When it comes to shopping online, consumers have endless resources to help them find what they’re looking for. However, it’s often the experiences they have while on an e-commerce site that determine whether they’ll make a purchase or find what they're looking for somewhere else.
In today’s e-tail world, delighting your customers is pivotal to building loyalty and generating revenue. A study by Deloitte found that shoppers who have enjoyable experiences tend to spend 140% more than those who don’t. With such a competitive market, finding ways to please potential buyers may feel impossible, but there are ways to shift attention to what your digital store is offering and keep your shoppers coming back for more. And it all begins with shopper intent.
Shopper intent refers to the primary purpose a consumer has when searching for or browsing products and/or services online. This includes the shopper's entire shopping journey, from the moment they start researching, to their final decision to make a purchase. If you’re an online business, understanding shopper intent can help you tailor your content to better meet your customers' needs, and preferences.
In this blog, we showcase five shopper intent-based techniques that enhance the customer experience, and boost sales.
1. Personalized Product Recommendations
It's no secret that providing product recommendations can create an engaging shopping experience and improve the conversion rate of your e-commerce site.
Machine learning technology (like Granify) leverages customer data to create personalized recommendations tailored to each shopper’s specific needs and preferences. These recommendations can be based on various shopper insights and are proven to work—49% of consumers say they’ve purchased a product they weren’t intending to after receiving a personalized recommendation.
With Artificial Intelligence and real-time personalization, recommendations can be generated based on a variety of data points:
Recommendations Based on Browsing History
Suggesting products determined by what an online customer has previously viewed is a reliable type of recommendation because it showcases items that are likely of interest to that shopper.
Recommendations Based on Purchase History
This type of recommendation uses a digital customer’s past purchases to select products they’re more likely to buy. Other factors, such as a person’s demographics or location can also be used here to narrow down the items being suggested. For example, showing waterproof footwear for someone living in a wet climate.
Recommendations Based on Wishlist Items
Many online shoppers put items they like on a wishlist for possible purchases in the future. This type of recommendation narrows down products to only those that have been added to this “favorites folder,” making it more likely that they’ll buy—especially if it’s on sale.
2. Urgency Messaging
FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is real, and many consumers are driven to buy because of it. Enter urgency messaging. Accompanied by language such as “Limited Time” or “Don’t Miss Out,” this technique triggers an urgency to complete a purchase. Shoppers feel compelled to make a purchase quickly before an item or offer is gone.
How successful is this strategy? Research from the Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services found that urgency messaging can increase sales by up to 300%. Here are some ways to use this intent technique:
Consumers love a good deal, but many inadvertently miss out because they’re comparing prices, browsing elsewhere, or simply getting distracted. This ends up negatively affecting your customers and your profits. Instead, give each of your e-commerce shoppers a window of time to complete their purchases. By scaling down the time they have left to take advantage of an offer, they’re more likely to buy instead of leaving their full carts to languish.
Tip: Add a countdown timer to show customers how much time is left until a special offer ends.
When an item is available in limited quantities, it becomes more desirable. This technique is all about selling perceived value and communicates how few of an item is left in stock, causing online buyers to act quickly before it sells out (a perfect example of FOMO).
To push more carts through checkout, add limited inventory messaging in the shopping cart area. Not only will this shift their attention to the quantity that’s remaining, but it also clears the path to conversion. And to reduce cart abandonment even more, add a message on your product pages so potential buyers can feel the urgency even sooner.
When you have items that are being discontinued or are on clearance, don't miss out on the opportunity to highlight these amazing savings to potential buyers. Accompanying these product highlights with "once it's gone, it's gone" messaging is a great way to drive urgency and make your shopper feel like they just scored the deal of a lifetime.
3. Price Anchoring
In retail, it’s common to highlight an initial or alternative price for a product when it's being sold at a discount. This strategy, known as price anchoring, works with the intrinsic inclination most consumers have to use an initial piece of information as a benchmark for later decisions. For instance, a store could place $75 headphones next to ones for $450 to drive sales of the less expensive headset.
This technique is often used to persuade online shoppers to purchase a product or service by emphasizing the amount they’ll save if they buy it now. Check out these examples of how price anchoring can be applied.
Besides being one of the most common forms of price anchoring, strikethrough retail pricing is also one of the most recognizable. Just as its name describes, a higher price is shown crossed out, with a discounted price below it. This identifiable markdown indicator makes it easy for bargain hunters to detect a deal from a mile away—or in this case, a monitor, tablet, or phone screen.
Comparative Package Pricing
Another frequently used price anchoring technique used by online retailers is comparative package pricing. This method showcases a product or service at various price points—typically low, medium, and high—with the intention of highlighting the best deal compared to the other options. This leans on the belief that most humans tend to steer clear of riskier (or too safe) options, in favor of ones that fall somewhere in the middle.
Much like it sounds, volume discounting offers customers a reduction in the cost of a product when a larger quantity is purchased. By anchoring the product’s price at a greater value, shoppers are likely to buy more in order to receive the discount. This financial incentive is incredibly effective at driving sales for those who like to stock up and is a great way to clear out excess inventory or promote products that you're okay selling at a lower profit margin.
4. Re-Engagement Campaigns
Sometimes even your best customers can tune out, making it feel like they may never return. Fortunately, with techniques like re-engagement messaging, you’ll be able to revive their interest and encourage them to take action (aka, buy).
This method grabs the attention of customers who previously showed interest in your products and reminds them of what they’re missing out on. This can be particularly effective when paired with an incentive—especially if it’s for a limited-time offer.
Re-engagement messaging can be targeted based on each shopper’s behavior. Here are three ways to apply this messaging to your website:
To Prevent Cart Abandonment
According to the Baymard Institute, the average cart abandonment rate is just under 70 percent. To prevent this, retailers can use exit intent techniques to persuade shoppers with an offer right before they leave their sites, with the goal of getting would-be bouncers to stick around and complete their purchases.
This can be done through limited time only discounts, or simply by highlighting that they might be leaving with items left in their cart. Get each potential buyer to check out their cart of items, and you’ll be on your way to more revenue AND happier customers.
To Acquire Email Subscribers
One of the easiest ways to build your email list is by prompting your customers to share their email addresses in return for exclusive promotions and other goodies and benefits your store has to offer. You get their information to continue building your relationship, and they get the opportunity to take advantage of some sweet deals they may not know about otherwise. Plus they can always hit the unsubscribe button if they change their mind.
To Revive Inactive Customers
If you have potential buyers who seem to be snoozing a bit too long, re-engagement messaging is a useful way to welcome them back to their shopping journey. In this technique, online customers are “awakened” with a message (and offer) that convinces them to continue browsing or, even better, reminds them to complete their purchase. Often, this technique is used after a visitor has remained inactive on the site for around 10 - 30 minutes.
5. Upselling and Cross-selling
Let’s be honest: Any time a customer makes a purchase, it’s a win. But any time you’re able to entice that same shopper with complementary items or a product at a higher price point, it’s like winning on a whole other level. This is what upselling and cross-selling are all about – compelling your online visitors to see the value in other items you recommend.
If you’re worrying that this technique may seem a bit pushy, don’t. Over 80% of customers are open to cross-sells and upsells when shopping online—and 60% make additional purchases as a result (Source: Salesforce).
The best place to feature this re-engagement technique is on the check-out page, though the product or shopping cart page works well, too. It all depends on what your intentions are and how far along the buying journey your customers are.
If you’re looking to upsell, for example, recommending similar products at a higher price point once an item has been added to a cart, is probably best. On the other hand, if a shopper has made it all the way to checkout, now’s the time to cross-sell! Why? They’re already in buying mode, so chances are, they just need a little nudge to get them to see the value in the other products you’re recommending.
Below, are some examples of upsell and cross-sell techniques to increase your AOV while also providing value to your customers:
Suggesting Similar Products
Consumers love options, so sharing a few that just happen to be a bit higher in price than the ones they’re eyeing is a no-brainer. Just make sure to find alternative products that are similar to the initial product and within a reasonable price range. This isn’t the moment to show a $400 pair of sunglasses to someone who just added an $80 jacket to their cart, but it is a great time to introduce some pricier options they (hopefully) can’t resist.
Tip: Feature this upsell technique on the product page to enable your shopper to compare their options and make the best choice.
Offering An Upgrade
When it comes to upgrades, it’s all about finding the right balance between profit and reason. While it may be tempting to recommend a $3,000 home gym to someone looking at $100 dumbbells, it’s probably not the best idea. You always want to keep your shoppers needs, wants, and budget restrictions in mind.
Push too far, and you could lose a sale altogether. Instead, upsell using the underlying requisites that drew them to the original product. So, rather than the pricey weight system, maybe you suggest a $250 dumbbell set. You still get the upsell, and your customer gets a great product.
Cross-selling Complementary Items
Sometimes, shoppers know exactly what they want, and won’t bat an eye at anything else waved in front of their faces. Most of the time, however, there’s a good chance they can be persuaded to take a look at some other items you have for sale, especially if they pair nicely with the thing they are about to purchase.
There are several ways you can apply this technique – from showcasing items that are frequently bought together to offering related products to promoting items other customers also bought. Remember, many of your online visitors have similar tastes and buying habits, which makes it easy to highlight products they’ll likely be interested in. This cross-selling technique works best on the checkout page when shoppers are ready to purchase.
Delighting customers should be of the utmost importance for any business. And for e-commerce retailers, delivering an extraordinary customer experience is necessary to keep shoppers coming back. By using AI-optimized, data-driven insights and the techniques mentioned in this article, you’ll be able to meet the needs, preferences, and desires of your online buyers, all while increasing the likelihood of conversion. The result is happier customers who will increase your sales and help you drive brand growth.
For All Intents and Purposes
From personalized recommendations to exit intent messaging, Granify can seamlessly integrate with your e-commerce platforms to deliver powerful shopper intent techniques that reduce cart abandonment, increase conversions, and delight your customers. Schedule a chat with our experts for free today, and discover a better way to optimize your online revenue.
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