As frustrating as it may be, you can still lose a customer even after they’ve decided they want to buy from you. You can lose them during the purchasing phase of the sale. If your purchasing process is difficult or makes them jump through hoops the chance you’ll lose that sale is that much greater.
Some of the big culprits in losing sales during the purchasing process:
Difficult navigation: To buy something from you, first someone has to find it. Then, they have to pay for it. If you’re only selling one thing, this process should be linear (first you do this, then you do that, then you get the product). On a shopping mall site, getting around, getting to and from the shopping cart, and through the final purchase process should be intuitive and frustration- free. Otherwise, your potential customer can very easily find their way off of your site.
Making someone register to buy from you: Yes, it’s done by other companies, but it’s still very annoying. If someone has to have an account with you to buy from you, and they don’t want to go through the trouble of making one, that’s a sale you’ve just lost. If you can absolutely avoid it, don’t make someone register with your site to buy from you. It’s okay to give them the option and even an incentive, but give them an alternative that doesn’t require registering.
Malfunctioning or substandard shopping cart scripts: If you want to sell more than one thing on a single site, like a shopping mall site, you’ll need a form of automation called a “shopping cart system” to accomplish that. Basically, the shopping cart system acts like the shopping cart at the grocery store, holding your purchases until you’re ready to check out. Most people have seen an example of one when shopping with an online retailer. Just like the wobbly wheel cart at the supermarket, a shopping cart system that doesn’t work correctly or has confusing navigation will frustrate your visitors, sometimes costing you a sale now and almost certainly costing you a returning customer.
Nonstandard Payment: People shopping online want to pay with credit cards most of the time. You’ll be able to take orders with something simple, like a PayPal account. So don’t give your customers a hard time by only accepting very odd types of payment, or offline types of payment (like checks) only.
- No Contact Information: I am amazed at how often I go to sites that don’t have any way to contact them. No email address, no contact form, no phone number. You should make it easy for people to contact you. Let them contact you by phone, and email. Don’t make it hard for people to get in touch with you or you will lose sales.
If someone wants to buy from you, make it easy for them to give you their money and you will make more sales. If you make it hard for them to purchase from you, don’t complain that you aren’t getting any online orders.