What’s stopping customers hitting the buy button on your website?

By David Wharram, CEO of Coast Digital

Understanding what triggers your customers online can be the difference between making a sale or the customer leaving your site; potentially never to return. Knowing exactly what motivates them can have huge rewards. Otherwise, retailers risk visitors abandoning a website if not being satisfied.

Whilst website analytics can provide insights into how long customers spend on a website, one challenge for marketers is fully understanding why customers may not be following through and pressing the buy button on their website. Not only is it important to know your customers’ motives, but it is also vital to have visually appealing and engaging content to draw them in.

User testing and research
User testing and research is one technique that can help retailers understand their customers. It has become more crucial than ever to create a positive, lasting impression on users so you can guarantee they will return. User research is highly valuable and provides qualitative and quantitative analysis of how the user experience might be turning users away. These can include face-to-face interviews, questionnaires and research carried out over the phone, which all provide insight into the users. Whereas analytics from websites and engagement tools offers numerous sources of data for analysis.

At the end of the day, user testing and research is all about simplifying the customer user journey and telling a brand story in order to increase sales. If done correctly, marketers can tap into a whole new audience and attract them to ‘buy now’. It is also a chance to fully understand your existing audience and the barriers they are faced
with. The key is to understand not just what brought them to your website in the first place, but how the online experience made them feel.

Using Biometrics to track emotional responses
An emerging technology that is being used to understand customer’s emotional responses to online content is biometrics. Typically known for its role within the security sector, the technology is being used by marketers and brands to gain a greater understanding on how digital content makes audiences feel and what emotions it triggers in users.

This can include eye tracking, facial expression analysis and galvanic skin response (GSR), tracking physiological and emotional response to see how the user react to certain stimuli. It is becoming considerably more popular to deploy this technology to track a user’s emotional response to the content in front of them.

Biometrics technology can enable retailers to gain greater insight into the customer journey and even pinpoint the exact moment the customer left the website. For example, if your online store has too many steps between adding an item to your basket and completing the purchase, the customer may become frustrated. Similarly, there may be too much content on a single page leading to the shopper becoming distracted or confused. Using biometric technology, retailers can determine how each step of the customer journey makes their audience feel, and determine elements that are causing issues and can therefore make changes where needed to smooth barriers to conversion.

Optimising the customer experience is now a top priority. A retailer’s website is the first point of call for customers and essentially their online shop window. Therefore it is essential that they are doing everything they can to gain the customers’ attention. As the retail landscape becomes more competitive it is more important than ever for retailers to attract, engage and retain customers. With advancements in biometric technology and user testing, both marketers and retailers have the opportunity to fully understand their customers’ journey. By adopting these different techniques, a seamless, emotionally-positive experience can be delivered.

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