Two-thirds of consumers who initiate an online purchase do not carry it through to completion, and poor design is often the cause. One approach to identifying opprtunities for improvement is to look at customer behavior. Consider the following:
What are customers telling you?
Customer feedback is one of the best and easiest ways to target problem areas. Gather information from any channel that touches the customer, but be cautious about using customer feedback to determine how your site should be improved.
At what point are visitors abandoning your site?
One big red flag are situations where users are starting a process (e.g., checking out, searching, subscribing to the newsletter) and then bailing out before reaching the end. Process abandonment indicates that visitors had a goal in mind but were either unable to achieve it or were unwilling to continue when expectations were not met.
What kinds of mistakes do customers make?
Find out how clean your data is and where problems lie, and check site logs to see where users get error messages. Then identify the problem page(s) and redesign them to help make the customer successful. Resist the temptation simply to change or augment the instructions.
Why do customers choose not to use the Web site?
Look at the all the ways and reasons people interact with your company. Identify the most common purposes for customers' calls and ensure those needs are easily met online. Look for and correct any barriers to online success.
These questions are a starting point, and you will want to pose additional questions that are specific to your situation. If your goal is to maximize company profits, you should assign the same priority to providing a quality online experience for your customers as you do to providing quality customer service.