Beth Thompson

Improving conversion rate throughout COVID-19 and beyond

We asked our CRO team to sit down and discuss the key action points for retailers to consider when reviewing their website in a COVID and post-COVID world.

The global pandemic has undoubtedly provided retailers with an opportunity to learn how both the population and your business respond in times of crisis and fortunately, the learnings from this can be carried forward to improve and solidify retailers’ businesses.

The buyer landscape will undoubtedly change for the foreseeable future, and preparation with a carefully considered strategy is key to ensuring the success of your business.

Firstly, review your audience.

We anticipate that we will see a new audience shopping online. This audience has, so far, been accustomed to traditional high street shopping, with little need to venture onto the World Wide Web.

This may result in a slight shift in age demographic and therefore device traffic. Mobile was and still is anticipated to dominate, we could see an increase in tablet users, mainly from the older demographic who have now transitioned over to making some purchases online. Desktop usage may increase due to visitors who are now working from home and are perhaps spending more time in their own comfortable office environment with a little extra time to shop via their desktop at the end of the day.

If tablets and desktop begin to contribute to a higher revenue share, you may need to shift some of your UX efforts to these devices.

Pay close attention to new users, using segmentation to analyse their behaviour to ensure you meet the needs of this new audience and retain their custom, particularly as high street shops begin to re-open.

Adapt your website.

Look at your USPs and see if they can be adapted to what is important right now. Your new USPs may relate to how employees are being looked after; their working conditions and how orders are being handled to ensure safe delivery. If your dispatch time needs to be extended due to logistics, explain that this delay is happening to ensure the safety of both employees and customers. Overpromising on delivery timescales can lead to increased demand on customer service, as well as bad PR.

Study what it is users are searching for and purchasing now that the ‘stay at home’ culture has been adopted. Navigation and promos may need to be altered to meet the new needs of visitors.

Analyse changes in behaviours.

Ensure you have the right tools and tracking enabled to be able to look back and analyse behaviours at each step of the lockdown period. This will help structure a plan for the future and will be particularly useful if a second wave occurs.

Take action.

  • Keep your visitors informed of any impact to key information such as delivery timescales, stock levels, customer service delays etc. Make sure this message can be seen regardless of where the user lands on the website (e.g. through a slither banner).

  • Give users the option to opt for contactless delivery, this should help give extra reassurance and help visitors trust that ordering from your website is safe.

  • Extend returns periods so customers feel less pressure to return items quickly. Or, go the extra step and arrange for a courier collection so customers don't need to leave their home at all to order and return items.

  • Consider implementing live chat so visitors can talk through any concerns prior to ordering, this may be particularly useful to new customers, or an older demographic who no longer have the ability to talk to a shop assistant during their visit.

  • Use this as an opportunity to investigate and split out different buyer personas for the website that may have emerged due to the pandemic (e.g. busy working parents seeking quick solutions to keeping children entertained at home). Survey responses can feed into these personas.

  • Online security (especially with payments and data) has become a large point of concern for a rapidly expanding online shopping audience who feel uneasy about vulnerability shopping online vs the high street. Review microcopy and signposting at key areas of the site to increase sense of security and confidence e.g. 'Checkout' vs. 'Checkout Securely'.

  • Put a greater emphasis on qualitative as well as quantitative data collection i.e. launch new on-site surveys (device-specific) to gather current feedback on what customers are missing and allow customers to give suggestions for what might improve their experience on the website during these difficult times.

Want to find out more about how our CRO team can help you?

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