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5 Customer Research Methods to Improve Your eCommerce Conversions

Data gathered from customer research is invaluable to improving your customer experience. Utilizing proven customer research methods will help you improve your conversion rate by providing insight into customers' behaviour and decision-making.
Jon Cogan

The major reason for the low conversion rate of many eCommerce websites today is the lack of proper research. A lot of retailers don’t perform due diligence on their customers, blindly copy their competitors, or follow unreliable advice on the internet for their CRO efforts, causing their site not to be as converting as it should (and could) be. This article will discuss five methods that the highest-selling eCommerce stores are using to research their customers. Let’s dive right in.

Method 1: Session Recordings

The first proven method to increase your eCommerce conversion is through session recordings. Session recording is the recording of your web visitor’s screen as he navigates your website. It is very beneficial because asking your customers questions is just not enough. People tend to say one thing and do the exact opposite.

Watching your customer’s session recordings can help you detect many things you wouldn’t have otherwise known about the website, resulting in “aha” moments. Session recordings are very effective because the customers are unaware they are being recorded, unlike traditional user testing where testers know they are being watched and may adjust their behaviour accordingly.

Fortunately, many tools nowadays make setting up session recordings on your website a breeze. So, sit down to watch and analyze your customers’ session recordings, and you could gain insights that can help increase your eCommerce conversion rate!

Method 2: User Testing

Software firms mostly do user testing, but it can also be helpful for eCommerce site owners. It enables you to assess your site's usability by watching how users perform specific tasks on the website.

Having people to carry out tasks on your website will help you know how your target audience uses the site and its features. As you see people browse your website, you might find that some people are not utilizing some aspects as expected or that they experience difficulty doing an action that seems so easy to you. 

User testing allows you to see the flaws in your user experience. And your conversion rate is sure to improve when you know and correct these flaws.

A/B testing is another user testing method that works in real time and does not involve asking users to carry out tasks, but rather, displays two or more different versions of the same page to see which one converts better to the desired action. There are great tools included at the end of this article that include A/B testing engines to make this very simple for eCommerce sites to deploy.

Method 3: Website polls

Website polls are those small one-or-two question surveys usually found at the bottom right or left corner of a webpage.

Website polls can help you get valuable answers quickly when set up the right way. They are multipurpose, simple to launch, and do not take much time to complete.

Polls allow you to gather great insights. You may ask your website’s visitors questions at the exact place you require their opinion. When using website polls, you don’t need to create an email or send anything to your users to get their answers. You can even ask people who have not converted into leads essential questions to help scale up your conversion rate.

Method 4: Customer Surveys

Unlike website polls that target both existing and potential clients, customer surveys are emailed to your current customers. They usually contain about 8-10 questions and may provide a reward to encourage people to participate.

In your customer surveys, you can ask select questions to know why your customer hesitated before purchasing a product, why they eventually bought it, and the type of customer they are.

This vital information will help you know your customer types, figure out their buying attitudes, and find links between your survey answers and customer types.

Analyzing responses to your survey questions may be time-taking, but that’s where the real, valuable insights lie.

Method 5: Customer interviews

‍Customer interviews are basically surveys that you perform physically or via the phone. Unlike other research methods, customer interviews allow you to choose which questions to ask while the interview is going on.

This approach is beneficial after conducting an online customer survey. To know more about a particular answer your customer provided in a survey, you can call them to seek clarification and ask other questions that are not included in the survey. An average customer interview takes between 15 and 30 minutes to complete.

3 popular Tools for Understanding User Behaviour 

  • Hotjar: Hotjar uses behaviour analytics tools like heatmaps and session recordings to help you measure and track user behaviour and feedback. 
  • CrazyEgg: Crazy Egg is a heatmap and testing tool. With CrazyEgg, you can test changes to your site and monitor how those changes impact user behaviour.
  • Fullstory:  Fullstory is an analytics tool that measures digital interactions a user takes across multiple channels. With fullstory you can monitor user behaviour through heatmaps, session recordings, and bug tracking and use this data to improve user experience.
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