A simple checkout process with as few steps as possible is obviously a must. Also, as a guy who does a lot of online shopping, I find the best way to get me to complete my purchase is to show me that others have used and been happy with your online store. The best way to do this is to get as much visible customer feedback on your site as possible. There are a few apps I found in the app store that enable you to do this. YOTPO for instance allows users to leave reviews on a product page. You can find this and similar apps here: http://apps.shopify.com.
Visibility on Facebook and other social media sites is important as well. The more I can see that you are a legitimate business being used by others, the more comfortable I will be purchasing your products. Hope this helps, and good luck with your online store!
If you are seeing a lot of people starting the checkout process but not completing it (abandoned orders) you should look into automated abandoned order recovery. We have an app that does this very well: http://apps.shopify.com/abandon-aid
Sometimes people need just a little bit of incentive to go a head and purchase an item. I found a free app that does just that, it's called Justuno. It works just like a coupon and gives your customers a special limited time offer, like 5% off the total price. But the great thing about it is it also works as a marketing tool through social media. Customers must 'Like' your page on Facebook or tweet about your store in Twitter to receive the bonus code to activate the coupon. People love buying things on sale and an offer like this can get be the difference between a sale and an abandoned order. Try it out for a week and see if your sales increase. And remember, once you get a customer to buy from you the first time, they are more likely to buy from you again. Hope this helps!
This is definitely frustrating! As an avid online shopper, I like it best when the check out process and quick and easy. This leaves the customer less time to be deterred. Another factor that could help, though maybe indirectly, is social media! The more you amp up your store socially using media devices such as twitter, facebook, pinterest (for example) the more people you will get in your store.
Focusing on social media will help get people through check out, I promise!
Another way to get people to complete their transactions is to offer an exclusive discount. Maybe it's 5% off for a limited time? Even a small discount will help get your shoppers excited, and anxious to buy.
Thats a great tip mark.
I agree that removing the "sign in" page from your checkout flow could help to get customers to checkout before they have a opportunity to start to second guess the purchase.
Additionally, adding the "sign in" option to a page that has a lot of fields to fill in can make return customers feel the benefit of being a return customer.
PS Mark I noticed that some of the promotions are could use some updating. Otherwise I love the design and layout of your site!
I've been having the same issue, I've added Wishpot since my teenage daughter clued me in that they often add to cart to keep the item handy to find, so Wishpot hopefully will help deter this, I also added YOTPO and have gotten one review, since I added it later think I will go and invite past customers to write a review and see if I can get more. I also have Abandon Aide but so far, it has not produced anything since they actually have to get to checkout before it sends out the email. I use HootSuite to make daily posts to my Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Linked In accounts. In addition, I use Retail Tower to add my products to Google Shopping and Bing. However, sales have flat lined this past month. Not sure why.
Just took Mark's advice about removing the sign-in (although it was optional before) and see if that helps. Have tried offering sales, but no takers. Thinking I need to simplify the site - perhaps I have given too many choices??? Any feedback appreciated.
Brian: Your store looks amazing! I clicked to purchase a pair of shoes just to see how your shopping cart function works like, and it's such a clean, minimalistic dream :)
Tracy: I popped over to your site, and it's taking an awfully long time to load pages! Not sure if it might just be my internet connection or not, but my accessing other websites are working a-okay. If your website is laggy, it could very well be a big reason for a dip in sales anytime. Consumers nowadays (us included!) have a really short attention span, and a low level of patience. A study by the Aberdeen group found that “A 1-second delay in page load time equals 11% fewer page views, a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, and 7% loss in conversions.” Here's an article on why speed counts! This could be something to look into if your website isn't loading fast enough. It's a huge bummer for consumers who might get frustrated with the waiting time (and they really might be intent on buying your stuff!), and will result in a poor online shopping experience or worse, exiting your site altogether.
Good luck with your store! :)