Chapters

Table of contents

    Introduction

    In part one of this guide we looked at some of the essentials for optimising your on-site experience, (if your memory is a little hazy we covered A/B testing, mobile optimisation and the power of automation).

    Now it’s time to delve a little deeper and place the focus on a business-critical element of your eCommerce site – your customer experience.

    Though hard to measure, customer experience isn’t some wooly piece of indefinable marketing-speak. It’s the contact and engagement a customer has with your business in its entirety and it’s becoming the most important metric for eCommerce businesses.

    The emphasis on customer experience makes complete sense – at it’s most basic – if your customers aren’t happy, you’re not going to make much money.

    So, before your visitor becomes another abandonment statistic and disappears to a competitor’s site, how can you give them a seamless experience – one that induces both a sale and promotes loyalty?

    For part two of this guide we’ve picked the 3 areas of on-site optimisation that we’ve seen have the biggest impact on our clients’ customer experience and profitability:

    • How to Increase Revenue
    • Creating a Personalised Experience
    • Re-Engaging Abandoning Customers

    Without further ado, let’s get started with our smart and simple strategies to optimize your customer experience and, in doing so, increase your brand’s revenue.

    How to Increase Revenue

    Getting a complete stranger to trust in your brand and hand over their bank details is no easy feat. It’s one of the many reasons why focusing entirely on traffic building and new customer acquisition is such a waste of resources.

    Instead of trying to convince strangers that your brand is trustworthy, why not focus on increasing the order value of those already sold on your brand and product?

    Current customers know, trust and like your brand. It’s easier to convince a few of your current customers to part with an extra £5 than it is to get £20 from a new visitor.

    Upselling

    Upselling is a strategy to sell a more expensive version of the product your customer is currently purchasing or already has.

    A good upsell campaign outlines what the customer will be getting with their current purchase, but also highlights what they could receive should they step up to the next level.

    The customer examines what they could get and will often convince themselves they simply can’t survive without the more expensive options’ features.

    Here’s a few tips on how best to implement a good upsell campaign.

    BEST PRACTICES

    THREE TIER LEVELS

    There’s a reason software services are offered in three tier service levels. It’s a psychological approach known as “decoy pricing”.

    Customers will always compare prices on products. With two options customers will always choose the cheapest. Add in a strategic third option and there’s a drastic shift in preference.

    The third option offers another comparison point and plays to human nature’s desire to hedge our bets. If option three is the highest priced, then the former ‘expensive option’ becomes most desirable. If medium priced, the new option is now the most desirable.

    OFFER DISCOUNTS ON PREMIUM PACKAGE FOR EXISTING CUSTOMERS

    Existing customers are already sold on your brand and will likely be more receptive to a new offer. Look at what they’ve bought and offer them an upgrade at a reduced price. They’ll appreciate the offer and you’ll have up sold them on a brand new product for a tidy profit.

    Cross-Selling

    Cross-selling differs from upselling in that you’re not aiming to increase the value of the product your customer is buying or has bought. Instead you’re offering a complementary product that increases the overall value of their order.

    If you can market your cross-selling recommendation correctly, you should see customers buying more from you. Here’s how to get the most out of a cross-selling campaign.

    BEST PRACTICES

    CROSS-SELLING RECOMMENDATIONS THAT COMPLEMENT INITIAL PURCHASE

    Offer products that help a customer get the most out of their initial purchase. A phone case for a new phone, controllers for a new console or an iPhone armband with new running shoes.

    CUSTOMERS WHO BOUGHT THIS ALSO BOUGHT

    This is a great way to add social proof and is used effectively by Amazon. Offer products that are often sold together, there’s a good chance they’re a good fit and will appeal to a wide audience.

    SHOP THE LOOK

    Great for fashion brands. If the model in a photo is wearing a full outfit and a customer buys one item, offer a “shop the look” option that also recommends the other pieces in the collection.

    Both upselling and cross-selling can be incredibly effective at increasing revenue, however, if you’ve only time to implement one go with upselling – it’s proved to be 20 times more effective at increasing revenue at certain stages of the buyer journey.

    Creating a Personalised Experience

    Personalisation is a hugely important factor in increasing conversions. Modern consumers don’t want to feel like just another part of the crowd, they want to feel like a valued customer.

    It’s not only the customer who benefits – studies have shown that personalised campaigns receive 5.5 times higher conversion rates than generic campaigns.

    The smart use of segmentation lets you offer incredibly targeted deals to certain segments of your audience.

    Basic Personalisation Segments

    DEMOGRAPHIC DATA

    Look at age, sex and location as the most basic personalisation options.

    A young female in the UK wouldn’t have the same winter shopping habits as a retired male in Australia.

    REPEAT BUYER VS NEW (ALSO HIGH VALUE OR FREQUENT PURCHASER)

    New buyers will need more attention. They don’t yet know or trust your brand so spend more time reassuring them and extolling the benefits of the product.

    Repeat purchasers know and trust you so you can skip some trust building to focus on product benefits.

    Historically high value cart customers should be presented with more expensive products. They have a history of spending some cash so give them the opportunity to do so again.

    Frequent purchasers are ideal targets for cross-selling as they obviously like what you have to offer.

    TRAFFIC SOURCE

    Customers from different traffic sources behave differently. Someone who comes from social media will likely already know more about your brand than a new visitor from Google search.

    The visitor from Google will need more reassurance and explanation on who you are and what you do. Optimise your landing pages for different traffic sources to better represent user expectations.

    Keep consistent messaging from traffic source through to purchase completion.

    DEVICE TYPE

    Mobile users react very differently to desktop users. Always test the two platforms separately.

    You’ll also need to ensure that your site is optimised for mobile or you risk offering an unoptimised experience that could negatively affect your conversions.

    ON-SITE BEHAVIOUR

    The key to an effective segmentation campaign doesn’t lie in knowing who your customers are. Success depends on knowing what they’re interested in.

    You’re now able to collect real-time data representing customer behaviour and desire.

    Look at how customers interact with your site. Does their browsing history indicate a higher interest in one particular product type? Did they spend a long time examining one particular product over all others? Was there a page which turned them off completely and caused them to exit?

    While working with Steiner Sports in the US, we discovered that a higher percentage of visitors converted (15.5%) when given a lower incentive of 15% off featuring a particular product image they had spent time looking at, than those who were given a generic 20% off (13.7%).5 (Yieldify)

    Mapping customer behaviour is one of the most effective methods for understanding exactly what your prospects want and also ensuring you provide the right prospect with the right product recommendation.

    BASKET VALUE

    Basket value is a great way to segment your audience and hit them with personalised offers that not only persuade them to complete their purchase, but also offer a great opportunity for you to increase AOV.

    Whilst there are myriad ways to utilise basket value in your campaign, we’ve seen great success by following the below basic framework:

    By following a similar framework Domino’s pizza achieved a 9% increase in AOV and 16% increase in conversions.

    Basket value below £X – Present percentage discount if order is increased to offer threshold

    Basket value £X – £Y – Inform user that they’re eligible for above mentioned reduction. Also hint at extra discount should AOV increase

    Basket value over £Y – Present largest offer to this segment of your audience

    Re-Engaging Abandoning Customers

    We briefly touched on the importance of cart abandonment in the above section. It’s a problem contributing to huge losses for eCommerce stores across the globe.

    Because this is such a huge issue a few powerful solutions have arisen. Chief among these solutions are exit-intent technology and cart abandonment email campaigns.

    Exit-Intent Overlays

    Exit-intent tech is a relatively new development in digital marketing. Most marketers understand the effectiveness of popups, but are also all too aware of how frustrating users find them.

    Exit-intent technology offers a more effective and intuitive customer experience, using advanced tech to map the mouse movements of users on your site.

    Only when they exhibit signs of leaving the site is a lightbox overlay presented to them. The overlay captures attention and, if well optimised, offers a reason for them to stay on the site and complete their purchase.

    BEST PRACTICES

    NEEDS TO INCLUDE AN ENTICING OFFER

    You’re trying to prevent users from exiting your site, simply asking them to stick around won’t cut it. You’ve got to offer something which not only captures attention but is too good for them to pass up.

    In our own campaigns we’ve had great success with offering discounts, but we’ve also found other incentives such amplifying existing on-site offers and using reassurance messaging to increase conversions (without damaging margins).

    While working with the international men’s fashion brand Ben Sherman, exit-intent overlays amplifying an existing on-site offer of free shipping on orders over £100 achieved a healthy set of results:<br />
    40% of visitors who clicked on the overlay purchased from Ben Sherman during the 2 month sample period.

    NEEDS TO BE TIMELY

    Overlays can be triggered at any point from when a visitor visits your site, or upon certain events, but timing is key. You can’t expect your incentive to be effective if it’s served at the wrong point of the user journey – rather than interrupting the customer experience it should enhance it.

    INCLUDE AN URGENCY ELEMENT

    eCommerce is a buyer’s market. There are plenty of options out there and smart shoppers will take their time in choosing where and what they purchase. You need to cut down on this perceived freedom by adding an urgency element to your overlay.

    Let them know that this is a limited time offer and it should help coerce those who otherwise may not be interested into immediate action.

    SEGMENT BASED ON DATA

    Segment your site visitors based on browsing data and search behaviours – for example, new and returning customers. This ensures that the overlay you present is extremely accurate and relevant to their needs.

    Cart Abandonment Emails

    Even the best exit-intent campaign won’t have a 100% success rate. But those you fail to convert on the day have expressed interest in your products, and you need to follow that interest up.

    A cart abandonment email campaign sends an email after a predetermined amount of time to the customer who abandoned their cart with a reminder and/or an offer to get them re-engage and complete the purchase.

    Cart abandonment emails have been shown to provide a 41% higher lift than regular promotional emails. But, to hit these kind of figures you need to ensure you’re optimising your cart abandonment email campaign – here’s a few tips on how to do so:

    BEST PRACTICES

    NEEDS TO BE PROPERLY TIMED

    From 30 minutes to 24 hours, test different time periods from cart abandonment to email send to find the optimal time to re-engage the customer. Larger purchases may take shoppers longer to mull over, while quick follow ups could motivate impulse purchases.

    NEEDS TO BE PESONALISED

    Personalisation in this instance will largely revolve around the product that was added to the cart. However, don’t forget to include more traditional personalisation elements to ensure the email has the maximum impact.

    OFFER AN INCENTIVE

    From the price of the product to the cost of delivery charges, your user abandoned their purchase for a reason. Test different incentives in your emails to see if you can identify the treason for abandonment and use the data not only to improve the effectiveness of your email campaign, but also of your site.

    SUBJECT LINES ARE INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT

    The average consumer email count (sent and received) a day is just over 93 and this is predicted to grow 6% every year to 2019.

    So, grabbing your prospects’ attention is hard – and it’s only getting more difficult.

    Test different headline formats to see what gets the highest open and conversion rates.

    FOLLOW UP YOUR FOLLOW UP

    You can’t just send one email and leave it at that. Emails can be missed for any number of reasons.

    A second cart abandonment email has been shown to bring a 54% lift in revenue.

    Utilise smart email tracking to follow up on your original email if it hasn’t been opened or wasn’t opened long enough to have been read. Be careful though, the last thing you want to do is be seen as a spammer.

    Conclusion

    eCommerce stores need to pull their focus away from useless vanity metrics such as traffic gained or social shares received.

    Yes, traffic is important, but for the biggest ROI and increase in revenue you need to optimise your customer experience and purchase journey. Doing so might not increase the number of opportunities you have, but it can drastically increase the value of each visitor, customer lifetime value and average order value.

    In short, optimisation is the smart choice for those concerned with improving their bottom line.

    We hope this will eBook will serve as your go-to guide to get your own eCommerce strategies off on the right foot.

    For more information on how Yieldify can help you optimise your customer experience and increase revenue on your eCommerce site, just get in touch with one of our conversion experts here.

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    RESOURCES

    Some of our clients