How the Grinch Stole Your Christmas ROI

shutterstock-166200362It’s the most wonderful time of the year for brands and consumers alike, but now that the holidays are over, it’s time to shake off the visions of sugarplums and face the cold hard truth about your end-of-year KPIs. Every year, the Grinch attempts to ruin the ROI of marketing girls and boys by stealing customers right out from under their noses, leaving a trail of abandoned carts in their place.

Be honest – how many of your customers filled their virtual sleighs to the brim with toys this holiday season, only to disappear faster than Santa down a chimney? Here are 5 ways the Grinch may have stolen your Christmas, and how you can outsmart him next year.

The Grinch’s Tactic: Ask for too much information

When he’s feeling especially devious, the Grinch prevents consumers from even entering your site or app by forcing them to fill out lengthy registration forms. He likes to do this during the check-out process, too. Consumers hate this so much that 11 percent of US adults abandon online purchases because sites ask for too much information (Forrester).

Your Defense: Social Login

Reduce barrier to entry by allowing users to login with the click of a button via their existing social media accounts. Featuring login providers like PayPal also enables you to pre-populate purchase fields with users’ existing payment information. Social Login is proven to increase registration conversions by up to 33 percent – take that, Grinch!

The Grinch’s Tactic: Hide relevant content

Sometimes the Grinch starts planning to steal your Christmas well before the holidays by surfacing the same stale, generic content to your entire customer base year round. Male consumers’ inboxes overflow with coupons for the latest dresses, and Seattle shoppers have to scroll through pages of sunglasses before they get to the scarves.

Your Defense: A robust user database

Invest in a database that collects and aggregates large volumes of cross-channel user data, and integrates with other third-party marketing solutions. Leverage consumer insights to create personalized campaigns that reach consumers with the most relevant and timely product showcases, content, offers and more.

The Grinch’s Tactic: Isolate the shopping experience

Eighty-eight percent of consumers say their purchase decisions are influenced by online reviews (Zendesk/Dimensional Research). The Grinch has learned that preventing your customers from sharing feedback around your products and services significantly decreases shopping conversions.

Your Defense: Make shopping social

Give consumers the ability to engage in genuine feedback and discussions around your product or service by leaving comments and reviews. This level of transparency and interaction increases the validity of your website to both new and returning customers, fostering increased consumer trust that results in conversions.

The Grinch’s Tactic: Be greedy

Nothing is more crushing than when a consumer makes it to the final stages of checkout…only to bail when they lay eyes on an empty coupon field. They’re loyal customers – why don’t they have coupons? Or maybe another site has a better deal – they should go look. Either way, the Grinch has succeeded in luring them away.

Your Defense: Personalized discounts and rewards

Leverage consumer insights to send customers personal discounts and rewards based on their real-time needs and interests. Saving consumers money encourages them to spend more, and breeds feelings of exclusivity that result in brand loyalty and lifetime customer value.

The Grinch’s Tactic: Make mobile messy

With mobile sales exceeding over 17 percent of total online revenue this Cyber Monday (IBM), the Grinch knows that one of the best ways to prevent your business from maximizing ROI is to make it difficult and time consuming for consumers to login, browse and checkout via smartphones and tablets.

Your Defense: Responsive design

Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and provides users with the same quality experience across devices. Look for ways to extend and amplify the desktop experience in a way that connects consumers anytime, anywhere in the context of their real-time activities.

The Grinch may have stolen your Christmas, but a new year means a fresh start. Learn from your holiday 2013 mistakes, and implement these 5 best practices to grow and optimize conversion rates in 2014!

Title image courtesy of Shutterstock

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