Going Beyond the Buy button: The Stats Behind the Online Customer Experience

Posted by Joseph O'Halloran

23 August

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All successful selling requires an emotional response, and digital marketing is no exception. Knowing how consumers act and react when they look to the internet in search of a product or service is vital to any business having a successful online presence. Having last week discussed the difference between the traditional and the online shopping experience for customers, and why producing a positive experience for those customers is essential for your business success, we now take a look at the stats that reveal how online consumers behave.

The data makes for some interesting reading:

  • 57% of people abandon a site if they have to wait more than three seconds for something to load, and 80% of these people never return. Three seconds!
  • 85% read online reviews before using a local business
  • 79% trust reviews as much as a personal recommendation
  • 67% read six reviews before the feel they trust a business enough to make a purchase
  • 92% say visuals are the top influential factor affecting a purchase decision, taking 90 seconds to make that decision, with 58% of people saying they are more likely to buy a product if there are multiple views of the product available
  • 25% return products because they did not match expectations

What can we learn from this information? Firstly, we see that your website needs to be fully optimised and user-friendly, streamlined to give an effective and efficient user experience, or else it runs the risk of losing potential customers who simply won’t wait around for a clunky page to load. Not that long ago, the trend was for businesses to have beautifully designed websites that were amazing to look at, but the downside was that they took ages to load. It was style over substance. And while we can see from the above data that visuals are very important, nowadays, the smart move is to focus on making your site work – quickly!

online-consumer-behaviour.jpgWe also see that consumers today do their research before making a purchase decision. They place an enormous amount of trust in the online community, look to peer reviews, and are influenced by the views of those who show authority and expertise. They are part of a community, and you need to be part of that community too, which is where providing great content that offers valuable information relevant to the consumer’s needs through multiple platforms such as your blog and social media, comes in.

It’s not enough to go running off to your website designer believing a few technical and design alterations will automatically improve your sales. A more holistic assessment of the above data will be of greater benefit. What can you do to provide the content your potential customers will be looking for? Are you promoting your brand well enough through social media to ensure people are talking about it? Do you need to avail of expert bloggers or influencers to spread the message to your target market?

Speaking of content, just what types will help bring visitors to your website, keep them there, and ensure they return again and again? What kind of content works best? Here are some more interesting stats:

  • 31% of people are ‘often’ influenced by video
  • Half of us have more confidence in a business and product after watching a video about it
  • 52% are willing to stay on a site longer if video is available
  • 41% are more likely to return if video is integrated into a website
  • 44% more purchases are made on a website that provides information on a product via video than a website that doesn’t

Why is video so effective? It evokes an emotional response, and it is emotion that influences consumers more than anything else.

While the internet provides us with ample opportunity to host video, and it is clearly becoming the content type of choice, it is not wise to abandon completely other formats. The written word is still a major player, and content such as a newsletter is proven to be an effective form of digital marketing. Why newsletters? Well, according to ExactTarget, 91% of consumers check their email every day, while the Direct Marketing Association says 66% of consumers say they have made a purchasing decision based on a newsletter and that email marketing has an ROI of 4,300%. That’s a staggering return on investment.

Need help creating content that will attract visitors to your site and convert them into leads? Download our free Lead Generation Survival Kit.

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What else entices online consumers to buy? Well, we all like to get a good deal, and providing and promoting discounts and special offers is a really great way to not only bring visitors to your content, but also show them that you are on their side, offering a positive customer experience.

Here’s two quick stats that show that this works:

  • 50%+ of people redeem digital vouchers via any device for online shopping
  • 57% would not have bought the product without a discount code

optimise-your-website-to-avoid-customers-abandoning-sales-process.gifIt all comes back to offering a positive customer experience that allows people to find the content they want, easily and reliably view the products or services on offer, and make a hassle-free transaction. Sounds simple, but so many business struggle with this. More than 67% of people abandon a website after they have made a decision to buy without completing the transaction.

Why is this?  

  • 41% cite hidden charges
  • 29% cite having to register before buying
  • 11% cite unclear delivery details
  • 10% cite lengthy checkout processes
  • 8% say it is simply because the company phone number is not on the website

Men are more likely to abandon the sales process, and 25 – 44-year-olds are the worst offenders.

The lesson is clear for online businesses. Just getting customers to press the BUY button does not mean you have made a sale. Armed with the above information, every business should go through their purchasing process themselves and eliminate any of the above obstacles that exist.

Make the process as seamless as possible by:

  • Displaying clear Call to Action buttons
  • Showing a checkout progress bar
  • Keeping it simple
  • Including a ‘Back’ button

The above data tells us how the online shopper is behaving and reacting when online and on its own the data has a lot to offer online businesses who wish to optimise their online presence and increase sales and market share. But we shouldn’t stop there.

The data also helps us to continue our research into the original question into the emotions and motivators that differentiate online and traditional shopping, if any.

What we see above would seem to verify the view that the shopping experience is an emotional one and retailers who can evoke an emotional response will be more successful than those who don’t.

If you want to find out more about us, what we can do to optimise your digital marketing strategy, or the great tips you may have missed at this event, check out our blog and request a call. Just go to the phone booth below and ask us to give you a call.

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Topics: Lead gen, lead generation


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