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Top 50 eCommerce Tips - Part Four, Customer Acquisition

It’s so easy to spend lots of money driving customers to your website, but these tips will help ensure that the customers who are already finding you find what they are looking for, have the best experience on your site, and if they do decide to go elsewhere, that you have the best possible chance of winning back their custom.

These tips are all about increasing your conversion rate and making most of the visitors you already have.

Before I get into my tips, it is worth noting that any design change or new feature you implement to improve customer acquisition should be done off the back of clear data trends. With Google Analytics, Hotjar, Split Testing, etc it’s easier than ever to discover where your eCommerce site’s weak points are and work to improve them.

Following on from this, you can then track and analyse how each element is performing and test/optimise to find the right solution for your business and products.

Here are our top 5 quick wins when it comes to customer acquisition:

Set Up Exit Blockers

Exit blockers allow you to offer incentives to customers who are physically moving to exit your site. For example, you may wish to offer 15% off to any new user that is exiting your site – however, this is quite broad and covers a multitude of scenarios.

These days you are now able to set up and customise a multitude of exit blockers in order to suit your business and specific needs. For instance, you may choose to only offer discounts in exchange for an email if your overall goal is to build up your subscription list. Or you may choose to focus on high-value orders and only serve an exit pop up to customers who have already have a certain value in their basket.

Exit blockers don’t need to be limited to discounts either – you may wish to offer free shipping or offer to email customers the content of their cart so they are reminded to complete their purchase at a later date.

Essentially, you are monitoring how customers are interacting with your site and letting them know that you value their custom before they leave.

ML Stat: Roughly 80% of eCommerce traffic are new users to our own store. So a basic exit blocker offering 10% off to customers on their first visit to the site only (email in exchange for discount code) accounts for roughly 10-15% of sales each month.

Make Use of Abandoned Cart Functionality

If a customer is logged in, it is definitely worth making use of abandoned cart functionality. This sends a snapshot of the customer’s most recent shopping cart so at a later date, with just one click, the customer can repopulate their cart and complete their purchase.

These days it is likely that a customer will visit your site multiple times across various devices before making a purchase, so why not send them an email which facilitates the purchase journey regardless of which device it has been opened on. It’s all about making it as easy as possible for a customer to buy your products.

If you know why customers are abandoning their carts, you may wish to add specific messaging in your abandoned carts to push the customer over the buy line.

For example, do you offer limited stock items? Perhaps play on the urgency factor and include stock levels in your email.

Are your products widely available across multiple retailers? Perhaps highlight that you do offer a price match guarantee or even some kind of small discount.

This information can also be easily leveraged to serve personalised social ads by showing potential customers items you know they are already interested in.

Of course, you need a customers email in order to be able to send out abandoned cart emails and the chances that all of your visitors are logged in are pretty slim. In these instances, you may wish to implement an exit blocker offering to send customers the contents of their carts in exchange for an email address.

ML Stat: Our eCommerce store sends out an email 20 minutes after a visitor has abandoned their cart. These have a 66.50% Open rate and a 19% conversion rate. Further social advertising using abandoned cart functionality have an ROI of roughly 500%.

Offer Clear Delivery Information

One of the main reasons for a customer to drop off at the basket and checkout is unclear shipping rates.

Make sure that prices, shipping rates and cut-off times are labelled clearly at both the basket and the checkout pages. If you have any special delivery options, make sure this is also detailed (weekend delivery, same day delivery, in-store collection etc).

Make it clear if items are going to be shipped separately or have differing delivery windows – this is crucial information to a customer.

If you ship globally, it is likely that you have different shipping rates for different countries. If that is the case, use visitor geolocation to serve appropriately personalised banners and info blocks detailing shipping rates that are relevant to them.

One of the main reasons for a customer to drop off at the basket and checkout is unclear shipping rates.

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Implement an Independent Review System (Feefo/ Yotpo)

The above tips largely focus on the checkout process. Moving up the purchase funnel, one of the main factors that affect bounce rates on category and product pages is poor trust signals.

Implementing an independent review system like Yotpo or Feefo signals to customers that real people are buying and engaging with your products.

Don’t forget that bad reviews work in your favour! Not only does it highlight an issue a customer may have had, allow you make it right and show what great customer service you offer, but it also adds an element of trust for potential customers who are looking for signals that the site and products are actually genuine.

Google also monitors your site reviews and, providing you meet the criteria, will show them alongside PPC Ads as well as organic listings to help improve click-through rate across both channels.

Encourage your customers to leave reviews by adding a review section to your success page and sending post-purchase review request emails – Amazon does this incredibly well if you need an example to follow.

If you find that your visitors are particularly engaged with your product reviews, you may choose to display these on the category pages or at the checkout to help increase conversion rates.

Engage Customers with Dynamic Content

eCommerce is constantly growing and evolving so it’s no surprise that customers have come to expect an increasingly personalised shopping experience. With so much data available to us about how and why our visitors are shopping, it makes sense to use dynamic content to offer them a unique and tailored experience.

As mentioned above, this could be as simple as using visitor geolocation to display relevant shipping information across the site. It could also mean offering multiple currencies or personalised product recommendations site-wide, or you may even go as far as showing completely different home pages depending on where your visitor has arrived from.

For example, if you’re a clothing retailer that recognises someone has entered your website from your ‘Coats & Jackets’ Adwords Campaign, you already know what they are looking for – so show them personalised blocks to help navigate them to the right products as quickly as possible. Someone who you know has entered the site from your ‘Swimwear’ campaign, on the other hand, may be shown a completely different experience catered to what you already know they are interested in.

Alternatively, you may wish to use dynamic content to create urgency on your website. For example, you may wish to add a livestock counter to product pages “Only 5 left in stock” or ” 5 people have purchased this in the last hour”.

All of these elements help you create a coherent, unique and targeted journey for your customers.

ML Stat: Personalised recommendations on the homepage convert at 44%, category page at 12% and search results at 28%

To Be Continued…

So that completes our roundup of the top 5 ways you can improve your approach to customer retention. Make sure you check out our previous three articles that cover some of the other important areas of eCommerce including SEO, Data Analysis and Conversion.

Part Five will be here soon!