Marketing Assistant Nic runs us through five ways to lose a customer on your website.
A lot of effort goes into attracting customers to your website but once they get on your site, what are their expectations? Do they even have any? What do they want to experience?
There is a new species of customer that is demanding a more personalized, bespoke customer experience.
So what could be driving this new breed of customer away from your site? Here’s a five step guide to the reasons for losing customers online, and what you can do about it.
1 Making Offers That Don’t Apply to Existing Customers
New customer incentives such as discounts or first purchase offers are the usual go-to tactics when you want to increase customer acquisition.
These first-time-buyer offers are certainly beneficial in the short term, but have you ever thought about the impact it could be having on your existing customer base?
Repeated exclusive offers for new customers can drive the most valuable customer base away from your site and often into the hands of your competitors. The value of your existing customers who often make repeat purchases without reward is not to be underestimated.
They are a long-term source of revenue and already have an established relationship with your brand. As a result, it is likely that they are already impressed by your brand, products and customer service.
Promotions for existing customers are a great way to retain customers and keep them actively engaged with your brand.
A customer’s previous purchase history is great source of data for promoting discounted upgrades and alerting them to new and relevant products that they might have been unaware of.
Updating customers with this sort of information shows that you understand their needs and care about their satisfaction. It costs less to retain a customer than to acquire a new one, so existing customers deserve special treatment.
Remember it’s not a crime to reward your existing customers so why not shout about it? It can also act as a great incentive for potential customers to actually become a customer and reap the rewards.
As an avid Asos customer, the A-lister retention scheme has got me hooked with their customer points scheme. The more you shop, the more you are rewarded with discounts and special offers, all of which encourage repeat purchases.
Constantly highlighting customer progression with ‘special double points days’ are enticing not only towards the existing customers, but also towards potential customers looking to get on the customer ladder to a host of perks.
2 Lack of Delivery Options
As a customer one of the drawbacks of online shopping is that you do not receive your purchase straight away.
Customer expectations around delivery procedures have changed over the past decade and are having a huge impact on the customer’s decision to make a purchase.
Whether it be delivery speed, delivery costs, nominated delivery days or delivery tracking, if any of these options are lacking in the delivery experience, you could be watching many potential customers bypassing your site.
Have you ever abandoned a purchase due to a lack of delivery options?
It's #Questiontime. We'd love to know your answer to the following?…
Have you ever abandoned your cart due to a lack of delivery options?
— SaleCycle (@SaleCycle) December 9, 2016
Delivery has come a long way since the early days of ecommerce, and the modern-day customer now demands more flexibility around delivery options.
Indeed, 49% of customers are happy to pay more for a better or more convenient delivery option, while half have abandoned orders due to a lack of suitable options.
Providing customers with the flexibility to plan in and around a delivery date makes a big difference. 86% of 18-24 year olds stated that delivery options are influencing their choice of retailer when buying online.
So be sure to provide choice around delivery, and to make options and pricing clear to customers throughout the ordering/checkout process. Here’s a great example from Schuh, with a range of options and prices clearly displayed.
3 Insisting Upon Customer Registration Before Checkout
Forcing potential customers to register their details before checkout is one of the quickest ways to increase cart abandonment.
We’ve all been there, ready to purchase the items in our basket and in a rush to complete the checkout process and get on with the busy day.
However, some sites still insist upon customer registration before checkout and sometimes it just isn’t worth the hassle of entering in the details; when you were born, what gender you are or what your grandma’s dog’s called. Okay, maybe not the last one but you get the idea.
It’s a barrier to purchase for many users, and something that has been shown to reduce conversions. Instead, give shoppers the option to skip the mandatory registrations and checkout as a guest.
Guest checkout removes this potential barrier to conversion, making it more likely that customers will complete an order. Also, customers can still be given the option to create an account during the process, providing you with that valuable customer data.
4 Vague Product Descriptions
Boring generic product descriptions can cause customers to walk away at the moment they most need convincing. Whilst product images can do the job of reeling in users, a well-written product description can get them over the line.
What the user reads about the product can play a huge role in whether or not they will go ahead and purchase the product. Whether it’s the product’s use, function, sizing, measurements, return policy, materials or delivery information that you pack into a product description, the job of actually catching the user’s eye and making them excited about the product is an art.
Some product descriptions, like the one below from Currys PC World, need to be more technical and lay out the features and specifications of products.
Others need to be more persuasive. Customers sometimes need to become emotionally engaged when making a decision on purchasing a product, so think about how you would like your brand and products to be perceived by your customers.
Bally uses words which add a bit of emotional zest to the description, describing the material as ‘smooth butter-soft leather’ which accentuates the luxury of the bag.
Products not only have functions but they also have results, and the results are where you can add value to both how your customer will perceive your product and how it actually benefits their life.
Bally weave the product results into the product description explaining that ‘two adjustable handles is ideal for short ventures in the city’. Putting the customer into a situation where they can use it in their lifestyle subtly plays on their emotions making it an increasingly desirable product.
5 Not Using Exit Intent Technology
By not using exit intent technology you may be waving bye-bye to potential customers you should in fact be engaging with. Having guided them to your site through SEO and advertising, they are leaving with their wallets full of cash and unhappy because they haven’t bought the product they came to your site for.
Detecting when your visitors are about to leave is a powerful tool to use on your site. Re-engaging visitors who show intent on leaving with a customized message is the perfect last ditch attempt to get your visitors to return for one last browse.
OSR overlays can be segmented to allow visitors to engage with messages that apply to them. For instance, if an existing customer receives an OSR overlay message with a new-customer incentive (10% off first purchase), they will end up leaving more pained than when they first intended to leave.
The more personalized you can make your OSR overlays the more likely they will be to return to your site.
In summary, every customer comes to your site with expectations and those expectations are becoming increasingly more demanding. If any touch point such as delivery, checkout process or product description fails to meet such expectations, you could be losing thousands of conversions that you don’t know about.
It’s never been more important to create an engaging personalised experience that is barrier-free for any customer who visits your site. Fulfilling each customer’s needs on their journey not only adds value to your brand but also increases conversions.