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Getting new customers, listening to them and getting them signed up — ecommerce ideas and advice from the last week

by Tim Leighton-Boyce

Customer acquisition was the theme for the snippets I posted on Facebook last week. (20/20 hindsight mode reveals.)

I think that John Jantsch’s idea of the customer journey as an hourglass, rather than a funnel, is an extremely powerful way of thinking in the age of social marketing. It places as much emphasis on what happens after someone has bought as on getting them to buy in the first place.

In the middle of the week I saw a very useful article explaining some of the ways in which insights from ‘voice of the visitor’ surveys can be used to improve acquisition as well as customer retention. Next day one of the key vendors announced a major improvement in their budget survey tool which transforms it in to something you should consider for use on an ecommerce site. (20/20 hindsight mode also suggests the appearance of these two items was possibly related!)

Finally there were a couple of technical items. One was exciting and upbeat: the thought that single sign-on using Facebook, Twitter, Google etc might herald the end of agonising over whether to ask people to register for checkouts. The other was critical but tedious: some serious guidance on how to react to the changes in the UK cookie law.

Read on, or use this list to jump to the item you want:

Powerful new way of thinking about customer acquisition journey

John Jantsch’s ‘Marketing Hourglass’ concept is very powerful. It starts with getting people to ‘know’, ‘like’, and ‘trust’ you. Then you move on to ‘try’ and ‘buy’. But the most powerful components are the next stages: ‘repeat’ and ‘refer’. That last one is the key to real growth. But you have to succeed in all the previous stages to get there.

Hourglass customer journey picture Understanding the Most Fundamental Shift in Marketing
Marketing Hourglass explained by John Jantsch (Click to play or right click and Save As to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen) When I want to make marketing extremely easy to understand, I sit small business owners down in front of the above graphic

Huge improvement in visitor survey system from 4Q

If you need to know why people are coming to your web site and what they think about it, it’s time to take a fresh look at the 4Q survey system. Two key changes mark a leap in quality, I think. 1) The survey invitation is now far less intrusive (the previous version was an instant turn-off for some people) 2) You can now use the interface to add your own categories to comments and to flag them.

At the moment I don’t think the category and the tag data are included in the data export files, but that ought to be fixable. So you can now analyse your data much more effectively. In my experience, this kind of survey is the secret weapon for site-improvements. You’ll get more insight, quicker, than by frowning at Google Analytics reports. Ideally you’d combine the two. And, in fact, you can!

Thumbnail showing new features in 4Q voice of visitor survey system4Q Suite has a Ton of New Features! – Turn Up The Silence
A digital platform for iPerceptions employees to voice personal thoughts and opinions about web analytics, online research, and much, much more…

Why listening to the voice of the visitor is so important

Anyone who’s worked with me knows how important I think voice of customer surveys are. I’ve gained more actionable insights out of them than any other source. Let people tell you what they need, what they think about your site and what’s broken. This article is a long read, but it contains lots of useful insights. The interview is with one of the vendors, but the ideas could be applied using any survey system.

Logo: Smart Data CollectiveMeasuring the Strong Signal of the Customer’s Voice | Smart Data Collective
SDC interviewed Claude Guay – CEO of iPerceptions – and Duff Anderson, iPerceptions’ VP of research – about their approach to gathering essential data about customers. What data is most important, and what is most reliable? iPerceptions provides customizable survey tools for businesses ranging from

Why single sign-on may mark the end of checkout registration debate

I suspect that the debate about whether ecommerce sites should ask people to register may be over sooner than we think. The switch towards using common sign-ins with credentials provided by Facebook, Google, Twitter and the rest will become an avalanche. This article shows which systems are used on which types of site and compares the data returned to each site.

Graphic: pyramid jigsawHow People Sign In to Online Services [Infographic]
We have any number of ways to sign in online. Brian Madden points out it’s an ever-more-complicated concern as the concept of the desktop changes and we grapple …

Good to see that my friends at Screen Pages have shared some guidance from a law firm on the new UK cookie laws. The law comes in to effect next Thursday. There’s also an interesting discussion thread growing on Brian Clifton’s authoritative analytics blog:

Logo: screenpages.comCookies on e-commerce websites: latest guidance for new EU laws
Cookies on e-commerce websites: latest guidance for new EU laws: e-commerce news & tips from Screen Pages.

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