By Kety Oliveira, Events and Channel Marketer, SagePay

According to Sage Pay’s 2010 e-Business Benchmark Report- a study of over 2,000 e-tailers operating in the UK- businesses are struggling to convert visitors into sales. The findings revealed that only 7% of online shoppers visiting a site actually complete a purchase.

E-commerce traders need to constantly be on the look-out for factors that will differentiate them and entice shoppers to complete that all important purchase.

One of the advantages to trading online is that you can monitor your customer’s progress and pinpoint exactly where they drop out of the process. Pay attention to what your customers are telling you,” says Simon Black, Sage Pay’s managing director. “It’s about examining where customers dropout and ‘plugging the holes’ to stop people leaving.

There’s no single formula to getting it right but based on the findings of the report, Sage Pay recommends the following top tips for converting visitors into sales:

1. Providing on-site reassurances such as customer testimonials, next day delivery and a money back guarantee will improve checkout success. We found that if your e-business doesn’t offer any value added features, you are twice as likely not to complete the sale.

2. E-businesses with fewer checkout pages convert more sales.

3. Successful e-businesses customise their payment pages. Suddenly being forwarded to a payment interface that has a different look and feel could cause shoppers to be concerned and drop out of the purchase.

4. Providing multiple payment methods, to give people more choice in the way they pay, improves transaction rates.

5. Social media can heavily influence purchasing behaviour by building trusted relationships and subsequently loyal customers.

Sage Pay is revealing the results of its 2011 Benchmark Report at this year’s Internet World. If you would like to receive your free copy of the report, you can do so by downloading the The E-Business Benchmark Report

SagePay are exhibiting at Internet World on 10-12 May 2011. Visit Internet World for more information.

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