Skip to content

Why aren’t online stores selling?

Good online store design can be boiled down to two basic tenets: focus on the essential and no gimmicks. This applies equally to traditional and mobile sites.

Nearly half of online store customers cancel their purchase at the payment stage, regardless of payment method. In theory, this means that you could double your online sales with no marketing or other investments, by simply fixing the purchasing process.

How has Qvik improved the online business of its customers, such as Aurinkomatkat, Tallink and St1? Head of Design Matias Pietilä lists the five most important rules that can turn your average online store into a functional purchasing channel.

Don’t try to show off with unnecessary features

“Too often, people want to invent something new, even though they should concentrate on getting the basics right. There is no point in making an AI-supported house listing search based on the customer’s vibes, if the customer can’t search for a renovated flat in Kallio or its neighboring districts, no lower than third storey and with south-facing windows. We at Qvik largely approach services according to Clayton Christensen’s Jobs to be Done principle: For what are you making a tool? What will the customer use your product for?”

Don’t assume that users will remember their user ID or password

“It’s easy for people to assume that user authentication, log-in and registration are problems that have already been solved and don’t need thinking about. This is not the case, even though there are some simple basic rules: Use the e-mail address as the user ID. And don’t assume that people will remember the password of your service in particular. That’s why you should make restoring forgotten passwords as easy as possible. Slack’s Magic Link is a good example, since users never even have to see their passwords. Many service providers think that users visit their sites all the time, when, in reality, they may visit once or twice a year.”

Don’t make payment too difficult

“You don’t need to design the payment process yourself. Payment service providers are experts in that area, and there are many good off-the-shelf solutions available. The current method of making credit card payments with tokenization services makes paying easier. The 3D-secure protocol is not mandatory; you can skip it for mobile payments or payments remaining below a certain threshold, for example. The difficulties of mobile shopping are not a Finnish phenomenon by any means: well over half of the traffic in American online stores is mobile, but only one third of purchases are made with a phone.”

Design for the customer, not for your organization

“You still see online stores whose customer path is built according to the organization of the company selling the products. From the customer’s perspective, this makes no sense: when you have just bought something, the first thing you should see back on the front page is a tracking link for the package or the tickets for your next trip. Implementing these features is not complicated. Often you just need the time and date. From them, you can determine that the customer’s trip starts in less than a week, and maybe we should check if they booked breakfast with their hotel room?”

Don’t underestimate the importance of searches

“The specification for search functions is often ‘put the search box here’. You need more information, however: which results should be shown first, from where will the results be retrieved, and what is relevant for the customer at the moment. The Trivago and Momondo services are good examples of the new type of search: after making a simple search, you can start narrowing down the criteria by clicking on different alternatives. In other words, you will not have to try and think up precise search terms if your first search is not immediately on target. And you don’t have to type dozens of search terms or check dozens of filter boxes.”