Are Your Customers Abandoning You?

The question of whether your customers are abandoning you does NOT, in fact, refer to their loyalty. What I’m referring to here is whether or not they’re visiting your store and then leaving without purchasing. Every good online business understands the value of sales conversions versus hits received. Far too often, businesses become fixated on the hits they are receiving instead of monitoring their hit to sale conversion rate. This misguided focus can drive you right down the river DeNile (get it? Denial?)  because it fails to take in the issue of abandonment.

Abandonment is one of those terms that has a very unique meaning when applied to the Internet. The term refers to reasons why a user abandons a site before taking the action the site owner desires, typically purchasing a product or making an inquiry.
There are a number of beautiful sites on the Internet with unique innovations. Unfortunately, these sites, although beautiful and quite fancy, rarely turn a profit or, sadly, unnecessarily limit their profit potential. Site owners must focus on only one thing when building a site converting visitors to customers- sales.

To avoid abandonment issues, try focusing on the following:

  1. The site should always load as quickly as possible to accommodate visitors that are using older Internet connections.
  2. The site should be designed for ease of use, not necessarily what looks good. (Although as a designer, I can assure you that you can design for both attractiveness AND functionality)
  3. All advertisements must click through directly to the items that are being searched, not the home page of the site.
  4. Site pages should be kept short to improve load times.
  5. Flash, music and other atmosphere elements of the site should be removed or optional to speed up load times. Actually, this is very bad practice these days, so if you are using any type of music or flash, best to do without.
  6. Signing up for the site newsletter must be incredibly easy – and easy to find!
  7. Customers should be required to fill out the minimum of information to make a purchase.
  8. Make sure prices are clear and concise.
  9. Make use of featured products so customers will peruse those things first.
  10. Make sure your categories are functional, not clever.
  11. All images should be low-res, and optimized for the web, to ensure quick loading.
  12. Email communications from the public must be responded to within 24 hours.
  13. Communications made after business hours must be responded to first thing in the morning.
  14. The site could offer accumulating bonus points for purchases that eventually lead to a free gift.
  15. Create a site blog that explains your products, expertise, or industry news.
  16. Show customer testimonials or other engaging content to get them to stay and read about you.

The list is fairly endless, but you should always view site designs and advertising from the perspective of the customer. The universal question for each aspect is, “How could we make this easier for shoppers?” By emphasizing this approach, you will create a much stickier site and avoid abandonment.

Please comment below and let us know if you have any tips to help shoppers stick around.

About our Guest Blogger
Jessica Kupferman, Vendio’s Guest Blogger (and winner of our Blogging Contest) is a creative and engaging expert branding specialist, speaker, and gifted social media strategist and designer. Always plugged in to the latest developments and best practices in the industry, you can read more about Jess here.

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