Caution: Distracted Shoppers Ahead
If you’re anything like me, you've probably noticed that life gets busier and busier every year. Between work, friends, family and everything in between, life has become very “full.” If you feel the same way, you’re part of the 65 percent of consumers that were recently polled in an online shopping survey who agreed that their life is busier than ever before. What’s this got to do with you or your retail business? Plenty.
With busy schedules, consumers need to squeeze their shopping in wherever and however they can. From purchasing household items while they’re on their way to work or shopping for school supplies while at their daughter’s gymnastics practice, today’s shoppers are master multitaskers. In fact, more than 50 percent of consumers shop online while also performing other tasks competing for their attention. And while they may think they’ve mastered the art of multitasking, it doesn’t mean that everyday offline distractions like dinner boiling over on the stove or the dog that needs a walk aren’t disrupting your carefully curated customer journey.
Here’s a quick look at what online shoppers are actually doing while browsing your site, according to our survey:
- 57 percent shop online while at work;
- 51 percent shop online while doing household chores;
- 32 percent shop online while cooking;
- 22 percent shop online while dining out with family and friends;
- 22 percent shop online while running errands;
- 19 percent shop online during their commute to work;
- 9 percent shop online during their children’s extracurricular activities;
- 7 percent shop online while exercising;
- 6 percent shop online while driving (not recommended!); and
- 6 percent shop online while walking the dog.
These are just a handful of distraction examples and, while you can’t control the busy schedules of your prospective shoppers or the offline distractions they encounter while they’re on your site, you can control the online distractions.
One of the most damaging distractions are invasive promotions that shoppers are being exposed to while browsing your site — whether you realize it or not. In some cases, these ads are placed by retailers for traffic monetization (a legit business known as digital retail media). But most often these ads are caused by online journey hijacking, a growing phenomenon where invasive promotions are injected into consumer browsers in a bid to lure visitors away to other sites.
The Impact of Online Distractions for Multitasking Shoppers
According to our consumer survey, the majority of respondents said being exposed to these types of unauthorized ads (e.g., pop-ups and banners) would negatively impact their view of a retailer. Additionally, these unwanted distractions introduce an element of fear in shoppers’ minds, making 66 percent of respondents question whether their privacy is being compromised. Furthermore, 62 percent indicated that these ads suggest the customer experience is not a priority for that retailer.
Once you start introducing fear and doubt into a shopper’s mind — whether it’s fear that they aren’t getting the best price or that their personal data isn’t safe — you will quickly lose him or her, as they know your competitors are just a click away. Our data revealed that more than 55 percent of respondents are likely or very likely to click on ads offering the same product they’re looking at for a lower price. This means that you’re losing hard-earned traffic to competitors. Being exposed to lower-priced product ads featured on a retail site impacts more than conversions, with 43 percent of consumers stating competitor ads make them think the original retailer’s prices were too expensive, impacting the overall perception of that retailer.
Once a shopper leaves your site for a lower-priced competitor, 80 percent would go back to the competitor’s site rather than yours the next time they're looking for a similar type of product. As a consumer, wouldn’t you do the same?
In an already intensely competitive e-commerce landscape, retailers need to recognize the impact of these distractions go beyond conversions and can also damage longer-term business metrics such as customer lifetime value. It’s rare that you’re going to have a shopper on your site who isn’t doing something else — working, watching TV, doing chores around the house, etc. You need to cater to these multitasking shoppers by offering the most optimal path to purchase — i.e., one that's free of online distractions.
Ohad Hagai is senior vice president, marketing at Namogoo, a company that helps online businesses protect the customer journey by eliminating the impact of bots and unauthorized product ads on e-commerce conversion, customer retention and website analytics.
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