Creating a compelling, informative, and user friendly e-commerce site can be tough. There is a lot of testing, planning and feedback collection that needs to happen to ensure a successful site.
Many companies will use tools such as Google Analytics’ in page analytics, which essentially shows a website with statistics at various touchpoints of a webpage, which gives a visual of how often links are clicked, pages are visited, etc.
Google Analytics also offers a behavior flow chart to show where website visitors start, which pages they go to after the landing page, and other useful information. This can be helpful in determining where customers tend to “drop off” or abandon their visit.
There are other ways to get deeper insight into website performance, pain points, and other information that will allow companies to improve the customer experience for their e-commerce customers.
Collect feedback: when customers place orders, or provide contact information at registration on your website, reach out to them to get feedback about their experience. This won’t capture those who abandon the site though. Enter exit intent technology – services designed to detect when a customer is about to leave your website, and make one last attempt to get their attention. This could be a pop up window that gives a special discount or offer if they stay to make a purchase, or another similar activity.
This can be helpful in gathering feedback from those who are ready to abandon the site, but it would have to be quick and easy in order to try to capture that information. Try a simple question such as, “Please let us know why you’re leaving!” and offer responses such as “It wasn’t what I was looking for” or “the website is running slowly/I’m having technical issues”, etc. This may detect trends other methods cannot pick up on.
Use mystery shopping: mystery shopping is an excellent tool that can be used to evaluate the e-commerce process from many different aspects. Not all companies think of evaluating their website using mystery shopping, but incorporating these evaluations can provide a deep dive of ease of use and valuable feedback. There are a couple of types of shopping programs that can be used:
- Standard experience evaluation: this looks at all aspects of the e-commerce experience. Instruct shoppers to make a purchase and report on ease of use, quality of information, and overall experience. Dig deeper by including a call, email, or chat to customer service to ask questions to evaluate that piece of the journey, and finish with a product return to look at the final piece of the journey.
- User experience: this is more detailed in that shoppers are instructed to use the website to purchase a specific type of product or register for a service. This looks more like a website video capture or journal in which the shopper provides commentary and suggestions on each point of the process – what was their impression of the website? How many clicks (pages) did it take to get to what they ultimately wanted to do? Where were the pain points? Was there enough information on the website to make an informed decision that would lead to a purchase? What is missing, and what could be improved? These are just some of the aspects that can be captured with this type of shop.
Pop up focus groups: thanks to online technology, this is easier than ever. Reach out to customers that have made online purchases, and offer them the opportunity to provide feedback in a focus group type format. This can easily be done in an online meeting room – listening to the conversations and collecting feedback in this type of setting is useful because people tend to offer more details in a group setting. One person may comment on something that triggers a memory from a past experience for another person, and that person will offer more insight and feedback that builds on a theme. This group conversation can be extremely valuable.
Online shopping is becoming an everyday event for many consumers, and it is only expected to increase in volume and activity. There are many tools to make sure your e-commerce site is as strong and functional as possible.