Acquiring customers is easy when you make it easier for your customers to shop. The goal of this article is to give your visitors an effortless and seamless experience on your website. You’ll learn to

  1. Keep your visitors on your site,
  2. Make them open 17 other product tabs,
  3. Convince them to hit the buy button,
  4. Wait for your newsletters, click,
  5. Come back for more, and
  6. Come back with their friends.

Sounds good, but seems like a long way to go.  We want to put that cycle into practice and show you the shortcut of this beautiful picture.

This guide is a product of in-depth research, field experience, thinking combined with the latest marketing methods.

You'll learn every step of the customer journey in detail with examples. There will be tactical advice and best practices and examples. But as you'll read, you'll understand that the article is about the bigger picture, in other words, it's more strategic than tactical.

This article is a part 2 of a 6 part series:

  1. Awareness
  2. Acquisition
  3. Activation
  4. Revenue
  5. Retention
  6. Referral

Other parts will be published soon. Keep an eye on the GrowForce blog.

By the end of this series, you'll have a new approach and you'll be able to:

  • Create a value proposition and set your buyers' persona.
  • Use the experimentation mindset of growth marketing.
  • Structure your strategy into the Pirate Funnel (AAARRR)
  • Arm your brand and website with the latest practices.

Some of these terms may seem like fluff from there, but you'll get to know the meanings as you read. And you'll find out how valuable they're for the future of your business.

Customer Acquisition: how to keep users on your website

How could you give your new customers the best experience possible? In the customer acquisition phase, we'll answer this question from three different aspects: technical, psychological and design.

If you could apply these strategies to your eCommerce site, your acquisition metrics will increase dramatically.

Let's start with the technical part.

Importance of speed

In 2020 everything is fast. Phones, apps, watches, internet (well sometimes not), you know where it's going. We like and are used to fast things.

And when we see something with a 1-second delay, we start to BOOOOOOO and get frustrated. Your new customers are no different. Here are a few e-commerce customer analytics:

You see, bad speed is water cooler conversation, we even share it with our friends. How does this affect your customer conversions or metrics?

High bounce rates: 2-second delays are enough to hinder your customer acquisition strategy. They won't wait and press that X sign, remember you're not the only one who sells X.

Shorter sessions: Because of the snail-speed experience, a customer will return to your eCommerce website fewer times. This report shows that a 2-second delay in page load speeds correlates to a 51% decrease in session length of a customer.

Low conversion rates: Naturally, your conversion rates will drop significantly. A study estimates that for every 1 second, your conversion rate drops 7%. It's a lot.

Reputation: You'll be known as that slow, frustrating, cancer eCommerce business.

How can you increase your page speed?

First, you need to know what is the source of the problem of your eCommerce business website. To do that, you could use free online performance testers like Google PageSpeed Insights or GTMetrix.

These services will analyze your page in minutes and suggest fixes right away. We won't go into detail in how. Because both of these platforms will tell you how and guide you to relevant sources, so you can fix it by yourself. Or you could hire a freelancer on Fiverr.

Here are eight major fixes to speed up your eCommerce website.

8 Ways to speed up your e-commerce site
8 Ways to speed up your e-commerce site

Source: Nexcess

Now let’s take a look at your landing pages!

Have a clear landing page

Your landing page is the first screen your customer will see. It should be fool-proof and we’ll make sure it’ll be fool-proof by teaching you the best customer acquisition strategies.

The sheet above you see is from Google. They made an “Ease of Implementation vs Impact” using their data. If you have limited resources, you can examine the sheet below and start from the most impactful changes.

Creating frictionless experience across the funnel (retail)
Creating frictionless experience across the funnel (retail)

Clear CTA above the fold

The holy grail of the eCommerce business is to sell. And to sell you need to put your CTA above the fold. Make sure to use action words and imperatives to make your customer click.

Also, be careful with the color balance between your background and CTA. Make sure that CTA stands out to your customer.

Call to action examples
Call to action examples

Have descriptive CTAs

Don’t write to BUY. Instead, write BUY BEST SLEEP. The customer should know what will happen after they press the button. Your job is to describe to them what is next. This step is very important to acquiring new customers. It also helps your e-commerce website with search engine optimization.

Descriptive CTA examples
Descriptive CTA examples

Benefit oriented CTAs

What is in it for your new customer? What will they gain if they sign up for your newsletter or buy your services? Highlight your benefit on your CTA.

Instead of “Drink Energy Drink.” write  “Beat the afternoon fatigue.”

Benefit oriented CTA
Benefit oriented CTA

Benefit oriented value proposition.

Your new customer should know the value that your business gives them at first glance. Highlight your offers and benefits on the first screen.

Value proposition examples
Homepage example
Or search

Don’t use full-page interstitial

In case you don’t know, the interstitial is an advertisement that loads between two content pages. It could be a pop-up or any form of interruption.

You can use this kind of strategy, but don’t do full-page forms as pop-ups, they annoy the visitors and make them click the X button.

Interstitial example
Short interstitial example

Remove automatic carousels, instead opt for user-initiated.

Automatic carousels could be distracting or pushy. As you see in the image below, research shows that carousels are perceived as banners and often ignored by visitors.

Give your visitors the freedom to engage with your content. Give them a sense of control over their choices.

Carousel example
Carousel example
Carousel research example

Show top categories on homepage

Top categories are on top for a reason. Your new customer will possibly like the things your previous customer like. After all, we’re all similar. Understand what works and use that for the acquisition of customers.

Categories on homepage example
Categories on homepage example

Use Social Proof

When we’re in doubt or indecisive, we do what other people do. Social proof is the best way to transform these moments into wins.

They could be 5-star ratings, reviews, comments or logos from previous or new customers. Anything you’ll show on your landing page will return you as credibility and increase your conversion rate.

Now let’s move on to the next part, navigation!

Don’t know how to implement these changes to your website? Our customers' acquisition experts can help you implement and increase your conversions. Schedule a call to learn more about the customer acquisition process.

Make it easy to navigate on the website

This is another major usability element of your website. Your eCommerce business might have the best product, support and discount offers, but they have no use if your customer can’t find them.

Navigation of the site should be effortless, almost intuitive. We’ll share our best tips with you to make your customer acquisition strategies as effortless as possible to lower the acquisition cost.

Again we have an “Ease of Implementation vs Impact” sheet below. This will help you start with the most meaningful changes.

Show consolidated menu (less than ⅕ of page)

Control the size of your menu and make sure to give it the place it deserves. Since it’s a small area, it is precious. Write down all the crucial actions for your website and make a list. Pick 3-4 and carry them to your menu area.

For example: If you have a physical store, a location icon could be smart. If you don’t have a store, think of another useful action.

If calls are important, include phone icon/number in the menu

Pretty straightforward. In addition, you can also write your average response time or phone hours on the side of the phone number. This will help your customer identify what they can expect.

Keep the menu on one page

Make sure everything is visible without any scroll action and structure your menu accordingly. Use dynamic menu options or expanders to fit all the options on one screen.

Bonus: Consider a floating menu

The intention here is to make it easier for customers to navigate through your eCommerce website. And make it a seamless experience. By placing a floating menu, you can save your customers from scrolling up to find the menu bar again.

It can save them seconds and increase your acquisition rate.

Check Net-a-Porter’s navigation before you proceed to the last section of customer acquisition strategies!

If you have a large inventory, make it easy to search on the website

Larger inventories require a good eCommerce structure and search functionality. If you could make your inventory easily reachable and discoverable, the bounce rate will decrease, and your website's time will increase. Eventually, implementing these customer acquisition strategies will increase your chances to trigger buying decisions.

You can find the "Ease of Implementation vs. Impact" sheet below. This will help you start with the most meaningful changes in your customer acquisition process.

Prominent search bar

Expecting your visitors to find the product they like by following the menu options is digital torture. If you have a wide range of products, consider putting a search engine function on your menu bar.

Users that use a search engine are 200% more likely to convert on average.

You can check Sephora and how a great search function works in action.

Here is a simple but effective case study by LYST. They have improved their search engine usage rate by 43% on desktop and 15% on mobile devices. You can read the full case study if you want to.

It also happened to you. You entered your keywords on the search bar and the system brought you a bunch of irrelevant products. What was your next move?

80% of the visitors in this situation abandon the website. And be careful, 85% of the searches don't return what the users are looking for. So if you intend to implement a search function, make sure it’s working or it can do more harm than good. Make sure your search engine optimization strategies are well implemented.

Or search

Use auto-suggestions

Remember, the goal is to make it easier for your customers so they can spend more time in your territory. Auto-suggestions are handy when

  • Customers don’t exactly remember what they’re looking for.
  • To direct customers to popular products by default to increase conversions.
  • To make it easier for the customer to complete their search query.

Implement spelling corrections

In our day-to-day life, we use search engines a lot. And we got used to getting corrected by search engines.

Your target audience could expect the same experience on your website, if you could give it to them, the browsing experience will feel more natural. This will help you in acquiring new customers.

Or search

Always return results

What is more frustrating than seeing no results? An empty page without any planned navigation. Our advice here is simple if you can’t bring the exact search results, bring something related to make your visitors continue scrolling.

Here LYST added other products instead of showing a blank page with plain sorry messages. As a result, they increased their page views by 15%.

Include previous or past searches.

For whatever reason, sometimes customers want to get back to their search history to find a specific product. You can keep these customers content by adding a simple previous search function.

This was it for the customer acquisition phase. All these things could look like minor changes on their own, but they provide the perfect system to keep your customers on your e-commerce website when they come together.

You can prioritize the high impact changes from the impact sheet we gave you and make a tailored plan for your own e-commerce business.

This leads us to the end of the customer acquisition part of the series. The entire series consists of:

  1. Awareness
  2. Acquisition
  3. Activation
  4. Revenue
  5. Retention
  6. Referral

While you apply the customer acquisition strategies you have mastered, keep a close eye on the GrowForce blog. We will be posting the complete series on eCommerce marketing very soon.