Your New Year ecommerce resolution: we will not let our customers abandon us!

Like many folk, some of the members of our Magento ecommerce development team make the occasional New Year resolution. Alas, it’s not unusual for these good intentions not to last as long as we’d like! However, the title of this blog refers to a resolution that is truly important for any business that operates an ecommerce operation. A survey, a couple of years back, showed that almost half of people who had attempted an ecommerce transaction had abandoned it before completion.

Now, it’s likely that some of these numbers had simply visited a site in error, expecting something different from what was actually delivered. Part of this will be simple human error by the searchers. However, it’s also worth considering that ecommerce companies, by not paying enough attention to key areas such as clear URLs, title tags, meta descriptions and the like, were responsible for some of this misdirection.

It’s therefore worth looking at this from another point of view as well – if some people were misdirected to visit a site, how many others, who would have been prime candidates to visit, missed out because of these same errors? It’s sadly true that you never know the number of potential customers that you never even had the chance to sell to!

Other key factors responsible for the “abandonment” of purchases were areas such as the speed of the website itself. It’s also becoming increasingly important that ecommerce sites are fully optimised for use across the complete range of what might be called purchase devices – mobile phones and tablets, as much as desktops and laptops.

Another frustration arises with hidden or unexpected charges – where a purchase seems to be going ahead until the point where the potential customers baulks at the level of charge for areas such as postage and packing. If you do add these at the point of purchase, it’s worth considering whether an upfront policy might actually increase completed sales.

The above are just some examples of actions, either intentional or not, that can affect the success and profitability of an ecommerce website. It’s certainly worth, as the new year begins, spending time analysing such factors for your operation, and deciding how to reduce your potential for costly “abandonment”.

Photo: Fruugo main page by Fruugo licensed under Creative commons 4