Posted June 8, 2007 6:46 pm by with 5 comments

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As I mentioned earlier in the week, MarketLive released a very interesting white paper at Internet Retailer 2007 about how you can generate more orders from your traffic. Normally, we would refer to this effort as working on improving your conversion rate. However, the MarketLive position is that monitoring the conversion rate is of little value because it is so broad. Instead, they recommend focusing on small pieces of the shopping experience by themselves.

There is a lot of information in the report and I recommend that you download it and study it. However, here are some tips that I found interesting:

1) Convey action and activity. They recommend such features as “New items”, “Most Viewed Items” and “Top Selling Items” to imply that the site is buzzing with activity.
2) Use a color for the “Add To Cart” button that contrasts with the rest of the page and keep it above the fold.
3) Take advantage of enhanced imagery options available to display your product. Remember that your customers now have the bandwidth to handle this functionality.
4) Incorporate customer reviews. 58% of consumers prefer sites with reviews and are 5% more likely to make a purchase.
5) Make the checkout process easier. If you make your customers sign up for accounts, just know that you will likely increase your cart abandonment rate by as much as 185%. MarketLive recommends a one page checkout without forcing customers to set up an account.

As I have said many times, you should pay attention to this kind of report because it is actually based on real research. If you find yourselves sitting around a table making decisions about your company’s website based on personal preferences, you are heading for trouble. Ideally, you will be doing your own research, but if you can’t, find a way to implement other companies’ research into your business.