Study: 54% of companies lose customers during 'explore and buy'

Dive Brief:

  • According to research from SAP and Forrester, 54% of companies report that the highest frequency of customer dropout happens during the “explore and buy” phases of the customer lifecycle.
  • The report found 39% of respondents said they lacked technology to track customers between lifecycle phases – particularly between community and commerce websites.
  • To combat these issues, “marketers and retailers need to improve their online communities to directly connect with customers," Steve Hamrick, vice president of product management, SAP, told Marketing Dive.

Dive Insight:

The need to create a seamless consumer experiences across channels and devices is not new, but the sheer quantity and variety of channels and devices in use today make it increasingly important for brands to deliver a consistent experience no matter the channel, no matter the device. 

“Consumers today use a variety of devices and online experiences to research products, so creating a consistent and compelling experience across any channel becomes especially important,” Hamrick said. Along with improving online communities, marketers also need to “combine valuable product information with user-generated content and insert the purchase experience into the online landscape.”

The Forrester study also reported that 31% of respondents ranked the “ability to ask questions to others (experts or peers)” as one of the most impactful capabilities in driving customers to make purchases. 29% of respondents also cited the “ability to integrate community content with product detail” as another factor to drive purchases.

“Clearly, the combination of valuable product information and user-generated content is key to capitalizing on customer’s intent to purchase,” Hamrick explained. “By combining product information and user-generated content in a community setting, marketers and retailers can glean insights directly from customers to improve products and customer service.”

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