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5 Tips To Improve The Ecommerce Customer Journey

5 Tips To Improve The Ecommerce Customer Journey


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SaleCycle tracks millions of customer journeys each day, across many different sectors, including fashion, retail and travel. For example, we tracked nearly 500 million customer journeys for Black Friday 2020 alone.

We have harnessed our knowledge and the intelligent data we track to bring you the best tips to increase your online conversions by optimising the customer journey. 

We know why customers buy, when customers buy and how customers buy.

Lots of shoppers head to a retailer’s website, add products to their carts, but decide to leave the purchase at the last minute. That is called cart abandonment, and online retailers hate it.

According to our data, the average cart abandonment rate across all sectors is 81.01%

Here’s the breakdown for each industry:

Cart Abandonment Rates by Sector in 2020



What Is The Ecommerce Customer Journey?

The ecommerce customer journey is a set of stages the customer will go through within an online business website and within a buying decision. The journey begins when they first become aware of the product, service or brand all the way through until they complete a purchase. 

A smooth, well-optimised customer journey can have a significant impact on your overall business. For example, the right ecommerce customer journey will increase conversions and online sales. 

Make sure each customer interaction from start to finish is optimised, easy to navigate and displays all the relevant information to guide the customer down the sales funnel to completion and remove any friction.

There are 5 stages within the customer journey:

  • awareness 
  • consideration 
  • acquisition 
  • retention 
  • advocacy 

Although your customers may not be aware of this buying journey it exists on all online sales. 

How To Improve Your Customer Journey 

Here’s a list of 5 tips to improve your customer journey.

1. Use On-Site Marketing Messages For Urgency 

On-site marketing messaging can increase FOMO (fear of missing out), which can be a big sales driver when it comes to shoppers. A great way to make the most of it is by using live trends data.

This shows the shopper either how many products are left, how many people have viewed that certain product/service or how many people have purchased it. Showing this information adds a sense of urgency which may speed up the conversion.

2. Optimise For Social Proof

What is social proof and how does it work? It works by reassuring people that their decision to make a purchase is the right one, and one that other shoppers have been happy with.

For example, customer reviews are highly effective at persuading people to convert. They tell shoppers that other people have bought a product and are happy with it.

Another great way to use social proof is by showing how many people have booked a hotel room and when they booked it.

This sends other potential customers a positive message about the hotel.

3. Ecommerce Countdown Timers

Having a sale? Offering free or next day delivery? If you are, show your shoppers the deadline to receive this deal.

Ecommerce countdown timers can give shoppers that extra nudge they may need to complete a purchase. They offer a simple reminder that your time sensitive deals are ending and that they should complete their purchase sooner rather than later.

Gently persuade them with a promo code, there are many display options that will grab your shopper’s attention such as a full screen take over for maximum impact.

4. Abandonment Emails To Recover Online Sales

An email address is worth approximately $103 to marketers… so make sure you grab as many emails as you possibly can!

Acquiring a visitor’s email can mean the start of a whole new relationship, allowing you to send relevant and timely emails.

Privacy laws such as GDPR and CCPA have been introduced over the past couple of years. These legislations regulate the processing of personal data and encourages companies to be more transparent in the way data is collected and used (such as the process for gathering compliant consent to market to an individual).

So we developed our Marketing Permission Service. This allows brands to manage compliance for their marketing messages.

There are different ways brands can obtain permission from customers to send them marketing emails: 

  • On-Site Embed, this is where SaleCycle asks the customer for permission when an email address is given.
  • Real-Time Collection, where SaleCycle collect the permissions you gather yourself on-site.
  • Permission File Import. SaleCycle will import your own permission files into our service.

With the right permissions, you can benefit from the following uses of email:

Cart Abandonment Emails

Did they add something to their basket and leave the site? Send them a cart abandonment email. Remind them of the products they added to their basket. (It’s worked on me!)

Browse Abandonment Emails

Were they on your site clicking around but not place anything in their shopping cart? Send them a browse abandonment email. Show them the items they’ve been looking at and more to tempt them back for more.

Cross Sell and Up-Sell Emails

And don’t forget about existing customers! Even when they’ve already bought from you, send them a Cross Sell and Up-Sell email to push other products that you offer or items that would go fabulously with their purchase.

Promo Codes

And who doesn’t love a good promo code? Surprise them on special occasions, such as a birthday, offer them a discount code or free shipping just to make their special day that bit sweeter.

These types of emails have open rates and redemptions 2.5 times higher than average across all email campaigns. A promo code strategy can have a significant impact on your conversion rates.

5. Improve The User Experience 

It’s not all down to chasing the visitor. You have to make sure that your website/app is user friendly.

Think of the customer journey. Think about how you would want to make a purchase online and what would make life easier for you. Because more than likely, your shoppers are thinking that too.

When going through the purchasing journey, how easy is it?

Addresses, contact numbers etc can be a pain to remember and type. So offer an autofill option. This makes the checkout quicker and easier and lowers the chance of the shopper abandoning.

Are your shoppers offered flexible searches? Especially for travellers, don’t narrow them down to one day, show them a week or a month. (There’s nothing worse than having to go through each day until you find what you need – been there, did not enjoy that… ended up leaving the site).

How many payment options do you offer? There are so many different ways to pay nowadays… PayPal, Apple Pay, Credit/Debit Cards, Vouchers… Try and cater for the majority of shoppers.

ASOS checkout payment options

Mobile payment solutions like Apple Pay can speed up checkout, while companies such as Klarna or Affirm provide a variety of buy now, pay later payment solutions for brands across the world.  

Is your site mobile friendly? Majority of people own a smartphone, the latest research shows that mobile accounts for the majority of retail traffic. So be sure to make your site optimised for mobiles to increase your mobile conversions.

Reviewed by Brad Ward
Written by Graham Charlton
— Updated on 03/11/2021


⬛️ 2023 Black Friday Ecommerce Strategy & Stats Report

This FREE ebook gives you the methods, solutions & trends for building a high-converting remarketing strategy for Black Friday

2023 Black Friday Ecommerce Strategy & Stats Report

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