E-commerce in Europe: Online Spending Has Increased 30%, But Conversion Rate Stays Under 5%. How to Turn Visits into Sales?

According to a study by Akamai Technologies for IDC, consumers in Western Europe have increased their online and mobile shopping. The study interviewing 1.500 consumers from 7 different European countries (France, UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden) reveals quite interesting results for online retailers and other companies interested in e-commerce.

Main findings:

  • Most of the consumers wait that the website downloads in less than 4 seconds, if not, around 70% will go to another website.
  • In total 30% of the respondents have increased their online spending during 2010, Spain being the biggest growing e-commerce country in Europe with 44%.
  • 62% of the respondents bought clothes and shoes online, books and magazines following with 59% and travels with 47%.
  • Surprisingly, people spending most money online in Europe (1.500 €/year) are 35-54 years olds.
  • Around 30% of the respondents uses, or plans using, mobiles to buy online. Inside this group 10% uses already their mobile or smartphone to search shops, compare prices or buy online. Besides, 20% of the respondents is planning to do it in the future.
  • Multi-channel buyers spend 15%-30% more than a consumer who uses only one channel.

However, even if  users have increased online spending, the conversion rate from visitors to clients is still low. According to a study by The e-tailing group, the conversion rate is still below 5%. Also, only 17% of the users visiting online stores even have an intention to buy. When users can move to competitor’s website with one click, it is essential to re-think the strategy: How to motivate the users who arrive without intention of buying? And those who do, how to turn the intention into a sale?

34% of the online store users do not find what they are looking for, says a study by e-marketer. It means that in most of the product information is not visible or the product is not classified properly. 8% of the users say as well that the information available is insufficient for purchase decision. According to another study by conZumo.com, 64% of the consumers believe that it is essential for the portal to be well-known (security).

To increase conversion rate, make your website more user friendly:

  • Easy access: To facilitate the access to the products, highlight the “search” button, add different categories and subcategories, recommendations and different channels to access the products.
  • Organized products: It is very important that the website is organized and the user can see the products clearly. Just like in a physical store.
  • Clear product information: It is essential that the visitor has all the necessary information during the purchase. For example, price, delivery, delivery time and availability have to be clear because they are the factors that influence most the buying decision.
  • Purchase confirmation: Show clearly required steps needed for purchase. Include thank you page and send the client confirmation e-mail after the purchase. Also, if possible give user a chance to follow his delivery. This gives users feeling of security.
  • Different delivery options: Users should have a possibility for a different way of delivery, for example – buying online, but getting the product in physical store to avoid delivery costs.
  • Sense of urgency: To turn visits to sales, it is important to create a sense of urgency. Tell visitors it is the last day the product or discount is available or show how few products are left with the discount (like Ryanair: “only 5 seats left with this price”)

Consumers expect more from their online shopping experience and they demand better services and support from the online retailers. With the increase of mobile usage in buying process, the e-commerce retailers must have also a proper mobile strategy in place.

Pauliina Jamsa

I am Pauliina Jamsa, a digitally disruptive marketing rock star with International business experience hard to beat - I have lived in 5 countries and speak 7 languages. Based in London, I am currently working as Global Senior Online Marketing Manager at Siemens. Remember these are my own opinions only. Thank you for checking out my blog, feel free to get in touch! Twitter: @pauliinajamsa LinkedIn: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/pauliinajamsa

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