4 tips to improve website conversion rates with customer engagement

As businesses continually look for ways to achieve meaningful growth, each year marketers are tasked with meeting increased traffic and lead targets. However, whilst delivering tons of visitors to your website may tick an important box on the KPI sheet, it’s no good if they aren’t converting into customers.

Businesses often fall into the trap of focusing heavily on driving traffic, something that 63% of marketers rate this as their biggest challenge, but paying less attention to what happens when visitors actually land on their website. A lack of personalisation, unclear navigation and complicated checkout processes are all common, and the impact on customer engagement and website conversion rates can be huge.

Over the past 12 months, online cart abandonment rates averaged 90.32% across all sectors globally. This means that for every 10 baskets started by customers, only 1 made it through the checkout process to convert. A disheartening statistic for any business selling products or services online, particularly those who have allocated valuable resources and budget into customer acquisition and traffic generation.

Thankfully, all is not lost. Many businesses have started to tackle the cart abandonment crisis head-on and are implementing onsite customer engagement strategies to support conversion rate optimisation and customer retention. And it seems to be working. According to our research into 13,000 website visitors, we saw that customers who were presented with relevant onsite messaging on signs of exit intent or inactivity generated a 37% increase in conversion rate and a 412% increase in revenue compared to those who were not. Whilst a separate study of over 5000 visitors measured a conversion rate increase of 109% and revenue increase of 5554.43%.

Here, we share our 4 tips to building website engagement that will boost your website conversion rates.

1. Make recommendations that are helpful and personal

This might sound obvious, but sometimes the most successful techniques are. In this instance, it’s useful to think about what it’s like to physically visit a store. When a customer visits a shop, it’s the job of the salesperson to offer information, advice and recommendations. Of course, their ultimate goal is to make sales, but they enhance this by asking a customer what they are interested in, understanding their needs and as a result are able to present more recommendations.

It’s just as easy to deliver a personalised experience online, thanks to the wealth of first, second and third party consumer data available today. By tapping into who your customer is (demographics, location, interests), how they behave (browsing history, device usage, purchase patterns) and what they are looking for (page views, search terms, buying stage), you can build a picture of an individual and deliver website personalisation that includes intelligent onsite recommendations of products that are personal and relevant to them.

As many as 77% of consumers have chosen, recommended or paid more for brands that offer this level of personalised service and experience according to Forrester, so we definitely see merits to investing in this area.

2. Right message, right place, right time

So we’ve covered the importance of giving personal recommendations, but there’s far more to engagement than that. And timing is everything.

There’s nothing worse than an annoying pop-up appearing on your screen 10 seconds into your browsing experience, or a message displaying that has absolutely no relevance to what you’re looking at. 81% of consumers have exited a webpage because of a pop-up ad and getting it right is an art, which is why we recommend implementing non-obtrusive onsite messaging instead of the traditional pop-up. By doing so, you will avoid disrupting the customer browsing experience and be able to relate messaging to what your customer is currently showing an interest in. Fashion retailers alone have seen this technique encourage 67% of visitors who showed signs of exit intent to actually remain on their sites, with 6.68% even going on to make a purchase.

But be careful – there’s a fine line between being helpful and being annoying. You should be utilising your site to display relevant messages to your customers to help them find what they are looking for, whether that be product information or discounts, but don’t do so on every page. Strategically choose the most relevant places, ideally ones where customers are more likely to convert (we’re talking product pages and basket pages) and only choose to push the message at specific times, such as when a user has been inactive for a large period of time, or as they show signs of exit intent.

3. Segment new vs returning visitors

This comes back to relevant messaging, but with so many different ways of segmenting customers it’s hard to know where to start. When it comes to onsite engagement, differentiating between new and returning visitors is a good place to start. As a brand, the objectives and strategies you set for new customers are likely to be very different to those returning, so effectively utilise your website to support this.

For returning visitors, promote messages that will help with customer retention, brand-building and loyalty; welcome them back and share assistive content such as product information or a gift of free shipping. These customers have already purchased from you and since they’ve returned, we can assume they are happy with the value and quality of your products so need less persuasion this time around. When new customers visit your site, direct marketing content (such as promo codes) can support customer acquisition and is an effective way of persuading them to make their first purchase, after which you can focus on building a profitable ongoing relationship.

4. Utilise other channels

To drive engagement onsite, you also need to think offsite and consider channels outside the walls of your website. Sadly, not everyone will respond to onsite messaging, engage and convert in that very moment. By aligning your messaging across multiple channels, you will have multiple opportunities to re-target customers based on their onsite behaviour, drive them back to your website and re-engage them with their intended purchase.

Email is a highly effective channel when used correctly, such as to remind shoppers of the items in their basket and recommend other products, and can encourage customers to complete their purchase. As we mentioned earlier, timing is important, so to make sure you don’t bombard your customers with a relentless stream of emails, we’d recommend sticking to one or two.

Once you drive them back to your website, make sure the experience is seamless. If you’ve implemented our first three tips, you’ll have the highest chance of getting that conversion.

A well-oiled website is fundamental for any business that sells product or services online. Onsite engagement techniques can not only engage customers to make an initial purchase, but they can also lead to increased order value and repeat sales. By making some small, well-thought out changes to your onsite messaging, you can have a significant impact on the customer journey. Make browsing experiences as personalised and relevant as possible for your customers so that they can easily find and make the purchases they want, securing more conversions for your business.

Find out how Digital Assistant can help inspire your customers to complete their transactions through a personalised onsite browsing experience.

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Posted by Emily Atkinson