Five Signs Your Online Customers May Be Cheating on You


These days, consumers have more choices, more incentives and more reasons to comparison shop for the best deals out there. But Marketers can use online behavior and web analytics to reveal patterns and warning signs indicative of the type of customer retention issues that lead to “online cheating.” The question is, are they?

If caught early enough, these issues can be easily connected. To do so, marketers must identify which types of data patterns to pay attention to and use that data to inform their next steps.

1. Homepage Bounce Rates of 55% or More
If more than 55% of visitors are turning around as soon as they get to your site, it’s a major red flag that something is terribly wrong. It’s likely that visitors aren’t finding what they’re looking for. (BTW: you should know that the average industry home page bounce rate is around 50%, and that a well-performing homepage has a bounce rate of between 0% and 25%.)

So what gives when this issue arises? It’s usually due to issues with layout, design, navigation, site elements, functionality, content, or messaging. By A/B and multivariate testing these homepage elements in various combinations, marketers can discern which elements are contributing to a higher conversion rate, and which are contributing to the high bounce rates.

2. High Average Shopping Cart Abandonment Rates
Many online shoppers initiate a purchase, only to leave the items behind in their cart. The Baymard Institute found that the average cart abandonment rate is about 65%. Luckily, there are a number of options you can test to bring this number down. These include estimating shipping costs at an earlier point in the buying process, allowing guest checkouts, highlighting in-stock versus out-of-stock status, providing auto-fill forms based on cookie tags for repeat visitors, and using shipping discounts or specials.

3. Low Search Engagement
The importance of search on visitor engagement and purchases is often overlooked. By encouraging consumers to explore the site and streamlining the shopping process, the chances you’ll turn more visitors into customers, increases. Every single component of the search feature—placement, layout, default search box text and even the color, size and design of the graphic elements—affects engagement with this important tool. Multivariate testing can help marketers discover which combinations work best for their target audience

4. Unsatisfactory Average Order Values
What about those customers that just aren’t buying as much as they could be? Chances are they have a very specific product in mind, and aren’t being persuaded to add more items to their cart.

This is where personalization can really help. By inserting and/or customizing information that’s relevant to a specific user based on implicit behaviors (items purchased, pages viewed) as well as explicit details (location, age, gender) provided by that particular user, you’ll be able to customize their recommended items. Product recommendations and behavioral targeting are two common ways to combat this problem.

5. One-Time Buyers
66% of’s sales are attributed to repeat buyers. Remarkably, only 7% of the entire ecommerce industry can say the same. But it’s going to be tough to match this success without employing automated personalization with behavioral targeting solutions.

Using data such as previous purchases, searches, page views, geography, demographics, type of button click, transactions, etc., is crucial to keeping customers loyal. Behavioral targeting tailors content and offers to individuals based on both their past behaviors and their unique “buyer personas”.

Placing customers at the heart of online content decisions and giving them unique, personalized experiences is an important part of faithful consumer relationships.

Written by Paul Dunay
Paul Dunay is an award-winning B2B marketing expert with more than 20 years’ success in generating demand and creating awareness for leading technology, consumer products, financial services and professional services organizations. Paul is the global vice president of marketing for Maxymiser a leading web optimization firm, and author of four “Dummies” books: Facebook Marketing for Dummies (Wiley 2009), Social Media and the Contact Center for Dummies (Wiley Custom Publishing 2010), Facebook Advertising for Dummies (Wiley 2010) and Facebook Marketing for Dummies 2nd Edition (Wiley 2011). His unique approach to marketing has led to recognition of Paul as a BtoB Magazine Top 25 B2B Marketer of the Year for 2010 and 2009 and winner of the DemandGen Award for Utilizing Marketing Automation to Fuel Corporate Growth in 2008. He is also a finalist for the last six years in a row in the Marketing Excellence Awards competition of the Information Technology Services Marketing Association (ITSMA), and is a 2010 and 2005 gold award winner in Driving Demand. Buzz Marketing for Technology, Paul’s blog, has been recognized as a Top 20 Marketing Blog for 2009 and 2008, a Top Blog to Watch for 2009 and 2008, and an Advertising Age Power 150 blog in the “Daily Ranking of Marketing Blogs.” Paul has shared his marketing thought leadership as a featured speaker for the American Marketing Association, BtoB Magazine, CMO Club, MarketingProfs, Marketing Sherpa, Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG), and ITSMA. He has appeared on Fox News, and his articles have been featured in BusinessWeek, The New York Times, BtoB Magazine, MarketingProfs and MarketingSherpa. Paul holds an Executive Certificate in Strategy and Innovation from MIT’s Sloan School of Management and a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Computer Science from Ithaca College.