With consumers going back to stores in droves, you've likely seen a dip in web traffic. Here’s how to get creative about capturing browsers’ attention online and optimizing every conversion opportunity.
Over the last couple of years, e-commerce sales have surged to unprecedented heights. But as people venture back into brick-and-mortar stores (and spend less time online), web traffic is coming back down to Earth after months of incredible growth.
While consumers are out and about, spending more on entertainment and travel, they’re also worried about inflation and interest rates. Meanwhile, brands continue to face supply chain issues and staff shortages.
As we get into the throes of early holiday planning, now is the time to think strategically about your website and getting the most out of the tools and channels that you can control. With the right approach, you can optimize every interaction visitors have as they browse and click around your site—and turn them into repeat customers.
Maximizing the impact of your existing web traffic
Every time someone visits your website, it’s a chance to influence a conversion. But it’s also an opportunity to plant the seeds for long-term loyalty. So how do you make sure your website is set up to facilitate the customer journey, encourage retention, and ultimately drive ongoing revenue for your brand? Here are the key areas to focus your efforts on.
Prioritize a great mobile user experience
Consumers are becoming increasingly mobile-minded. For brands that want to deliver a smooth customer experience from start to finish, that means having a mobile-friendly website is non-negotiable. Make sure your website is optimized for speed, with a responsive design that makes it easy for visitors to browse and buy on the go.
Turn visitors into email and SMS subscribers
Getting someone browsing your website to opt into one of your marketing channels is crucial for retention. It’s how you keep communicating with them and stay top of mind between visits. Add a sign-up unit to your website to capture email and SMS subscribers in one easy flow—and be strategic about how you use incentives to drive opt-ins.
For example, consider offering visitors 10% off their first purchase in exchange for subscribing to your emails and text messages. If someone doesn't opt in during their first site visit, you can try again when they click to another page or return to your site later with a sign-up unit that offers an increased discount. This strategy works with other sign-up incentives as well, including:
- Dollar-off discounts
- Free gift with purchase
- Free shipping
- Loyalty or rewards points
- First access to exclusive content
- Entry into a giveaway
Growing your email and SMS lists at the same time allows you to use both channels to learn about your customers’ preferences and deliver more personalized experiences that meet them where they are—and keep them coming back to your brand.
Pro tip: Show a final sign-up reminder on exit intent
Be sure to set display rules to indicate when and where you want (and don’t want) your sign-up units to pop up. We recommend showing visitors a final sign-up reminder before they leave your site, to give them another opportunity to subscribe before they bounce. Use language that creates a sense of urgency for them to act immediately, with phrases like, “Before you go,” “Last chance,” or even, “Save an extra 5%.”
Increasing web traffic and conversions with SMS
When a visitor signs up for text messages from your brand, it opens the door for you to engage them in real-time and continually drive them back to your website to shop. Here’s how you can use your SMS channel to complement your website experience and drive purchases.
Use customer data to curate personalized experiences
In an ever-changing privacy landscape, marketers are taking ownership of their data collection strategies to be able to better connect with and retain their customers.
Your website is a treasure trove of insights about your customers' shopping habits, like their browsing and purchasing history. When you pair that with the first- and zero-party data you get from SMS, you can develop a winning segmentation strategy that allows you to show your customers you know them on a personal level.
By looking at what someone has purchased in the past, or which categories they prefer, you can send targeted messages, directing them to specific product pages on your website that match their interests. Doing this makes it easier for someone to find what they’re looking for and can increase the likelihood of a conversion.
Support the customer journey with two-way conversations
Consumers want interacting with your brand to feel seamless, convenient, and like a truly personalized experience. That expectation extends to how you communicate with them, too—and it’s exactly what makes SMS an ideal channel for facilitating interactions that lead to revenue and retention. Lean into the two-way nature of text messaging to answer your customers’ questions, resolve any challenges they’re facing, and help them along the shopping journey.
For example, instead of sending a static browse or cart abandonment message, you can check in with a subscriber directly after they leave your site with Attentive Concierge™. By asking if there's anything in particular they're looking for—and being available to text them back within minutes—you can help them make a purchasing decision faster.
You can also promote product discovery by using Two-Way Journeys™ to deliver personalized recommendations based on a customer’s specific preferences and interests. In both cases, you’re making it easier for someone to interact with and buy from your brand, which will ultimately help you win their loyalty.
Automate re-engagement opportunities wherever possible
Having a customer who’s ready to buy but abandons your site because the item they wanted is out of stock isn’t an ideal situation. But it also doesn’t mean you’ve lost them as a customer forever. You can still get them to come back and recover the lost revenue. In fact, this is a prime opportunity to use SMS to alert them when the product is available again—with a triggered back-in-stock journey—and remind them that they had their eye on it. You’ll avoid the risk of them completely forgetting or changing their mind about the purchase altogether.
Similarly, if you have subscribers who’ve purchased from you in the past but have gone quiet, a triggered winback message is an effective way to re-engage them. Offer them an incentive to make another purchase, or suggest a new product related to their previous purchases. Whether a subscriber has taken a break from shopping because they’re trying to spend less, or your brand has fallen off their radar, sending a discount code or a personalized recommendation can be the nudge they need to come back.
Make it easy for shoppers to check out on mobile
Consumers use their mobile devices to browse and add items to their cart. But when it's time to pay, there’s often friction in the checkout process. Maybe they have to create an account, or it's too hard to enter their credit card information on their phone. SMS can help you bridge the gap between browsing and buying, and deliver a seamless mobile checkout experience that gets shoppers over the finish line.
Let’s say you send a targeted text message to a subscriber based on products they’ve shown interest in recently. With options like Text-to-Buy, they can place an order by just replying with a keyword to pay directly via SMS. The ability to check out this way removes major roadblocks that typically get in the way of someone completing their purchase, simplifying the entire process for them (and you).
As marketers, we’re used to navigating changes that are outside our control. Relying on the tools we have at our disposal, and focusing on what we can control—like our website experience and how we engage customers—is the key to staying ahead of the curve.
Building a thoughtful and cohesive email and SMS marketing strategy can help you improve the customer experience, too. Check out our Email Marketer’s Guide to SMS to learn how to orchestrate both channels.