We all know that all customers coming to our store are not equal. Some will buy, some will browse, some will complain after making a purchase, and some will do whatever they can to find discount codes.
When I build eCommerce strategies for brands, I account for EIGHT different types of customers coming to their store and build tactics around each of them. Think of these tips as a simple way to serve as many of these customers coming to your site and a way of building strategies around them.
These customers include:
1. THE BROWSER
They generally do just that! The Browser will more than likely not purchase anything from you on their first encounter with your brand so encourage them to sign up to your mailing list. If we know The Browser is just there to browse than asking them for a micro-commitment of just their email address is better than nothing.
Be strategic with your opt-in offer and A/B test your top three to five ideas. Look at the following key areas when assessing opt-in offers to test in your store:
- The existing or potential incentive idea
- Does it work in a specific segment (if any)
- What flow/part of the customer journey it will be offered
- The true cost of the incentive to the brand
- AOV/ RRP cost of the incentive
- The perceived value of the incentive to the customer
- A rating to test (because testing is crucial!)
Below is a screenshot of the incentives worksheet I ask all of my new clients to fill out before working with me.
This sheet helps me understand what offers I can use and what offers are approved by the brand. From there, I work out what A/B tests I'll do moving forward and develop a strategy to determine at what stage of the funnel to use them.
The first three are some examples I've put in there to show you how it works.
TIPS FOR 'THE BROWSER'
At the moment, I personally love competition opt-ins for supercharging list growth. It's an opt-in offer that doesn't devalue the brand or takes $10 off your AOV.
One of my recent clients that started in September 2019 started with approximately 11,000 subscribers and by the end of December 2019 grew to 24,000 subscribers and had 3.5x her monthly sales. [It’s worth testing!]
*Keep in mind some browsers won’t always convert to joining your mailing list or buy from you and that’s OK. They’re not YOUR customer.*
2. DISCOUNT HUNTERS
An alarming trend I've seen increasingly in Facebook Groups are women stating their 2020 resolution was only to buy discounted goods on sale or seeing post after post of hundreds of women sharing their Hello Fresh discount codes recommending people use a new email to receive another $50 off every time they order.
[As a crusader for email list health this is my WORST nightmare and gives me anxiety 🤣]
I've even seen threads about consumers purchasing at full price then they've received an email days later that the brand has gone on sale, so they return the goods (hello 👋🏽free returns policy) so that they can buy at the sale price.
TIPS FOR 'DISCOUNT HUNTERS'
The idea here is you need to discount strategically:
- Don't reduce your AOV by $10 or 20% on every order - Try spend X (higher than your AOV) and get X (low-cost product or things you want to clear) free.
- Exclude buyers in the last 14 days from your upcoming sales campaigns (including ads) if you're offering free returns. Klaviyo's Facebook Integration will allow you to exclude specific segments with your Facebook ads.
- Check the chrome extension Honey for discount codes it's pulling on your brand or Google your brand and discount codes that may be floating around the web. (I personally haven't installed the Honey extension as the T&C's are that you give Honey permission to read and change all of your data on the sites you visit! Just be careful with Chrome extensions and the permission you give them.)
This is where using a sophisticated email marketing program like Klaviyo will become your best friend in combating discount hunters.
[Also too, keep these Discount Hunters in their own segment in Klaviyo and monitor those who only buy on discount like my example below.]
3. LEGITIMATE BUYERS
Legitimate buyers will do just that so remove any barrier or obstacle to purchasing. I would consider myself a legitimate buyer (I even buy my toilet paper online on subscription thanks to Who Gives a Crap 🤣). Still, I religiously will checkout with Shopify Pay because I couldn't be bothered writing in my apartment address every time I make an online purchase.
TIP FOR 'LEGITIMATE BUYERS'
If you're using Shopify, ensure you have Dynamic Checkout Buttons turned on and active on the site. These allow shoppers to bypass your cart and checkout straight away. Every checkout I do on a Shopify store is so quick and easy this way that it feels really strange when I checkout on platforms now other than Shopify! Does anyone else feel like this or is it just me?
4. CONFUSED OR INDECISIVE SHOPPERS
These are customers who are unsure what to do due to lack of information OR have too much that they're overwhelmed. The idea here is to ask questions, and the main goal should be to educate or help reduce confusion.
For example, a few months ago, my partner and I were looking to purchase a new flat-screen TV and after being shown 10+ TV's my partner and I were so overwhelmed we decided to go home and think about it.
If I were only shown three, for example, and explained the definite pro's and con's of each that day, I would have purchased in the store on the day. Instead, I researched and purchased online a few days later.
TIPS FOR 'CONFUSED OR INDECISIVE SHOPPERS'
For these types of shoppers, I encourage eCommerce brands to install a live chat functionality on the site and if possible, man it 24/7. For larger brands that sell internationally, it's possible to have an overseas VA or third party company take care of this for you.
Think of it as owning a brick and mortar store that's open 24/7 and the shop attendant only handling the store for eight hours in a twenty-four-hour day. Customers are coming to the shop and there's no one to answer any potential objections or questions they may have.
If you're investing heavily in the brand awareness stage of your business and running ads internationally, then do yourself a favour and test thirty days of operating a live chat 24/7 and compare your results! Remember, your ads don't just run a 9 am-5 pm!
To educate your buyers and uncover where there is a lack of information, go through your live chat manuscripts [as far back possible] and compile every question asked into a FAQs registry. Ensure all of these FAQs are on your site and break them down further by individual products on your product pages. You don't want a confused shopper navigating away from your product pages to your FAQ's page for answers.
One of my biggest eCommerce crushes is the Luxy Hair store. If you've worked with me before you know I rave on about this store A LOT 🤣and for a good reason. Everything on their store has reasoning behind why it's there. Like there individual FAQs on their individual product pages as shown below.
Researchers are researching your brand to compare against the competition. Ensure you give researchers all the information they need to do just that.
TIPS FOR 'RESEARCHERS'
A tip for pushing researchers over the line is video. Think individual product videos, product unboxing videos, how-to videos etc. Researchers, like browsers, will also look for further education on your brand, so ensure your videos are embedded via Facebook or Instagram and your only embedding via Youtube if you're running YouTube ads.
The reason being, while your researchers are stalking your competitors, you can stay top of mind by capitalising on retargeting ads to those who watched your Facebook and Instagram embedded videos. 😉
6. NEW CUSTOMERS
New customers are those who have recently purchased from you otherwise known as F1 buyers. The idea here is to create a strategy around moving your F1 buyers to become F2 buyers or giving them a more personalised shopping experience.
TIPS FOR 'NEW CUSTOMERS'
For new customers, I recommend removing your "opt-in" popup from being visible to them and showing them a message relevant to them being back on your website.
Does it make sense to offer another $10 or 10% off on signup again in exchange for them to give you an unused or spare email address? I hope you answered NO.
Think about your strategy clearly here and test, test, test!
You'll see in the below signup form settings in Klaviyo; I'm running a desktop-based popup to F1s with a strategic offer to increase AOV and excluding the segment 'Discount Hunters' to exclude customers who have only purchased on sales.
7. LOYAL CUSTOMERS
Loyal Customers are your best customers. Treat these guys like royalty! 👸🏼They are the lifeblood of your business, and the goal is to turn all customers into loyal customers (even your dissatisfied ones!).
TIPS FOR 'LOYAL CUSTOMERS'
To create more loyal customers, you need to have a complete sense of who these people are and why they buy from you. To do this, I recommend creating a survey to survey your best customers. Don't ask multi-choice questions, get them to write responses and monitor these closely. This type of task is also best done automated in a system like Klaviyo, where your customer's answers will be saved as custom properties in each customers Klaviyo profile!
8. DISSATISFIED CUSTOMERS
Dissatisfied Customers are either returning goods, making a complaint or giving you feedback. They are looking for exceptional customer service, so in this instance, the idea is to provide them with precisely that.
While some brands can often fall short in this department, it's important to create standard operating procedures and canned responses around how you will deal with dissatisfied customers in a polite and timely manner.
TIPS FOR 'DISSATISFIED CUSTOMERS'
Growing up in my parents eCommerce business, we had one rule to turn every dissatisfied customers' negative experience into a positive one. You should adopt this exact rule and create a complaint register.
A complaint register is crucial when scaling your eCommerce business and it's vital that you the Founder/Managing Director etc. view this register weekly. You won't be able to keep an eye on your business when it scales without doing so.
My professional advice is also to not use a third party help desk like Zendesk for directing traffic to FAQs. (You can still use Zendesk just don't direct FAQ traffic there.) Your eCommerce store should house all of your FAQs on pages that have Google Analytics, Klaviyo and Facebook Pixel tracking.
We want to know the stats of how many people visit these pages and what we can do to bounce them to other pages once they've found their answers. The problem with help desks is that I can never navigate back to the brand's site, and as a consumer, IT'S FRUSTRATING.
Another significant point to note is that all FAQs on your Facebook and Instagram ads should be responded to with links back to these pages and their specific question. I see SO MANY brands falling short here. Provide a polite response and direct them to the site to read more. Simple!
The fundamental goal to recognise here is your dissatisfied customers are giving you feedback. Take it on board, learn from it, implement change and continue to perfect your stores' ecosystem. Running an eCommerce store is a constant evolution. Never stop building on your store or working on improving your pre and post-purchase journey.
I'd love to hear how these tips have helped you! Leave a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org (I personally respond to all emails!)
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