7 eCommerce blockers to avoid for cyber five success

It’s never too early to prepare your retail customer experience for holiday shoppers. Last holiday, e-commerce sales broke records on Black Friday. And this year, we can expect more growth, as US retail sales alone are forecasted to grow as much as 8% overall and 23% online in 2021.

7 eCommerce blockers to avoid for cyber five success

Before the code freeze hits get ahead with real-time insights from Quantum Metric to prevent seven top eCommerce setbacks, including:

  • Cart abandonment
  • Payment friction
  • Broken tracking
  • Fullfillment issues, and more

Read the article now, and get ready to sleigh it this holiday season!

Content Summary

It’s never too early to prepare for holiday shoppers
Why is the truth so hard to achieve in digital?
Before code freeze hits: Get ahead with real-time insights
The 7 Setbacks to Cyber Five Success
Broken tracking
Cart abandonment
Out of stock
UX frustration / slow performance
Payment friction
Fulfillment issues
Mobile friction
Five metrics that will boost digital holiday cheer

It’s never too early to prepare for holiday shoppers

Retailers rejoice! Post-covid shoppers have been unleashed at physical stores. But, don’t be bamboozled—the shift to digital-first is here to stay.

Last holiday season, e-commerce sales broke records on Black Friday. This year, we can expect more growth, with US retail sales forecasted to grow as much as 8% overall and 23% online in 2021.

However digital retailers beware—these 7 setbacks to cyber five success can disrupt your eCommerce strategy, just as online traffic and orders spike. Lost sales and revenue opportunities can make or break your holiday success.

Past year’s assumptions about holiday readiness have gone up the chimney. If you’re not digitally prepared for Jingle Bells, you might be singing the Jingle Blues.

There’s no way [digital] is going back to the ratios it was before. We’ve just accelerated, likely by years, the awareness and willingness of consumers to engage online. – Joe Megibow, CEO of Purple

Why is the truth so hard to achieve in digital?

You likely have a plethora of monitoring tools: web analytics, IT monitoring and alerting, voice of customer, and session replay.

  • Why aren’t customers completing journey steps as expected?
  • How do we evaluate the opportunity and prioritize it against everything else we’re doing?
  • Where are customers dropping out of the funnel?

A major problem is too many sources of the truth. You’re waiting for data from the analytics team. Someone forgot to add tracking. Or you simply don’t know if an API failure had an impact on the customer experience.

What if all members of your digital team could align around the customer experience, and react with speed and confidence?

Before code freeze hits: Get ahead with real-time insights

To prevent new browsing or checkout bugs, many companies implement code freeze to prevent changes from being made on their websites and apps during the high traffic holiday season. To get ahead, you need real-time insights from Quantum Metric that help prevent these seven e-commerce setbacks.

The 7 Setbacks to Cyber Five Success

  • Broken tracking
  • Cart abandonment
  • Out of stock
  • UX frustration / slow performance
  • Payment friction
  • Fulfillment issues
  • Mobile friction

Broken tracking

Oops… no tracking on the holiday landing page

When was the last time you deployed a new splash page and forgot to ask your tagging or engineering team to add tracks? Or didn’t have time to add all the new events in Adobe Analytics? It’s a common scenario for teams who are delivering fast.

Without tracking in place, you won’t have any insight into how a campaign page is performing, why customers are falling out of the conversion funnel, how to make quick adjustments, or how to optimize your marketing spend.

How a home good retailer used Quantum Metric to instantly validate against other sources of truth

A home goods retailer uses both Quantum Metric and a traditional analytics tool to validate its tracking. It’s a sort of “checks and balances” system for tracking validation.

During last year’s holiday session, tracking fell off some of its important splash pages— destinations it had allocated large marketing budgets to drive traffic to. Fortunately, the retailer also had the Quantum Metric tag on its website. Since Quantum Metric auto-captures most of the common events out of the box, the retailer still could access any of the data and insights it was used to getting in its other analytics solution.

How Quantum Metric does it

With Quantum, there’s no need to tag everything, all the time. This is especially critical since changes happen so frequently in the UI, often without warning to analytics and tagging teams. Out-of-the-box events capture most everything you need upfront. Everything else can be configured in an easy-to-use interface. You can deploy new metrics right away without having to rely on engineering or wait for a code release. This ensures your products are always tracked and significantly improves speed to insight.

In addition, with Quantum’s Adobe Analytics integration, you can pull eVars, props, and events directly into your Quantum instance.

Behavioral MetricFrusted IndicatorsTechnical Error / Performance
ClicksRage ClicksAPI Errors
TapsBlack Button UsedJS Errors
ScrollsAbandonsLong Running Spinners
Form Fills / SubmitsBouncesPage Interactive
BouncesPage ReloadApp Not Responding
Disabled Elements ClickedFrusted Slow NavigationMobile App Crashes
Null Text Displayed

Cart abandonment

I already know that customers are abandoning. But, why?

With the anticipated record-level holiday sales, it’s more critical than ever to understand marketing ROI and the “why” behind those numbers.

Most tools can tell you the conversion rate dropped for a campaign, or that customers abandoned cart at a certain step of the funnel. But most can’t tell you why it’s happening.

How often do you find yourself manually sifting through multiple sources of data (clicks, heatmaps, session replays, and sankey charts) to identify potential culprits? Then go to QA or engineering to try and reproduce it? Using multiple sources of truth can be an endless road to nowhere, leaving you still asking “why did customers abandon?”

With Quantum Metric, you can seamlessly link behavioral anomalies (such as rage clicks or abandonment) to a quantified view of the customer experience. So identifying the “why” to your conversion drop is easy and instantaneous.

How one luxury retailer identified errors and friction instantly to boost conversion rates

Imagine visitors coming to your site and having trouble viewing items on a Black Friday product landing page (PLP). Quantum Metric surfaced an API 500 error like this for one luxury retailer.

Most monitoring tools might identify a spike in API errors, but they often don’t tell you how it impacts the customer experience and conversion. In this instance, over 400 customers experienced the error. It was only .01% of total site visitors, but the conversion rate dropped from 3.3% for all visitors to this PLP vs. 2.7% who saw the error.

A youth apparel retailer uses real-time monitoring to detect and remove friction

This retailer ran a Facebook campaign that was directing users to a product detail page where the “Add to Bag” button was disabled. Still, customers were trying to click the call to action, which resulted in an API 40X error and the out of stock message wasn’t clear to users. Quantum Metric proactively surfaced the rage click activity on the “Add to Bag” button, and helped the team size the impact and escalate a bug fix.

How Quantum Metric does it

  • Real-time monitoring of UX friction, like rage clicks, and technical errors, like 404 pages
  • Automatic quantification of # of users impacted, conversion rate drop, and total lost conversion opportunity in dollar amount
  • Integration with A/B testing so you can adjust on the fly

Out of stock

Ready to buy that gift? Sorry, no longer available

Covid stress-tested inventory management systems like never before, bringing both challenges and new opportunities. To further complicate things, customer demand for certain products skyrocketed unpredictably.

For example, what happens when a clothing retailer spends valuable marketing dollars promoting a new shirt, then the customer clicks on the ad only to find it’s out of stock? This causes confusion and frustration for the customer and represents wasted ad dollars for the retailer.

With real-time insights, retailers can rise to the challenge and course-correct in the moment to prevent customer abandonment.

How one retailer increased conversion by showing substitutes for out-of-stock items in the cart

For any customer trying to complete a purchase, finding cart items are out of stock is always a negative experience. With Quantum Metric, one retailer delivered a new feature that turns this negative experience into a positive checkout.

Previously, when a cart item was out of stock, the customer had to remove the item from their cart in order to proceed with checkout. This was an extra step for the customer, and added no benefit. For this new feature experiment, the retailer replaced the “Remove Item” button with “See substitution,” providing the customer with the ability to quickly select an alternative product, directly within the cart page.

How Quantum Metric does it

Quantum Metric surfaced the total business impact of the out-of-stock experience, leading to the prioritization of possible solutions (of which “See substitutions “was chosen). Quantum Metric had identified a 9% conversion drop when a cart item was out of stock.

Once the new feature was released as an A/B test, Quantum Metric measured the results:

  • Business impacts identified: 9% drop in conversion for out of stock items in cart

Results from improvements

  • 2% Increase conversion rate
  • 6.4% in avg order value
  • 30% new feature engagement

We have a responsibility as digitally focused or native companies to work harder to find the customer, listen to them, and engage. – Joe Megibow, CEO of Purple

UX frustration / slow performance

Let’s play “Find ‘Add to Cart'”

When it comes to building digital products, UX and design can be the difference between customer frustration and delight.

What happens when retailers miss minor queues in digital UX and don’t identify their impact? It can cost millions of dollars in lost opportunities. Simply placing the call to action button too far down the page, having no clear call to action, or other visual distractions can be a death knell for digital retailers.

How a department store identified $2.7M in opportunity by reducing friction

When a major US department store designed and launched their Shop the Collection page for pajamas, everything tested and functioned according to design. The page launched without a hitch. Even though it was working as designed, it wasn’t working the way customers wanted.

After customers selected the size and quantity of the item, they had to scroll to the bottom of the collection to find “Add to Cart.”

Quantum Metric quickly identified the friction and evaluated the opportunity, recommending improvements that enabled the company to realize millions in recovered revenue opportunity.

Business impacts identified

  • 10.4% drop in conversion for not clicking “Add to Cart”
  • $2.7M in Annual Opportunity

How Quantum Metric does it

  • Heat maps and scroll maps show you where customers are scrolling
  • Quantification of annual opportunity
  • Scroll up/down can signal UX friction

Payment friction

Buy now, pay later? Doh! API error!

Buy Now, Pay Later services boomed during Covid, allowing consumers to break up purchases into installment payments without interest or fees.

But, as with any third-party app, installing and integrating them with already heavily taxed digital platforms can be more complicated than anticipated.

Quantum Metric helps retailers mitigate this complexity by identifying when thirdparty apps are wreaking havoc on customers, often resulting in intermittent and hard to detect errors.

How a furniture retailer identified costly scrolling behavior resulting from errors during checkout

A major US furniture retailer launched a third party “Buy Now, Pay Later” app just in time for last year’s holidays. Within two days of launch, Quantum Metric identified an issue in the checkout experience.

Quantum’s intelligent frustration detection identified customers scrolling up and down on the checkout page and then abandoning the checkout process.

In real-time, the team could see customers were unable to click the “Lookup Financing” button due to an API error. They quickly identified and resolved the issue for customers.

Business impacts identified

  • 30% of visitors experienced errors
  • 80% of errors occurred on mobile devices
  • 21% of customers were unable to convert after clicking Place Order button

Fulfillment issues

No curbside pickup for that last minute gift!?

New fulfillment options are easier said than done. Whereas retailers used to get away with managing digital inventory separately from in-store inventory, it just got more complex.

With in-store pickup, retailers need to accurately reflect in-store inventory for potentially thousands of products at hundreds of stores, across all digital channels, in real-time. A confusing or invalid in-store pickup experience can lead to costly call diversions to stores as well as customer frustration.

How one retailer added multiple fulfilment options when stores closed due to the pandemic

After closing several of its stores due to the pandemic, one big box retailer partnered with a third party service to launch BOPIS for its digital customers. The catch was a customer had to be within a 3 mile radius of the store for the BOPIS service to work. This required knowledge of the customer’s shipping address, otherwise, only standard shipping options would be displayed.

Using Quantum Metric, the retailer discovered that customers were rage-clicking the “Add to Cart” button. It turns out, customers wanted to purchase a product that was out of stock online, but they hadn’t entered their address yet to determine if the product was in stock at a nearby store. All fulfillment options, including BOPIS and Standard, were red.

To fix the issue, the retailer used Quantum Metric to identify out of stock SKUs and make it more seamless for customers to find a nearby store for curbside pickup.

One of the trends coming out of the pandemic is the ‘omni everywhere’ concept. The capabilities that many retailers had in place before coronavirus, rapidly shifted to things like curbside delivery and pick up and contactless checkout. – Paul Fipps, Former CXO of Under Armour

Mobile friction

Wanna boost ROI? Better optimize that mobile landing page.

Search marketing is getting more and more competitive as the world does more online. The looming 3rd party cookie change will limit ad retargeting. This means the first touch experience for your customers on your site (i.e. landing page) matters more than ever.

If you’re spending money to drive traffic to your holiday landing pages and they’re not converting, not only are you reducing Return on Ad Spend (ROAS), but you’re negatively impacting the perception of your brand.

How one auto parts retailer identified struggle for mobile customers

An auto parts retailer had a search engine marketing strategy that involved targeting keywords for particular makes and models of cars, mapping to how customers often search for parts.

With Quantum Metric, the retailer was alerted that users were struggling on their vehicle landing pages. Customers were clicking on disabled input fields and repeatedly tapping on particular elements. It primarily impacted mobile web customers.

Using Quantum Metric, they instantly quantified the impact of this behavior, and discovered these customers converted at a far lower rate than average. In fact, the overall conversion rate decreased, which resulted in a daily revenue opportunity cost of $26K, annualized at $8.6M.

After watching a few session replays of the experience, the optimization opportunity was crystal clear.

The form required users to fill out 4 fields about their car, however it wasn’t clear that these fields were required. Customers would fill out one field and click the “Continue” button. There was no error message, so they would try clicking again and nothing happened. It turns out that the messaging wasn’t shown for mobile web and that was leading to UX confusion.

The team was able to implement the proper messaging on mobile and get conversation rate back up to normal. They were able to even increase conversion rate a bit by adding some style to the input button to make it clearly disabled until all form fields were filled out.

  • Possible frustration detected
  • Conversion increased
  • Revenue increased
  • $26K in daily opportunity cost
  • $8.6M in annual opportunity cost

How Quantum Metric does it

  • Anomaly detection
  • Opportunity analysis
  • Behavioral metrics
  • Session replay

We saw engagement increase pretty dramatically in terms of the people that came to [our app] every single week to see what new things were being offered. – Kevin Diamond, Forever21

Five metrics that will boost digital holiday cheer

Identify top user frustrations

If retailers have learned anything in the past few years, it’s that online shoppers are more likely to abandon their carts and leave a website if they encounter site elements that slow down their shopping experience. It’s no secret that more than half of mobile users will abandon a website that takes over 3 seconds to load.

Other users might be inclined to leave a company’s website if they encounter bugs, slow page reloads, or other glitches. Make sure you’re able to measure what’s driving possible frustration and rage click behavior among your customers.

Optimize micro-conversions

From clicking “Add to Cart,” to select your payment method, to double-checking that your shipping address is correct, the checkout flow is full of micro conversions. Some checkout flows contain more than 20 elements, meaning that there are ample opportunities for customers to encounter a UX error that prompts them to abandon their cart and shop elsewhere.

Reduce the number of elements in your checkout flow and spend time identifying where users are dropping off—and why. Which page elements are driving conversion rates? And which ones are prompting customers to leave? It goes without saying that optimizing micro-conversions is crucial for improving e-commerce metrics.

Reduce abandoned cart rates

E-commerce retailers are well aware that most users are just browsing or window shopping. Many window shoppers even add items to their carts or wishlists.

But, as soon as a potential customer pulls out their credit card or realizes they can make a purchase with their PayPal, Apple Pay, or Android accounts, the pressure is on to complete the transaction.

Unfortunately, many shoppers end up abandoning their carts because of engineering errors and performance issues. Since the checkout process requires people to make payments with sensitive information, there are more opportunities for critical errors, especially if your payment process API isn’t performing as expected.

Engineering errors such as API Timeout, API Not Found, Slow API Call, and other JavaScript errors cause even the most eager shoppers to abandon their carts, especially if it’s nearly impossible to make a purchase.

Don’t let a glitchy checkout experience tarnish your brand’s reputation—carefully monitor your company’s checkout flow ahead of the holiday season.

Review native mobile application analytics

While it’s true that most online shoppers make their final purchases from desktops or laptops, many consumers spend at least some time browsing items on a brand’s mobile application or website. So even companies that make most of their revenue on desktop websites should ensure that they are offering mobile-first customers a frictionless experience, free of frozen UIs, and low memory warnings.

Track conversion rates for shipping vs. bopis, curbside, same-day

The pandemic helped accelerate the rise of new fulfillment options and that trend is here to stay.

Companies that choose to offer curbside or in-store pickup should carefully monitor conversion rates for customers who select shipping, versus rates for customers who buy online and pick up in-store.

Keeping track of the number of curbside or in-store pickups can also help companies prepare themselves to ensure that any social distancing protocols are in place as customers start to pick up packages.