Understand Your Shoppers to Increase eCommerce Conversions
eCommerce shoppers aren’t an homogenous group. Some visit with a specific product in mind. Others are in the midst of deciding what to purchase and are open to suggestions. For some, Internet shopping is pure entertainment. According to usability experts Jakob Mielsen and Don Norman, there are 5 types of eCommerce shoppers.
- Product Focused
- Leisure-Oriented Shoppers
- Bargain Hunters
- One-time Shoppers
Product-Focused Shoppers Want Speed
Product-Focused Shoppers have a specific task in mind. They’re on a mission. For example, “Melissa” needs a specific water filter. She doesn’t want to drink unfiltered water, so there’s a sense of urgency. This user type is averse to “selling.” They want to confirm that you have what they want and can get it to them quickly, with minimum browsing time required. Show them what they want, at a reasonable price (with fast shipping), and they’ll buy it.
Action items: To appeal to Product-Focused Shoppers, don’t waste their time:
- Provide clear product descriptions, recognizable names, details, and large images
- User a larger image feature and “other views”
- Provide search capabilities, including advanced search to expedite shopping
- Provide easy access to previous orders for reordering in a few clicks
- One-step checkout and membership features that don’t require redundant data entry are important.
Leisure-Oriented Shoppers Seek Inspiration
These shoppers enjoy spending time at your site, if it’s engaging. If Leisure-Oriented Shoppers have a consistently good user experience, like what they see, and can interact and connect with your store (via social media and interactive features), they’ll be more likely to buy — when inspiration strikes.
Action Items: provide fresh and interactive content to increase session time and encourage repeat visits:
- Display new, popular, trending, and on-sale products prominently.
- Use social media to enable these users to “Pin” products they like and share.
- Consider a log-in-with-Facebook feature and a points-and-rewards” program.
- Enable reviews, use demo videos when possible, and enable wishlist sharing.
- Send this page to a friend and your newsletter increase shopper interactions.
- Keep your blog fresh and interesting. For Leisure-Oriented Shoppers, your blog is key.
- Enable (moderated) comments to your blog. Increase opportunities for Leisure-Oriented Shopper interactions (not just purchases).
Researchers Want Information
Researchers are the decaf version of Product-Focused Shoppers. They’re collecting data and comparing products, prices, and features. They’re self educating before making a substantial purchase, such as a new laptop. Researchers often revisit and bookmark. For this reason, a “retargeting” marketing campaign may be particularly successful.
Your site’s “trust” factor is important to Researchers. If Researchers see a very professional and clean design, it will help them narrow down their options. Convert Researchers into buyers by becoming a knowledgeable and trustworthy source of information. When Researchers are left with unanswered questions, they leave.
Action items to convert Researchers into buyers:
- Provide clear and detailed product descriptions.
- Magento’s “compare products” feature is essential to this shopper.
- Wishlist and “save for later” features assist with research comparisons.
- Consider Magento’s layered navigation to quickly narrow down choices.
- Add product documentation as downloadable PDFs.
- Use a “knowledge base” feature if your products are highly technical.
- Link unfamiliar terms to a “hover” definitions.
- Product reviews (with both star ratings and written reviews) are recommended.
- Set your Magento cookies to “unlimited,” so cart items aren’t deleted.
- Use a memorable favicon to help Researchers find you in their bookmarks
Bargain Hunters Want A Great Deal
Bargain Hunters are motivated primarily by price and perceived value. They’d like to locate special deals and they respond well to discounts or limited-time offers. Prices need to be prominently displayed. Cross-out discounts appeal to Bargain Hunters; they often like to see percent or dollar savings.
Action items to convert Bargain Hunters into buyers:
- Use cross-outs for on-sale items, including amount saved
- Encourage newsletter subscriptions, which should include special offers.
- Consider a points-and-rewards program and encourage interaction with points.
- Offer a promotional discount for signing up to your newsletter.
- Up-sells, cross-sells, and “buy $X more to get free shipping” are all effective.
- Create a permanent On Sale site category.
- Offer discount coupons in your blog.
- Make sure your site has an RSS feed.
- Consider syndicating your products to shopping-comparison engines, like Bizrate, Shopzilla, Amazon, Pricegrabber, and others. This isn’t difficult with Magento.
One-Time Shoppers Want Clarity
A biggest complaint of One-Time Shoppers is forced membership registration. They know they won’t be coming back, so forced registration is like hitting a brick wall.
- Provide clear product descriptions, recognizable brand names, details, and large images.
- Above all else, don’t force membership registration.
- Try to streamline your checkout as much as possible.
- Use advanced search and layered navigation to get this shopper to their intended goal quickly.
- Clearly explain what you sell in the first fold of your home page.
- Remove all “what-do-I-do-now?” usability cul de sacs. Site usability is very important to this shopper type.
- 3rd-party accreditations (such as BBB or Hacker Safe) help assure One-Time Shoppers that you’re a reliable company and encourage purchases.
Summary: Pleasing Everyone
Designing with shopper types in mind may help to increase your site’s overall conversion rate. Once some or all of these suggestions are implemented, you can follow results with such tools as Google Analytics (free), AW Stats (free), heat maps (which simulate eye-tracking technology), and other metric-tracking tools. You can analyze how shoppers are interacting with your site forms (such as checkout) with this tool. These tools enable you to see where your shoppers got stuck, which pages are the most popular, and which need improvement. An eCommerce website is always a work in progress. Improving your conversion rate is an ongoing process of research, large and small changes, and checking results.