Understand Your Customers’ Online Problems to Boost Conversion Rates and Revenue

Neil McKay

One of the best ways to boost revenue on your e-commerce website is to understand what kinds of problems customers encounter on your site that keep them from making purchases. Quantifying the value of this understanding can be challenging, however, since it involves both tangible and intangible benefits.

There are several key areas where this understanding can have a measurable impact on an e-commerce business’s success. One of these is conversion rate improvement. By identifying and solving customer problems, you can optimize the user experience, which leads to higher conversion rates and revenue growth.

At Endless Gain, we have run more than 12,000 experiments across more than 100 e-commerce websites. Our experience tells us that with conversion rate optimization, an e-commerce business can expect to grow its digital revenue by between 5% and 12.5% per annum on average.

Here are a few case studies of clients we have helped understand and solve their customers’ online problems and boost conversion rates, sales and profits.

1. Boosting Customer Loyalty and Retention

Addressing customers’ problems fosters loyalty which leads to higher customer retention rates. Loyal customers tend to spend more and make repeat purchases, resulting in increased customer lifetime value (CLV).

A food retailer had built a My Account area that allowed customers to amend and repeat their most recent orders. Their goal was to build customer loyalty and generate more repeat business. However, uptake of this new function was low, and they were not generating repeat customers. Research revealed many functional and user experience challenges that were creating a poor experience and drove customers away. For example, it wasn’t easy to amend orders or the delivery date.

Based on the research, we redesigned the My Account area and built and tested a prototype. We went through three rounds of iterations within a two-week period before we were comfortable that the new version was a vast improvement over the original and solved the problems identified in the research.

Within 12 months of launching the new design, repeat orders had grown from less than 10% to more than 20%. This helped the business boost customer loyalty and retention and increase revenue.

2. Reducing Customer Support Costs

By actively resolving customer issues and providing a better user experience, e-commerce businesses can reduce the number of customer support enquiries and realise cost savings in customer service operations. An online value retailer’s customers found it difficult to return products they didn’t want, so many ended up contacting the call centre to learn how to make returns. Based on research, we redesigned the My Account area to make it easier to return items.

As a result, calls to the call centre for returns were reduced by 43%, resulting in greater resource efficiency and cost savings.

3. Building Brand Reputation and Trust

A positive online experience creates a strong brand reputation, which can be challenging to quantify, but significantly influences customer perception and trust.

A health and beauty products retailer was extremely competitive on price (which was good) but the user website experience was poor. As a result, consumers didn’t trust the website — in fact, many thought it was selling fake products because they were so cheap. As a result, some customers abandoned their cart during checkout.

Over 18 months we focused on improving the user experience and used social proof to garner trust and help improve the brand’s perception and reputation with customers. The website benefitted from improved net promoter score and accelerated revenue growth that contributed to the business being sold.

4. Realising a Competitive Advantage

Understanding customer problems allows businesses to differentiate themselves from competitors by providing tailored solutions and a better overall experience.

We performed research for a men’s formal wear retailer that indicated users were not enjoying the experience of buying two-piece and three-piece suits online. They had to repeat the selection process over and over again by adding jackets and trousers to the basket. We noticed the same experience on their competitors’ websites.

So, we focused on making the online suit-buying experience simpler and easier for customers. Based on our work, this retailer’s online suit-buying experience is now vastly improved. Customers enjoy it more compared to their competitors, the conversion rate has improved, and overall revenue is growing. The simplified online suit-buying experience has helped this company realise a competitive advantage.

5. Better Data-Driven Decision Making

Collecting and analysing customer feedback provides valuable insights for strategic decision-making and resource allocation.

An EU retail company thought their international minimum spend level for free delivery was too high and hindering sales. But they had no data to prove it, so they never challenged the status quo.

The research we conducted validated their hypothesis. The retailer lowered their minimum spend for free delivery in the UK and reduced the standard delivery fee. The result was a 30% uplift in forecasted UK incremental revenue gain per year.

Targeted Investments to Improve Your Website

Understanding and solving customer problems on your website can lead to targeted investments that help you improve your site. Calculating the ROI of these investments helps quantify their value.

Ultimately, the value of understanding and solving customer problems on e-commerce websites extends beyond direct financial gains. It also helps build a customer-centric culture, fosters brand loyalty, boosts conversion rates and revenue, and contributes to long-term business sustainability.

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