Designing Your Ecommerce Purchasing Process

Ecommerce is no longer an option, but a necessity. Every day this sector of retail is growing, estimated to top $1.25 trillion in sales in 2013. And with so many online ecommerce retailers fighting for the chance to win over your customers, it’s important you ensure that your purchasing process is better than the rest.

To do so, you have to think about the entire purchasing route, starting with product search and ending with how efficiently you’re able to process credit cards. This information will ensure that your process is the best for your customers.

Getting to the Purchase

The purchasing process doesn’t start when your customer finds the product they like—it starts when they type their search into Google to find it. While you naturally want shoppers to purchase your product, they have to get to your page first. Thus, it’s imperative that you extract data that defines this process so you can better optimize this piece of the puzzle.

  • Analyze your data: Leverage the data you can extract from your basic analytic programs, such as page navigation and keywords used in search. By optimizing for keywords that you may not rank high for and knowing where customers go once on the page, you can be sure that shoppers get what they want faster and easier.
  • Landing page: At this point, you’ll also want to ensure that your landing pages are optimized for conversions. If you only have a few products, be sure each one has an effective landing page (or individual product page). While most software comes with ready-made templates, it’s important that you customize it to better fit your needs.

Upselling through the Process

Once your customer is on the track to purchase, you want to upsell them every chance you get. While you don’t need to be using overtly in-your-face marketing tactics, there are more effective ways to subtly upsell other products around the page.

  • Related products: One useful tactic is to display “related products,” or products that your customers would be interested in based on the item they’re looking at. By staying relevant to your customer in that critical moment, you have a better chance of converting another purchase.

Making Checkout Simple

Last, but certainly not least, is the checkout process. The testing service Monetate found that 75% of online shopping carts are abandoned before making the final purchase, making this an important step to effectively execute. Fortunately, this is quite simple—just remember, less is more.

  • Less is more: Instead of bombarding your customer with registration questions, get the imperative information first: email, shipping address, and credit card information. You can suggest they register on your site immediately after the sale, and then later via email.

Effectively designing your ecommerce purchasing process is integral to ensuring online sales. When the purchasing progression is optimized for the process your customers take—from the search to checkout—you can avoid shopping cart abandonment or, even worse, losing customers to a competitor.