With NFL training camps kicking into gear, this comparison seems apt: Converting an online sale is a little like trying to punch the ball into the end zone on 4th and Goal. The offense has driven all the way down the field, and is just a few yards from scoring. To come up short would mean all that hard work going to waste. It’s a big setback.

Yet, it happens very frequently. Studies show that almost 70 percent of online carts are abandoned, meaning the visitor selected items but dropped out somewhere in the checkout process. The reasons for this can vary considerably, and aren’t always attributable to anything being wrong with the website. But there are a few steps you can take to combat cart abandonment and reduce attrition. Even if you don’t run an ecommerce website, we believe you’ll find these tips helpful when it comes to turning visitors to customers:


Clean and functional checkout page

People don’t tend to have a lot of patience with websites that are slow to load or glitchy. If technical problems are occurring when an individual is trying to check out, there’s a good chance you’ll lose them. Ensure that your checkout page is easy to navigate and free of snags.

Customer trust features

We talked about the qualities of a secure website in-depth a couple weeks ago. Adding touches such as security badges, third-party payment vendors and easily identifiable contact information will make users feel more comfortable completing a transaction through your site.

free shipping ecommerceFree or discounted shipping

If your business involves sending physical products, this is a huge conversion booster. Research consistently points to shipping costs as the top reason for cart abandonment. In many cases, offering free shipping is simply not a tenable strategy, but if you can offer a discount or a first-time buyer special, you’re sure to see good results. At the very least, be very transparent with shipping costs during the checkout process and don’t drop surprising fees on the shopper at the end of the line.

Product images and reviews

People tend to be more skittish about making purchases online as opposed to in person for a very obvious reason: we feel more comfortable buying something that we can actually see and touch. You can mitigate this issue by including many pictures (or even videos) of your products, as well as real-life testimonials from people who have enjoyed them.

Quality traffic

One frequent culprit for low conversion percentages is a lack of targeted, relevant visitors. Users that are coming to your site for the wrong reasons aren’t necessarily likely to take the desired actions. Through your traffic acquisition tactics (SEO, paid search, etc.) make sure that you’re focusing on the right keywords and bringing in the right leads.

Mobile compatibility

We mention this all the time, and with good reason. It is quickly becoming the single most important consideration with any website. Mobile users outnumber desktop PC users on the Web and the percentage is only trending higher. If your site, and particularly your checkout process, is not mobile-friendly, you’re losing out.

Guest checkout

Getting a user to register before making a purchase is great. It allows you to capture their contact info and strongly increases the chances for repeat business. However, forcing users to register in order to make a purchase is a mistake, and one that will cause you to lose sales. Provide the option to check out as a guest but give them incentive to register (e.g., discounted shipping or a free ebook).

Expert help

All of the above initiatives may require the help of a partner that knows how to build websites and drive traffic. Here at Top Source, we specialize in both. Contact us and let’s chat about converting more customers your business!