What is the cost of a poor eCommerce Customer Experience? Think of it from a personal viewpoint. How many times have you been left frustrated by a bad eCommerce customer experience? How many times have you had an online transaction cancelled, timed-out or been driven to switch to a more user-friendly rival site?

It happens to all of us at one time or another…

CMO.com reports that an average of 10.9% of online revenue is spent on marketing. IMRG that global abandonment rates are rising. And the market view is B2C conversion is 1%-4% and B2B about 10%.

From our own research “Counting the Cost of Not Knowing”, we found that:

  1. 85% of organizations say understanding why customers may struggle with their website is a current challenge
  2. 82% have difficulties maintaining a single approach to eCommerce Customer Experience Management across mobile and web
  3. 89% believe eCommerce Customer Experience is a significant differentiator in their sector right now
  4. 76% plan to increase investment in online channels over the next 12 months

Delivering a seamless, rewarding eCommerce Customer Experience is paramount. It is damaging to keep upping the spend on driving people to your site if it is not delivering a good user journey.

It’s the key differentiator that drives loyalty and improved margins. Anything that damages or diminishes that experience is a dangerous and costly aberration.

Here’s the evidence…

The 2016 Christmas Season Consumer Survey reveals that: “19% of eCommerce Christmas customers were forced to shop with alternative retailers due to stock unavailability and delivery time constraints” (source: eConsultancy Blog). But this begs a key question: how many businesses know the price they are paying for out-of-stock and delivery constraints? How many potential customers clicked-off in frustration and took their loyalties and buying power to a competitor?

Probably, it’s an unknown quantity. Most companies have no comprehensive way of tracking the customer’s onsite experience, quantifying the size of this problem or taking instant action to eliminate losses. They rely on assumptions based on limited metrics. But having this insight is a game-changer for online revenue.

It’s the online equivalent of “your call is being recorded for quality and training purposes”. Then imagine taking all this real-time data (including all the equivalent recordings and linked request and response data) and using it to remove sub-optimal experiences, while the customer is online.

For Pizza Hut, this delivered £4.7M of additional eCommerce revenue in just one year. For Direct Ferries, it equated to a 1% increase in conversion rates (just imagine what a 3%, 4%, 10% uplift could do for your bottom line).

And the secondary benefits are equally impressive. Efficiencies right across the team will enhance proof of purchase, fraud validation, customer services and internal processes that directly deliver online improvements.

Sadly, for the customer, it’s still a reality that most businesses do little more than track the basic analytics of the numbers that arrive at the online store and those that either abandon or succeed to complete their purchase.

Without having the full picture of a customer’s eCommerce experience, the cost of not knowing could be significantly damaging your online revenue potential.

To find out more about how UserReplay Customer Experience Analytics can help you know the truth about your online customer experience get in touch

 

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What is the cost of a poor eCommerce Customer Experience? Think of it from a personal viewpoint. How many times have you been left frustrated by a bad eCommerce customer experience? How many times have you had an online transaction cancelled, timed-out or been driven to switch to a more user-friendly rival site?

It happens to all of us at one time or another…

CMO.com reports that an average of 10.9% of online revenue is spent on marketing. IMRG that global abandonment rates are rising. And the market view is B2C conversion is 1%-4% and B2B about 10%.

From our own research “Counting the Cost of Not Knowing”, we found that:

  1. 85% of organizations say understanding why customers may struggle with their website is a current challenge
  2. 82% have difficulties maintaining a single approach to eCommerce Customer Experience Management across mobile and web
  3. 89% believe eCommerce Customer Experience is a significant differentiator in their sector right now
  4. 76% plan to increase investment in online channels over the next 12 months

Delivering a seamless, rewarding eCommerce Customer Experience is paramount. It is damaging to keep upping the spend on driving people to your site if it is not delivering a good user journey.

It’s the key differentiator that drives loyalty and improved margins. Anything that damages or diminishes that experience is a dangerous and costly aberration.

Here’s the evidence…

The 2016 Christmas Season Consumer Survey reveals that: “19% of eCommerce Christmas customers were forced to shop with alternative retailers due to stock unavailability and delivery time constraints” (source: eConsultancy Blog). But this begs a key question: how many businesses know the price they are paying for out-of-stock and delivery constraints? How many potential customers clicked-off in frustration and took their loyalties and buying power to a competitor?

Probably, it’s an unknown quantity. Most companies have no comprehensive way of tracking the customer’s onsite experience, quantifying the size of this problem or taking instant action to eliminate losses. They rely on assumptions based on limited metrics. But having this insight is a game-changer for online revenue.

It’s the online equivalent of “your call is being recorded for quality and training purposes”. Then imagine taking all this real-time data (including all the equivalent recordings and linked request and response data) and using it to remove sub-optimal experiences, while the customer is online.

For Pizza Hut, this delivered £4.7M of additional eCommerce revenue in just one year. For Direct Ferries, it equated to a 1% increase in conversion rates (just imagine what a 3%, 4%, 10% uplift could do for your bottom line).

And the secondary benefits are equally impressive. Efficiencies right across the team will enhance proof of purchase, fraud validation, customer services and internal processes that directly deliver online improvements.

Sadly, for the customer, it’s still a reality that most businesses do little more than track the basic analytics of the numbers that arrive at the online store and those that either abandon or succeed to complete their purchase.

Without having the full picture of a customer’s eCommerce experience, the cost of not knowing could be significantly damaging your online revenue potential.

To find out more about how UserReplay Customer Experience Analytics can help you know the truth about your online customer experience get in touch

 

optim

 

For eCommerce companies, the consequences of downtime are clear. Every second your website is down is a second that you are losing money. Understandably, uptime and disaster recovery are key concerns for operators.

But what about minor hiccups in the customer experience that impact your conversion rate?

The problem is (and always has been) a lack of visibility into these small but significant customer experience issues, leaving eCommerce operators to search for homerun improvements on their websites. Although these customer experience issues may only affect a small segment of users, they can present a significant revenue opportunity.





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Keep on reading to learn why the value of conversion rate optimization (CRO) and marginal gains has never been higher.

Do the Math on the Value of Conversion Rate Optimization

Conversion rate optimization certainly isn’t the hottest term in the eCommerce world. In fact, cloud.IQ CEO James Critchley points out that while over 2 million eCommerce professionals list SEO as a skill on LinkedIn, only 8,000 have CRO listed.

Everyone wants to believe that there’s one critical change that will make a world of difference for their businesses. In reality, there are a thousand paper cuts keeping your conversion rate in the 2% to 3% range.

It may seem obvious, but the simple math on CRO is consistently ignored. If you told your executives about a 0.2% increase in conversion rate, there may not be a lot of excitement at first. But if your conversion rate starts at 2%, this small example of CRO improvement can yield a 10% increase in the company bottom line—a figure that any business leader can get excited about.

The idea at work here is the theory of marginal gains. This is the thought that 1% improvements to various elements of a task will yield a far greater cumulative result. Knowing this, it’s easy to say that eCommerce companies could list every aspect of the customer experience and start focusing on making incremental 1% improvements that will have a major impact on the bottom line.

The real challenge is that so many organizations can’t see and pinpoint the specific issues within the customer experience that they need to improve.

Treating a Thousand Conversion Rate Paper Cuts

Beyond explicit downtime, there are certain conversion rate problems that won’t take much to uncover. For example, a widespread error with your forms that aren’t letting customers complete purchases. The biggest gains from CRO are for the problems that affect a small subset of your user base—the conversion rate paper cuts. Examples of these seemingly invisible issues include:

  • Regional form field issues (like inapplicable zip codes)
  • Technical issues with multi-tender payment
  • Poor search functionality that hinders customer experience
  • Mobile responsiveness on specific platforms or devices

As you dig into granular pieces of the customer experience, it gets harder and harder to visualize, monetize, and prioritize marginal gains with CRO. However, machine learning is emerging as a means to make CRO more accessible and valuable for eCommerce companies.

Using a customer experience analytics solution that leverages machine learning to drive CRO efforts gives you a chance to analyze customer behavior at scale and automatically prioritize optimization strategies.

Once you can see all of the minor issues that are impacting eCommerce conversions, you can plan beyond ‘homerun approaches’ to revenue gains. By treating your conversion rate paper cuts at scale with machine learning and customer experience analytics, you can start to unlock revenue potential you never expected and see the true value of conversion rate optimization.

If you want to learn more about the dangers of ignoring your conversion rate paper cuts and the gains you are letting sit on the wayside, download our free white paper, Counting the Cost of Not Knowing.




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Many eCommerce retailers have probably never heard of the 1992 Supreme Court case we discussed recently— Quill Corp. v. North Dakota. Up until recently, the only thing you really had to know was that the decision in that case has saved you from sales tax headaches.

Unfortunately, the 25-year grace period seems to be ending and it’s time for eCommerce companies to prepare. The overview of the online sales tax problem and the challenges you might face because of it, is helpful; however, now it’s time to dig a little deeper into the legal topic.

Nexus is the legal term at the heart of the online sales tax debate. But what is nexus and what does it mean for your eCommerce business?





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Defining Sales Tax Nexus for eCommerce Retailers

The strict legal definition of “nexus” is a connection between people, things, or events with a focus on chain of causation. However, the definition becomes a little more ambiguous when it comes to retail.

The ruling in Quill Corp. v. North Dakota is predicated on the concept of nexus. In that case, the Supreme Court ruled that states could not collect sales taxes from sellers that did not have a physical presence in that state. This physical presence requirement has kept eCommerce retailers from dealing with many potential sales tax challenges.

Tech innovation and the emergence of mainstream eCommerce have helped complicate the meaning of nexus. And now that online sales taxes seem like an inevitability, it’s important to know what sales tax nexus means for your eCommerce retail business.

The Complicated Nature of Nexus in eCommerce Today

While physical presence seemed fairly straight forward in 1992, it has become increasingly complicated over the years. Now, most states that haven’t pushed back on eCommerce retailers for online sales taxes interpret nexus as having a physical store, office, or distribution center in the customer’s state.

However, even that definition is under fire as states push for more power to collect online sales taxes. Depending on the state you’re dealing with, any of the following could fulfill the sales tax nexus requirement for online retail:

  • Sales made while traveling to trade shows in different states
  • Having employees working in a different state
  • Attending meetings outside of your home state
  • Using third party marketing strategies such as remote ad targeting of affiliate marketing
  • Leveraging Fulfillment by Amazon in a state where Amazon has a distribution facility or warehouse
  • And more

Rebecca Madigan, executive director of the Performance Marketing Association, has said the only viable solution to such a confusing mess of nexus requirements is to require all eCommerce retailers to collect online sales taxes for all states. While this certainly seems like where we’re headed, it’s clear that eCommerce retailers must prepare to properly apply any number of nexus-based regulations on a transaction-to-transaction basis.

According to Scott Peterson, director of government affairs for Avalara, “Today, any number of standard business activities can result in a tax obligation. Ever state’s regulations are different, so it’s important to have a nexus assessment performed periodically if your business makes sales to out-of-state buyers.”

Nexus assessments will prove essential for online sales tax compliance, but there are residual issues that you’ll also have to manage. As you apply all of the different online sales tax laws to your eCommerce site, you’re bound to unknowingly create customer experience friction. Whether it’s through form field errors or inconsistencies in disclosing online sales taxes to shoppers, you have to be ready to optimize customer experience in the way of new regulations (even if they vary between tax jurisdictions).

Don’t let complicated compliance processes ruin your site’s customer experience. Learn how to identify customer experience friction and optimize your site to ensure customers are moving smoothly through checkout.





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Business people's hands with one holding a pen over a financial report document.

We’ve reached that time of the year again—Halloween is behind us and stores are starting to roll out their holiday-themed decorations. And no one is happier this time of the year than retailers who are set to see massive revenue spikes for November and December.

2015 was an important year for eCommerce as, for the first time, consumers shopped more online than in stores between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday. In fact, Thanksgiving-weekend eCommerce sales grew nearly 20% to over $7 billion in 2015—and 2016 is set to exceed these expectations.

Over the course of the November/December holiday shopping season, eCommerce sales are expected to grow 17% in 2016, leaving retailers with plenty to feel happy about.

You’ve Earned Holiday Shopping Revenue—You Just Have to Take It

Take a step back before the holiday season gets underway and think about all the things you’ve done this year to set you up for a strong year. Everything you’ve done from a customer experience standpoint—customer attraction, awareness, discovery, cultivation, advocacy, etc.—sets the foundation for your success in the November/December eCommerce rush.

The effort you’ve put toward email marketing, advertising, social media engagement, PPC/SEO, loyalty schemes, voice of the customer programs and more means you’ve earned the right to holiday season revenue.

However, there are so many retailers that miss out on the eCommerce opportunity because of poorly-timed customer experience issues.

Don’t Let Customer Experience Issues Play the Role of Scrooge This Year

Customer experience (CX) is so often the one thing standing in the way between you and the revenue you’ve earned from consistent marketing and sales efforts. During the holiday shopping rush, it only takes one issue for customers to abandon the website and search elsewhere for the items on their wish lists.

On a high level, you might be aware of the potential challenges that can cause friction in your customer experience. The problem is that during the holiday season, it can be almost impossible to actually identify and remedy the issues before it’s too late.

At a time when big data is so readily available, eCommerce companies have to leverage the information at hand to actually improve customer experience and unlock the revenue they’ve earned throughout the year.

Sorting through big data manually isn’t scalable or efficient for the holidays, but a customer experience analytics solution can help you solve a number of CX problems that could put your customers into an Ebenezer-Scrooge kind of mood.

Read on and check out our latest infographic, 5 Customer Experience Tips for a Happier 2016 Holiday Shopping Season, that covers the key CX issues you’ll have to overcome if you want to ensure that this is the happiest holiday season yet for your eCommerce business.

 

Infographic Regarding Holiday Shopping Trends
 

Get the Full Infographic PDF Here
 

<< Read The Full eCommerce Guide: Optimizing The Customer Journey During the Holiday Season and Throughout the Year >>




Holiday Season Shopping eBook




 

For a long time, ecommerce was more of an art than a science. You’d set up your website, fill it with products, buy a few banner ads, and hope. Within the space of a few years, however, a relative dearth of information turned into the opposite—a flood. Websites have become larger and more complex—the size of the average site has jumped from 702 KB to over two megabytes over the last six years. There are now plenty of unforeseen curveballs that can disrupt the seemingly simple customer journey of “see item you like, add it to the cart, pay.”

Sites Need to Become More Customer Focused, Instead of Simply Adding New Features

First, one site discovers that after adding a new feature, their conversions improve by a certain small percent. Then, another group of sites incorporates the same feature, and then the next wave, and then it becomes background noise. At no point does this innovation truly benefit the customer.

 

<< Click Here to See UserReplay in Action: How You Can Discover and Monetize Your Customers’ Online Struggles >>
 

Customer expectations, however, have risen greatly in the nearly two decades since ecommerce rose to prominence. For example, there’s the functionality of mobile sites. Ecommerce on mobile devices was barely a small piece of the overall retail revenue pie not too long ago, but Gartner reports that by next year, 50% of ecommerce dollars will come from people shopping on their phones. Having a mobile site that functions as well as it does in your browser is now crucial.

Harness the Next Digital Disruption

Ecommerce is also driving in-store sales. According to research from Deloitte , 36% of all retail revenue is driven in some way by a digital channel. For companies that operate ecommerce sites alongside traditional brick-and-mortar stores, their challenge is how to adapt this data to a hybrid approach. How can you tweak your ecommerce site to cater to your customers at physical locations?

Lastly, there are global markets to consider. In much of the United States, Amazon has swallowed up the ecommerce market share for entire industries. For books to kitchenware to groceries, as well as in many other segments, Amazon is many customers’ first choice when buying online. In order to compete, companies such as eBay have chosen to focus instead on emerging markets. If you choose to follow suit, will your site work as well for customers in Turkey as well as it does for customers in the US? These are just some of the considerations ecommerce sites must make if they wish to survive in the age of digital disruption.

Answering these questions requires you to look at granular customer data. By using the power of machine learning to identify areas where the customer falls out of the buying process, ecommerce businesses can point out and close revenue gaps.

The Power of UserReplay Machine Learning

UserReplay has long offered its clients the ability to understand how and where unforeseen struggle or friction in the customer journey might cause customers to drop out of the sales process. We have added the additional capability to discover revenue that might be in our customers’ pipeline but still unrealized, by using the speed and power of machine learning.

We recently worked with an organization targeting international customers. Many of these customers weren’t being properly directed to the international site—and so were blocked from putting in their payment information. By using machine learning to identify the customer journeys’ affected by this problem alone, the potential revenue fallout from this error, estimated at nearly $450K annually, was avoided.

In another case, ecommerce customers were getting notified that some of the items in their basket were out of stock at time of purchase. However, there was no specific indication of which items were out of stock, and individual examination of the product pages produced no clues. UserReplay was able to identify the root of this problem using its machine learning algorithm, and found potential revenue opportunities already in the pipeline, equal to $1.478 million per year.

It can be difficult to put forward an ecommerce strategy that puts customers first, but UserReplay helps make that process much easier. For more on how our technology can help your business, check out our resource center or book a demo today.




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Making a sale online isn’t easy. In fact, approximately 96% of visitors that come to your

website are not ready to buy. That’s why you can’t afford to lose even half a percent of your customers that show interest.

However, the reality is that there are hundreds of factors that go into transforming your interested visitors into paying customers. It’s a revenue funnel, and it doesn’t always function perfectly. In fact, sometimes it completely breaks down—leading some of those customers who are ready to buy to abandon your site altogether.

 

<< Click Here to See UserReplay in Action: How You Can Discover and Monetize Your Customers’ Online Struggles >>
 

Why should you be concerned about this hidden and unrealized revenue?

  • You’ve already earned it. You don’t need to offer incentives to close this business because customers are already motivated to buy.
  • You don’t need to hypothesize or run experiments—you’ve already done them.
  • This low-hanging opportunity is often financially significant.

You could be missing out on thousands of dollars in revenue on your digital channel because, for one reason or another, your customers are having trouble converting. Why does this happen?

Reasons for Hidden Revenue

There are many reasons that your customers could struggle to put money in your pocket. A few of the most common are:

  • Technical Issues: Sometimes websites don’t function as expected and there’s no clear explanation. In some cases, the issue can’t be replicated in testing. For example, a major fast food retailer experienced an issue where customers going through the checkout process were automatically redirected to a postcode entry page. It didn’t happen every time, but it happened often enough that the company was missing out on $1.8 million in annual revenue.
  • Timing: A one-second delay in your site speed can result in a 7% reduction in your conversions. A slow website on mobile or desktop can make your customers give up before they reach the end, even if they want to make a purchase.
  • Third-Party Compatibility: Many times customers are lost not because of something that goes wrong with your software or website, but because of something that went wrong with a trusted third-party technology.
  • Customer Service Disconnect: Trying to match your customer’s online experience to your customer service team can be frustrating. When things go wrong for your customer, or if they’re required to go through a lengthy process to get the issue resolved, most of the time they’ll give up instead and leave their purchase behind. Pizza Hut UK had exactly this problem. They had a difficult time tracking their customers online, so, when an issue occurred, their customer service team took too long to fix the issue. Overall, it cost them almost £7 million in lost annual revenue.

How to Obtain this Digital Channel Hidden Revenue

To make sure you don’t continue to miss out on your hidden revenue potential, you need a customer experience analytics (CX analytics) solution integrated into your website, that tells you precisely what’s going on.  This CX analytics solution should have the ability to provide:

  • Analytics: You don’t have time to sift through hundreds of customer journeys on your website. Instead, you need to be able to discover the most relevant events within your customers’ journeys so you can review only the data you need.
  • Alerts: Instead of having to review your data and analytics on a daily or hourly basis, you should be able to set “alerts” on critical issues so that your team can react in seconds instead of hours or days.
  • Reports: Having the right data and analytics are keys to discovering where things go wrong. Reporting that helps you quantify and monetize the customer struggle is crucial.
  • Usability Testing: Customers want to make a purchase on a digital channel that is easy to use. You need an at-a-glance summary of the customer experiences on your site, so you know where customers are having potential issues before you lose significant revenue.
  • High-Fidelity Replay: You need real-time, high-fidelity replay capabilities so you can watch your website as orders are being placed and review the entire customer transaction process to uncover the unrecognized revenue opportunities.

By using a solution like UserReplay’s customer experience analytics, you can uncover hidden revenue that you have already earned. Our solution lets you record, re-run, and analyze every visitor’s journey on your website. This invaluable information will help you improve your conversation rates, monetize the online customer struggles, fix technical issues, resolve customer disputes, and recover abandoned baskets.





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