Make visitors into buyers: 
10 tips for your shop

Just imagine: You are at the supermarket; just before you get to the checkout, you abandon your full shopping cart and leave. 

This is normal in online shops: Customers fill their shopping carts and leave the shop without buying anything. Approximately every third customer does not complete the purchase process.

If you consider how much time and budget you as the shop operator have already invested in making buyers aware of your page, then it quickly becomes clear that there is unbelievable optimization potential in the order process alone. We have compiled 10 tips for you.

1.    As easy as possible

Make getting to the checkout as easy as possible for your customers: The ideal order process includes only a few steps. Offer your customers orientation and visualize the individual steps for them. Show them where they are in the order process. This way, they can see at any time how many steps there are and which steps they still have to complete. 

Above all, do not include any distracting elements such as navigation at the checkout and display only essential items -- here experts talk about "tunneling." You can distract buyers if you have pages that are overloaded with information. Eliminate product suggestions, advertising, etc. and keep the pages as simple as possible. Examples of this are CHRIST (Switzerland).

2.    Mandatory registration drives people away

One common reason for abandoning a purchase is a complicated registration process, for the path to the cash register must move quickly. 

Why should a customer register for a one-time purchase? Design registration individually. Offer guest orders or social login possibilities. During registration, also pay attention to the number of fields that customers have to fill out. Fewer is more here too. 

3.    Be available 

On the way to the cash register, offer customers the opportunity to make contact with your company. Show visitors that they always have the opportunity to contact customer service and that their questions will always be answered properly. With good customer service, the buyer will come t the conclusion that he can trust the shop. 

4.    Build up enough trust

Customers trust their gut feelings the most – visitors who are unsure will not buy. Eliminate their concerns once and for all. Offer trust elements, secure payment procedures and test seals, display all of your legal notices, and provide SSL encryption for payment.

5.    Score points with customer-friendly shipping terms

Let your customers choose which shipper they trust. Some customers prefer shippers who offer pick-up points near their offices or homes. Work with more than one company.  

Lure them with additional services: Offer them the opportunity to pick up the goods at the nearest location, the way Coop Bau+Hobby does. 

Offer express delivery or a choice of dates for delivery like the Swiss retailer coop@home does (to the Success Story).

And shipping costs also play an important role: Make the shipping costs transparent and provide complete delivery information. Do not hide the menu item somewhere on the page; instead, place it so that it is as visible as possible on the main page, e.g. under a menu element called "Shipping costs." 

Grant shipping cost limits starting with a particular purchase value or make special offers (e.g. free shipping on the first oder, shipping cost credit for the next order, free returns, etc.). 

6.    Let the customer choose the payment method

Customers abandon their purchases if the desired payment option is not offered or if there are additional fees for particular payment processes. Think about how you design the payment conditions. 

Consider this: Retailer-friendly is not always customer-friendly, as, for example, with advance payment. This offers you as a retailer increased security, but buyers prefer other payment methods. 

Let your customers choose from among several options and work with them as trusted partners. Purchase on account, via credit card, debit, PayPal, instant transfer, advance payment, cash on delivery, credits, financing are the most common; however mobile payment procedures are becoming more important. Also grant special discounts for newsletter subscription or coupons for the next purchase in order to make your customers loyal. 

7.    Make sure that the performance of your shop is good enough 

The wares are in the shopping cart, the customer wants to go to the checkout, but your shop does not answer. A nightmare. Especially at peak buying times, you must guarantee that your shop is ready to handle the load. Otherwise the user will get impatient and abandon the purchase and perhaps go to your competitor. The causes are frequently insufficient bandwidths, overloaded servers or applications that no longer work smoothly. 

Therefore, perform regular load and performance tests and take steps early on to ensure technical performance. 

8.    Analyze the cancellations 

Analyze cancellations in your shop on a regular basis. Is the conversion rate low, the add-to-cart rate high? Then your shopping cart is probably being used as a favorites list. 


In order to be able to make meaningful statements about cancellations, you must analyze at which point in the order process the purchase cancellations come. With analytical tools, you can assign each cancellation to a precise page. This way you can find the pages where the customers abandon the process the most frequently without making purchases, and you can take appropriate corrective measures. If, for example, you find that there are frequent cancellations where you choose the shipping method, it could be that you must offer services from more shipping service providers. 

9.    Use the view from the outside

Test your shop regularly by making test orders or have it tested -- this way, you can reveal the so-called "shopping cart killers" easily. In addition, targeted usability tests and customer feedback from dissatisfied customers can show you the weak points in your shop.

10.    There is a second chance

The buyer has abandoned the purchase. You don't know why he didn't buy, but you do know which products he wants. Use this knowledge as a second chance. With re-marketing, you can lure him back with targeted offers for the desired products and perhaps inspire him to buy. 

Offer him free shipping, credits for the first order or other benefits -- this way, you can make this visitor into a customer. 


Posted on July 30, 2015 .