5 Tricks to Improve your Buying Journey and Generate More Sales

October 28, 2021

The Bolt Team

In this second part of the ThinkShop session “Tricking Out the Customer Journey to Increase Conversions”, we’ll take a deep dive into some real-life examples of how companies used five simple tricks to improve their buying journey and generate more sales.

How Real Street Performance Increased Average Purchase Quantity by 500%

Our first example here is Real Street Performance, and what better company to start when you’re talking about tricking out processes than with a custom parts business that allows their customers to trick out their automobiles. The pain points that this company experienced were pretty intense.

They had a large variety of complex products with probably over 100,000 skews, for example, with detailed specifications that caused customer confusion and an excess of calls to their support staff. On top of that, they also had some very complex processes that involved using combinations of multiple products in a car build which also caused customer frustration, drop offs and calls to support.

So where do we focus our effort? Well, if you look at this kind of simplified diagram below, those four major parts of the customer journey. You’ve got your homepage, your category, your product detail, and your cart and checkout. For this example, most of the pain points were associated with the category type pages.

Trick 1: Introduce Custom Item Cards

So our first solution here for them to trick out the customer journey was custom item cards. If you think of a typical category page, you usually have a small product image, the product name and price, and a view or add to cart button. That’s fine for simple products, but this business’s products were very complex and there were multiple sizes, weights, diameters and materials that a customer had to choose from.

In order to find out more the customer would have to trigger a quick view, pop up, or click to the product detail page, which takes them out of that category page. We eliminated this extra effort by adding more specs to each item in the category page with item cards that provided much more information at a glance for the customer. Not only do you have the product title and the skew and an image, but you also have the price, the availability, and the order quantity added to the cart.

These key specs are very particular to each make and model of cars so it’s important to have this added glance ability before the customer makes a commitment to click into that product detail page.

Trick 2: Create a Package Builder

Another solution we developed for them was for building an engine block or fuel system for your car. That process can take anywhere from five to 30 plus parts, and I am a huge advocate of providing a step to educational processes that walk a customer through ordering the items required for any complex process. So we created a package builder for some of the more common tasks that Real Street Performance customers were doing.

As you can imagine, each of the processes like building your engine or your fuel system cooling system, upgrading your brakes or building your suspension doesn’t involve just one part – it involves multiple parts that Real Street Performance sells and the best solution here is to walk the customer through each of these processes in a specific,measured approach.

This approach reduced a 30 to 60 minute process to one to two minutes, and it also reduced calls to the call center. Even for the customers that did end up calling the call center, the Sales staff could use this package builder to make their lives easier and get the customer out the door sooner.

The key takeaway is that while you may not have a core part business, you may have some products or product groupings that would benefit from a product walkthrough process so you can educate your customers and sell various items along the way.

Trick 3: Offer “Recipes” For Common Projects

Another feature that we implemented for them to trick out the customer journey was a “build a” recipe. This enhancement really improved the customer journey, and by creating these kind of familiar recipe type cards for common car customizations, we made this potentially very complex process look easy to do and attainable. That’s another key educational piece that really helped the business differentiate from the competition and increase conversions.

Think about if you have products that you can frame or promote in this manner. It’s also a great way to add compelling search engine rich content that increases engagement and profits.

The Results

The results of these enhancements were a 49% decrease in the bounce rate, because customers were not getting frustrated and not leaving the purchase path – they were following all the way through to completion. It also increased the average item quantity per order by 500%, because we were offering multiple parts in conjunction in these builds, so that the customer wouldn’t just go in there and hunt for one item, purchase it and leave. They would see all of the associated products that were also offered and that therefore increased the average item quantity.

How Sleep Outfitters Increased Online Sales by 283%

The next client is quite a different business: Sleep Outfitters.

They are based in Lexington and are really rethinking the way that people purchase mattresses.

Sleep Outfitters employs more than 300 people across 100 stores, and they have three different brands: Sleep Outfitters, Mattress Warehouse and Mattress King. And you can imagine that during the pandemic last year, they saw a huge uptick because people realized how important their beds and sleeping was, and they had the time to shop for mattresses.

Sleep Outfitters had a simple issue: they wanted to do a better job of cross selling related products on the product detail page.

Trick 4: Offer Add-Ons Naturally

The solution for this client was to add a very intuitive section on the PDP, and the customer in this process has to select a mattress size. Based on the size of the mattress they selected, we dynamically loaded the add-ons, like an adjustable base or a foundation or multiple other products.

Your business may not sell mattresses, but almost every business wants to cross sell related products, and usually that’s done through a row or a carousel of products at the bottom of a product detail page. But there are better ways potentially to integrate those upsells into the purchase flow and Sleep Outfitters is one example of that.

The Results

The goal here of course is to increase your average order value with the easy accessibility and recommendation of the specific products that relate to the primary product that the customer is purchasing. Six weeks after launch, Sleep Outfitters got a 283% increase in online sales, and a 56% boost in organic traffic.

How The Vault Pro Scooters Saw a 36% Increase in Conversions

The final example is The Vault Pro Scooters, who sells apparel safety gear and all types of scooter parts as well as fully assembled custom scooters online and through their brick and mortar store.

The pain point here was that they wanted to differentiate their brand and increase engagement throughout the purchase path – a pretty simple pain point and pretty general one.

Trick 5: Add Micro Animations to Buttons

We took a global approach because it starts with the homepage and continues all the way through category detail, and cart and checkout.

We implemented micro animations into the purchase path, which you can do either with CSS, or with SVG animations. These micro animations can emphasize the brand, improve user experience, and increased conversions. The ones that we used were relatively simple and subtle, but they provided a more interactive and robust shopper journey.

We focused on the buttons, because the buttons are a global element throughout the website. It’s a great place to integrate micro animations because they follow the user throughout the whole site.

Our process was to make a style guide of all the roughly 20 out-of-the-box website buttons. Then we replaced those with custom interactive animated buttons for the upstate, the mouse-over and then for the click:

  • For the Get Started button for example, the scooters zipped off the edge of the button. And then on click, the light blinked.
  • For the Subscribe button, a hand appeared, and then on click, the finger animated
  • For the Add to Cart button, the cart peered and then zipped off the side. And you can imagine that for this type of a younger audience. This approach was appropriate and on brand.

This solution is something that many businesses can do with a little creativity. For example, a florist could have leaves growing on a button when pushed or a shoe store could have a footprint appear. Even simple, subtle animations will be noticed by customers, and will make that purchase path and that customer experience so much richer and reinforces your brand.

The Results

The results after launch were a 15% increase in revenue, and an increase of 36% in the conversion rate.

Three Takeaways to Trick out Your Customer Experience

The key takeaways to tricking out your customer experience is that it can show very impressive results.

It can be as simple as taking the out-of-the-box templates and adding these additional features.
The best time to plan your ecommerce enhancements is during the project strategy phase, as I outlined in that diagram, when you can bring those pain points up with your web development agency and brainstorm about the best ways to solve them. You need to work with a partner that’s collaborative, and not just compliant. There are a lot of agencies out there that will just kind of slap your ecommerce business into a template and call it a day. That’s not what you want if you really want to see measurable results.
And the third key is to identify those red flags throughout the customer journey and focus on those areas to trick out or customize that customer journey to improve and increase your profits.
Want to learn more? Watch the full webinar.

About Richard Parr, VP. Creative Services, Kensium
Richard manages the User Experience and User Interface design teams at Kensium. He brings over 30 years of design experience working in both the industry and academia. His expertise is in conceptualizing and executing marketing campaigns through appropriate online channels.

About Kensium
Kensium is a 300+ agency Web Development Agency, end-to-end customer and consumer ecommerce solutions partner who believes that all merchants can excel using digital technology. Kensium’s mission is to simplify digital commerce for retailers, wholesalers and distributors – with guidance, technology and support that’s best suited for them.

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