Geoff Galat
Geoff Galat 19 December 2017

Three signs your e-commerce customers are suffering from ‘festive fatigue’

For those of us who don’t want to brave the madness of the Christmas rush, digital commerce has proved an ideal solution. By allowing shoppers to pick up presents from the comfort of their own homes, e-commerce has helped to improve customer experiences, boost retail sales, and even cut down on consumer stress levels at Christmas. But as more and more people start to shop entirely online, is this stressless shopping really sustainable?

Where once, e-commerce was considered the stress-free alternative to shopping in store, there is growing evidence that today’s shoppers are just as stressed out by online shopping as they are on the high street. According to Clicktale’s research, over a quarter (27%) of Christmas shoppers say that they are now just as stressed browsing an ecommerce store as they are entering a physical shop.

Behind this stress can be any number of unseen factors, from slow loading times to confusing navigation, annoying pop-ups to unhelpful search recommendations.

While some of these stressors can be easily fixed, online retailers must also consider the moods that their customers are in when they start to browse online. No matter how good a site’s navigation is, if a customer is still frantically looking for their partner’s perfect present at five minutes to midnight on Christmas eve, the chances are that they’re not going to have a very good retail experience.

Given this growing potential for stress online, retailers must get better at examining their customers’ behaviours, and consider the emotions that drive those behaviours. By using Experience Analytics, retailers can start to understand their customers’ digital body language, picking up on the subtle signs of stress and then helping to build ecommerce sites that limit the potential of Christmas shopping fatigue.

With that in mind, here are three subtle signs that online retailers can measure to make sure that their customers aren’t suffering from festive fatigue:

1. Rage clicks

When online shoppers begin to get frustrated that they can’t find the items they are looking for they grow increasingly aggressive within their mouse movements and on-page behaviours. If a site is slow to load, or a particular behaviour does not result in the desired action, shoppers have been found to ‘rage click’ – frustratedly clicking on content in rapid succession. By tracking this behaviour through mouse tracking and session replay technologies, retailers can identify the sections of their websites that are causing Christmas shoppers the most stress, removing or fixing them for future visitors.

2. Disoriented navigation

Through its analysis of Experience Analytics data, Clicktale has identified a series of different mindsets based on mouse movements and visitor behaviour patterns. Of these mindsets, ‘disorientation’ proved one of the most troublesome, with many shoppers appearing confused and erratic in their movements across a page or ecommerce site.

This disoriented mindset is a key sign that Christmas shoppers have lost their sense of direction and are thinking of abandoning a site. In fact, according to Clicktale’s research, average conversion rates are as much as 40% lower for consumers with a predominantly disoriented mindset.

If a retailer’s Experience Analytics highlight that numerous customers are exhibiting disoriented behaviours, it’s likely that a site’s navigation is not providing a clear enough path from browsing to checkout. This can damage customer loyalty, result in cart abandonment and, ultimately, cost a company valuable Christmas sales.

3. Exploring mindsets

Where as those with a disoriented mindset don’t know where they are going on a website, exploring visitors simply don’t know what they want. Instead of navigating to the product or page they want – or taking the time to actively compare products and make a decision – ‘explorers’ simply wander around the site as they would when tiredly shopping in a high street store. These visitors are keen to make a purchase and can be a great source of sales, but only if a retailer’s website is capable of converting them.

Around Christmas, online retailers should expect to see a spike in traffic from those with an exploring mindset, as customers start to browse for possible presents and psychologically window shop for ideas. If retailers are to make the most of these visitors, they must tailor their content to bring the calls to action to the forefront of the site, simplifying the buyer journey. Offers and deals are also a great way to convert these ‘explorers’ from window shoppers to genuine customers.

With Christmas only a couple of weeks away, now is the time that shoppers will be at the peak of their festive fatigue. At this stage they are unlikely to want to be badgered with pop ups and endless email reminders, but instead are looking for quick solutions to help make their Christmas shopping experiences that little bit easier and stress-free. To appeal to this mindset, online retailers must reclaim the notion that shopping online is the easy alternative to going in store. By using a combination of customer data, Experience Analytics and intelligent navigation design, retailers can once again simplify Christmas shopping and minimise the potential for festive fatigue.

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