Customer Conversion Crisis: How to dramatically improve your customer conversion rates

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The online arena is constantly changing. The Flash plugin that helped improve sales last month is no longer compatible with Google Chrome this week! The plugin that was working perfectly last week now appears to be conflicting with your booking engine! Web teams are faced with ever changing web technologies — supporting the launch of new products and services and the constant challenges around providing a more personalized web experience.

It’s no wonder that web teams that are perpetually fire-fighting day in, day out fail to truly understand their customer’s journey and that as traffic flows through the website, it’s failing to convert into newsletter signups, form submissions, or sales. So why are some areas of your website performing below industry average? Where has it all gone wrong, and how can you begin to remedy your burgeoning customer conversion crisis?

If this analogy took place in the real world, with you as a shopkeeper, proudly surveying your shop as the first customer walks through the door. What would you do? Hopefully, you would start by offering a cheery acknowledgment to your first-ever shopper. You’d naturally be a little curious as to what products your customer was interested in looking at, their movements around your shop and any telling interactions or questions they may have for your staff.

After five minutes of browsing around, your first customer picks up an item and heads towards you to make a payment. They choose to pay by contactless card and touch their card to your card reader. Realizing their purchase is over $30, you redirect them to insert their card into the chip and pin device instead. Being able to see what was going wrong helped you to save that sale.

The trouble is that in the digital world, understanding your customer’s movements, motivations, and obstacles to purchasing, appear to be hidden behind a wall of website secrecy. It’s hard to know why your customers are failing to buy the items that have been placed in their basket and why these abandonments appear to be happening around the transactional stage of the buying cycle?

Online customer conversions are reaching a crisis point and the panic is starting to set in. There is a road to resolution that e-tailers usually go through, but it is usually difficult.

The customer/user issue is usually identified via existing web analytics solution. If they’re not an e-tailer’s insight team needs to call professional services to define what tags or JavaScripts should be added to the web pages and apps. Then, there needs to be R&D involvement in inserting these tags, which can take weeks to align with the R&D plans. Then wait a few days/weeks for the QA team to test it, and then a few more weeks for the staging process. Only after this can they bring the new app to production and only once the new app is in production and being used by customers only then can data be collected and the e-tailer able to generate reports and see results.

To make a long story short: it’s a lengthy, complex and painful process that decreases business agility and hurts the bottom line. No matter how many JavaScripts or tags are being added, e-tailers are still missing key information in the reports because web analytics solutions don’t tell you the reasons why customers or visitors are behaving the way they do. Moreover, they do not track specific metrics, such as application performance. It might very well be that an e-tailer conversion is low because one of the pages in the “purchase process” takes 4 seconds to load, but no one waits for that long for a page to load. People just abandon transactions and never come back. Meanwhile, the IT team may know there’s an issue with that page, but they don’t know it has a direct impact on the business, so it’s not high-priority to fix.

However, there is hope, as there are completely different approaches to digital behavioral & customer experience analytics where, once deployed, no R&D maintenance involvement is required and no Java Scripts or tags need to be added. Instead, all the digital transactions can be recorded in a non-intrusive way and the data is automatically indexed so no pre-configuration is required. And there’s a combined view of customer experience metrics and high-level application performance. The e-tailer could build a new report within seconds using free text search and get huge value in being able to record, replay and analyze every online customer journey, both on the website and its mobile app.

Crisis averted, you’re free to tend to your shop again, secure in the knowledge that your last customer has had a hassle-free shopping experience. That is until the shop doorbell rings once again…

Audelia Boker
Audelia Boker is the VP, Marketing for Glassbox, a company that helps enterprises manage and optimize the entire digital lifecycle of their web and mobile customers.

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