Beat Bounce Rates With Bolder, More Intuitive Customer Experiences

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Abandoned online shopping carts lead to $4 million in lost revenue each year.

Customer experience can be everything. In fact, research from Monetate reveals that it takes less than a minute for most shoppers to decide to stick around and browse more or bounce. And even worse, retailers lose 30 percent of visitors in their first minute if the shopping experience is lackluster.

Because digital channels are often the first, second, third and even fourth places shoppers visit before making final purchase decisions in-store, retailers have to pay attention to those bounce rates and try to keep them down every chance they get. So rather than throw out more and more content across their digital channels, retailers will be better served if they focus on the valuable content assets they already have and enhance them with bold visuals, compelling calls-to-action, social-like mapping and pricing features. If they do, they’ll see shoppers feeling more comfortable and confident in engaging with their brands. And confidence is a good thing because it makes shoppers more likely to buy not just in one channel – but at multiple turns.

Mix it up with social-like features to simplify product searches and purchases.

Emarketer estimates U.S. internet users spend 24 minutes a day on social networking sites. To reduce bounce rates, retailers should integrate compelling creative, relevant product information and real-time purchasing options.

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Shopping aggregator platform Wanelo recently partnered with 200 retail brands, including Urban Outfitters. The platform allows customers to customers to quickly collect, post and purchase Urban Outfitter items. The site mimics a social network and features many of the same functions while empowering shoppers to complete purchases with their favorite brands.

Retailers can also turn existing social outlets — not just Facebook — into profitable, engaging commerce channels. For example, 42 percent of women online now use Pinterest, according to Pew Research. The social media channel known for its artistic style made a recent update to its follow button, letting customers who like a certain product follow the product brand directly via a simple pop-up window. These brands increase their social following and share more shoppable offers without driving consumers off the page.

When Pinterest introduced product pins, it allowed retailers to add metadata such as real-time pricing, inventory availability and a “Buy This Now” button to product images. It’s a simple way to captivate users on a channel they already use so frequently, while at the same time converting those social interactions into local commerce – aka offline sales.

Get in on the real-time action to drive return visits.

Real-time marketing works in many ways. Sears, for example, offers customers daily deals and flash sales on its website. It is also beta testing Sears Local Ad, an e-circular platform that lets customers see discounts available nearby and create personalized shopping lists. Knowing consumers may leave, this strategy gives customers a reason to return regularly and check in daily as offers change.

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We know that shoppers price-compare online, so retailers are discouraging shoppers from going elsewhere by using real-time experiences.

Don’t ignore those important site conversions.

Most visitors drop off fast from a site when they aren’t getting their needs met – be it a page or image taking over 5 seconds to load, a technical error, super long checkout experiences or offers that have no relevance to you (think newborn baby products being promoted to a single woman in her 20s). What all these obstacles do is just frustrate and push away customers – both first-time visitors and those all-important high value customers.

Remember, the average conversion rate is just 3 percent. So to keep people interested and prevent them from leaving your site – and going to a competitor – present special discounts online so it’s easy for them to find them and convert that interest into a sale. For example, large typography helps coupons stand out on busy landing pages. GAP regularly posts coupon codes on every page – thus, removing the temptation for shoppers to visit third-party sites to find similar discounts.

Another approach is to do away with high-traffic landing pages altogether. Retailers are now adding “Buy Now” buttons to images posted on social media. “Buy Now” buttons typically take consumers to checkout in just two or three clicks. A far less cumbersome path to purchase means that shoppers are less likely to bounce and instead buy. Isn’t that what retailers like GAP and Nordstrom want? Yes.

Retailers must incentivize customers to make repeat visits via special deals, retargeting efforts across channels, and features and design layouts that make browsing and shopping more seamless. Doing these will ultimately drive better engagement and beat down bounce rates.

Are you hitting those site conversions the way your brand needs to stay competitive? Do your online shoppers get what they need in less than 5 seconds? Let me know in the comments..

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