Archive for the ‘Customer Experience’ Category

Shocking Amazon Cart FAIL: Learning from Big Brand Customer Experience

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

For years, Amazon.com’s cart and checkout process has been used by clients and digital marketing consultants as a best practice. Its ease of use, simplicity and seemingly flawless process is void of friction to the end user.

That is…until now.

eCommerce Conversion Optimization

You may be familiar with the latest Target credit card compromise causing hundreds of thousands of people to have their bank accounts cancel their debit cards and reissue new ones. Whether you’re a Prime Amazon customer or not you probably have that same credit card linked as a default payment in your Amazon.com account.

This reissue of cards did not impede on proceeding as usual with my purchases on Amazon, until Amazon sent me an email saying that my purchase could not be completed due to a declined payment.

Thank you Amazon for sending this email notification. I really do appreciate it.

Customer Experience Friction Point #1:

I receive an email notification that DOES list the products in it that have been declined for payment. I delete and do not click the button in it that says “Manage payment options.” Instead I use the mobile application to attempt to update my billing but, this functionality is not available.

I’ve already deleted the email so I don’t want to go back and find it, plus I feel reservations on clicking a button from an email using my iPhone. Also, I’m more forgiving because Amazon.com usually makes everything very simple for me. Plus, I understand there are certain limitations to billing and payment options/updating through mobile applications.

But, this is where things start to unravel. I need to now remember to update my payment options in the morning when I am at my desktop.

As it happens, I forget. I forget the next day too. I remember just before I fall asleep the night before but I can’t grab my phone. I’ve forgotten too many days in a row to late to update my payment information. My order is cancelled. Okay, fine. I get it. I’m not mad. It’s my fault anyway.

Customer Experience Friction Point #2:

Finally, I remember! My expectation is that I will log into my account (from desktop computer), go to my Orders or Order History and select the declined order. Right? Seems intuitive. But…nothing. No order to be found.

Okay, I start to panic. I then use some positive self talk, “Oh, they probably just put those items back in my cart.”

CART EMPTY! Panic.

The one scenario, quite possibly overlooked, no matter how small a percentage of folks (like me) wait too long to update their payment option. However, the issue is that there is no way for me to find out what items were in my order (unless I go back and find that deleted email, which may have been deleted deleted – you know what I mean). I remember one item, an Animal Bag from Boon, but I don’t know the others because my husband had added them.

Suggested Solutions for this eCommerce Problem:

  1.  Move the declined ordered items back into the customer’s cart, suggest adding a notification that indicates these specific items were added back to the cart due to incorrect billing information or declined payment.
  2.  Allow payment methods to be updated from mobile applications to allow customers to act when they can without device interference.
  3.  Send a new email notification with urgency “Your order will be cancelled unless you update your payment options in the next 24 hours.”
  4.  Send another email notification or SMS text to notify the customer of what has happened to these items OR if you can’t fix #1 and #2, tell the customer to save this email so they can add these items later and provide a link to update their billing.

How can all types of organizations learn from this eCommerce scenario?

45% of US consumers will abandon an online transaction if their questions or concerns are not addressed quickly.

Forrester
While a good majority of businesses are still in the process of getting basic conversion tracking in place, it is not impossible to plan for optimizing conversions and your customer experience for the future.

Take some time to sit down with your team and map out different cart, checkout and user experience scenarios. Not just for the desktop experience but for your mobile experience too. Sometimes a good old whiteboard comes in handy for this type of exercise versus wireframes. Start from the ideal cart and checkout experience then throw in real life user scenarios to nail down where the holes and friction points are in your process.

55% of consumers would would pay extra to guarantee a better customer exprience.

Defaqto Research

No doubt, as seen in this secnario, some will be missed but if you can map out a good majority of these customer experience scenarios you will be improving your bottom line and eliminating a good percentage of loss in sales or leads.

Need help with creating these user paths for cart and checkout? We can help. Call us at 818-806-3868 or contact us today.

Photo credit: Bill Thompson

Changing Site Latency to PageSpeed

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

For a few years now, Google has been more than hinting at the fact that site latency (how fast your site/pages load) is going to have an impact on your visibility. Why? Well, for one, users are tired of waiting. Over a decade ago waiting three minutes for a page to load was acceptable but these days anything more than 3 seconds can cost you valuable visibility and loss of visits. Users don’t want to wait for pages on your site or elements on your site pages to load and neither to search engines.

Rocket Man (I Think It's Going To Be a Long, Long Time)
peasap / Foter / CC BY

New Tool: PageSpeed Insights
A few weeks ago Google launched PageSpeed Insights. We are ecstatic about this new tool since we have been pulling from various tools ourselves for creating site assessments and while we believe this doesn’t necessarily cover everything, it does help in prioritizing and figuring out how to make your site faster – and for that- we give three cheers.

We love that these tools make our job easier and faster so we can do more for our clients.

Find out how to make your site faster here.

After that, call us for a full Technical and Marketing Site Assessment to get your site in tip top shape.

Make Your Website Mobile Friendly In 10 Minutes or Less

Monday, June 18th, 2012

Internet technologies are constantly changing and your audience’s habits and sophistication are too. Over 50% of Facebook users access their site via mobile and we are seeing an increase in mobile use to small and medium sized businesses websites. So, we are here to help with your mobile presence. We have been searching for some simple, quick and easy solutions for our clients to take advantage of enhancing their mobile presence and we’ve discovered a few cool tools so it doesn’t become another item that keeps getting pushed down on your to-do list.

iPhone
William Hook / Foter

There are many free tools out there to create your own mobile friendly website. In many cases, you don’t need a full mobile version of your site but simply a mobile friendly version. Either way, depending on how much of a perfectionist you are, you can do it in less than 10 minutes. Are you ready? On your mark…get set…go…

Google and duda mobile have teamed up to help businesses build a mobile site. In just five easy steps you can have your own mobile site for your company – and you can customize it too.

Follow These Steps to Make Your Mobile Website
1. From your computer, go to: http://www.howtogomo.com/en/d/get-started/build-your-site/
2. Enter your website address
3. Customize it (edit extraneous copy!)
4. Change your index file to detect and redirect smartphone users
5. Go live. (It is free for a year, just enough time to learn and measure performance).

We did it! Visit our mobile friendly site today from your smartphone at
http://mobile.dudamobile.com/site/libertyinteractivemarketing

Take a few extra steps to further optimize your customer’s mobile experience with your organization and enhance interaction and engagement:

Hubspot’s put together a guide on the first three steps to making your website optimized for mobile, it’s worth the read.

Create an “Add to Desktop” bubble on your mobile site home screen

Create a Custom Apple Desktop Icon:
Dave Taylor has put together a simple and easy to follow tutorial on creating a desktop icon that iPhone and iPad users can add to their phones.

For WordPress Sites – Add this plugin for an instantly mobile friendly site
Add the “WPTouch” plugin to your WordPress site
(view http://www.libertyinteractivemarketing.com/blog on an iphone and you can see how it transforms it for mobile devices).

10 Great Tools to Create A Mobile Version of Your Site

Other great mobile site references and stats:
Smartphones Beat Computers For Facebookers Time On Site
Why Mobile Optimization Matters: 6 Best Practices for Mobile Design

More Opportunities for Businesses on Facebook With Ads and Pages

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Three big items were announced this week from Facebook, bringing further opportunities for businesses.

1) Timelines for brand pages

With Timelines added to new brand pages a whole new world is open to exposing audiences and fans to your brand and allows brands to be more effective at conveying their identity on Facebook’s platform.

When you visit a brand Page in Timeline layout, the experience becomes more personal. A prominently displayed section on the landing page shows how many of your friends like the brand, as well as your friends’ public mentions of related topics.

“The goal is to make Pages more engaging and more social,” said Gokul Rajaram, Facebook’s product director for ads.

Page administrators have new options at their fingers too. An admin panel hides or expands on command, meaning you don’t have to navigate to a separate page to make changes, updates or improvements. The panel includes notifications of activity on your Page and chart-based performance data. Best of all, you can now respond directly to private messages without added hassles or obstacles, a feature also directly accessible from the admin panel. – Sam Laird, Mashable

2) Real-time Insights and other new metrics

Pages Insights now shows your last 500 posts (going back to last July) and tallies the total number of engaged users, People Talking About it and virality. The latter measures the percentage of users who commented on the post, though sentiment isn’t taken into account. - Todd Wasserman, Mashable

For marketers, this is a new way to understand how competitors are performing on Facebook. Businesses can use that information to establish benchmarks for their own efforts. Most marketers have little to compare their Facebook growth and engagement to. For a long time, the only way to know how companies were doing on the social network was to look at total Likes. This became a skewed metric as more pages began to buy fans and launch programs that inflated their numbers but didn’t result in lasting engagement. With more public insights, it will be harder for companies to appear more successful than they truly are. – Brendan Irvine-Broque, Inside Facebook

3) New ad formats and applications

An article on The Australian said Facebook has invited marketers and journalists to New York to discuss new, potentially lucrative advertising opportunities designed to lure its 845 million-strong user base.

It is expected Facebook will try to integrate ads into people’s experience, so that friends’ posts about brands are showing up alongside their news links and puppy photos.

“Facebook is making serious money from ads right now, but they are not making serious money from major brand advertisers, and that’s where the ad money is,” said Rebecca Lieb, an analyst with the Altimeter Group.

On Mashable, Debra Aho Williamson, an analyst with eMarketer, told Bloomberg that Facebook still has to win over much of Corporate America. “It really comes down to brand advertisers,” she said. “They just need to do a better job of convincing the big advertisers that ads are effective and that they perform.”

Additionally, an article in Internet Retailer mentioned that the social network announced it is adding its Sponsored Stories ad format to Facebook’s mobile application and also adding those types of ads to the Facebook log-out screen. Sponsored Stories enable advertisers to highlight posts or actions, such as when a consumer’s Facebook friend Likes a product, checks into a store, plays a game or uses a Facebook application. The move marks the first time mobile users will see ads on the social network.

Facebook is also adding back the free Offers program, which enables merchants to offer discounts via their Facebook pages.

Consumers will initially see about one Sponsored Story a day, Facebook says. “We want to make sure that over time the marketing messages are as good as the content that you see from your friends and family,” said Caroline Everson, vice president, global marketing solutions.

Creative 404 Pages: Page Not Found What To Do?

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

One of the things we look at during our Search Marketing Site Assessments for clients, is the use of 404 pages no matter what industry you are in. We always recommend having a custom 404 page. A 404 page is when a user discovers a “page not found” on your site.

How does this happen and why should you care?
Well, it may seem like a completely elementary thing to put in place however if someone comes to your site from another site (i.e. they linked to your site – maybe a blog post or old web page). If there is not an appropriate redirect process in place the user will be sent to a “page not found” or 404 error. You have control over what gets displayed on this page and if it is a generic 404 (no branding just black and white) it can mean losing a visitor forever or you could help them discover the appropriate page they were looking for, thus keeping them on your site. Think of it providing a bit of customer service to your visitor – if they entered through the wrong door, you would want to show them the appropriate one or guide them to the location they were looking for.

While creativity and humor might get you far with anyone, it also helps to be…well, helpful. If your page is useful in guiding the user to the area or page they were looking for then you are more likely to create a better customer experience.

A few suggestions for your 404 error page:
- At the minimum have your logo and main navigation on the page, better yet use a page template from your site that will help customize it to your look and feel
- Have a link to your home page or better yet a listing of links to popular sections on your site. You may also want to provide a link to the sitemap and promote it as a “full directory of site pages.”

Here are a few examples of 404 pages that we think work while also maintaining the brand personality:

Thanks to fab404.com for some great examples – check out others to for more ideas.
P.S. We’ve got some work to do ourselves. Do as we say not as we do ;) .

Sending a Successful Email Marketing Campaign: Closing the Gap Between Desktop, Mobile and Web

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Email marketing seems simple, and for the most part it is. Yet, many companies and clients create their emails and fail to browser test or email client test to make sure their emails are rendering consistently across these platforms. This results in an oblivious and convoluted customer experience that leaves the customer asking “Why does this email look like this?” Delete. Mark as spam.

Email service providers are no cake walk either. Many of the most popular ones with large marketing budgets to acquire customers fail to meet best practices when it comes to delivery.

Sending a successful email marketing campaign relies on 3 things:
1. Clean HTML code that renders consistently across the major email clients
2. A reputable email service provider like Campaign Monitor, ExactTarget
3. A solid testing plan cross-browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari) and email client (Outlook, Yahoo!, Gmail,Hotmail) Each has its own quirks to deal with.

To help create a successful email campaign, Campaign Monitor published a guide that allows email marketers to see the various elements that affect how emails are rendered across 24 email clients. They learned that support for even simple CSS varies considerably between clients, and even different versions of the same client.

Download your copy and view the comparison table here. It covers 24 different email clients and all the popular applications across desktop, web and mobile email.

Thank you Campaign Monitor!

Note: Outlook (27% of total market share) and iOS Devices (iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch) (16% of total market share) are the most popular email clients.