’ emails

The baby starts to cry, it’s your turn in line at the grocery store, your partner asks you a question, you get a text or DM notification – there are countless things that get in the way of committing to a final purchase online, especially when shopping on your phone. It’s not surprising that the average online shopping cart abandonment rate is nearly 70%.

Get their attention again with an email that’s a friendly reminder that their product is still waiting for them. Consider hiring a professional writer to have fun with the copy. It should fit the voice and tone of your brand while also being fun and compelling. “We noticed you left something in your cart. Anything we can do to help?”, “Your shopping cart misses you!” or “Wait! You left [item] in your cart. Go back before we sell it to someone else!” are a few fun ways to rekindle their interest. Don’t be afraid to send more than one email. Research shows it can take up to three emails before you get the conversion.

As an online retailer, you’re up against distraction and high technological expectations, in addition to traditional concerns like beating the competition and capturing the interest of the consumer. It pays to invest in refining the customer journey to remove all barriers to purchase.

Make it your goal to move that 2% conversion rate up, up, and up.

This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not an exhaustive review of this topic. The content is not financial or investment advice. No professional relationship of any kind is formed between you and PayBright. While we have obtained or compiled this information from sources we believe to be reliable, we cannot and do not guarantee its accuracy. We recommend that you consult your personal finance professional before taking any action related to this information. PayBright is a provider of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) solutions. BNPL providers offer plans with a variety of terms and conditions, including interest rates, fees, and penalties, and have different standards for qualifying for loans. Laws and regulations governing BNPL providers vary by jurisdiction. We recommend that you compare and contrast plans, read the fine print, and conduct detailed research into any BNPL provider before using their services.

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Heather Hudson

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