Today’s shoppers are all about direct-to-consumer (DTC). But moving to or starting a direct-to-consumer (DTC) facing website can be challenging for brands that aren’t well versed in effective DTC conversion and engagement tactics. Getting DTC (or part of it) wrong decreases customer confidence, lowers conversion rates, and even erodes brand loyalty.
How do brands win DTC e-commerce? What are some tactics to gaining shopper trust and increasing conversion? While there’s no set recipe for success, tactics can vary based on shopper needs and the types of products that the brand sells. Here are some considerations
Personalization and Curation
Shoppers want the ability to customize or personalize their DTC products. According to research by Epsilon Marketing, 80% of consumers are more likely to do business with a company that offers personalized experiences. Many sites offer engines that ask shoppers questions to give them a personalized product recommendation. Personalization engines are great sources of shopper engagement and can increase conversion, and shoppers who invest their time to answer a set of questions to personalize a product are more likely to purchase or subscribe. Whenever possible, let shoppers personalize products and bundles, giving them more of a sense of control over their purchase.
There are many ways to encourage trial of DTC products, and online incentives are getting more creative. Research from Salesforce suggests 57% of consumers are willing to share personal data in exchange for personalized offers or discounts. Brands now use tactics like guilt-trip pop-up offers, special onboarding packages, or free or discounted first-time purchases to grow trial and increase conversion. Trading an offer for a shopper’s email address is a big win for the brand; it gets a valuable asset that it can use to create further customer loyalty and trust through email.
Findability and Shopability of Products
Shoppers can’t buy what they can’t find. According to Magnetic North, one third of shoppers will abandon a purchase if they can’t find all the information they need about a product. Creating a logical and intuitive digital shelf gets shoppers to the products they want quickly and with less friction. Predictive search is another valuable tool for shoppers who prefer using search as their main source of wayfinding. Findability and digital shelf organization is an ideal area to conduct user testing﹣watching shoppers try to locate products can provide valuable insights to how they look for products and how the digital shelf can be configured for optimal findability.
Removing Conversion Friction
According to Baymard Institute, 68% of shopping carts are abandoned before finalizing a purchase. Simple things like unclear return or cancellation policies can sabotage conversion. Ensuring that these and other barriers are removed during the conversion process is key. Shoppers expect answers to all buying questions as well as features like guest checkout, acceptance of multiple forms of payment, free shipping, clear cost breakdowns, etc. when purchasing. Overcoming these simple types of barriers through the lower part of conversion funnel can have a nice effect on conversion.
By thinking of the shopper's needs there are many ways that brands can achieve good online conversion and trial in the DTC space. It’s important for brands to understand how shoppers search for and use their product to ensure they employ the right DTC conversion tactics to guide those shoppers down a logical path to purchase. Thorough user research helps brands identify the right DTC best practices to use to encourage maximum conversion, shopper engagement, and overall DTC site success.
Contributed By: Dean Rizzuto, UX Director, Integer Denver
Image Source: Reshot