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ViSenze Blog

Fewer clicks, higher sales: Shorten your ecommerce buying process

Posted by ViSenze 04-February-2016

The ecommerce industry continues to progress further with the rapid development of technology, but there are some age-old barriers that retailers need to overcome. A major finding in this Business Insider report asserts that approximately $4 trillion worth of merchandise were abandoned in online shopping carts in 2014, and about 63% of that is potentially recoverable by savvy online retailers.

One of the most effective ways to reduce the rate of abandonment and increase conversions is by streamlining the checkout process. The fewer clicks it takes for a visitor to complete the purchase, the better.

But what’s the popular number of clicks for successful checkouts? This chart by Smashing magazine outlines how many click-to-purchase steps the top 100 ecommerce retailers have:

number of click-to-purchase steps top 100 ecommerce retailers have

Notice that while a single click is not implemented that much, going over six does not sit well with most companies either. This shows that it should only take your consumers 4-6 clicks to complete purchases. To make your ecommerce buying process more optimized for conversion in less than six steps, here are some suggestions you can consider:

1. Clustering

Clustering is favored by fashion-oriented ecommerce players to model their apparel in a sophisticated manner. It involves combining your products together to create an attractive presentation online. Instead of viewing each product on individual pages, the focus is on presenting entire outfits, allowing for a wholesome product browsing and discovery experience where it takes visitors less clicks to view more items.

For example, leading fashion company Jack Jones entices consumers to purchase their products by showing how their tops, bottoms, accessories, and shoes fit together in outfits as such:

clustering on ecommerce platforms

2. Filtering

Having advanced or custom filters can improve onsite discovery and navigation, and visual filters (categories based on physical attributes of products) are now outperforming text filters when it comes to presenting products to online shoppers. For example, TwoSocks has a pretty neat emergency tool for customers who “need socks but have no time to shop.” And aside from providing basic filters such as pattern, color and thickness, they have also added custom ones that are unique, yet certainly appealing!

Who else sorts socks according to personality?

advanced custom filters for e-commerce platforms


Being direct through filtering also shortens the buyer’s purchasing process. British department group House of Fraser takes filtering up a notch by having their customers answer a form that helps to display products according to their reported preferences: By showing only the most relevant results, their visitors can quickly pick and click to order the product that matches their styling preferences. This definitely eliminates the painstaking process of them having to click through so many product pages just to find a specific item that they want.

3. One-click buying

Pioneered by Amazon in the late nineties, the one-click buying system helped the ecommerce company cut off time for their shoppers to during the purchase process. It also increased instances of impulse buying, seeing how easy it is to pay with just a click of the mouse. However, the prospect of adding 1-click purchase services in your ecommerce site can be a difficult move as Amazon has already patented their one-click process in 1999, and only a handful of companies are officially licensed to use the patent.

Even so, the important takeaway on Amazon’s success with their single click checkout system is that click-to-purchase process should be done without required sign-ups, account registrations, and unecessary, additional fuss. 

4. Fully-automated visual search

Visual technology as an ecommerce solution will not only make seamless product search possible for your customers, but will also make your entire product database easier to access with fewer clicks. The expansion of new product lines and brands has produced large online inventories of tens or even hundreds of thousands for ecommerce players. And that bigger inventory leads to the several steps a consumer has to take before he clicks the "Buy" button.

If consumers have to keep on typing and guessing at keywords that don’t capture your written product description, you might very well lose out on sales. Visual search technology flattens these crinkles by using images as search queries, providing results that are as fast as - but more reliable than - keyword-based searches.

In fact, the technology has advanced so much that the whole visual search process is now fully-automated - from the instant an image query is uploaded, to the final generation of results. Your consumers don't even have to tell the technology which item within the image to focus on, or manually select the product category in which to search, cutting out further steps in the product search process! 

Click with your customers through slick buying functions

With little to no staff assistance (that could sometimes be construed as intrusive as well), ecommerce buying is definitely a more user-controlled experience. The best you can do to make your customers receptive to your online store is to deploy these effective, click-reducing features for a hassle-free - and cart-abandonment-free - shopping experience.



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