Robert Swerling, Head of Commerce Partnerships at Google gave an outstanding presentation at Catalyst this morning with four principles of successful online retailing.
Give customers what they want as quickly as possibly. Customers don’t want to be impressed with a complex site, they just want to come, buy and go. 31% of abandoned shopping carts occur when buyers are forced to register with a site and 27% because the checkout process is too long.
Don’t surprise customers on your website, 36% of abandoned shopping carts are due to hidden charges such as shipping or VAT. Keep all the information a customer needs to make a buying decision easily available.
3) Provide Value
Value isn’t just the price products are offered at, but includes customer reviews, discounts and free shipping. Equally don’t add features that don’t add value for customers.
Always continue to optimise your website – both the design and promotions. Offline retail outlets constantly rotate stock and offer discounts, you should be doing the same with your website.
Google summed up the presentation with the principle of their own website – “Build a business by getting people away from your website as quickly as possible”. If a buyer visits your site to buy a product make sure that there are no barriers between them landing on your site from a search engine, adding the product to the shopping cart, checking out and paying. Some may want to browse, but many buyers simply want to complete the purchase and your aim should be to make this as easy and fast as possible.
For those of y’all attending Catalyst UK this year, I’m sure that the slides Rob Swerling used in his presentation are burned into your memory. Somehow, Threshers, bad pop-art sculpture, a locked vault full of wine, and a pictogram representing anti-virus test results on a bank of hapless mice all played a part.
More frightening is that somehow, heat-killed strain vs. live strain vs. heat-killed+live vs. placebo equals @Use [email protected]
In any event, here are my shorthand notes from sitting in on that session
Fill needs when they exist
No ‘relationship,’ no ‘ownership’
‘Registration’ and detail capture at cout are luxuries for a retailer – can you as a seller afford?
Don’t surprise customers
36% in survey leave trans due to hidden charges
There should be NO cout dropout
A cout process inherently ADDS NO VALUE
(Witness the universally similar tills in HiSt stores)
‘Never come out of beta’
Always experiment… And if you can’t, go w/ a 3rd party or provider who CAN
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