Web Optimization for DR: Visitor Flow - Advanced

by Oded Noy on Dec 16, 2014 9:30:00 PM Digital Marketing, e-Commerce

Web_Optimization_for_DR_Visitor_Flow_-_Advanced-400632-editedThis month, I’ll be highlighting the concepts, best practices, and techniques for DR companies to optimize the Web conversion path.

In previous posts, I discussed the basics of Web optimization for DR. The first post stressed that to optimize, you need to quickly and easily iterate; similar to how the DR industry tested telesales scripts traditionally. The second post covered the basics of the Web flow: landing page, product page, payment page and confirmation.

In order to further delight the visitor (thereby converting them into a customer), different products and offers require alternate ways by which additional offerings are presented to the visitor—i.e., how they experience the flow of the microsite.

Let’s consider when and how upsells can be presented to the visitor. Upsells can be offered as:

  • Additional products – Additional warranty, added pillowcases, etc.
  • Different bundles/kits – Replacing the original multipay offer with a single-pay with additional gift as value-add/incentive
When and how these offers are presented can make a big difference in the user experience and how visitors are delighted with the brand (“How did they know I would want that too?!”). This in turn, is reflected in the conversion and the AOV numbers.

Here is a diagram outlying (as a reminder) the basic flow with added locations for upsells:


Typical upsells for each of the spots above in a basic flow:

  1. Select-a-system page. This is typically used to offer various bundle/kit combinations and to introduce upsell offers on the side or the bottom of the page.
  2. Payment page. The typically simpler offer changes with radio buttons or check boxes, enabling you to simply change the offer (from free shipping to changes from multipay to single-pay). Note: Another option is to have popups after the submit-order button was pushed and prior to the credit card verification. This generally does not perform as well (for both conversion and AOV optimization as post order – as you’ll see next).
  3. Confirmation page (also known as post conversion upsell). The idea here is to get a sale with the shortest path possible and only then try to push for more. This strategy can work well to support certain offers and campaigns, noting that in many cases the take-rate of the upsell offer may be similar to the pre-sale—but with higher conversion rate.
A good example for post conversion upsell is moving from multipay to single-pay offer, reducing the financing risk to the company, while ensuring the conversion rate still stays high with a simple order capture path.

As we look deeper into the post conversion flow, there is no reason why additional offers can’t be introduced to the consumer (they are now no longer just a visitor):

In many cases, additional upsells and cross-sells can be introduced. Extending the flow too much (e.g., adding three more pages to the flow before getting to the final confirmation) typically causes consumer fatigue. This is measured by how many consumers actually get to see their final confirmation page (for aggressive upsell flows that number can be in the 70 percent range or less).

There are some security and technical considerations that must be considered before venturing out into the post confirmation flow. Some examples include when and how to fire pixels (so there is no double counting of orders in Google Analytics), getting the consumer one order with all items (rather than two confirmation emails), handling securely with PCI compliance the frequent cases when consumers do not continue all the way to the final confirmation page, etc.

That said, the payoff could be significant. Take rates on post order flow can be higher than 20 percent, making it a viable option to increase conversion rate considerably on simpler upfront flows, while still increasing the AOV and LTV on additional post order sales.

It is important to note, as I will repeat often in this series, that the context from which the consumer arrived to the upsell matters. For campaigns with relatively small media/brand exposure (e.g., from a display prospecting campaign) it is often better to simplify the flow and add the upsells post order to reduce clutter form the experience. On the other hand for brand-exposed customers (e.g., repeat visitors or branded search campaign), a more complete experience with optional upsell may work better. Your product and offer combination matters (you knew that)—when and how and to whom they are introduced matters too (you knew that, too).

This blog post is intended to frame the discussion about the optimization of a visitor’s flow and what options are available to the marketers with today’s technology to consider when designing microsite testing.

Next month, I’ll cover the mobile strategy and why in DR, mobile optimization is not about responsive design, but a well-crafted mobile experience.

As always, please don't be shy and leave a comment so we can start a dialog.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net; Diagrams courtesy of TargetClose, LLC

Oded Noy is co-founder and CTO of TargetClose.com.
Oded Noy's blog
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