3 Ecommerce Conversion Tricks for the “Want it NOW!” Generation


We are all too familiar with the millennial hullabaloo as everyone from Hillary Clinton to Marriot hotel is jumping on the marketing-to-millennials bandwagon.

On one hand, we call them unfocused, lazy, self-obsessed, and impulsive, who want everything and want it this very moment, and on the other, we lay out the red carpet for them. But who can be blamed for this duality – it has been proven time and again that this generation not only demands but also reciprocates attention.

Every self-respecting ecommerce marketer knows that millennials help them bring conversions all year round, not waiting for Black Fridays, Small Business Saturdays, or Cyber Mondays.

So here are some incredible tricks that can fuel the Want it NOW behavior of the millennial generation and help you convert more and more throughout the year…

Wishlist Discounts

I remember hanging around Madison Avenue with my friends doing what we called it then – window shopping. Today, sitting in a 6×6 cubicle, window shopping has been replaced by wishlisting.

While shipping costs are frequently blamed for the 70% shopping cart abandonment rate, when you dig a bit deeper, you realize that 2 out of the top 3 reasons for cart abandonment involve the phrase “I was not ready to purchase” as this chart reveals:

So stop beating yourself up for abandoned shopping baskets and start investigating the cart’s humble cousin – the wishlist.

The concept of wishlisting is inspired by millennials’ way of thinking – “I may like to own it but I will wait until the price is down or I am ready to pay its full price.” Many retailers are terrified that millennials don’t like to pay the full price for their products. If there are no deals on the items they want to purchase, pop goes it into the wishlist.

However, hankering after discounts is not always the reason for infinite postponement. Lack of time and tedious checkout procedures also contribute to delays in purchasing. That said, you can shorten their buying time by sweetening the deal with – what else – a handsome discount to their wishlisted items. You could give your customers exclusive offers after a random number of days have passed, or if the combined order value of items in their wishlist exceeds a threshold amount,

  • when they visit your website again
  • using remarketing ads that you retarget at them
  • by emailing them a personalized, low price alert

Wishlist discounts are that final push that people often need to complete their purchase:

Whenever possible, try to preempt the need to offer discounts by getting creative with your wishlists. This is a very good example of customized wishlists from Overstock:

For a finicky shopper, New Reviews are a great idea if they are unsure about the product quality and want to wait until other people try out the product. Price Drop gives hints at low prices and discounts, and Low Inventory is a wonderful reminder to grab limited stock items that quickly run out.

I also like how this website (sourced all the way from New Zealand) uses a sticky wishlist:

It follows you through all pages, subconsciously urging you to buy. Besides they aptly show low-stock and low-price buttons where they are easily visible.

Another example comes from Virtual Piggy (now Oink), who took wishlist buying to the next level by using contests and references to charity:

Live Chat Conversion

You’d be surprised how many great opportunities you’ve missed if your website doesn’t use live chat. According to a study by eDigital’s Customer Service Benchmark, live chat increases customer satisfaction rate by 73% whereas email, social media and phone manage only by 61%, 48% and 44% respectively.

Micah Solomon, author of Your Customer Is The Star, says in a Forbes article that

  • Millennials prefer interacting with seemingly automated apps (read IM) to humans.
  • The whole buying experience matters to them.
  • They put premium value on convenience and here/now. Yesterday’s idea of fast isn’t fast enough.
  • You need customer care reps who speak their language.

Therefore, live chat becomes all the more important for enterprises dealing in sophisticated software and technical products. 24×7 live chat tips the balance in your favor by allowing you to convert users from all over the world.

Here’s a good example of live chat and customer service integration done right – from none other than Apple. Their Call Later and Wait Time features are small steps in feature customization but giant leaps for personalization and UX.

As your business grows, you need to add more and more tools for conversion optimization. A lot of online businesses, forced into A/B testing and expending extra efforts on customer service, after having experienced unexplained cart abandonments and falling conversion rates, see massive difference after adding live chat to their website.

Let’s see how it worked in the case of Call Box, a training software provider for filmmakers to improve their post-production techniques. They added Olark’s live support chat to their website from the Shopify app store and started converting visitors immediately.

“Add live chat support to your website: it paid for itself in the first day I switched it on. Shoppers don’t often request live chat sessions but when they do, 9 times out of 10, I can convert their questions into a sale.”

– Noah Kadner, Owner of Call Box

The availability of SaaS ecommerce platforms like Shopify allow small business owners like Kadner to match large ecommerce brands when it comes to providing customer service and mining customer support analytics. Make sure your live chat feature is part of a vetted plugin or app ecosystem that can scale to handle high volumes of traffic and extended chats, as well as integrate with the ERP, CRM, ordering and helpdesk software that you use.

Guerrilla Tactics

At every step of your ecommerce journey, be it on an app or a website, you’ll find guerrilla tactics for web conversions. We’ll focus on “little budget” and “grasping attention on a personal level” here, because “unconventional” becomes conventional sooner than you think.

Take a look at this screenshot:

The bold Book Now button in orange acts as a subtle but strong call to action. It is not flashy and yet it urges you to book by standing out from the rest of the theme and subconsciously drawing your attention!

Your website design has to be beautiful, functional, and captivating. You can do that with intelligent copy and quirky names for your products, services or marketing campaigns. For instance, “Karma Returns” sounds much better than the common “Loyalty Rewards” or the dour “Membership Points.”

Along with sharp design elements, urgency also nudges shoppers that much closer to those coveted clicks. Create urgency in your copy by using clever variations of phrases like “Limited Offer,” “Valid until Dec 31,” etc. Prominently display numbers – items remaining or days to go until the offer ends. Here’s a good example from Airbnb:

Include thumbnails of items in the shopping cart to reduce shopping cart abandonment. Also use progress indicators to show users how far they are into the purchase process. These two are small albeit powerful conversion tactics that subtly work to visually influence shoppers – especially millennials who want constant feedback on their progress.

Your Turn

Many businesses are taking concrete steps to make their websites and apps more user-friendly, intuitive and convincing. What measures do you think consistently bring in conversions? Better question: What do you think gives your shoppers that extra impetus needed to purchase from YOU?

Is it personalized offers?

Guerrilla conversion tricks?

Unparalleled customer service?

Leave your suggestions below and instantly win karma points!

(Ha ha, anything to make you comment.)

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Written by Tracy Vides

Tracy is a brand strategist and market researcher who advises ecommerce startups and SMEs on content and social media. She's also a prolific blogger – you can read her insights on business and tech publications like Digitalist Mag, She Owns It and Usability Geek. Connect with her on Twitter for a chat anytime!

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