Now that the days are getting longer and temperatures outside are finally heading upwards, consumers are thinking about summer – and that can be real boost for retailers.
From planning a holiday, shopping for a new seasonal wardrobe, doing up the house or garden, or hunting down a bargain in the sales, shoppers are in the mood to spend.
All the more reason why it makes sense to prepare for that seasonal uplift and maximise profits whilst the sun shines.
Over the last three years, various research studies have uncovered some interesting facts about online shopper habits:
- Inadequate live support caused 82% of shoppers to abandon their carts
- As much as 63% of abandoned shopping carts are potentially recoverable sales
- Online consumers tend to convert more quickly after a phone call
- Two thirds of companies agree incoming phone calls are their best leads
- Callers who go on to purchase spend up to five times longer on the phone
- Callers looked at approximately 30% more webpages than those who didn't call
All of this shows the importance of ensuring that your online presence and your live support functions are working at optimum levels, and in tandem with each other. More than that – retailers who assess the outcomes, connecting a phone conversation with a subsequent online purchase, can gain real insight.
The good news is that with the right tools in place, it's easy to make sense of online consumer behaviour and respond in the right way. Many retailers are already using call tracking software and giving themselves the advantage in the race to secure their share of seasonal spending peaks. How? By collating and interpreting caller data and cleverly using it to create more responsive ecommerce sites, better customer care and more sales.
Used correctly, call tracking software puts you at an advantage, even before the first signs of a spring or summer spending spree have appeared.
Download our free eBook: The Online Retail Guide to Call Tracking
Gear up for busy periods
Research already shows that 75% of online shoppers want to actually talk to someone at the end of a phone line before they buy. When they do, call tracking software starts to build an interesting picture. This level of insight is invaluable because it allows you to refine your offering and put the right elements in place so you're then fully prepared when the seasonal uplift hits.
There's no doubt that a telephone call is a strong buying signal. So if your marketing efforts are prompting calls, these leads can easily be converted into customers if handled correctly.
So what exactly can you learn from call tracking software and why is it important?
- Trackable phone numbers attributed to each of your online and offline campaigns mean you can see at a glance which ones are generating the most calls. This in turn provides the evidence needed to align expenditure to the channels that are proven to achieve the best results.
- Visitor tracking shows the caller's online journey through your ecommerce site, including showing which 'call to action' pages are actually prompting the calls which are then being converted sales.
- Analysing online journeys and listening to the content of individual calls reveals any areas of the website where potential customers stall in the purchasing process. Perhaps there is insufficient or incorrect information provided? Whatever the reason, call tracking highlights any areas hampering a smooth selling process, and provides the opportunity to correct them.
All of this means that you can get everything in order before the busy period. That way, when your marketing campaigns are working hard and successfully driving high volumes of traffic to your website, you won't be left with a wave of abandoned shopping baskets, incomplete sales transactions and lower than expected sales volumes.
During the summer sales push
Once the seasonal campaign has kicked off, call tracking is perhaps the quickest way to find out about glitches on the ecommerce site. But it's so much more that simply an early warning system for problems. Set up and monitored correctly, call tracking allows inbound calls to be recorded – which in turn can be filtered by marketing source or by product. This makes it easy to direct calls to different areas of the business and is great for delivering relevant and informed customer service. It means your business can demonstrate a level of responsiveness that shoppers really appreciate – and with luck they'll show their appreciation with a purchase.
If customer service teams are receiving lots of calls on the same subject, call tracking can be used to help identify the products that are proving most popular or selling out fastest. Product-led PPC campaigns can then be adjusted to compensate and drive traffic towards other product lines for example.
Finally, when your seasonal promotional campaign is in full swing and the calls are flooding in, don't forget that call tracking is working in the background recording customer behaviour and collating valuable data...
After the frenzy has died down and the season is over
The deeper insight comes later. Call tracking ensures the most useful information is still recorded in the midst of a successful sales push when the website is busy, the shopping carts are full and customers are spending money. When calm has descended again, this data can then be coolly assessed.
Call tracking gives marketers the clearest view of which campaigns worked and which failed to deliver against expectations. It also provides call centre managers with insight into the performance of individual call handlers, and key commercial statistics relating to activity peaks and troughs, call times, and conversions.
This in-depth analysis is key, not only to judge the success of this season's campaigns and the operational response, but also to facilitate evidence-based decision making. That way, when next year's summer push comes around, you'll be even better prepared to make the most of the golden opportunities it presents.