Articles and Research|July 6, 2017

Stop Obsessing Over Conversion: 3 Reasons to Opt for Engagement

Yes, conversion is the core of e-commerce, the ultimate goal for anyone involved in digital teams. Sell, sell and sell. But as you may know, conversion rates still remain flat, especially on mobile. How can we change the story ? You may have already invested massively in acquisition campaigns, changed the colour of your CTAs, or implemented the latest best practices…. Yet you wait still to see an impact on conversion. Here’s how to turn your (legitimate) obsession about conversion into a deep engagement strategy.

1. Users need simplicity

In our daily lives, we all face issues difficult to overcome. When it comes to browsing, we all expect simplicity, and as Steve Jobs rightly pointed out: “design is not just what it looks like and feel like. Design is how it works”.

That is, you cannot afford to wait for centuries to access information when you’re both browsing and standing in an overcrowded subway. Does it mean deleting some heavy inspirational content? Probably not if we consider the role they play in your branding strategy?  But perhaps you should pay more attention to what your visitors expect from you. For instance, a category page which includes inspirational items could lead users to consume content and enjoy window-shopping on mobile all together.

2.  Experience exceeds the products

In our digital era, you don’t convince visitors with products anymore: it is now above all a question of experience. Outstanding brands like Apple and Google don’t create new products – they provide users with a seamless and meaningful experience, fitting exactly what customers demand.

So far, few retailers have managed to deliver a full digital experience. According to Jackson Murphy, creative director and partner of digital creative agency Pound and Grain in Toronto: “you can’t just build a website anymore. You have to build a complete road map of how users get there and move between channels along the way”.

The key is to understand that customers may probably forget what they saw on your website, but they won’t forget how they felt using it.

3.  Analyze the global user journey instead of focusing on conversion

User Experience (UX) is not about conversion rate: it is part of a complex process. Intention, context, hesitation time, etc.: these are some of the UX clues you can use to get a better idea of the way your website performs. For instance, a high bounce rate can look like a red flag, but it can also mean that visitors found what they were looking for, and then left.

Similarly, a novice user can take some time exploring your home page while an aficionado will go straight to the product, feeling confident using your website.

Some top-level executives forget their first goal: engaging customers by enhancing their experience.  The pioneers of usability testing such as Amazon CEO invested 100 times more into customer experience than advertising. According to Forrester, “every dollar invested in UX brings 100 dollars in return”. To go further, the institute highlights the benefits of a much more user-centric experience. Less money on acquisition, more on customer retention: this is your winning-formula.

A special thanks to Eugénie Denarnaud who contributed to writing this article.

Colette Alcaraz

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