How e-retailers can use order confirmation pages to drive sales

Immediate incentives and referral opportunities are a few elements that can help, a study finds.

Kevin Woodward

A recent study of 30 online retailers in the United Kingdom by online marketing platform Owned it found that many of them use order confirmation pages to entice future sales from existing shoppers and to gain new customers.

Owned it analyzed order confirmation pages for social media elements, if an immediate incentive, such as a discount on a future purchase is offered, if there is an opportunity to refer the purchase to friends, and if longer-term incentives are offered if a consumer takes an action such as signing up for a retailer’s e-mail newsletter. The study also looked at the order confirmation page length.

Based on the presence of these elements, Owned it ranked Amazon.com Inc., Marks & Spencer, New Look Retail Group Ltd. and House of Fraser Stores Ltd. as the best in maximizing their order confirmation pages. Amazon is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Europe 400; Marks & Spencer, No. 19; New Look, No. 160; and House of Fraser, No. 100.

Overall, the analysis finds that 53% of the retailers use social media buttons on their pages, but only 13% displayed them prominently. Many placed the buttons below the fold and often in black and white.

Owned it defined money off of the shopper’s next purchase as one type of immediate incentive. Among e-retailers in the study, 56% offered some form of incentive for shoppers to return, and 30% offered an immediate reward, such as a discount on the shopper's next order. It defined longer-term incentives as those requiring an action, such as signing up for a newsletter.

Sharing purchases also can extend beyond social media networks to include shoppers e-mailing friends about their recent purchase, Owned it says. “Word of mouth—both online and offline—is still high on the list of how people hear about products and services,” Owned it says.

The survey also found that a majority of retailers—53%—kept their order confirmation pages to fit the size of the computer screen, eliminating the need for the shopper to scroll to view all of the elements. “Users engage more with the content above the fold,” Owned it says. “Hence, the effectiveness of the campaigns on the order confirmation page will be higher if users can access the content without scrolling.”


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