Digital ad spending hit 142 Billion in 2020, and Morningstar forecasts show that could go as high as 160 Billion in 2021. Part of the growth is that it’s becoming more costly. Competition is fierce and that means brands have to spend more.
Ad spend is only one part of driving sales, however. Brands in the eCommerce space live and die on websites where customers can be gone with the click of a mouse. It’s crucial for brands to continuously optimize and deliver an exceptional customer experience (CX) so ad spend is not wasted. Too often, online businesses sacrifice the site experience by spending too much on driving traffic and not enough on ensuring that customers get the experience they need to explore, engage, and convert on the products that bring high levels of customer satisfaction and ROI for the business.
What happens after the customer lands on the site is just as important.
Conversion rate optimization is critical, but over 53% of companies surveyed spend less than 5% of their total budget on it. While heat maps and site analytics can provide thousands of data points and actionable insights, that data won’t reveal why some traffic converts and won’t show you how to improve the online experience of site visitors.
If you need a better understanding of your site traffic and could use some ideas on what high performing customer experience teams are doing to raise sales conversion rate and Average Order Value (AOV), this list is for you.
Seeing how much traffic is flowing to your site is only part of the picture; not all of those visitors are the same. On average, only about 2% of your site traffic is there to make a purchase, so your digital strategists need to know where to best allocate resources that will drive sales and increase conversion. Getting shoppers on a path to purchase is the goal.
This list provides digital marketing professionals several tools based on best practices, that will improve the CX across all touchpoints, to ensure that your digital experiences will firmly support your business objectives in ways that site traffic data alone cannot.
1. Know your inbound traffic. Breaking down the “why” of your site traffic can help inform strategy. Only 1%-5% of your site traffic has a true intention of buying something. Another 35%-40% of traffic has “conditional” intent and can be influenced further to buy. 50%-60% of traffic has extremely little or no intent to buy. Conversion rates will have nowhere to go but up when you understand and prioritize the top needs of each segment.
2. Look at the “conditional” intent to buy segment. First, at 35%-40% of your traffic, this segment is very important for lifting sales. Who represents this segment? What do they care about? What is top of mind? How can you gain deeper insights on this segment?
3. Focus on specific moments that are driving the most impact. These moments are where conditional buyers can be intercepted and influenced. What does your site traffic tell you about product and category stall points, product compare moments, backouts, page returns, total site stalls? Your site analytics have to provide the right information at the right time if you want maximum impact.
4. Improve your understanding of visitors based on what they are doing right now. Even with the best tracking and understanding of prior consumer behavior, gaining insight as to what your current visitor needs right now by mining customer and site data quickly will reveal customer sentiment during their visit, not weeks afterward.
5. Individualize experiences for different visitor types. Taking the three segments from above:
- Traffic with a high propensity to buy – Completely get out of the way. Automate the process and make self-service quick and easy.
- Traffic with a low propensity to buy – Don’t write them off. Automate as much as possible, add rich content with the goal to move these shoppers into the medium / conditional propensity to buy.
- Traffic with a medium propensity to buy--Focus on helping them find precisely what they had a “conditional” intent on buying in the form of specific answers, trusted input and advice, related items, etc.
6. Realistically assess your current online experience. Are there barriers to conversion that need to be addressed? Look hard at the issues customers face, like real-time help, tedious self-service, product reviews with no context or personalization, inadequate sales advice. Are your customers targeting certain products or just looking around and do your site metrics help you qualify and intercept your most important traffic segments?
7. Know how your customers want to communicate. Post pandemic trends are clear; real-time information and chat engagement at the right part of the process are an absolute requirement for top CX. Does your eCommerce experience let customers engage you in the way they want? Ecommerce shoppers text more than they talk, they are visual and used to abbreviated, direct communication in real-time and they want it on-demand.
8. Strategically identify and develop your key interaction points. A flurry of questions that are clearly computer-generated isn’t how site visitors want to interact, but they do want information delivered immediately. Value and cost matter at these interaction points. If a low value / high cost interaction involves a return or check on a shipment requires a different experience than a high value interaction, with a “conditional” shopper looking for some recommendations on how a product fits or shopping / brand advice.
9. Tailor service delivery to the kind of interaction the customer is experiencing. A low value experience that comes with a high cost like returns or a shipping issue is already costing enough, so handle that with an automated or self-service feature. In a high value interaction, with a “conditional” shopper looking for some recommendations on how a product fits or shopping / brand advice you must avoid a negative chatbot interaction and go immediately to a real person ready to advocate and maximize cart value.
10. Understand who your customers trust when deciding to make a purchase. Customers trust strangers over brands, and that can include brand reps. If a chat agent is more than a salesperson, but also someone who shares the customer’s lifestyle and interests, a shopper will have a higher degree of trust. Along with customer reviews, an experience that involves people similar to your shoppers will harness the power of your biggest fans to lift sales.
Want to learn how to apply these points to your customers' CX experience using Needle? Submit your information in the form below or book time to connect with our team.