5 Things That CDOs Should Know About Customer Journey Hijacking

June 10, 2020
by The Namogoo Team

If you are a CDO in an online enterprise, then learning about Customer Journey Hijacking is essential to understanding why a significant number of your website visitors are not making a purchase. Many unprotected online stores lose millions of dollars each year to an unseen menace which draws their customers away through techniques that are virtually impossible to detect. This hidden problem also means that your customer journey data isn’t showing you the whole picture when it comes to vital KPIs like conversion rates and shopping cart abandonment. Considering that it affects approximately 20% of all eCommerce shoppers and reduces revenue per visitor by up to 7%, it pays to be aware of and eliminate Customer Journey Hijacking.

What is Customer Journey Hijacking?

Customer Journey Hijacking occurs when an unauthorized ad appears during a customer’s eCommerce browsing session and diverts them away from the current page. This process is invisible to CDOs because, although these ads appear on the eCommerce site, they are seen only on the shopper’s device. Traffic hijackers use ad injections hidden in browser extensions, program updates, apps, and other free software to display product ads, banners, and pop-ups. Many of these ads are cleverly disguised to blend in smoothly with the eCommerce page, or offer discounts, all with the intention of getting shoppers to click away to another site. To a CDO, the only hints as to what went wrong are abandoned shopping carts and customer journeys that end abruptly.  

1. It’s more common than you think

According to our data from the world’s leading eCommerce websites, 15-25% of all visitor sessions are subjected to ad injections. Moreover, it is often true that almost all of these ads are from competing websites. In other words, it’s common for one-quarter of all visitors to an eCommerce website to view ads whose sole purpose is to hijack the shopper’s purchase session. That’s one-quarter of your carefully designed customer journey efforts sabotaged — and a sizable part of your investment for going down the drain.  

2. It confuses your analytics

The sudden termination of your shopper’s session won’t be explained by customer journey analytics software because it is caused by ads and redirects that you can’t even see. Analytics software can often reveal why the customer had a negative experience by indicating where they left the page or abandoned their cart. However, when Customer Journey Hijacking is involved, a shopper’s departure isn’t necessarily related to anything on your website – but a CDO doesn’t know that. This missing or misleading data can cause a CDO to make the wrong decision when trying to improve the digital customer experience.

3. It disrupts your customer journey

Customer Journey Hijacking disrupts, and often ends, the customer journey in various ways: by inserting suspicious ads, by promoting distasteful content, and by usually appearing at the most important parts of a shopper’s purchase process.  

Shoppers don’t like seeing ads that interfere with their experience, but they aren’t necessarily aware that they are being inserted surreptitiously. Instead, visitors believe that your website allows advertising, or that it has a bug. As a result, as one of our surveys discovered, 78% of respondents view a retailer more negatively when they see product ads, pop-ups, banners from other websites while browsing. 

Finally, ad injections often occur during the most important parts of the customer journey, on checkout and order confirmation pages, so that your visitors are tempted to leave at a critical point. This means that the closer a shopper gets to buying, the more likely it is that they will be targeted by ads intended to disrupt their purchase. 

4. Your best shoppers are affected by it

A CDO’s goal is to attract high potential shoppers as these shoppers are more likely to convert and become loyal customers with a high LTV. Providing these shoppers with an undisturbed journey is paramount. But our data has shown that the customers with the greatest sales potential are precisely those who are most likely to be exposed to injected ads. That’s because the most engaged eCommerce shoppers are also the ones who tend to download free software such as browser extensions and mobile apps that contain a hijacker’s tools of the trade.

5. It brings down your conversion rate 

The bottom line of Customer Journey Hijacking is the tangible damage it wreaks on eCommerce revenue. A basic tactic used by hijackers is lower pricing; 58% of consumers said they would click on an ad for the same product but with a lower price when shopping at an online store, and 80% would go back to that store if they ended up making a purchase. No matter what tactics hijackers use, they still have a severe effect on conversion rates, which are reduced by between 2% and 5%, while revenue per visitor drops by between 5% and 7% due to Customer Journey Hijacking.  

The Cure for Customer Journey Hijacking

Namogoo’s Customer Hijacking Prevention solution uses pattern-based, machine learning capabilities to block injected ads in real-time. It’s also a painless experience for an online retailer to get started – all implementation is performed remotely and by an expert team that seamlessly integrates with your existing analytic tools. And perhaps most importantly, Namogoo’s cloud-based solution starts working immediately at protecting visitors from Customer Journey Hijacking while regaining lost revenue for online retailers. In fact, our customer hijacking prevention solution has a proven track record of boosting conversion rates by between 1.5% and 5% for industries across the board. 

Finally, using Namogoo has never been easier. In response to the COVID19 crisis, we are offering access to our technology at no cost during this challenging period.