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They Visited Your Site. Here's Why Didn't They Buy. Using your company's home page to collect data from current customers helps increase the percentage of prospective visitors who end up purchasing.

By Sumit Aneja Edited by Bill Schulz

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Most companies have a website because their ultimate goal is for customers to make a purchase. Yet a teeny fraction of the people who visit your site, (as little as 3%, from what we've seen through our business) will open their wallets. Rather than pouring all your resources into making everything perfect for that 3%, the smarter approach is to convert the other 97% into regular buyers.
Related: 5 New Consumer Buying Habits That Can Transform Your Business

Discovering customer intent

Business leaders often turn to task completion numbers as a key performance indicator to get a sense of what's happening with customers. But metrics can sometimes make you feel like you know what's going on even when you don't.

Let's say someone wants to see what it would cost them to have an item shipped to their location. They might put an item in their cart to see the final price. You then assume the visitor to your site is going to buy the product, but all they wanted was a sense of the total cost.

Based on our company's experience there's about a 70% chance that, if somebody can finish the primary task they came to your site to do, they'll move on down the funnel to the next step. If you can figure out what they actually came to do, and help them do it in an omnichannel way, then the odds of them buying are far higher.

Related: If You're Only Listening to Your Buyers, You're Doing It Wrong

Figure out what visitors came for and how to help

Discovering intent requires you to get data directly from your visitors. There are different ways to do this, but one of the easiest is to have them do an exit survey using a customer experience tool. Throw these out for a random sample, yet not to everybody/every time they visit the site. Ask who the visitor is, what their intent was and whether they were able to accomplish their task. The responses should give you a good indication of what patrons are looking to achieve.

Once you have this information, it's time to triage and prioritize. Drill down deeper into the quantitative data to figure out what the specific pain points are and make strategic decisions about how to help. Your info isn't going to be the same as another company's data and there's no cookie-cutter way to react to this information. Helping visitors could mean redesigning the site so items are easier to find, streamlining the checkout process, adding products, building an FAQ page and suggesting related options. Keep in mind that you're not necessarily going to make shifts unless there are enough visitors who are demanding the same change.

It's important to remember that just collecting data is not enough. Maybe you have many people answering the survey, but they are misusing your site and aren't actual shoppers. Perhaps some of your visits come from bots. Make sure you understand the information well enough to take these issues into account.

Related: 5 Recommendations To Strengthen Your Relationship With Your Buyers

There's never been a better time to hear your customers

Each patron is going to come to your site to do something specific, whether that's to see if something is in stock, leave a review or find which of your brick-and-mortar stores is nearby. If you can gather information from your visitors, then you can analyze that data to learn what their intent is and properly encourage them to make a purchase.

Pay attention to the regulars already spending money on your site, but it's also important to use customer surveys so as to develop strategies and therefore convert casual visitors into buyers. Over time, this effort will translate into the huge growth you're after.

Sumit Aneja

Chief Executive Officer of Voxco

Sumit Aneja is the CEO of Voxco, an omnichannel software survey platform and a global market leader in the multi-modal survey software sector.

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