Site Clinic – Website Review : Gadget Box (Part 2 – Checking Out)

This is a follow-up to the site clinic that we did about the Gadget Box. In the previous part we looked at the site from a usability and SEO perspective, this time we are going to look at the order process.

It’s taken a while for us to do this follow-up as the majority of of our previous suggestions haven’t been implemented but as somebody commented asking about it I thought it could still be a useful exercise.

Affiliate Summary

I’ve been a member of the Gadget Box affiliate program for a fair while and have sent over 60,000 targeted visitors their way which has resulted in not one single sale. To me this says there is a very serious conversion problem or their affiliate tracking system is broken. I’ve done a test purchase today so should be able to rule one of those areas out.

After adding the test item to my cart (I went for the Mind Trainer Toilet Roll) I then proceeded to check out by clicking the appropriate link, this then resulted in 3 options.

Returning Customer
Here I just have enter me email address and password

Proceed Directly to Checkout
This is an odd option and IMO totally pointless, it asks for the same information as the New Customer option expect it doesn’t require a password, thus saving you visitor a few seconds on this visit but doesn’t encourage them to come back, I’d lose the “Proceed Directly to Checkout” and just have Returning Customer and New Customer.

New Customer

This is the option that I went for, I filled in my address details, and once accepted got a thank you “Your Account Has Been Created!” message. After clicking continue I’m taken back to the home page which shows that I am logged in but my shopping basket is empty. However when I start searching for the test product I intend to buy I find that it has been automagically added to my cart, which is confusing to say the least.

st.gifThe next step is for me to try and pay for the goods and check out. There’s an image on the page showing that they take Amex (my preferred card as I’m collecting airmiles) however when specifying the card type there is no Amex or American Express option (just Visa, Mastercard, Switch and Maestro) so I’ll have to use my debit card instead. The image is for Google Check Out, when I tested checking out that way there was no Amex option, so again a bit confusing.

The obvious suggestion here is to ideally accept American Express and Amex but if not at least don’t display the image indicating that you do.

After creating my account and checking out I received an order confirmation email with a link back to view my order (nice touch)

Overall I’d say the order process is pretty good, I’d remove the surplus option and review accepting other cards but there’s not much else wrong with it as far as I can see. So this doesn’t really explain the appalling conversion rate (if you can call zero a rate). When testing the Google Checkout option I noticed that they do not ship to the US (where a lot of my traffic is from) but I would still expect to make the odd sale as I do with a fair few other UK stores. I’ll report back on Friday whether I’ve now got something else to do in the bathroom and also whether I’ve been credited with my first Gadget Box sale.

If you have any ideas on how the checkout and conversion process could be improved I’d love to hear them, as donating 60K visitors for free isn’t something I’m proud of 🙂 . Also if you’d like a site review get in touch.

About Al Carlton

Al quit the 9 to 5 rat race in January of 2007, before then he was a software engineer and systems architect of financial system. Nowadays Al spends the days running his various businesses and experimenting with different ideas and opportunities.
Al can be found on twitter at AlCarlton.

Comments

  1. Couple of things they should really change, the price and the “Add To Cart” should be just under the picture of the product. The “Add To Cart” button should be a different colour (Yellow/Red/Green) so it stands out on the page – It should also be bigger then another button the site.

    On some products the “Add to Cart is below the fold and you have to scroll-down to find it, moving this up will give them better conversion rates.

    I’m sure from a conversion point of view they could really spend some time testing to see what works.

  2. The overall layout/design just doesn’t say ‘BUY ME’, you have to go looking for the buy button at the bottom of the long description. A prominent buy it button at the top and bottom of the page would help. I also got a bit bored of the reading the description for some of the products with lots of info. Maybe a product summary would be better with a more info section or something like that.

  3. Is he losing visitors in the sale process. Has he analyzed where people are dropping out of the site.

    Has he used crazy egg or any tools to see where people are clicking.

  4. Is he losing visitors in the sale process. Has he analyzed where people are dropping out of the site.

    Has he used crazy egg or any tools to see where people are clicking.

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