How Customer Experience Impacts Conversion Rates Online 2

How Customer Experience Impacts Conversion Rates Online

Conversation rate optimisation, it sounds a little clinical doesn’t it? That’s because, often, it is. Brands zone in on the moneymaking stats and tweaks that can help push conversations up, but sometimes, they miss the bigger picture…

Don’t just focus on conversion optimisation for the web without delving into the depths of customer experiences. If you go after conversions and nothing else the chances are you’ll end up worse off in the long run.

Sure, you can sell your products for half the price and your conversion rates will go through the roof, but you will be losing profits and missing out on an opportunity to connect with your customers in a more meaningful way.

Think of it the other round. Instead of wondering how a good customer experience can help increase conversion, consider what happens to your sales if web visitors have a sub-par customer experience. 43% of UK and US e-commerce decision-makers said that a key consequence of a suboptimal digital customer experience was the effect it had on their digital conversion rates.

Omnichannel shopping and the customer experience

So, if you want to keep those conversion rates healthy, you better start reviewing your online customer service. More people are embracing the omnichannel shopping experience these days. Which means online and offline store experiences are intertwined.

They are not like the North and South pole, they’re more like the equator, so to speak. There’s a blurred line somewhere in the middle where people check reviews online, pop into different stores and then compare prices on different websites – this is the new customer experience, and it happens across multiple platforms.

The online customer experience is as important as offline

When someone walks into your shop, they expect to have a positive experience. They want to find the products they’re after easily, experience polite and helpful interactions with staff and then buy their goods as quickly and easily as possible. It should be no different online.

A customer in a shop waits too long in a queue, so they leave the shop. A customer online has trouble with pages taking too long to load, and they will abandon their cart. In both situations, conversion rates are dropping. And in both situations, small tweaks in the customer experience could have saved the day.

Considering how many people shop online these days, it’s very odd that lots of brands don’t prioritise digital customer issues. 40% of customers began shopping with a competitor because they heard about the company’s good customer service. If people have a negative experience, they simply go elsewhere. With so much competition online brands can’t afford to lose customers to competitors due to a lack of customer experience care.

Word spreads like wildfire

If someone has a poor customer experience, you can bet they will want to tell others about it. And with the world wide web at everyone’s fingertips, it’s hardly surprising that brand reputations can be ruined in an instant. All it takes is one social media post or article about how bad your site is or the problems people experience when trying to buy from you, and you’re in deep trouble.

So it’s not just about ‘the one that got away’, it’s about what they do when they bounce off your website and feel the urge to vent their frustration. 85% of customers who had a bad customer service experience wanted to warn others about doing business with the company. Furthermore, 66% of customers wanted to discourage others from doing business with the company.

How to improve your online customer experience

Improve site speed
This is a huge turnoff for customers and a major reason why conversion rates decrease. If you want happy customers then you need to serve up what they want and fast.

Perfect your mobile site
Nowadays, more people use the internet via their mobile device, so be sure to give your mobile site a good old health check and ensure your site runs smoothly on smartphones.

Simplify processes
Make navigation easy, don’t give customers too many forms to fill out and try and make the checkout process as fast and simple as possible.

Include reviews
People will use product reviews to determine whether or not to make a purchase and feel more confident about your brand.

Train staff in online customer service
Got an online messenger service? Make sure staff are trained to respond in the best possible way to any customer issues. Ensure that customers can contact someone over the phone or online quickly if they are experiencing any problems.

Engaging content
Serve up engage content and copy to keep website visitors hooked. Make sure all images are top notch and consider additional elements such as video and interactive features.

Have a distinctive brand personality
This will help customers remember their experience with you, and as they browse your site and get a feel for who you are as a brand, they will be less likely to leave.

Andrew Machin
Andrew Machin

With over 15 years’ experience in web design and digital marketing Andrew has helped many brands, both in the UK and US, create exceptional digital experiences, from websites to in-store retail experiences, such as John Lewis, Jet2, Virgin Holidays and Interflora.

Through the success of such projects Andrew has received accolades that include high-profile awards that span innovation, strategy, design and results such as the Dadi Grand Prix Award and the Digital Impact Award for Innovation.

This experience has led to Andrew judging digital design awards, been featured in .net magazine, lecturing at Leeds university and speak at seminars and conferences across the UK.

Follow Andrew @The_Machin

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