Service Providers

Is your website pure joy, or a total nightmare?

Brad Smith 2011Your online shopping experience greatly depends upon the e-commerce site you visit. As you’ve probably noticed, many sites load slowly, or feature site navigation that is completely nonsensical, and the shopping experience? Forget about it. It’s time to shop your own website, as if you were the customer, and evaluate it from top to bottom. Is your website a pure joy or a total nightmare for potential buyers? Here’s a few things to consider when you “shop your website.”

Does your site take forever to load?

The ideal load time for a website is under three seconds. However, a recent report by Radware clocked the average retail website load time at over seven seconds. The drag is attributed to the usual suspects— large images, HTML, CSS and JavaScript files. Other factors that can impact website load time include third party plug-ins such as Facebook and Twitter widgets, ad network tracking scripts and cloud-based content delivery systems (CDN). Think about it. Do you wait for a website to load for more than a few seconds before bailing out to try a different site? According to Gomez by Compuware, every two seconds of load time on your site equals an 8 percent abandonment rate. That same study shows that if your load time drops from eight seconds to two seconds, your conversion rate actually jumps up 74 percent! It’s no wonder load time greatly impacts your bottom line.

Do you know how long it takes for your site to load? You can test it, with a cool tool from Pingdom (it’s free). You may be surprised by the results. Pingdom provides you with a detailed, actionable report of the load time for every single page of your website. Armed with that information, it’s up to you, or your website provider, to take action and make any necessary changes to drop load time and improve sales conversions. Based on the statistics above, you can’t afford not to.

How does your website perform in various web browsers?

Access your website using a number of web browsers, including Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari and Firefox. Viewing your site this way will show you if all graphics and content show up correctly in every browser and, more importantly, the test will confirm if your shopping cart experience is flawless. Here again, it’s up to you or your website provider to take control and resolve any issues you uncover.

Would you trust that your site is secure?

Online shoppers are savvy, and they’re aware of the numerous fraudulent websites that exist simply to trick consumers into providing credit card information for illegal use. There are three ways you can show your customers that your website is fully secure and reassure them their personal information is safe on your site:

Ensure that all pages that collect personal information are secured with a Secured Socket Layer certificate or (SSL) that automatically displays the pages in the address bar proceed with https:// (rather than unsecured pages proceeded by http://).
Make sure that secured pages display a small lock icon in the address bar in browser windows. This icon is clickable to view the sites SSL issuer, type and expiration date.
Prominently display the shield icon and/or logo of your SSL provider on your home page to provide your site shoppers an added visual reassurance of your website security.
Take some time to check on your website performance and security to be sure you’re welcoming your customers to your online dealership instead of shooing them away to your competitor’s.

Brad Smith is ARI’s director of product. ARI creates award-winning software solutions that help equipment manufacturers, distributors and dealers Sell More Stuff! — online and in-store. ARI removes the complexity of selling and servicing new and used inventory, parts, garments and accessories for customers in automotive tire and wheel, powersports, outdoor power equipment, marine, RV and white goods industries. More than 22,000 equipment dealers, 195 distributors and 140 manufacturers worldwide leverage our website and eCatalog platforms to Sell More Stuff! Smith holds an MBA from the University of Wisconsin and is an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran.



Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button