Introduction to Mindsets: Mindful

This is a part of a blog series where I will take you through the five mindsets of a digital customer. I want to show you that by tapping into online behavior and interpreting what our customers are saying and inferring, we can drive real business outcomes that positively affect their experiences. 

Mindfulness is a big topic at the moment, both in terms of personal happiness, and in terms of business practices. But what is a mindful customer?

There are two interpretations of a mindful customer. The first is innately positive, and is associated with buying for pleasure – material products like clothes and electronics. These customers are inspired by sensory stimulation, spending time looking at sizes, specifications and colors. Overall, they intend to purchase something no matter what, but take their time to look through all the options before doing so.

The second side to a mindful customer is more negative, and relates to more functional purchases, such as financial services – after all, no-one buys insurance for fun!

These customers make very careful and considered decisions as they move through the journey – they spend a lot of time on each page, scrolling slowly, hovering and clicking on many elements, gathering as much information as they can. They may even leave and return a few times before deciding to purchase, and show signs of avoidance – not really wanting to purchase, either through nerves, fear or not having enough information.

We should love visitors with a mindful mindset because they are deeply involved. They pay attention to content on a webpage and are very engaged. Arguably, someone with a deeper connection or knowledge of your brand, and their experiences, will get more from it. But not every experience is positive, and we need to be aware of the context around what we are selling or asking the customer to engage with before we make that judgement.

A real-life example

Company: An airline

Analysis: If we think about the whole journey and the different mindsets that customers can assume throughout, visitors are most mindful during the product and category pages. Generally speaking, those are the pages that hold the most information.

If we look at the flow of buying a ticket for a flight, mindful visitors are those who apply a deliberate thought process, are slow to decide and they pay careful attention to every little detail.

When looking for an outbound flight, we can see that 48% of customers have a mindful mindset - this means they are paying close attention to making sure they book the right flights. We’ve all been there when we’ve tried to fast track our way through a site to book tickets and have booked the wrong day or time - well, I have.

There’s a problem though. The page design encourages thoughtful, rather than intuitive, decision making. We can see that on the page where customers go to select their flights, 55% of those in a mindful mindset did not continue - 15% returned to the site later, but the other 40% didn’t. We can also see that 15% of the mindful visitors spent more than 2 minutes on the page, trying to retain the different options in their working memory – applying a cost benefit calculation while trying to maximize their choice. This is cognitively tiring, which explains the why they left the site.

But what are the triggers that would make more than 15% return? Whilst these may well have the lowest-priced flights, those remaining 40% of visitors were more influenced by their memory of the site experience than by the price itself, and that was enough for them not to return.

Conclusion: To influence a customer’s experience to be more mindful, we need to consider their thought process and guide their decision making better. Firstly, we should reduce their cognitive load by having a more intuitive experience – we need to make them think less about the purchase, not more. Consider a smart default option to help guide them through the process, or having fewer options, which would reduce avoidance behavior in your customers.

Mindful customers are fully engaged in your experience. But to really drive them through the journey to purchase, we need to make sure that their decision-making process is carefully mapped out. If they convert, they will have good memories of the experiences and are more likely to return next time.

More on mindsets

To explore the other mindsets that customers can have on your digital properties, click on the images below:

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