Increasing Conversions Doesn't Come From Slowing Things Down

Chris CrumBusiness

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I probably don't have to tell you that time is valuable, but is this something you are considering when it comes to your customers' time?

If you run an e-commerce business, you have to consider that consumers want to spend as little time on your site as possible. That's not to say that they don't want to buy from you. They just want to be able to do so quickly, and the more time you make them spend on the buying process, the less likely they are to actually buy from you (remember - the competition may only be a click away).

WebPronews spoke with Brandon Eley, Interactive Director for Kelsey Advertising & Design at SXSW last month, who talked about how forms can slow users down on a site. He says a lot of people think they need all of this information about a user, but you really only need a couple things.

Note: The above clip is from our raw live coverage of the event, and includes 3 interviews. Eley's is the final one, and it begins at about 18 minutes in.

He says, "For instance, if you have an email form and you're collecting email addresses to put them on your email newsletter, you may ask their name, their interests, their email address, have some checkboxes - where did you hear about us...thinking that that's just a normal field, but when someone looks at it, they say, 'I don't really want to spend the time to fill that out.'"

"Reducing the number of form fields that you put on a form dramatically increases the number of people who will actually fill it out," he adds. "So only ask for the information that you really need. The same goes for a check-out process or a registration process. Make it as simple and concise as you can, and you'll really increase those conversions."

Eley, who wrote the book Online Marketing Inside Out, also says that in an e-commerce business he runs, they ran a promotion offering users free shipping: putting a coupon code on the site, and getting conversions. Years later, they did some user testing, and found that most users had problems even finding the coupon code and entering it. As a result, they made a change to their shopping cart system to automatically calculate free shipping/flat-rate shipping based on the order amount. Over night, he says, they saw a 50% increase in conversions.

"It was an amazing change that ended up being a huge impact on the bottom line," he says.

That is something to consider yourself. It also speeds the buying process up when consumers don't have to hunt for coupon codes. While consumers love free shipping, you may want to do some testing of your own to see if you are getting it to them in the most effective way possible.

Chris Crum

Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.