For most brands, an ecommerce site serves as a purchase destination, but it’s not a marketing vehicle that drives engagement the way channels like email and social do. However, it has significant potential to do just that — and further as a result.
From growing your customer base, to nurturing your existing shoppers, to increasing purchases onsite, there are several steps you can take to increase conversion opportunities and make your ecommerce site a strategic asset for your marketing team.
Why Does Onsite Engagement Matter?
If your ecommerce website doesn’t continue to nurture shoppers once they land on it, then your brand is missing out on enormous opportunities. Getting shoppers onsite to purchase should be just one of many goals for your ecommerce site.
To get that coveted purchase, intelligent onsite engagement is key. Engagement activities like identifying more visitors, aiding with discovery, decreasing browse abandonment rates, and even growing purchase sizes have a sizeable impact on conversions. For that reason, a more engaging shopping experience is crucial to encouraging positive outcomes for your site.
How Do Users Engage Onsite?
When a shopper visits your site, they should have the ability to engage in a number of ways. Here are a few examples that will help you nurture customers while providing opportunities to convert them.
Whether they’re reading fashion tips on your blog, or scanning for the perfect gift on your homepage, content is an effective way to engage shoppers. This has many passive benefits, like cultivating brand loyalty and increasing their likelihood to purchase in the future. You can further encourage readers to convert by inserting email capture forms on the page.
While reading content is a way for potential customers to passively engage, retailers should also provide avenues for active participation. For example, a shopper may ask your chatbot a question or take a quiz to determine which product best suits their needs.
Sometimes, a shopper will love a product or content asset so much that they need to share it with others. For this reason, always include social sharing buttons on your pages to help encourage conversions and boost engagement.
3 Ways to Increase Onsite Conversions Through Thoughtful Engagement
Engagement is the first step to getting a conversion. By optimizing your site’s existing real estate with retail marketing technology, you can turn it into a powerful conversion vehicle.
With that in mind, here are three ways to make it happen.
1) Use onsite lead capture to engage across channels
By introducing a variety of lead capture campaigns across your site, you’ll have ample opportunity to collect information like emails and other customer attributes from onsite engagement.
Why: Lead capture allows you to identify more site visitors and grow your subscriber base. Doing so creates more opportunities for you to get in front of customers and to surface relevant content. Specifically, identifying anonymous visitors enables you to tie together their onsite engagement to understand more about their interests and power predictive audiences. Additionally, converting them to email subscribers allows you to use that information to share relevant recommendations on a new channel and re-engage them with triggered emails once they leave your website.
How: Bluecore’s patented and deterministic methodology identifies anonymous web traffic against identity, behavior and product data. Showing strategic lead capture campaigns (e.g. locked offers, newsletter sign ups and access to exclusive content) at the right time also increases capture rates, leading to up to 40% increase in email list size. Importantly, Bluecore allows you to ensure only net new customers see these campaigns by excluding site visitors who are already on your email list.
2) Use exit prevention tactics to keep shoppers onsite
Onsite exit prevention and cart abandonment campaigns will give you a second chance to keep customers on your site after they attempt to leave. From there, you can begin to guide them into a purchase.
Why: Abandonment prevention campaigns keep shoppers onsite, which aids in further discovery and engagement and incentivizes them to complete their purchase within that same session. These outcomes increase the available data you have to create more personalized experiences for customers, help grow cart size and reduce the time to purchase.
How: Increase conversion rates by retaining visitors onsite after they attempt to exit a category, product detail page, cart or checkout page by disrupting their exit with a personalized message featuring an incentive (e.g. first-time purchase coupon, exclusive offer, loyalty offer, free shipping) to complete their purchase.
3) Surface relevant products and content with retail technology
Retailers should target shoppers with onsite messages that are relevant to the products, categories, or content they are currently viewing or for which they have a predicted affinity.
Why: Increasing same-session conversions in this way drives more browsers to become buyers and grows average order values by pushing shoppers to higher-value products (upsells) and/or additional relevant products (cross-sells).
How: Create messaging pop-ups to make announcements, launch special sales targeted to specific audience groups, like a discount affinity audience or a known non-buyer audience, or implement merchandising triggers onsite. You can also greet returning identified visitors with customized pop-ups that include personalized product recommendations based on browsing history or predicted affinity.
Important User Engagement Metrics to Track on Your Site
Before you put these tactics into practice, it’s crucial to create benchmarks for engagement-related metrics. From there, you’ll be in a much better position to quantify the success of your onsite engagement and conversion points.
Here are a few important metrics to consider:
This metric is simple – it tracks how many times a shopper (or group of shoppers) viewed a certain page. For even greater context, you can break down how many pages a shopper viewed in a standard session.
Time on site
Measuring how long a customer spends on your site is important to ensure you have a user-friendly and engaging website. If a shopper spends 15 minutes on your site across 5 pages, for example, they’re likely more engaged than a customer that viewed 15 pages in 5 minutes.
A “bounce” occurs when someone lands on your website and leaves without visiting another page. Depending on the page, this can be either acceptable or worrisome. For example, if a customer visits your Store Locator page and leaves immediately after, that’s not necessarily a cause for concern. But if a customer leaves a product page immediately after viewing it, make sure you have exit prevention methods in place.
If a customer visits your site multiple times, that means you’re successfully cultivating customer loyalty. Make sure you have onsite email capture pop-ups in place so you can continue to engage them across multiple channels.
At the end of the day, a high conversion rate is the surest sign that your digital marketing efforts are successful. For this reason, keep track of how often customers convert on your site, and take note of the pages that led them to convert. On the other hand, if pages are failing to convert, be sure to implement measures like personalized product recommendations or personalized offers to boost your conversion rate.
Ready to Make Your Ecommerce Site a Conversion Vehicle?
From growing your email list to nurturing customers onsite in a way that increases order values and same-session conversions and more, enormous benefits exist for marketing teams that can turn their ecommerce site into a conversion vehicle.
Visit bluecore.com/site to learn more about how you can get started making better use of this existing real estate today.