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3 Ways Retailers Can Increase Conversion Rates

Contributed by Sara Hicks, Co-Founder and CEO of Reaction Commerce.

From a shift in consumer behavior to the technology available to retailers, the shopping experience has evolved immensely in the last decade. For retailers and brands looking to avoid the fates of mainstay brick-and-mortar stores facing closures, it is crucial to adapt and adjust to suit the needs and pace of the modern shopper.

Attention spans are decreasing and according to a study by Microsoft, the average person now has an attention span of eight seconds. This highlights a decrease from the average attention span of 12 seconds in the year 2000. What’s even more shocking is research from Jampp that found human attention span decreases by 88 percent every year. With this in mind, retailers need to move swiftly to utilize the limited attention spans of their shoppers and work quickly to turn interest into conversion- but how?

Personalize the Shopping Experience

In-store customers expect to be greeted and assisted in their shopping process- from receiving recommendations to getting their questions answered in real time. The same is true for the online shopper, and personalized experience can make all the difference in turning a “window shopper” into a buyer.

Customers want instant product recommendations, merchandise that’s dynamically tailored to their location and tastes, and the ability to browse multiple retailers in one place. As tech giants like Amazon continue to innovate and take over the retail world, these expectations are going to continue to grow.

The solution comes down to offering real-time reactivity and customizations whenever possible. Real-time helps retailers engage shoppers quickly, in the moment with the use of a modern ecommerce platform. Additional customizations can be added to ecommerce websites through chat bots to offer customer service and sales alerts based on shopper preferences, making the shopping experience more tailored.

Optimize Website Speed

Retailers are fighting for attention, often doing so after customers have left their website, via aggressive email marketing tactics, to try to get shoppers to come back to the site. Instead of spending energy mostly on after-the-fact actions, retailers should prioritize creating a first impression that drives sales from the initial visit.

According to Google Think, “The average time it takes to fully load a mobile landing page is 22 seconds. Yet 53% of mobile site visitors leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load.” And that’s just mobile! For every increase by the second in page load times, there’s significant increase in bounce rates.

When it comes to increasing conversion rates, every second counts and first impressions matter. Ensure website layout is intuitive for customers who have never visited the website in the past and that load times are manageable.

Understand Your Customer’s Journey

The customer journey differs for each retail business, from where customers come from to how long they spend on your website. Track the customer journey to identify both the most popular and least visited areas of your retail website. Thinking like your customer is key to ensure that you are providing the optimal experience.

Overall, mobile is a growing platform for customer engagement in retail, with 40 percent of online transactions taking place on mobile phones. Understanding that this is the case, it is important to optimize website function for mobile scalability. In fact, in recent research, Forrester identified mobile-influenced offline spending to be over $1 trillion. Citing also that consumers engage in heavy mobile research before indulging in offline purchasing in almost all categories. Additionally, a recent survey found that 90% of smartphone owners use their phones while making purchasing decisions in a brick and mortar store.

Ultimately, understanding how your customers shop, creating a personal experience and grabbing their attention is critical to driving increased sales conversions. Optimizing online and in-store experiences for omnichannel retailers is critical to creating the best experience possible, while online-only retailers must ensure mobile to desktop transition is smooth. Enact these three tips to drive increased conversion rates across your retail store.

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