There's thousands of blog posts, podcasts, and videos giving advice on how to grow an eCommerce business. It can be overwhelming (to say the least) and leave you feeling even more unsure about what you should focus on.
In order to break through the information overload and become clear on the specific things that you can improve in your business, you only need to listen to one person: your customer!
Doing so pays you back in multiple ways: you’ll improve the overall shopping experience, get marketing and product ideas that you never would have thought of, and increase customer loyalty. Sound good?
Here are six tried-and-true methods of getting actionable feedback from your customers and potential buyers.
1. Invite them to a phone interview
Since launching Rewind, we’ve had thousands of people install our app from the Shopify app store.
We’ve invited every single one of them to a 15-minute phone interview with our CEO a few weeks after they subscribed and have had enough time to experience the service. While not everyone accepts the invitation, this initiative has turned into many insightful conversations.
Here’s a sample of some of the questions we like to ask:
- The first thing we always ask is “do you have any questions for us?” This is a great question to start with because it turns the call into a casual conversation instead of a 1-way interview.
- “If you were the CEO of [Your Company], what’s the first thing you would focus on or change?”
- “Why did you look for a product like [Your Product] in the first place?” This question tries to get to the root of why they bought from you. Understanding your clients’ true reason for shopping with you is fundamental to developing an effective marketing strategy!
- “If you didn’t know about [Your Company/Product], what would you type into Google to try and find it?” This is a great question to help you understand the vocabulary of your clients and improve your keywords.
The unexpected benefit we’ve seen from these phone interviews is that we’ve delighted customers and proved to them that we care about our customers.
It’s often not feasible to invite every single customer to a phone interview.
Instead, find the subset of customers that you want to attract more of.
For example, those who have made a purchase above $100 within the last 30 days. Or those who have placed at least 2 orders from you. Someone who bought a sale item from you 6 months ago is likely not an ideal client for your business and someone that you want to interview.
Tip: Create a free calendly account and include a link to your calendly in the email invite you send them so that they can easily pick a time on your calendar that works for the both of you.
2. Use heatmaps and recordings
One of my all time favorite marketing tools is Hotjar. While Google Analytics can tell you how many people were on your website and which links they clicked, Hotjar can show you exactly what they were doing.
After adding the Hotjar tracking code to your Shopify theme (here’s how to do it), you can enable heatmaps and recordings.
Heatmaps show you where people are clicking most often and the recordings feature allows you to watch actual recordings of how people are interacting with your store.
Using these two features, you can learn:
- How far people are scrolling on your pages.
- Where they’re clicking. People will often click on elements that they expect to be a link, even if it’s not. This can be used as an opportunity to link to relevant pages and reduce your bounce rate.
- Where they’re getting stuck.
- What’s the first thing they do.
- What parts of your page they're completely skipping over.
After collecting this data, you can make informed decisions about your store design. For example, if you have a special offer at the bottom of your home page but you learn that most people don’t scroll down that far, then you can try moving it further up the page.
3. Use website visitor polls
While heatmaps and recordings show you what people are doing, polls will help you understand why they’re doing it.
Using Hotjar again, you can create a poll for website visitors. Asking a single question instead of a full survey will increase how many responses you get. Once you’ve collected enough answers, you can switch the question.
Examples of questions you can ask are:
- How did you find us/hear about us?
- Is something missing on this page?
- Are you shopping for a specific event?
- Who is your favourite [industry] blogger?
- Are you able to quickly find the items you’re looking for?
4. Ask for feedback on social media
Your social media accounts are an ideal place to ask for feedback because your followers are existing customers, and people who like your brand but for some reason haven’t pulled the trigger and made a purchase (yet).
Plus, it requires very little work!
Package Free Shop asked “How can we add to your online shopping experience?” and received a ton of comments from people who are obviously passionate about their brand and mission.
5. Incentivise people with a contest or promo code
If even 10% of the people you ask to complete an online survey actually do it, then you can give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.
Unless your subscribers or clients are highly engaged, it’s unlikely that more than 5-10% will complete the survey.
So if you don’t have a large social media following or many website visitors in order to quickly get at least 50 responses, then you can incentivize more people to give you feedback by running a contest on your social media accounts or offering a discount code upon completion.
Here’s a great example from Anthropologie’s survey email that offers their newsletter subscribers a 20% discount as a thank you for completing the survey. Who doesn’t love a discount code?!
6. Talk to your most profitable customers (MPCs)
Your MPCs are also your ideal customer and you want to learn as much about them as possible in order to attract more people like them.
Luckily, identifying your MPCs is actually pretty simple and you can probably think of a few of them off the top of your head.
These are the people who:
- Spend the most
- Make repeat purchases
- Have been loyal to your company for a long time
- Have become advocates for your brand
If there’s only one thing you do from this entire list, it should be talking to your MPCs. And since they already love your brand and product, there’s a 100% chance that they will love to meet and talk with you as well.
Whether you’re just starting our your eCommerce store or you have an established and growing brand, regularly collecting customer feedback is the only way to know if you’re on the right track.
So no matter what stage you’re in, make customer feedback a regular part of your routine. By giving these methods a try, you might be surprised at how willing people are to help when you simply ask.