When developing the customer experience for eCommerce websites, there's a significant divide between what's known as ‘Impulse Purchase' sites and ‘Considered Purchase’ sites.
Impulse vs Considered Purchase Websites
Impulse purchase sites are by far the more common of the two – with most retail websites falling under this category. For these types of websites, it’s all about leading the web visitor quickly, simply and directly to the purchase of a consumer item.
These are items that we typically buy on ‘impulse’, like a pair of jeans. We may see them in an advert and take an instant liking. And as we don’t generally buy a pair of jeans every day, the $50 we spend is not of life-changing consequence.
For the considered purchase process however, it’s very different. Insurance and financial products are essential to our future well-being, safety and prosperity. And we purchase them for the long-haul. So unlike our pair of jeans, the way we purchase insurance is less emotional and impulsive, and far more rational and logical.
This of course, has implications for how we design and develop our website customer experience. Here are some easy-to-implement recommendations for considered purchase websites, based on Clicktale analyses from some of the world's largest insurance and finance sites by Clicktale Customer Experience Consultant Esther Shatz.
1 - Focus on a Clear Logical Menu Bar
Having the ability to easily navigate to relevant content and actions is one of the most crucial indicators for any site’s customer experience optimization.
One of the main sources of confusion for site visitors is to see multiple navigation bars and menus. This is a particular problem for ‘considered purchase’ websites such as insurance, where, in an attempt to provide as much information as possible to help purchaser make an informed decision, the organization pours tons of information into multiple menu bars.
However, the resulting confusion is highly detrimental to your customer journey and conversion process.
The flow chart opposite is an example from a real insurance website analyzed by the Clicktale Consulting Group.
The customer journey was planned to lead from the Homepage to the Insurance Page and arrive at a specific insurance product (such as the Auto-Insurance page) where visitors complete the buying process. However, in reality, significant numbers of visitors were being diverted into non-converting pages such as Employee Benefits or in confusion were being led back to the Homepage from where they eventually dropped-off.
It was found that much of the confusion was because the website had 3 different menu bars scattered in different locations on the homepage!
Once this company had consolidated their different menus into one single top menu with drop down options, they saw an immediate increase in visitors making their way to the intended conversion pages and converting!
2 - Provide Tailored Journeys and Ask Leading Questions
Insurance websites face a dilemma: How do I provide enough information to build customer trust in my product and service but without overwhelming with information? Many insurance sites appear overwhelming to first time visitors.
One solution is to physically divide the home page into 2 main sections: one for first time visitors and one for returning visitors. Another way is via the smart use of content. Ask leading questions such as “What are you here to do” or “need health insurance quickly?” and then offer specific tailored journeys to help put visitors at ease and serve their needs better.
3 - Optimize the Login and Registration Process
The login options are typically the most interacted-with and clicked-on elements on an insurance sites’ homepage with typically 25% of page visitors attempting to login.
First of all, combine all sub-logins into one site-wide login. Make sure this site-wide login is placed in the top-right corner, per the industry standard.
Returning visitors are most interested in the login elements on the page rather than the content itself. So make it easy to find and fill in – as with the use of the eye-catching arrow in the HelloRent page opposite.
Next, make sure your site is QA’d so that visitors trying to login and register can do so from all types of browsers. This is rather stating the obvious, but you’ll be surprised at how many sites lose a big chunk of custom by not supporting browsers such as Internet Explorer. Typically, more than one third of users to insurance sites are browsing via Internet Explorer!
4. Nail Customer Trust On Product Pages
As we mentioned, buying insurance is not a typical e-commerce “I want therefore I buy” process. Trust is therefore of the essence.
Introduce a range of ways and means for customers to get in touch with you including quotes, contact us (via both phone and chat) and various feedback options. Many companies also stress their 24/7 availability from any location as in the website below.
In addition, make use of trust symbols such as number of customers, various types of recommendations and secure payment options as in the graphic below. This will make a huge difference to your final conversion. Make the content clear, visible, pictorial and interactive and you’ll certainly help increase the products’ attractiveness as well as the overall credibility of your business!