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CX

Typical online purchases involve seven steps taking three hours

Shoppers work through several stages before making a significant buy via the internet, which includes spending at least 35 minutes deciding whether a purchase is absolutely necessary.

Following that, an online search for a product or service, including on social media sites, will take place over the next 33 minutes.

And the survey of 2,000 adults found an average of 30 minutes is then spent reading online reviews and recommendations, with the average shopper avoiding a purchase if something has less than 3.4 stars out of five.

While one in 10 wouldn’t buy something with 99 five-star ratings if it has just a single one-star review.

Half an hour will also be spent narrowing down the choices between brands by comparing to other similar products for price and quality.

Other steps include sharing potential purchases with friends or family, putting something into a virtual basket – then the final hurdle of completing the transaction.

The research was commissioned by Vision Direct, whose CMO, Ashley Mealor, said: “As purchasers are spending so long scouring reviews, it is so important for businesses, especially those operating online, to be accurately and fairly represented.

“We recognise there are some brands which have reviews that cannot be trusted, as those writing them have been incentivised to do so.

“Implemented for the main purpose of generating favourable online appraisals, the concept of proposing incentives or hosting competitions can be misleading and skew authenticity.

“It’s encouraging to see platforms such as Trustpilot, starting to take great steps to ensure it is a level playing field for all by revising regulations and stopping all consumer incentives – to address a controversial grey area.

“With the prevalence of dishonest reviews online, the seven stages of shopping feels like a sensible way of ensuring a purchase – particularly one of value – is made well.

“You are then not just relying on reviews, but also word of mouth, social media, customer service and brand comparisons.”

The research also found 62 per cent of respondents think of themselves as ‘considered’ purchasers – who don’t buy without thoroughly researching the item first.

However, 14 per cent are happy to describe themselves as an ‘impulse’ buyer, who shops first then asks questions later.

But Brits would not consider something to be a ‘significant’ purchase if it fell below the £163 price point – and the last time they spent more than £100, they deliberated for eight days.

And 31 per cent are more likely to make a significant buy online, while 25 per cent would rather do it face-to-face – with the remainder not caring either way.

Although consumers are more likely to be suckered by an impulse purchase in a real-life store, than by something they see online (30 per cent vs 23 per cent.)

It also emerged that in order to ‘fully trust’ a brand, Brits want to receive their goods in perfect condition (45 per cent), experience super-quick delivery (26 per cent) and be on the receiving end of exceptional customer service (41 per cent).

But while 78 per cent of shoppers leave online reviews after using a company, just under half are more likely to do so if they are offered an incentive like money off their next order, or a chance to win a prize.

However, a huge 83 per cent of those polled via OnePoll believe unscrupulous sites or brands often put up fake positive reviews to try and trick people into buying their goods.

Ashley Mealor added: “Our study found online reviews to be hugely important to lots of people – half say they are important, especially when considering eyewear or eye medication.

“It can be hard sometimes to know whether an online review can be trusted, particularly where your health is concerned.

“This is where the fifth stage of shopping – getting real-world feedback from people you know in real life – can be hugely beneficial.

“If somebody you know and trust is willing to recommend something that word-of-mouth review is worth its weight in gold to any manufacturer.”

THE SEVEN STAGES OF SHOPPING
1. Deciding on a need for something – 35 minutes
2. An online search for the product you want including social media sites – 33 minutes
3. Reading online reviews and going through recommendations – 29 minutes
4. Narrowing down between brands by comparing to other similar products for price and quality – 31 minutes
5. Share links with friends and family – 14 minutes
6. Getting something into your online or real-life basket – 19 minutes
7. Actually making the purchase – 24 minutes
TOTAL – 185 minutes – 3 hours and 5 minutes

5 steps to optimising conversion rates with customer journey timelines

Over the last few months, as consumer behaviour naturally changed and evolved throughout lockdown and beyond, like many of our customers, you may have seen a massive rise in the volume of visits to your website.

In order to help you convert more opportunities and capitalise on increased traffic, Go Inspire Group have created our 5-step guide to getting more conversions. 

Step 1: Cluster all interactions into Customer Journey Timelines

Disparate visits from thousands of users should be clustered into customer journey timelines that group all interactions a known, or unknown individual makes with your website, across all channels, in one place.

This displays something more closely related to the customer’s actual purchase journey behaviour, as well as highlighting how different channels and campaigns are working together to drive traffic to your website. 

Step 2: Identify Individuals

Identifying whether an individual is a known customer, unknown repeat visitor or phantom visitor can inform your decision whether to deliver personalised messages through CRM activity, to invest in targeted acquisition remarketing and paid search, or to suppress your marketing from individuals unlikely to convert. 

Step 3: Segment your visitors based on engagement

Segmenting visitors to your website based on engagement, value bands and channel preference empowers you to develop bespoke marketing campaigns for Retention and Acquisition.

Overlaying your existing customer segmentation from Single Customer View and CRM data can allow you to build a rich picture of your customers and join the dots between your online and offline worlds. 

Step 4: Filter out the noise

Picture yourself walking past a store of any kind with motion sensors on their entrance doors. If you trigger the doors but do not enter the store – should you be classed as a meaningful visit? 

No, you are what we consider to be a ‘phantom’.

The reality is, around 98% of visitors to your website are probably phantom visitors – who land, bounce and then never return. 

Removing phantoms delivers significant benefits across your digital marketing for example:

  • improve quality scores by removing those who will never convert from your remarketing selections
  • get an accurate read of how acquisition campaigns are performing by only including meaningful visits
  • supress existing customers from acquisition campaigns to avoid wasted spend

By first removing the phantoms to ‘filter out the noise’, only then you can begin to understand your website’s true performance.

Step 5: Optimise marketing spend

By completing steps 1-4, you can begin to truly understand the true cost and profitability of all journeys, to know which channels are working well and which need further optimisation.

You can now focus on retaining the right customers by creating a marketing strategy that moves customers into the most profitable bands, applying your understanding of customer engagement, channel preference and stage in journey to tailor messages to an individual customer’s need.

What results can you expect to see from this approach?

This approach to optimisation typically delivers the following results:

  • 13%-16% saving on digital marketing spend
  • 14% increase in conversion from Abandoned Baskets remarketing 
  • Saving of 1-2p per click on social and paid search with improved quality scores
  • 2-5% more emails landed in inboxes with improved sender reputation
  • Save 10% on social, dm and display ad by selecting most engaged customers for campaigns

How can you achieve all the above?

Simply email info@goinspire.co.uk discover how Digital Playback can solve your attribution headache and optimise your conversion rates.

Digital Playback is our unique attribution platform, that enables you to optimise your conversion rates and marketing spend by clustering every interaction an individual makes, across all channels and devices, in one journey.

Check out our webinar

Nick Greatrex, Digital Director at Go Inspire Insight, shares his thoughts on improving conversion by solving the digital marketing attribution headache, check out the webinar here [17min to view].

Boostify partners Third Foundation on customer experience tech

Yorkshire-based Boostify has teamed up with machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) start-up Third Foundation to strengthen its customer experience optimisation (CXO) platform.

Specialising in behavioural targeting and advanced content personalisation, Boostify’s solution enables brands to collect in-depth data insights and segment website visitors, allowing them to deploy customised messaging and offers throughout a user’s entire site journey.

Integrating Google Cloud Partner company Third Foundation’s ‘Prime Radiant’ technology enables machine learning to help highlight trends in consumer behaviour that would otherwise be unidentifiable. Additionally, it can reduce the time businesses spend manually building customer segments and minimise human error and decisions driven by predictions.

Boostify’s CEO and founder, Jonathan Thirkill, said: “Joining forces with Third Foundation takes smart and engineered data insight to the next level.

“Using advanced machine learning and AI technologies, Third Foundation will improve the quality of our platform’s targeting features, thus enabling us to make content more relevant to individual website visitors.

“This will empower brands to have a better understanding of their online users’ behaviours quickly. And, by really getting to the heart of what content makes them tick, organisations can yield more conversions in less time.

“We’ve been looking to expand Boostify’s offering with machine learning and AI – this solution ticks all the boxes.”

Third Foundation’s CEO, Michael Ward, added: “This is a truly exciting partnership which brings together two businesses at the forefront of their respective industries.

“By combining Third Foundation’s specialist data engineering and machine learning features with what is probably the most advanced CXO platform on the market, we are creating an exciting proposition that could revolutionise the industry.

“In this new dawn of relevance demanded by consumers, this partnership will allow digital marketing agencies and brands to deliver a more relevant online experience, for more of their customers, more often.”

GUEST BLOG: The changing face of customer loyalty

New research shows that 76% of consumers admit they would switch to a competitor if they have just one bad experience with a brand they like.

On the flipside, over half of consumers say that once they’re loyal to a brand, they’re loyal for life. This offers the question – how loyal are consumers actually being towards their favourite brands, and what will it take for a consumer to have a bad experience? 

Dino Forte, CEO at Ventrica, investigates…

Gaining loyal consumers and advocates is something most brands aim for; but given the research, how far can this really be stretched? Unfortunately, many brands take loyalty for granted. The brands that hold a monopoly over a market, with unique products or services that can’t be found elsewhere, are often the strongest culprits of this, knowing their customers will continue to return regardless of the customer service they provide.

However, even in this situation, delivering a customer experience (CX) that meets the customer’s expectations and needs, is critical. Even for organisations in industries such as utilities where many consumers stay with their provider to avoid the hassle of switching, CX is still key. After all, it is six times more expensive to win new business than to retain it; showing how essential it is for organisations to look after their customers, even if they are confident they won’t leave.

New touchpoints and skilled staff

The fact is, delivering a CX that enables an organisation to remain competitive and encourage the customer to return is a big challenge. With numerous touchpoints now available to today’s consumer – from social media, to the organisation’s website, webchat and phone calls – how can a brand ensure it reaches its customers across all channels but provide the same experience, irrespective of channel?

All consumers will agree that a ‘bad’ CX involves a frustrating experience, long waiting times, unanswered questions, unknowledgeable staff, faulty products or simply not being listened to. Can we really blame them if an experience like this makes them want to switch to a competitor?

However, it doesn’t need to be like this. An organisation’s contact centre should form the heart of the CX it provides, with a trained, dedicated team ready to answer queries and resolve any issues the customer may have experienced across multiple channels. A customer service team should completely embody the persona of the brand; understanding who the customer is, what issue they’re facing and how it can be resolved in a quick, seamless manner that leaves the customer satisfied and eager to purchase a product or service again.

If a bad experience strikes, an organisation can’t blame a customer for wanting to look elsewhere. It’s therefore essential for organisations to put measures in place to ensure that all channels are equipped to provide the best CX possible – so that a customer’s loyalty never comes into question at all.

GUEST BLOG: Customer Experience – The latest silo in the marketing mix

Joey Moore, Head of Product Marketing, Episerver

For years, marketers have talked—and written—extensively about the disconnect between marketing and IT. Who should own email lists and sensitive data? Who should have access to the website CMS? Who should decide which marketing automation platforms to install? These are just a few of the questions that have plagued the marketing/IT debate.

In 2019 however, this debate finally feels like it’s come to a close. According to new research from Episerver, 93 percent of marketers now have the ability to directly edit their company’s website, while 80 percent expect to have complete ownership over their brand’s web presence within the next two years.

Instead of seeing this as a ‘land grab’ from IT, however, 62 percent of marketers say they are simply working collaboratively with their IT departments in order to reduce silos and ensure the best customer experiences. While this is great news for customers, the problem of marketing silos has not gone away for good. Instead, a new debate has started to rage—this time between marketers and the new wave of customer experience (CX) professionals.

Over the last few years, customer experience has become a central topic for most businesses, with as many as 35 percent hiring specific teams and individuals to manage the CX journey. In contrast, only 45 percent of marketers feel they have genuine autonomy over the customer experience, with many feeling that CX teams aren’t delivering the same quality of experience that marketers themselves would provide if they were in charge.

As a result, Episerver’s research shows that as many as 80 percent of marketers are planning to take over the CX role by 2020, removing the need for standalone customer experience departments and professionals.

While new technologies are making it easier than ever for marketers to control elements of the customer experience, by attempting to force out CX teams, marketers are falling into the exact same trap they did with IT.

Just as IT teams work across so much more than just marketing technologies, today’s CX teams also provide a far more all-encompassing view. Working with customer service departments, contact centres, HR and employee training courses, the remit of today’s CX professionals goes well beyond just marketing. Given this fact, marketers should be careful about biting off more than they can chew.

Instead, what is needed is a joint approach, one in which marketing and CX teams work together and collaborate in the best interests of the end customer. Technology can enable this collaboration, providing a seamless link through which marketing and customer experience teams can decide the CX direction of their company and ensuring it’s implemented across all levels of the brand. This will be the future of CX, not total marketing ownership, but technology-driven collaboration.