Counting the Cost of Not Knowing

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Online Customer Experience is fast becoming a competitive battleground for eCommerce brands. 89% of eCommerce professionals surveyed in our independent study The Online Customer Experience – Counting the Cost of Not Knowing see it as a significant differentiator in business.

However, while the general awareness of the importance of Customer Experience is increasing, many businesses are struggling to get a handle on the difficulties customers are facing every day, and are currently finding themselves on the back foot in resolving these issues. 85% of the UK and US eCommerce professionals surveyed said understanding why customers may struggle with their website is a current challenge. Even more concerning is that, on average, 50% of the difficulties experienced by customers on their own website are unknown. This represents a huge number of issues going undetected and unresolved. How can businesses ever realistically quantify the impact on the bottom line with such a huge gap in their visibility?

Unsurprisingly, the consequences of the lack of customer visibility is proving a challenge for many eCommerce organisations – 71% think a lack of investment in Online Customer Experience is impacting growth in their organisation. Furthermore, sub-optimal Customer Experience is resulting in reduced online conversion rates (43%), reputational damage (38%), preventing repeat business (30%) and eroding online revenue potential (28%).

In our experience, many kinds of issues – including technical errors, usability problems, application logic issues and navigation confusion – can have a significant impact on a customer’s ability and willingness to purchase. However, without visibility of these issues, considerable time and resource can be spent on finding and fixing without having any idea if it will positively impact the conversion rate. Basic web analytics and website performance tools will only give half the picture and perhaps, most importantly, can often be misleading in flagging issues that need to be resolved.  This causes a greater headache down the line. The most effective way is a mix of qualitative and quantitative data. Of those surveyed, 97% want qualitative data that gives detail around the User Experience, reports on websites issues and assurances that websites are meeting compliance regulations. Also, 91% want quantification of the cost to the business in terms of lost revenue. The mix of the two gives the clearest indication of the Customer Experience.

Ultimately, businesses can only truly improve Customer Experience by having visibility into the online experience from the customer perspective. Only then can they really discover the truth about why customers fail to convert.

The Online Customer Experience – Counting the Cost of Not Knowing research study is available to download now.

John Thompson, CEO, UserReplay