We are living in an unprecedented era where it’s easier than ever to engage with customers. Also, it’s easier for customers to engage with brands. This two-way dialogue with customers can be a gold mine for e-commerce companies looking to improve the experience.
By engaging with website visitors for feedback, brands can get to know their visitors’ thoughts, motivations and expectations. The bottom line is that Voice of the Customer (VoC) research allows you to get in the minds of your visitors.
Here are 4 charts that show how important the voice of your customers can be when you want to find ways to optimize the experience and increase conversion for your e-commerce website.
1. See how your website experience stacks up
You can use web analytics and session replay data to make assumptions about your visitors. For example, why they are on your site, whether they considered their visit a success, and how hard they needed to work to accomplish what they wanted to do. However, only your visitors themselves can confirm this information and what they thought of the website experience, with absolute certainty.
By asking the right questions to your visitors, you can learn a great deal about specific groups of visitors, and the pain points they experienced during their visit. For example, the chart below shows an example of how VoC allows you to compare different Purpose of Visit groups (i.e. visitor intent) in terms of Task Completion, Overall Satisfaction, and the level of Effort they had to use during their visit to try and accomplish what they set out to do on the website.
By only asking these 4 questions, you can already get a glimpse into the mind of specific visitor groups and see how they view their website experience. Quantifying this data also provides you with a good idea of where you could hone in your research further, like determining why the visitor groups POV B and POV E rated their Level of Effort considerably higher than the other POV groups.
2. Understand why visitors didn’t make a purchase
When it comes to finding ways to optimize your website, there are few things as powerful as customer feedback, especially when it’s in open-text format. Give your visitors an empty text field, and they will let you know what they feel about different aspects of your website, in their own words.
For any e-commerce website, you always want to know more about those who primarily came to the website to make a purchase, but failed to do so during their visit. The chart below shows the results of an exercise we performed with open-ended feedback that was provided by visitors who said they were looking to buy but didn’t. At the time of this analysis, we found that the two most common reasons were being unable to find information and the availability of the products / service, with the former becoming the most common reason as time went on.
By using the voice of your customers, you gain the ability to better gauge the frequency at which specific pain points are being experienced on your website, and also collect details about these issues directly from your visitors that you might not otherwise be able to catch with your other data sources.
3. Track the success of your website updates
Once you collect the feedback you need, next comes putting your findings into practice and updating your website. Continuously collecting and monitoring the voice of your customers allows you to track the progress of how your visitors view their website experience over time. In particular, after you make changes to your website, such as a website redesign.
According to our research, a common phenomenon we typically see with website redesigns is a dip immediately following the redesign, and a subsequent recovery in the months following. While the length and scale of the recovery curve can change depending on the website and the industry it’s in, the ‘recovery curve’ typically takes the shape shown in the chart below:
Make sure to check out this post for more details about the website redesign recovery curve and how to beat it.
4. Identify problem areas on your website
As we’ve seen, VoC provides you with a first-hand account of your visitors’ website experience, allowing you to identify what works and, as importantly (if not more so), what doesn’t. As mentioned, a key cohort for e-commerce companies to focus on are those who came to make a purchase, but failed to do so. But when you tie a monetary value to these ‘lost’ purchases, the importance of VoC in identifying and addressing these issues becomes even clearer.
In the chart below from the free iperceptions 2016 eCommerce Industry Report, The Cost of a Failed Conversion, we look at an exercise we performed based on our research that showed fewer than 25 percent of those who intended to make a purchase actually made a purchase during their visit. With this information in mind, if a website has 2 million unique visitors per month with an average transaction value of $100, we see that the potential lost revenue that can come from these ‘lost’ purchases can come to over $20M!
Let your customers point you in the right direction
Overall, VoC can help you get a sense of what your visitors generally think of their website experience, and can be very helpful to keep an eye out of for specific fixes or golden nuggets that you can mine to optimize conversion. Your visitors are in the best position to confirm what they liked or disliked about their website experience, and are a great source of recommendations to point you in the right direction as to how to continuously keep improving it.
Banner image source: Pexels, modified to show content from the iperceptions 2016 eCommerce Industry Report