You’ve succeeded in your marketing efforts, yielding high levels of traffic on your website — and yet, you still aren’t making the number of sales you’d like. This situation indicates a problem with your drop-off rate, and reducing it is key to reaching your customer conversion goals.
No matter what product or service you’re marketing, understanding drop-off and why it occurs is a necessary step towards preventing it and maximizing your sales strategies. Let’s explore the steps you can take now to mitigate drop-off in your e-commerce ventures.
What is the drop-off rate?
First, we must define what we mean by the drop-off rate and what it entails.
Drop-off occurs at any point in the customer journey in which the customer has garnered some interest in what you have to offer, but for whatever reason, they stop short of making a sale. These customers “drop-off” by abandoning your landing page, product information, or online cart. Suddenly, the traffic you generated just disappears, leaving you with a lower ROI on your marketing investment.
Google AdSense defines the drop-off rate as “the percentage of ad responses that did not result in an impression.” This simply means that your marketing efforts came up short. The process failed, and customers left without completing their purchases.
Unfortunately, determining why a drop-off occurs is not exactly straightforward. The world of digital commerce is a rapidly developing one, and a wide variety of factors can play into a customer’s decision. But businesses across industries recognize the need for a comprehensive analytical look into their sales procedures and are using digital tools to help them determine problems in the process.
Now, even 38% of manufacturing companies are turning to e-commerce investment as a means of improving customer experiences through more direct interaction with customer data. E-commerce naturally yields data, which can in turn be applied to understanding where and why drop-offs occur. From there, customer journeys can be analyzed to produce better results.
How can you keep drop-off at a minimum?
Preventing drop-off is all about creating value for customers and giving them experiences that they don’t want to turn away from. This starts at the planning and development stage of your e-commerce venture and doesn’t end with a successful purchase. Instead, your customer experience should be designed around promoting customer success across every stage of the journey to keep buyers engaged and satisfied.
As a digital marketer, you need to apply data and analytics in the creation of narratives that inform the sales funnel. From here, you’ll be able to craft specific customer profiles and action statements that produce a smoother customer experience. In turn, your drop-off rate will … well … drop.
You can start by mapping the customer journey to potential problems with your marketing platform. These are the stages to consider:
This is the stage of the customer journey in which they find or become aware of your company. We wouldn’t consider a failure at this stage to be a drop-off, per se, since prospective customers don’t even know who you are. However, there are still important factors to consider at this point that will impact your sales down the line.
Ask yourself the following questions: Where do your ads lead customers? How are audiences finding you? What interests align for prospective customers that might lead to them engaging with your products or services?
At the awareness stage, explore audience demographics, markets, and paths to build a customer profile. Analyze what type of purchasing habits match this profile and utilize this information to build a better purchasing experience for this target customer. By building a shopping experience with the customer in mind, you will ensure higher conversion rates later on.
Then, explore the consideration stage. This is one of the most important aspects of the sales funnel when it comes to promoting greater conversion rates. You need to sell your products and services while making the case that you have something to offer that none of your competitors do.
Ask yourself these questions: What challenges are users experiencing? What value do you offer? What do customers need?
Once you analyze how your product or service adds value to the customer profile you developed earlier, you can fine-tune your marketing message to emphasize this value. Exploring the connection between your value proposition and the customer profile will help you catch problems like poorly targeted ads or a lack of perceived value that might be turning customers away.
At this point, customers know what you have to offer and they’re ready to buy. The only thing that might be standing in their way and creating drop-offs is the shopping experience you provide for them. This is where you explore your user interface and web store functionality to ensure a seamless process.
Ask yourself these questions: At what point in the purchasing process are customers abandoning their carts? Is your checkout procedure fluid and intuitive? Are there any surprises for the customer as they attempt to make a purchase?
Customer frustration is the number one cause of drop-off at the purchasing stage of the customer journey. Go back to the customer profile you developed and personalize the purchasing journey for your specific target market. Find your problems through extensive testing and feedback gathering. Then, organize a bug bash with your development team to promote engagement while knocking out issues as quickly as possible.
Finally, your ability to retain and satisfy customers is instrumental in preventing drop-offs. Customers will explore what other people are saying and could be turned away by any reports of bad experiences. This is why the software and web development processes do not end at launch but rather move into in-depth testing and maintenance procedures to find and fix problems as they occur.
Ask yourself these questions: What is your customer satisfaction rate? What percentage of customers come back for another purchase? Where could you create more value for your customers?
Retaining customers requires you to make their comments and concerns feel heard. Be sure to have a solid customer support team ready and developers who can implement the requested feedback. All these considerations are essential when improving conversion rates. Gather customer feedback and utilize all the tools available to you to streamline the experience.
Utilize all your tools to improve conversions
Fortunately for digital marketers, there are plenty of tools and resources at your disposal for creating a more efficient sales strategy. This entails conducting data analysis and gathering information through every available platform to better ensure success. As you move through the customer journey mapping out potential drop-off points, consider these resources:
- Google Analytics and social media insights pages
- Keyword research tools for content marketing and ad building
- Email marketing and surveys
- A/B and user testing
- Accessibility evaluation tools
Create a comprehensive approach to your marketing strategies, exploring every possibility for where and why drop-offs occur. Data and customer feedback can be your best friends in this process, so gather all your tools and resources now to build a seamless digital commerce experience.