More and more small and medium-sized retailers have taken the plunge and launched online stores, with omnichannel becoming the new norm and no longer the preferred option.
However, owning a website comes with its own set of hurdles – if your website tends to scare customers away and they don’t complete a purchase. Your online store is less of an additional revenue stream and more a graveyard of abandoned shopping carts. Although the volume of new online shoppers has increased by 200% compared to the pre-COVID-19 e-commerce landscape, many retailers are challenging to retain these customers and convert them into repeat customers.
New customers are up to seven times more likely to have their payment declined at checkout, leading to increased cart abandonment. But that is only one of the reasons why a purchase is not completed. There are several factors to consider to close more sales. This blog post will learn everything about the 3 phases of a customer journey. First of all, we should clarify what a so-called customer journey means. Customer journey is a marketing term and describes the path or the individual cycles that a potential customer goes through before deciding to buy a product.
The 3 Stages Of The Customer Journey Where Your Customers Let You Down
You have three ways to lose your customers on your website:
- When customers visit your website for the first time
- When customers land on your website by accident
- After the purchase
Capture Customers Attention On Their Very First Visit
There is only one first impression! Convince the customer from the first second. Therefore, make sure that:
You can be found on Google: If your Google My Business profile isn’t fully populated, customers may not be able to get to your website. So it would help if you made sure customers are finding the information and products they are looking for.
Your online shop is easily accessible: If your eCommerce website is poorly designed, potential buyers won’t stay there long. So what’s the best way to start:
Take the time to verify and fill out your Google My Business listing. Include as much information as possible – starting with your hours of operation, phone number, address, and website link. Be sure to answer any questions or comments users leave about your listing. To attract customers to your online store, use a theme that helps your brand image. Impress your visitors with high-quality photos, a clear layout, and intuitive navigation. Themes like Lightspeed eCommerce’s Ignite focus on delivering these elements while being fast-loading and adaptable to the various mobile devices customers are browsing on – no custom coding necessary.
Accompany Your Customers On Their Journey Through Your Online Shop
Now that you have successfully directed users to your online shop, the next step is to navigate them through your shop. You need to keep the next step in mind as you take this step: Closing the sale. Right here is the fine line! If you’re not careful, you can lose the customer at this point. Typically, customers abandon the cart when:
- Your website’s navigation structure is challenging to read: your customers have difficulty finding the products they are looking for. An unsuitable template or unclear readability of your product categories can lead to your prospects leaving the shopping cart and switching to a competitor.
- Customers cannot find any product information: Poorly detailed product pages don’t make customers feel confident about their purchase. Without data such as dimensions, the color of the products, and high-quality product photos, you limit your chances.
- When the customer is distracted, it happens to everyone: you’re shopping online, and something else catches your eye. You have no intention of abandoning your shopping cart, but you forget it. The customer may never return without a nudge, such as a reminder email or push notification.
With a well-designed customer journey, you can address these obstacles. Check your navigation structure and especially your product categories: Are they structured consistently and in a way that buyers can understand? Examine the hierarchy of your navigational structure for your articles: Ideally, they should be structured as follows: main overview > category > subcategory > article. When navigation to your product categories is more straightforward, you can proceed to optimize your product pages. Each product has a detailed description, multiple photos, and product measurements or dimensions. You don’t have to write a novel, but you should give customers as much information as possible so they can buy with confidence.
Encourage Customers To Complete The Purchase
A large part of the ordering process has already been completed. Now it comes to the essential element – the purchase. This is usually the most significant hurdle!
Reasons why customers jump-off in the last step and do not make the purchase:
- Shipping Costs: High shipping costs can determine even the most determined customer. They are the most common reason for abandoned purchases. Due to the many providers who often advertise free shipping, customers now assume that they do not have to pay anything for shipping.
- Unfavorable return policy: Return policies are notoriously a sore point for retailers and customers. When customers find at the end of their checkout process that they can’t quickly return their items, they often lose them to another online retailer.
- Check out the process: Just like website load times, slow checkout drives customers away. Give customers the option to pay with one click or offer mobile payment methods.
Avoid The Reasons Listed Above By Following These Tips
Limit Your Shipping Costs
Since high shipping costs deter customers, consider reducing or eliminating them when calculating shipping costs. Taking over the shipping costs for your customers is an additional expense, but this can be offset by other sales that would otherwise not have occurred.
A More Customer-Friendly Return Policy
Offer your customers a more favorable right of return – this is how you make customers feel positive. Instead of abandoning their shopping cart, they are more likely to buy from you again in the future. Positive returns experiences inspire 86% of customers to shop again from the same retailer. Design your return policy to be flexible, with no return or postage fees.
Offer One-Click Payments
Make the payment process as easy as possible! This is how you avoid shopping cart abandonment. Luckily, you don’t have to start from scratch here. Apple Pay® and Google Pay™ do it for you, so customers can choose a one-click payment method instead of filling out lengthy shipping and billing fields. Choosing an eCom provider that integrates Apple Pay and Google Pay, like Lightspeed, means you can add these options without too much extra work to get it working.