By Priyanka Prasad
In an entire consumer buying cycle, there are various stages, where consumers tend to drop out before making a purchase. You have a great concept, your products are great, your consumers are visiting your store, but a chunk of them are just dropping out before they make a purchase. What is wrong? What is it that is not encouraging them to commit to making that purchasing decision and at what stage did they change their mind and why?
To understand this we have to first understand a consumer’s buying cycle:
A consumer’s buying cycle typically comprises of 5 stages:
- The need: The first stage is when the consumer realizes that he needs a product
- The research: The second stage is when the consumer will typically look for where and how to get the best available product in the market according to his need. Usually, this would take him to do a google search, a quora search, or a search on social media channels. He might also do a comparative analysis on similar available products. If you have a good SEO and your website ranking is high, there are high chances that your potential customers have visited your website. Similarly on social media, if you have good visibility and great engagement, you have a strong likelihood for a potential customer to visit your website.
- Removing risks: At this stage, your potential customer is already on your website and is mostly analyzing your products to alleviate potential risks. A consumer might evaluate your brand and products by looking at your website, product details, reviews, blogs, and customer support. This is the stage when the customer is deciding on whether or not to purchase the product from your website.
- Taking a decision: Once zeroed in on your store and the product, the consumer decides to buy the product.
- Receiving results: Once having obtained good results, the consumer is satisfied and re-enters this cycle again
Potential customers can drop at any stage of the cycle but most business owners struggle with the 3rd stage. This is when the customer has finally visited your website, has evaluated you as a brand, and is just about to make a purchase but drops out. This can happen due to various factors, such as the requirement to sign up, filling up multiple forms, giving too many options, non-availability of personalization, asking too much work of customers to understand benefits, etc.,
Let’s understand in detail the 4 main reasons for drop-outs how can you reduce them:
- The mandatory requirement of signing-up: Once your customer has decided to purchase from your website, a mandatory requirement of joining your website or signing-up breaks a customer purchase flow. Not to mention, the various information you might ask for them to share, even before they have made their first purchase. Not every first-time customer wants to sign-up as a member. According to a recent report by Baymard, 24% of customers reported creating an account as a primary reason for cart abandonment. To maintain the customer’s purchase flow, it is imperative that creating an account doesn’t become an impediment. This can be mitigated by allowing customers to complete the order via a guest log-in. Gaining your first customer to complete the cycle will enable you to get the customer to re-enter the cycle and provide future options to become a member.
- Filling forms with multiple data sets: When the customer is signing up, logging in, or trying out your specific feature, if you are giving a form with multiple data sets, it only acts as an additional obstacle in your customer’s buying journey. The more data sets you have in your form, the less interested the customer gets in your product and brand. Remember, the customer has already traveled stages 1&2 and now has very little time and patience and is eager to purchase with minimal hurdles. Keep your forms simple with limited data sets like name and email or a phone number.
- Giving customers too many options: Customers often feel overwhelmed when given too many options. When you present a customer with limited options according to their taste and preference, it is much easier to decide as compared to having a barrage of options with different qualities and specifications to choose from. Sorting and filtering have their limitations and do not come of much help in reducing drop-outs. A recent consumer report discovered that 54% of consumers experience so much frustration that they abandon e-commerce sites if they can’t choose. 42% admitted to abandoning a planned purchase altogether because there was too much choice. As such, having a chat assistant at this stage can be a viable solution that can lead the customers by asking them their choices with follow-up questions to limit the displayed options based on the information provided and customer persona. Mezchip is one such platform where you can integrate live chat with your store and help your customers in real-time to limit their choices and consequently reduce drop-outs.
- Customers working hard to understand the benefits you offer: You have successfully gained the attention of your customer in the second stage with sale coupons and offers. The customer adds an item to the cart, but cannot find the coupon code. The customer goes back to the main page, looks for a coupon code but gets distracted by a few other products. Sometimes if he doesn’t see a code, he may decide not to purchase because he can’t find the coupon code. Having customers do the hard work to get the benefits you offer will not work in your favor. As such, you must ensure that the benefits you offer are available to the customers right when they need them. Enabling pop-ups with coupon codes with an appealing discount right at the cart stage can work wonders.
In your consumer’s buying cycle, the first step to understanding the rate of drop-outs is:
- To uncover the stage at which drop-outs are happening the most,
- Next is knowing the reasons for these drop-outs.
Once you are aware of the reasons for these drop-outs, work towards implementing strategies and tools like Mezchip to decrease your drop-out rates and increase conversions.