Seventy-four percent of Britons purchased online this year, according to ONS.

Getting those shoppers to convert on your website can be a challenge. They’re skittish, but successful retailers convert them into customers without resorting to price-slashing.

“Retailers need to understand that shoppers increasingly see no difference between the online and in-store offering,” says John Pincott, managing director at Shopatron, a cloud-based order management solution.

One of the most important elements is ensuring products are in stock online as much as possible.

“Shoppers want to see a retailer’s entire product range. They’re not impressed if their size is out of stock online, especially if they’ve seen it in a local store,” says Pincott. Insight into local availability across the business helps.

Retailers need to ensure the path to purchase stands out, and that delivery, returns and support information is easily accessible. It can also help if availability in-store is viewable for those who want to buy in-store.

“There’s little point in leading customers to the sale with detailed product information, beautiful imagery, and product videos, if your call-to-action and follow-up support isn’t equally compelling,” says Pincott.

Retailers need to consider what will make a shopper’s purchase experience good enough to compel them to repeat it. That includes providing shoppers with convenient delivery options, or the ability to collect from a store within an hour, and strong customer support to ensure the first order is a success.

Turning website visits into purchases is increasingly a cross-channel effort, but focusing on the product offering, path to purchase and first-order success will have the greatest impact on long-term conversion.