Recession or not, a lot of businesses are planning for a downturn. As shoppers become more mindful of their spending, ecommerce brands should take advantage of using the right data to implement strategies that lower shopper hesitations, resulting in better engagement, conversion and retention.

The Economic Downturn Is Changing Consumer Habits

The cost of basic goods, fuel and housing is rising worldwide, and this is affecting consumers’ spending habits. While buying less is seen across demographics, around 37% of baby boomers are more cautious about finances; it's 30% of Gen Z and millennials. UK shoppers are most likely out of all markets to cut spending. Financial concerns are also observed in both 27% of higher earners and 35% of lower earners.

Where are consumers spending their money? Many plan to buy less discretionary items such as luxuries, eat-outs, travel, subscriptions, new clothing and home expenses. They also might make cheaper product swaps and will adopt more money-saving measures.

Multiple external factors are impacting consumers’ buying confidence today, making the ability to detect, understand and lower their shopping hesitations a key advantage for ecommerce brands.

Related Article: The Customer Experience Secret Amazon Doesn't Want You to Know About

5 Ways to Lower Shopper Hesitations in the Online Customer Journey

Who are the hesitant shoppers? As consumers tighten their wallets, what can ecommerce brands do to ensure that every customer journey remains relevant and results in a purchase? With the help of non-PII data that signals shopper hesitations, here are five strategies to consider:

1. Increase the Relevance of Site Experiences for Shoppers Who Browse for an Extended Time

With 66% of shoppers expecting brands to understand their unique needs and expectations, knowing when they start to have doubts while browsing your site is an advantage. In most cases, shoppers who spend more time than average are unsure about a product. Brands that can identify this in real time can trigger a chatbot to help them navigate products, leading them to conversion.

2. Make Shoppers Feel Welcome Upon Returning to Your Site

As shoppers get ready to maximize their money, they will spend more time researching when buying items, especially expensive ones — and they’re going to be doing more of that online. According to Google, 78% of consumers already dedicate more time researching a brand or product online than they do in-store. To keep the interest throughout the customer journey, brands can build a welcome banner that pops up when someone returns to your website. A “Glad You’re Back” message can instantly increase engagement and the likelihood of retention because it’s more relevant to the individual shopper.

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3. Emphasize Reviews for Shoppers With a Low Probability to Buy

Social proof is powerful. While consumers expect an average of 112 reviews per product, younger shoppers expect them more than older shoppers. Highlighting product reviews that show more of your brand and products to shoppers with a low likelihood to purchase can increase their chances of conversion. Brands can build a site module that emphasizes positive product reviews and satisfied customers, making it easy for hesitant shoppers to find familiarity in shoppers like themselves.

4. Reduce Friction By Not Asking Privacy-Sensitive Shoppers for Personal Information

Data privacy is a growing concern for 86% of consumers based on a KPMG survey. In addition to being transparent about privacy policies and terms of use, brands can take the extra step of not requiring privacy-sensitive shoppers to share personal information, specifically, towards the end of the buying journey. This includes asking them to create an account or requiring them to share more information than necessary to fulfill orders. Removing this friction can reduce a buyer's likelihood of abandoning the customer journey and enable them to focus more on completing a purchase.

5. Optimize Promotional Tactics Targeted at Shoppers With a High Potential to Buy and a High Likelihood of Abandonment

Shoppers are going to be leaning towards money-saving measures. This will increase the time spent searching for a deal or offer when shopping online — which 94% of consumers already do. With suitable discounts and promotions, such as free shipping and easy returns, brands can not only attract shoppers but also reduce exit rates and encourage conversion. Moreover, providing higher discounts that are both valuable and relevant to shoppers with a high potential to buy and a high likelihood of abandonment can be more cost-effective than implementing mass promotions.

Related Article: How Are Brands Improving the Ecommerce Experience?

Combine a Deep Understanding of Customers With the Right Strategies

Identifying hesitant shoppers relies on brands’ ability to leverage the right data and use it to craft strategies that are unique to the individual customer journey.

In today’s tight markets and more conscious consumer spending, understanding changing shopper behavior and being able to act on it in real time is an advantage. It can support brands’ efforts to not only manage the downturn but also stay agile and thrive during uncertain times.

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