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12 easy ways to lose your ecommerce customers

Jennifer Lonoff Schiff | May 8, 2015
Ecommerce, customer relationship and marketing experts reveal the fastest ways to turn off shoppers and offer advice for what you can do to ensure customers don’t leave your site and make their purchases elsewhere.

In today's super competitive, I-want-it-now mobile world, you only have a few minutes (or seconds) to engage potential shoppers. And if your site isn't mobile friendly, considered trustworthy or a dozen other things online shoppers deem important, that potential customer will go elsewhere.

But never fear. Help is at hand. Following is a list of the 12 fastest ways to lose online shoppers and what you can do to prevent potential customers from buying from your competitors.

1. Your site is not mobile friendly. "With recent changes to Google's search algorithm, businesses without a mobile-friendly site will appear farther down in search queries--in essence, eliminating them from relevance," says Bill Nagel, cofounder & chief marketing strategist, Netsertive, a digital marketing intelligence company. "This is the fastest way for a business to lose a customer to a competitor as more than 90 percent of consumers use search to help them make a purchasing decision."

To find out how mobile friendly your website is, "businesses can perform a quick mobile-readiness diagnostic check of their site through Google's Mobile-Friendly Test tool," he says. "This exercise will ensure that a business can be found online and can attract more qualified shoppers in 2015 and beyond."

2. Your site is too slow. "The simplest way to turn off potential customers is with a slow, non-responsive website," says Dan Carney, vice president of Operations at Limelight Networks, a content delivery network provider. "A recent survey shows that nearly 39 percent of customers will wait between 3 and 5 seconds for a website to load until they get frustrated and leave. [And] nearly 41 percent leave after more than 5 seconds," he explains. "If [your] website is not performing quickly, then the customer will simply give up." 

To avoid this problem, regularly test your load speeds, and make sure your site is up to speed.

3. Your site is clogged with banners and ads. "Given the size limitations of [some laptop] and mobile devices, space is at a premium," notes Paras Mehta, CTO, ShoeBuy. "Your customers want to know they have arrived at the right place, for the right product, right now. Don't make them sift through [or overwhelm them with] a sea of marketing [banners and ads]."

4. Visitors don't feel your site is safe or trustworthy. "Neglecting to show verification [that your] website is secure can result in low conversation rates for your company and a lack of trust from consumers," says Harsh Sood, CTO, Fareportal. Indeed, "customers [often] refuse to buy goods or services from a site that is not secure due to the risk of identity theft or fraud. To increase conversion rates, and ensure you and your customers' protection, invest in a solid security and encryption software," he advises. Or make sure your hosting provider has.


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