Hurdles are for track teams, not websites. Unfortunately, many websites are filled with hurdles that prevent businesses from closing the sale. These hurdles arise from a complicated user experience and unclear navigation.
A successful website has little to no barriers standing between the user experience and the completion of a sale. There are countless strategies for removing barriers, but unless they improve the user experience, implementing them won’t increase your sales.
1. Give coupon codes freely – don’t use them as lead magnets
Offering a discount can increase sales; however, forcing people to sign up for your email list in order to receive a coupon code doesn’t always work. Despite what you may have heard, a coupon code is not always a good lead magnet.
Use your coupon code as an incentive for visitors to make a purchase, not as a lead magnet. Put the code in large print at the top of the page where everyone can see. This page from Fabness is a good example of what your coupon code should look like to influence the maximum number of sales.
Lead magnets work by providing value in exchange for a visitor’s email address. You could argue that a coupon code is valuable, but that depends on what the offer is. For instance, it’s unlikely that someone will sign up to save 20% off their purchase or get free shipping. You’re more likely to get leads by offering a BOGO deal, $25 off, or a free gift.
Sometimes customers make a purchase just for the discount
According to data from SmartInsights, 57% of consumers said they wouldn’t have made their purchase if they didn’t receive a discount. Although this data suggests a visitor can be swayed to buy anything with a simple discount, the data doesn’t specify what those purchases were. If you sell high-ticket items or services, this data might not apply to your business.
SmartInsights data also revealed that 92.6% of consumers said visuals are the top influential factor affecting their purchase decisions. “Products are assessed within 90 seconds and a quick initial judgment is made whether to make a purchase or not.”
This data points to making your coupon code visible so customers will consider your offer during those vital 90 seconds.
Sometimes customers need to be ready to buy
Keep in mind that your visitors may not be ready to make a purchase the moment they land on your website, no matter what discount you offer. While it’s certainly possible, don’t expect to close the sale with a coupon code. An emailed coupon code holds potential value but if they’re not ready to buy, they’ll have no incentive to sign up and get it.
2. Release incorrect ideas of what mobile-friendly means
The first internet browser for cellphones was novel, but impractical. As phones evolved, the term “mobile-friendly web design” popped up. Back then, a mobile-friendly website was a plain, simplified version of the original website. Navigation and graphics were limited, and content was truncated to prevent horizontal scrolling.
Today, a mobile-friendly website doesn’t need to be “cut down to size” in the same way. Smartphones and tablets are capable of displaying websites in full, as long as they’re responsive. Users expect to experience the full website when browsing on their mobile devices.
If you’re spending too much time building a special, limited version of your website to make it mobile-friendly, you’re probably creating a difficult user experience instead.
Based on their research, and contrary to popular opinion, UsabilityGeek explains what users expect from a mobile site:
- “You have got a mobile optimized version of your site, but no link to the full site. Sometimes users really want the features and content of the full site – especially where they have already visited it on their fixed web device.”
- Businesses believe they need to adapt the content of their site for responsive web design, but they don’t. “You need to ensure it’s presented in a way that makes sense to users and allows for scanning and ‘delving’ into the detail.”
- Businesses believe mobile users browse and won’t use the search function on a mobile site, but this isn’t true. Users expect to be able to use the search function on mobile sites, and often use it more than the site’s navigation.
Removing barriers that are blocking your sales is simple: understand customer behavior and adapt your website to create the user experience they expect. Instead of listening to marketing trends, use factual data to make it easy for visitors to make a purchase.