For a small business, just getting customers’ eyeballs on your website can seem like a triumph. That’s why it’s so important not to let all that hard work go to waste.
One of the best ways to ensure you get the most from your page views is to pay close attention to the customer journey. Every step of the way should have customers purring rather than growling.
But don’t just take my word for it. Dave Furness, co-founder of UnderstandingE, says that a smooth experience is essential if you want to maximise conversion rates.
“Customers have an attention span of about six seconds. If they don’t see what they want in that time, they’ll hit the back button. The customer journey should be one of the first things a business considers.”
Where does the journey begin?
The journey begins when a customer first takes an interest in a product. Smart retailers know that if they aren’t there at this part, they could end up missing out all together.
There are many techniques to help online retailers. Keyword marketing – where ads appear on results pages for particular search terms – is one, while placing ads on sites where potential customers might go to do research is another.
But perhaps the best advice is to make sure your site is mobile-optimised. Figures from IMRG show that more than half of all UK online retail sales are made via mobile devices, and two-thirds of all visits to retail websites are via mobile1. With these devices playing a significant part across the whole customer journey, if you’re not effective on them you could be losing out.
What does best practice look like?
But getting potential customers are on your website is just the beginning. There are three key tips to help them stay there:
Make it easy: De-clutter your website, make sure it’s simple to navigate and ensure it’s easy to find the “buy” button.
“We’ve found that for different brands, customer ease is the difference between the top and bottom of the pack,” says Jim Tincher, lead consultant at customer journey mapping company Heart of the Customer. “There’s been a move among consumers to ‘what’s easiest for me?’ and ‘how can I get this done with the least amount of effort?’"
- Make it consistent: Delivering a consistent experience – across all points where a consumer interacts with your business, including post-purchase – reassures consumers, eases the process and is a key part of a successful journey. It also builds loyalty , helping support the beginning of the next customer journey too.
- Make customers feel safe: Many people feel nervous putting in their card details online, so it’s vital that you build trust with them . A reliable website, on-time delivery and great customer service can all pay dividends across the customer journey.
How to achieve it
Business owners should design their websites around how consumers see their business. Creating a customer journey map can be a useful exercise here. Not only does it help clarify how consumers are using your website, visualising all the steps in the process can help you to spot where you should be streamlining to make things easier.
Smart retailers will also test out a variety of options – they could be design-related, focus on the structure of the website or even on the language used on the pages. Whatever they are, working out what customers best respond to can really help you to reduce any friction in the process.
How can payments help?
Russell Parsons, Editor of Marketing Week, says that the payment page can be one of the areas most in need of attention.
“The point of purchase is often neglected in the customer journey,” he says, adding that being up-front on costs for things such as delivery is important.
“Additional, unexpected charges are one of the main reasons customers drop out of a purchase.”
The right payment page can also give you a number of advantages. It could dial down the hassle of inputting payment details by, for example, remembering previous customers’ details or automatically recognising the type of card someone is using.
A customisable page can also help with creating a consistent experience on your website, while having a trusted brand on the payment page can help take away any concerns customers may have when inputting their card details.
“And always send a confirmation email,” says Dave. “It can really help to take any worries away about the payment.”
Do you have your customer journey under control? If you need a hand steering it in the right direction, speak to us today to find out how we can help – 0800 0466814 *.
The views expressed by any third party and any articles written by any third parties and featured in this article are the views of the authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Barclaycard. Barclaycard accepts no liability for the impact of, or any loss, however arising, from any decision made based on information contained and views expressed by any third parties or in their articles featured in this article.
*Calls to 0800 numbers are free from UK land lines and personal mobiles, otherwise call charges may apply. Please check with your service provider. Calls may be monitored or recorded in order to maintain high levels of security and quality of service”