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Cracking user behavior and increasing conversion rates is a key goal for any business. This is our bread and butter. This is especially true for e-commerce businesses, an ever-growing category. According to the US Department of Commerce, e-commerce sales in the US alone, totaled over $97 billion during Q2 2016, that’s over 15% growth year over year. Conversion rates are a key metric every business looks at and uses in order to fine-tune its outbound activities as well as plan future go-to-market strategy.
It goes without saying that customers are smarter, more intuitive and interactive than ever before. Presented below is a recent study completed by Google, using Google Analytics (what a surprise) to show how the customer journey to online purchases, looks today.
This kind of studies can help us identify the touchpoints in a customer’s journey, getting our juices flowing about the best ways to influence our customers’ experience and hopefully the business’s conversion rates as well. In this post we have taken a close look into the essentials you should look at in order to understand the customer journey, and listed 10 such essentials to get you started quickly.
It’s about getting a feel for the vibe
It’s like being a kid… We’ve all been there before, when we want something from our parents. We learn very quickly which parent to ask, how to ask them and yes, catching them at the perfect time, that gets you to the “checkout”.
So how do we start increasing conversion rates, getting our clients to say yes and get them to the checkout?
( 1 ) A/B testing
Often used to evaluate page design, A/B testing can provide you with some great analytics to how users are reacting to your e-commerce website. Which designs are communicating a stronger message? What is generating better results? A popular go to tool for experts is Optimizely.
( 2 ) Site performance
KissMetrics discovered that 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less. 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. They also calculated that If an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1 second page delay could potentially cost you $2.5 million in lost sales every year. This teaches us one thing, time is money and a fast loading site is critical.
( 3 ) Completing a customer journey analysis
A key to improving your customer journey and conversion rates with it lies in understanding what attracted them to you, identifying the lead source and identifying other tangible measurements such as date, time of day, where they are coming from, where they are going and more. By regularly monitoring how customers are behaving on your website, and how long they are there, you can better and more quickly identify problems and make changes accordingly. The oh so famous Google Analytics is a great source to start and find all these facts and figures. You are probably already using it, but make sure you get the most information out of it.
( 4 ) Customer feedback
It’s helpful if your clients are taking the time to say something about your brand and their experience. It’s worth listening! Through short surveys and a review tools, there are many of them out there, you can receive feedback to evaluate your brand experience and loyalty and improve them in the future. One example you can look at is Survey Gizmo.
( 5 ) Setting up the sales funnel
(Lead – Prospect -Customer)
Just like when you were a kid, asking for things too quickly or in the wrong way / time directly affects your outcome, going in too soon or too strong with customers will affect your business the same way. It’s all about timing.
( 6 ) Build trust
This is key, if a client doesn’t trust your brand or product, your sales will suffer. One of the key ways to build trust is by making things transparent and accessible. If thing are clear, there is less room for confusion and hesitation. Present yourself as a professional. Yes, first impressions count. A great way to build trust is by presenting customer testimonials, case studies, company profile and professional accreditations and awards. People believe what they see and hear from others, so show them.
( 7 ) Dare to compare
If your clients haven’t done it already there is a chance your competition has. Comparison tables are a great way to highlight your strengths as a brand as well as do the leg work on research for your potential customers. This shows customers your strengths, builds trust and makes decision making easier for them. This all helps to keep your customer on your website, right where they should be.
( 8 ) Keep customers focused
This means removing distractions. Take away sidebars and big headers, shrink menus and make sure load times are fast. In short, all the items on your webpage should be assets that are contributing to conversion and to the overall experience, they should not be a liability.
( 9 ) Incentives, we all love them
Discounts, donations to a cause, monthly prize draws, gift cards, VIP, clubs pre-order lists, add-ons, mailing lists and more. Every customer is looking for that extra value. Providing incentives is great way to build brand loyalty, a database, and increase customer satisfaction.
( 10 ) Communication
We have all heard it before, communication is key. This is something we do every single day, and we understand its potential impact. The world of e-commerce is no different, in fact many would argue that communication in this industry is vital. In addition, today’s customers are on the go more than ever before. They are more intuitive, resourceful and have higher expectations. That’s why the way we communicate with them is so important. We need to evolve and meet those high expectations of being available anywhere, anytime. A great approach for opening communication channels that meet this now expected standard is Bontact’s multi-channel communication approach. Being able to communicate with customers through chat, messaging, text, and voice is not only convenient to customers, but can also positively affect your conversion rates. As a business owner, this is priceless. Don’t underestimate the value in having all communication channels in the one place. Convenience is key for customers, a happy customer is a loyal one.
At the end of the day…
In this fast paced and ever changing business climate, it’s important to remember that if your competitor offers a more convenient communication option, your customer will move. It’s vital to adapt and stay ahead of the pack. Listen to your customers, take what they have to say on into serious consideration and always look to improve their experience. From A/B testing to communication, implementing these essentials will have you on the right track to increase conversion rates.