Website Conversion

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Website users are often quoted as having an attention span of less than 10 seconds. This combined with the ability to move to a competitor website within a few clicks of a mouse means that it has never been more important to focus on ways to encourage users to stay on the site and purchase.

In a study carried out by Jupitar Research on Retail Web Site Performance, key user drop off points were highlighted as being loading time, registration requirements and the confusion of a website design: Image:newsletterimage4.JPG

Design & Layout

With this in mind, to help your website convert, design and layout should be clear and concise. Generally it is best to have your logo clearly displayed at the top of the page with main navigation panels showing directly below this.

Navigation panels are important to the user, allowing them to find what they are looking for quickly; avoiding creating annoyance that could lead to them leaving the site altogether. Some of the more successful sites perform well as content is succinct and easy to read in a clear, good sized font. Often using short paragraphs and including bullet points with headings and sub headings works well as readers on websites tend to only scan read text.

The addition of pictures is also a vital tool to back up the text displayed. Pictures of products should be of a high quality and the option to view enlarged or rotated versions is always a plus.

Images should be coupled with accurate details about the merchandise such as price, delivery cost and the stock status of the product. Supplying users with this level of information at an early stage will avoid surprising them with additional expenses or frustrating them by declaring the item out of stock much later in the process, giving them more confidence to use the site and continue to a purchase.

Product Information

Relevant product information is an important aspect of a transactional website. Ensure you regularly check the products featured on site and remove products from your site that you no longer sell. There can be nothing more frustrating to a customer who finds what they are looking for but then realise that the product is no longer being sold or is out of stock. A top tip is to display your best sellers above the fold on your homepage.

Once the customer has selected what products they wish to purchase to their basket it is important to 'close' the sale with an efficient checkout process. Having a clear, quick and easy checkout process is fundamental to the successful conversion of any online business. Being transparent with the customer is important as several e-retailers are now showing customers what stage they are at in the checkout process image:newsletterimage5.JPG

54% of shoppers expect websites to have an easy checkout process and 46% expect the process to be rapid (Jupiter Research). The best way to quicken the checkout process is to ask customers to register, not only will this suggest that they intend to purchase with you again but you will also generate a database of customers you can target in the future. If they have opted in to receive information from you, an opportunity exists to keep them informed about any current top sellers or new ranges/products coming in in the future.

Something which Amazon takes advantage of very well is cross selling; during the search process, at checkout and through their e-mail communications. Conversion rate can be increased by listing other products that customers bought when also buying the same product that the customers is buying, this can also increase basket value.

It is also worth considering trying to minimise leakage on your site. Leakage can occur due to a prominent telephone number or third party links, these should be removed to increase conversion rate and is something which publisher s feel very strongly about.


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