February 23, 2016 | Eric Feinberg

Why Don’t Browsers Purchase?

E-retail industry conversion rates tend to hover at or around 20% (Marketing Sherpa has a great post on average conversion rates by product category and why you shouldn’t view conversion rates in a vacuum). Improving conversion rates by even a few points can result in tens of millions of dollars added to the bottom line.

The number one way to improve conversion rates is to improve the overall customer experience on your website. I know, I know, what else would you expect me to say? But the research bears out this finding.

Once you have a patented and systematic approach to CX measurement in place, you can also use your survey tool to collect information that might help you make some decisions.

For example, in our annual ForeSee Retail Customer Experience Index survey of 40,000 retail customers, we collected and analyzed a lot of information about which elements of the customer experience can be used as levers to make customers more likely to spend more, buy again, recommend the retailer, etc. This is all done through a complex econometric model that adds algorithmic certainty to CX improvements.

We also included a custom question where we just asked customers who didn’t buy something why they didn’t buy, and those answers are interesting too. The custom questions can be used to add flavor and depth to the information we received from the model about the influence of prices, merchandise, navigation, etc. 

Updated Table1 Blog 2.23

If someone didn’t buy from your website because they plan to buy from a store (15% of non-purchasers!), that should be accounted for in conversion calculations, or at least in channel contribution calculations.  

If someone didn’t buy because they never intended to make a purchase (maybe they were just researching), well, that’s a tough group to convert. But if they didn’t purchase because shipping costs were too high (15%), they didn’t like the choices (13%), or the product was out of stock (10%), those are all things you might be able to influence!

So they didn’t purchase. What do they plan to do next?

Updated Table 2 Blog 2.23

Take a look at the 46% of people who plan to visit again. What can we do to make them convert sooner? It’s no coincidence that those who are the least satisfied plan to visit a competitor’s website, mobile app, or store.

A systematic approach to CX data will give you the flexibility to look at reasons people don’t purchase, both by using our model and by using open-ended questions. It will also give you the ability to drill down into what they’re going to do next. Looking at these questions from all angles will give you the insight you need to actually move the needle on your conversion rate instead of just tracking it over time.

About the Author

Eric drives ForeSee’s marketing strategy, working closely with the company’s product, client service, and sales teams to infuse innovation and operational excellence into its offerings. Since joining ForeSee in 2004, he has contributed to the organization’s strategic growth, particularly providing leadership around mobile solutions. He is the author of several of the company’s thought leadership studies, including the 11th annual ForeSee Experience Index (FXI) and the American Employee Study. Eric is a frequent speaker on customer experience analytics, and marketing best practices. He is a board member of the Digital Analytics Association (DAA) and an adjunct professor of mobile marketing at the University of California, Irvine Extension. Previously, he worked as a web analyst, multichannel strategy consultant, usability specialist and focus group moderator. Eric is a graduate of the University of Michigan.

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