We can be fairly certain that “the long and winding road” that The Beatles sang about wasn’t referring to the customer’s path to purchase. The phrase, however, is a perfect description of how cross-channel purchasing has impacted the customer journey. Only two percent of customers make a purchase on their first visit to a website, proving that you can lead a customer to your product, but you can’t make them purchase.
Or at least, you can’t make them purchase right away and on the original browser and device that they started viewing your website with. Thanks in part to the wide variety of ways customers can see your website today (whether it’s via Safari on their phone or Chrome on their desktop), it’s become more and more difficult to track your customers’ journey. Case in point: 67 percent of consumers move between devices when they’re shopping online, and 99 percent of those consumers switch between devices in a single day.
Because of this, it becomes very easy for customers to drop off the path to purchase. Perhaps the website they’re browsing on their desktop isn’t loading quickly enough and they exit out. Or maybe, they’re viewing the website while on their smartphone, but the site isn’t mobile-responsive and the consumer eschews zooming into tiny text or turning their phone sideways in favor of making a mental note to check the website out later on their laptop. Cross-device shopping can inadvertently lead to lost sales as customers get distracted from making a purchase.
True, marketing and retargeting can help make up ground with these lost sales. However, using “the three C’s” (create, capture and calibrate) can prevent your customers from falling off the customer journey path in the first place.
1. Create Cross-Device Consistency
As mentioned above, your customers more often than not jump back and forth between devices before making a purchase. For example, 65 percent of consumers begin their purchase journey on a smartphone. Of those, 61 percent continue on a PC or laptop, while four percent continue on a tablet.
For that reason, it’s crucial that your website is responsive and adaptable to different devices; if not, you risk losing potential sales. Two out of three smartphone users say that a mobile-friendly site would make them more likely to buy a company’s product or service, and nearly three-quarters say that it makes them more likely to return to the site. In short: Make your eCommerce site responsive across devices to keep your customers on the path to purchase.
2. Capture (And Keep) Their Attention
If a tree falls in a forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound? If your product page never loads on your website, does it actually exist?
Your product or website quality doesn’t matter if your site loads very slowly. A site that takes one to five seconds to respond risks losing the user’s attention, while a response time of one second or less helps the user feel more in control and gives them the feeling of instant gratification. Develop your content so that it loads quickly, and make sure to test loading speeds across various devices.
3. Calibrate for Customer Aperture
Aperture is as simple as catching the customer at the ideal time when they’re ready to make a purchase. Aperture can be affected by the buyer’s location, their attitude, how much time they have, whether it’s a spontaneous or planned purchase and more.
To calibrate for customer aperture, take advantage of real-time marketing so that you can systematically respond to your customers as they’re actually on your website. Use real-time data and marketing techniques to cater the shopping experience to each specific customer. Sixty-one percent of consumers are more likely to buy from a company that provides personalized, real-time content.
A Long and Winding Path to Purchase
While the customer’s path to purchase is definitely more intricate than it used to be, that’s no excuse for losing your customers and their accompanying sales. By adapting your content across devices, improving your page load speed and personalizing your marketing content, you can better understand why your customers finally click “Buy” on your website—and increase your revenue in the process.