Why web-shop customers give up, and how to prevent it | Perpetuum Mobile

Why web-shop customers give up, and how to prevent it

Miroslav Benak E-Commerce
Why web-shop customers give up, and how to prevent it

Web-shop owners try to make the buying process easier by enabling customers to find products that interest them as quickly and as easily as possible and to buy them.

The goal, of course, after we have brought a customer to our web shop, is to ensure that the preconditions are fulfilled and that he or she stays there, decides on a product, and finally makes the purchase. All of this is quite simple in principle, up until we realize just how many web-shop visitors never get past the “just looking” category.

Because we have rich experience in designing e-commerce solutions on the Magento platform, we’ve decided to delve into the reasons why customers at web shops back down from purchases and what you need to think about in order to prevent this from happening.

By analyzing web-shop traffic and customer behavior, you can find out a lot: how the customer got to our web shop in the first place, what they viewed and searched for, what they eventually put into their basket, and most importantly, whether they made a purchase in the end. And if they didn't - why not.

I’m just looking

The majority of consumers today use the internet as a place where they can research offers, compare the prices and characteristics of products, search for sales and discounts, and compare other conditions such as payment and delivery options. Once they find out what they want to know, many of these customers end up buying the product at a physical "store," without using the web shop for the act of purchasing.

Therefore, when a potential customer has already found your web shop, it is important to persuade them to make their purchase then and there. To be successful at this, a web shop must be well designed, so that will encourage the potential customer to become an actual customer on line. A web shop must be simple to use and understandable to everyone, including visitors who have no previous online shopping experience. Besides having good prices, it has to offer other reasons for the customer to take out their credit card and pay, as well.

Reasons for deciding not to buy - 13 really can be an unlucky number

Regardless of whether you are constructing a new web shop or if you already have one that needs to be upgraded or reorganized, you need to thoroughly consider the following aspects of conducting business online when setting up your web shop. The introduction of customer behaviour analysis is a necessary precondition. Without it, you will not be able to find out why your site's visitors decide against buying. In the process of constructing or reorganizing an existing web shop, it is good to use the AB testing approach. An example of this method is when two checkout forms are offered to customers so that you can find out which one leads to more users not finishing the buying process. This can help you choose the better approach in a specific case. The same method can be used for the presentation of a product or any other key parts of a web shop.

Why web-shop customers give up

Just considering the most common reasons for deciding against an online purchase can be an eye-opening experience for a web-shop owner, enabling them to adapt their web shop to their customers’ expectations. There are many such reasons, so we will list 13 of the most frequent, without any particular order of importance:

1. Poor navigation and structure of a web shop - this especially pertains to web shops that have many products classified into many categories. Coping in such a situation is difficult, and it is therefore necessary to carefully plan your overall categorization scheme, but also how each individual product will be categorized.

2. Poor design of a web shop - the first thing that visitors see when they open any web page, including a web shop, is its design. If the design isn’t attractive and contemporary, it might turn the buyer off. In addition, it has to be adapted for mobile use, because more than fifty percent of web users use mobile devices (cell phones, tablets).

3. Bad presentation of products - missing and poor-quality photos, awkwardly written product descriptions, lack of options for a specific item, such as color, packaging, etc.

4. No option for the comparison of similar products or, if there is such an option, it’s non-intuitive and too complicated for the average user. The buyer of a cellphone, for example, will want to compare several models according their technical characteristics and possibilities before they decide which one to buy.

5. Unclear or complicated information about delivery options - all information about delivery and pickup options must be understandable and simple, but sufficient. The calculation of the delivery price must be as simple as possible and automatically calculated in the payment process. Otherwise, the following problem will occur.

6. Hidden costs - Extra costs, such as shipping and packing, must all be clearly stated.

7. Complicated and unintuitive navigation on the web shop - When similar and related products are needed, there are no suggestions concerning what else is necessary to buy with that product (with a television set, for instance, offering the possibility of buying a stand for mounting it on the wall). This is an opportunity for upselling or cross-selling.

8. Complicated user registration form - All you really need is a minimal set of data necessary for the buying and delivery of goods.

9. Complicated shopping cart management - for example, unintuitive ways of adding products to the shopping  cart, changing the number of products ordered, shopping cart overview, and the like.

10. Complicated payment process - the check-out process has to be simple, intuitive, and with as few steps as possible. The buyer has to be led by the hand in this process, so that it is clear to them what is being done at every step and what awaits them next. It is best to have a diagram showing how many steps there are and at which step they are currently at. Depending on how the web shop functions, it is necessary to make anonymous buying possible without previous registration. This means that the buyer enters their data just before payment.

11. Complicated payment process - The web shop owner often has no influence on this step because the credit card authorization process is dictated by banks and credit card companies. One specific problem is the so-called 3D secure because it requires the user to use added security, usually a token, in addition to their credit card data. This has shown to be one of the most common reasons why customers who have already decided to purchase a product decide not to go through with the process in the end.

12. Unclear information about security - Banks and credit-card companies have rules about texts that must be published on the pages of a web shop, but in addition to that, for buyers, you can also prepare a simplified text that teaches them about what happens to their data and how they are protected.

13. Bad prices - One of the first reasons why someone would buy one of your products and not those of the competition is the price. If we do not have competitive prices, regardless of all the other things that we have done well, customers will probably spend their money elsewhere.

There are other reasons why customers back down in the end, but these are the most common. As we stressed in one of our recent posts, web-shop owners face a great challenge when planning and realizing their web shop because it is difficult to make it successful and profitable. There are many preconditions that have to be fulfilled satisfactorily in order for a web shop to justify its existence.

It isn’t a simple process, but we can help you with it, thanks to our twenty years of experience in e-commerce. Let us know if you need any help!