Website Optimization and Customer Experience (CX) by Stacy Sherman

If Shoppers Can’t Proceed, They’ll Leave!

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Mobile applications have changed the way people shop and buy.  Consumers love apps for convenience and unique features, while companies benefit from the ability to easily engage with people and reward loyal customers. A great example of this is a product and app called, Tile. It is appealing not only because the product helps people find valuable items that have been misplaced or lost, but also the app is well designed and intuitive. Both factors are what made me buy multiple Tiles for my family members.

Every part of the customer journey from learn, buy, get, set up, use and pay were initially straightforward and effortless. The renewal stage was where my experience became complicated and frustrating. For those unfamiliar, Tiles run out of battery after a year of use. As the expiration date approaches, customers get reminded via email notifications and alerts in the application, with an option to repurchase at a 28% discount. I was skeptical of the offer at first, but it turned out to be a great deal having compared prices on and other eCommerce websites.

Upon deciding to repurchase, I clicked on the “Buy Replacement Tiles” button. To my surprise, I could not proceed as an “unable to load page” error message appeared. I exited the mobile app and tried again but had the same unsuccessful experience. I then attempted to buy using my laptop computer but learned that the only way to renew is through the Tile app. (The same one that was not allowing me to add to cart). I was going in a vicious circle and getting increasingly annoyed.

Tile imageerror message

Finally, when I tried to buy a few days later, I had success though ended up disappointed again as I incurred an unexpected shipping fee. Usually, I would not have been so patient in buying from a company website. In this case, the customer discount was compelling, and I was not in a rush since my existing Tiles still worked. Other customers may view the same scenario differently and switch to a competitive brand. In either case, there are valuable lessons in DoingCXRight:

  1. Make sure customers can purchase without difficulty. If shoppers can’t proceed, they’ll leave and may never return to buy.
  2. Continuously quality check the online buy flow and keep optimizing. NEVER show an error message as a customer is about to give their credit card!
  3. Allow shoppers to purchase from ANY device. Do not limit people to only buying from their mobile phone or desktop. Customers have different preferences and require convenience and options.
  4. Offer discounts to existing customers. People feel valued and want to buy again when they get exclusive deals for being a repeat purchaser.  
  5. Include free shipping.  Research indicates that "78% of Us Prime Customers sign up for Amazon Prime loyalty Program because of Free Shipping." Online shoppers have come to expect delivery at no cost. The statistics cannot be ignored.  

Learn more about eCommerce optimization and How User Design Matters.

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DoingCXRight by Stacy Sherman


*All opinions expressed on the DoingCXRight Blog and site pages are the authors' alone and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.



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