The Hidden Pitfall in Your eCommerce Optimization Tactics

July 1, 2020
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Today’s e-retailers know that website optimization is more important than ever before.

With eCommerce sales numbers rising consistently in recent years, there has been growing awareness of the value of using data analysis (including A/B testing) to improve online conversion rates. But COVID-19 has made that optimization even more critical for retailers, both by boosting online sales and by adding a level of financial stress to many consumers’ purchase decisions. In this hyper-competitive online sales environment, each eCommerce website needs any advantage it can get – and site optimization is all about realizing those advantages.

So, how big of a difference can website optimization make for a retailer? 

To answer that question, let’s consider three of the elements that many retailers focus on when optimizing their sites:

  • Checkout pages are a frequent source of friction that can thwart sales even as consumers reach the bottom of the sales funnel. By improving its checkout design, a typical large eCommerce website can boost its overall online conversion rate by 35.26%, according to Baymard Institute.
  • Mobile shopping experiences are an especially important element to optimize in light of the rapid growth of mobile commerce and the challenge of offering sufficiently fast mobile shopping experiences. Last year, Statista predicted that mobile sales would account for 53.9% of all online retail sales in the U.S. in 2021. And a 2017 study by Google and SOASTA found that adding one second to a page’s load time on mobile devices could decrease its conversions by up to 20%.
  • Personalization (including remarketing and product recommendations) has become an increasingly common aspect of online shopping experiences, leaving retailers who fail to personalize at a real disadvantage. In fact, a whopping 92% of marketers say their customers or prospective customers expect a personalized experience – while 56% say they use personalization on their websites, according to a 2020 survey by Evergage and Researchscape International.

Adding to the importance of site optimization, we see that websites – and not native apps – still dominate the world of online shopping. In a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers that we conducted during the current coronavirus pandemic, only 27% of respondents said they do most of their online shopping via native apps, while 69% said they do most of their online shopping via websites (either on a computer or on a smartphone).

With numbers like these, we can see that retailers have good reason to make website optimization a priority.

But, despite all of their investments in site optimization, a significant portion of consumers still have online shopping experiences that are far from optimized. Their journeys are being hijacked – and retailers are paying the price.

How does Customer Journey Hijacking undermine website optimization?

Today, 20% of online shopping sessions are tainted by Customer Journey Hijacking – a costly problem in which shoppers visiting online stores are subjected to injected ads designed to entice them to click and get redirected. In most of these cases, a visitor to one online store will view injected ads promoting products sold by a competing website.

Worse yet, many consumers don’t realize that the injected ads they see are being displayed as a result of free software that they previously downloaded, such as browser extensions. Instead, it’s common for a consumer to see an injected ad while visiting a website, and then to blame the website rather than the software running on their own computer.

Adding to the problem, injected ads disproportionately target the most active (and promising) online shoppers.

Customer Journey Hijacking can also be particularly harmful because it is designed to accomplish just the opposite of website optimization. Here’s a look at some of the ways injected ads counteract three key aspects of site optimization:

  • Checkout optimization aims to minimize friction on the checkout page in order to encourage a shopper to complete their order. But injected ads appear most often towards the bottom of the sales funnel, including cart and checkout pages – adding disruptive clutter and content that can distract shoppers and harm their confidence at these critical stages of the customer journey.
  • Mobile optimization aims to adapt a website’s appearance and behavior to fit comfortably and conveniently onto various smartphone and tablet screens, with an emphasis on simplified navigation and fast page load times. But injected ads appear during more than 15% of mobile shopping sessions – creating cumbersome customer experiences while also competing for limited mobile screen space with ads promoting competing stores. At the same time, injected ads slow page load times, and some of them even include videos that consume valuable system resources.
  • Personalization aims to deliver a relevant shopping experience, show customers the products most likely to interest them, and create a sense that the retailer really knows their needs. But many injected ads also offer personalized recommendations based on a shopper’s online history – recommendations for similar and often cheaper alternatives intended specifically to compel the shopper to click and be diverted to a different eCommerce website.

How can retailers reclaim their investments in website optimization?

Although Customer Journey Hijacking prevents many retailers from making the most of their website optimization efforts, these companies can turn the tables through innovative technology. At Namogoo, our self-learning Customer Hijacking Prevention solution automatically blocks injected ads in real time, empowering online stores to retake control of the customer experiences they work so hard to deliver.

With 20% of your eCommerce visitors no longer targeted by these invasive disruptions, they can now actually experience all the optimizations you’ve made to give them that top-flight journey.

As a result, our technology is proven to increase retailers’ online conversion rates by between 1.5% and 5%. And because our SaaS solution can be set up rapidly with no need for on-site installation, all of the brands we support immediately start enjoying all the benefits of their website optimization investments – with no need to worry about injected ads disrupting their customers’ online shopping experiences.

Additionally, in light of the challenges and opportunities facing today’s retailers, we are temporarily offering access to our Customer Hijacking Solution at no cost.

This way, retailers have a risk-free chance to start seeing the full impact that even minor website improvements can have on their conversion rates when injected ads don’t get in the way.

Ready to get injected ads out of your way and start enjoying the full potential of your website optimizations? Request cost-free access to Namogoo’s Customer Hijacking Prevention solution today.

Make your journeys unstoppable