I maintain a number of web shops for
our webmaster cooperative
and one of our main challenges is to
encourage people who put things into
their basket/cart to actually buy them.
How to avoid shopping cart abandonment by Graham Jones
makes some points that I've identified as
possible reasons for people not buying
in the past: comparisons,
robots and not trusting the site enough to
give payment details.
There's not much we can do about robots or
people comparison-shopping at a technical
we try to build some trust by publishing
the shop owner's geographic address and
telephone number (which I think is required
by law in England for most web shops now),
making sure the SSL certificate and domain
registration details are correct,
using reputable payment
providers and being clear about
delivery charges and terms.
The point about the
slickness of the checkout process is a good
one and one that we've only recently started
to work on. We've had pretty good
results from making the checkout slicker
on one site. It looks like two-thirds of
people who click the checkout button now
continue to buy, putting it comfortably ahead of
current UK averages
but I need to tweak our stats calculator to
make the report directly comparable.
Nevertheless, I think those improvements
will be added to our other shops as soon as
I share Graham's low opinion of the oft-quoted
We've also been looking at other web shop
for a new project, so now would be
a good time to change to something new if
it improves the checkout a lot.
We've made OSCommerce's checkout a lot
smoother, but it's still essentially OSC.
Is there a good checkout which you'd want
to use as an example?
The other challenge is getting visitors onto
the site in the first place.
How To Build Links By Patrick Altoft
explains the basics as well as I've seen