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e-Commerce Industry News

July16, 2014
A better shopping experience can combat shorter attention spans
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July16, 2014
With attention spans dwindling, trying to keep shoppers engaged can be a big challenge. With attention spans dwindling,
trying to keep shoppers engaged
can be a big challenge.
Although online stores give retailers new opportunities to engage prospects, they also present a number of challenges. It may sound simple - just open an eCommerce store and let customers shop from anywhere they have access to the Web. Unfortunately, operating a successful online store is not quite as straight forward as that. Shoppers have dozens of different options and online sales are never guaranteed.

A recent study conducted by the U.S. National Library Association illustrated the many challenges merchants have with trying to keep their customers engaged. The sheer number of media devices in people's lives, ranging from their computers to televisions to smartphones, makes it difficult to focus.

Citing the report, Multichannel Merchant noted the the average attention span of an adult is eight seconds, and those eight seconds shrink to four while shopping online. By the end of September 2013, the average time spent on online stores was down to just a shade over 7 minutes. The average page view per session also hit rock bottom earlier in 2014 at 6.93 pages per shopping session - that's two pages less than people were perusing in 2013.

Crafting a shopping experience for multi-tasking customers
The fact that attention span is so low is a concerning for merchants, but that doesn't mean it's impossible to deal with. You just need to keep this fact in mind as you design your eCommerce website.

This starts by taking a look at ease of use - people need to be able to navigate the website and easily find what they are looking for. If customers are unable to find specific item categories or can't find a search bar, chances are you will lose them. Also, look at how many steps it takes to complete a purchase. As Multichannel Merchant reported, the average person is clicking through fewer pages, so streamlining this process is key.

Frustration may also play a role customer loss. It could be something as simple as not being able to find your returns policy. This is where live customer chat and chat can help keep shoppers engaged.