4 Strategies to Keep Your Online Traffic at Your Site

This is a guest article by Tim Eyre. You too can be part of this great knowledge sharing community. Take a look at our guest blogging guidelines

One study conducted about a decade ago suggested that most online viewers would navigate away from a retail website if it took more than 8 seconds to load. In 2006, a similar study found that our online attention span is getting shorter; that study indicated that 75% of survey respondents would give up on a store’s website if it took more than 4 seconds to load. Research also suggests that people have little patience for long videos encountered on the web. Some viewers were inclined to leave a site after watching just 10 seconds after watching a video, while half of viewers retreated after one minute. In short, most people value convenience and speed when surfing the web, and online shoppers have no tolerance for websites that are difficult or take a great deal of time to operate. The following tips will ensure that your website keeps a shopper’s attention and helps make the sale.

Keeping Visitors Engaged and Finally Converting Them into Paying Customers

Provide Complete Product Descriptions

The failure to provide customers with adequate product descriptions will be the death knell for a retail website. First and foremost, customers expect to find a photo or some sort of visual representation of a product. Indeed, all sophisticated shoppers will insist on seeing an item before making a purchase. Any photograph is better than none, but grainy or blurry pictures may make a customer hesitate before making a purchase. Also, providing poor quality photos will generally reflect negatively on the site and the retailer. Sites should also make detailed written information about products easily available, including descriptions of fabrics in clothing and size of electronic items. If customers can’t get a complete product description on your website, they’ll undoubtedly navigate away and choose to shop elsewhere.

Don’t Underestimate the Importance of a Site’s Look

While the products should be the focus of any retail website, too many operators overlook the role that the aesthetic qualities of a site can have in attracting and retaining customers. Traditional store owners typically carefully plan the interior design of a store to make the shopping experience pleasurable for customers, and the design of a retail website should involve that kind of care and attention to detail. If you’re selling elegant clothing, for example, the site should reflect a refined, sophisticated image. In contrast, you’re selling toys or other products aimed at children, perhaps a more whimsical, playful design would be appropriate. The primary objective in designing a retail website should be creating a connection between the look of the site and the products sold. Attention should also be given to the consumer demographic, and efforts should be made to make the site appeal to the target customer.

Despite the importance of the attractiveness of a website, retailers should also be mindful that design elements should not compromise the site’s speed. If certain graphics slow down the loading speed of the site, consider eliminating them, despite their aesthetic appeal. Because convenience and speed are generally an online shopper’s primary concerns, retail website operators must ensure that consumers don’t navigate away from a site before they even get a glimpse of the products.

Pay Attention to Organization and Navigation

Although analysts typically measure a website’s success based on how long a viewer visits the site, the true test of a retail site’s success is sales. In fact, if a customer stays on a site for an extended period of time because he can’t find the product he’s looking for, because the product description is incomplete or information about the pricing or shipping costs is confusing, chances are he won’t make that purchase and won’t return to the site. Therefore, putting a premium on a website’s organization and customers’ ability to easily navigate around the site is imperative for online retailers. In fact, in one survey, 65% of respondents indicated that they would return to a store’s website if it was easy to navigate.

Make Checking Out Easy

If a customer has found the product they want and committed to making the purchase, the only thing that stands between them and the sale is the checkout process. One survey indicates that the vast majority of online shoppers expect a rapid checkout. After all, most products available online are also available in stores and shopping malls. Again, for the online consumer, speed and convenience are key, so making the final moments of the shopping experience quick and easy should be a high priority. If a retail site requires much information from the customer beyond name, address and credit card number, busy consumers may get frustrated. And returning customers should be rewarded for their loyalty; sites should be capable of retaining customer information so the checkout process is streamlined when customers return for another purchase.

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  • thanks for sharing this. i have been working on my site to gain more traffic 🙂 this is really helpful

  • A websites look is imperative. It has to be attractive and eye-catching. You should feel excited to when diving into a website.

  • ella

    I think that testimonials are also very important, people will listen to others who bought the product more than they listen to you describe it. Very good points in this post thank u.

  • The thing I love and hate about Amazon is their 1-click checkout! It’s TOO easy to spend money there, but since there is zero hassle, it’s a dream, too.

    And Papa Jonh’s Pizza makes things too easy, too. They remember everything, even your order history, so if you want your usual you can pull it up and in a few clicks you now have awesome pizza on its way.

    Speed, convenience, and ease. Zero hassle. It works!

    Delena

  • Very helpful tips.
    Really great stuff i must implement on them. 🙂

  • Excellent tips. I am sure it is important to pay good attention to the organization and the navigation of the site, otherwise visitors will be forced to leave…

  • Totally Agree. One thing that I noticed, is most of the time websites that have very good traffic have a simple and clean arrangement. For novice bloggers,they intend to override texture,color and components then realize later that the page views get much lower :
    1) The faster the site the better
    2) Clean and simple = better communication with your readers.
    This post is a very nice reminder that the basics can be better.

  • Very Great Article… This technique help me a lot, I will say from the help of this post i have increase more traffic for my site.
    Thanks

  • thanks for your awsome 4 Strategies…..just wondering, how you describe something that you do not recognize. such as new gadget or anyting else..?

  • Thx for the tips!
    Will try to make my site better and better!
    Peter

  • I believe a better check out payment and the quality of delivery. A after sales customer support is really important if their is problem with the goods purchased.

  • I agree clean simple and very easy to read are keys. It’s not just about teenies and techies any more lots of old bad eyes are looking at these pages too..

  • the website does not have to look fancy with the bells and whistles, but it has to look professional, and trustworthy, like there is a real person behind it who will supply the product or service that is being considered.

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  • Many site owners focus only how to make their site look beautiful and they put fancy animations, a lot java etc. without thinking that this increase the bounce rate of the site since it takes a lot of time for the pages to load.

  • Working on a retail website is a never ending process to improve the user experience !
    In this sense, google analytics might help a lot as well as various A/B testing.

  • rnd technologies

    Nice think.