How long can you enjoyably spend drinking coffee with a close friend? Probably a good few hours at the least.
How long can you enjoyably spend paying for your electricity bill online? Well you probably can’t enjoy it at all but I reckon you’ll spend 5-10 minutes doing it, and if it’s not done by then you’ll throw your fists in the air and shout obscenities at your laptop screen.
One of the ways in which we judge the time we’re willing to spend on an experience is how happy it makes us – is an experience pleasure or necessity?
A pleasure experience is something that we’re happy to spend time on - we actively seek these experiences. We invite friends for coffee and we browse the latest fashion lines.
A necessity experience is something that we just want to get over and done with. We want to get it done right, so that we don’t have to do it again any sooner than needed. But we want it done. That’s things like paying for bills online or at the bank, and even searching for a new B2B supplier (you want to find the right one but it’s not exactly a fun task).
Whether website visitors are spending time and shopping on your website for pleasure or necessity is an important differentiation to make.
It is important to consider what kind of experience your website visitors are looking for from your website. And it’s also important to remember that they can be expecting different experiences at different stages of their journey.
Research among 3,000 consumers in the UK and Germany showed that speed was important to shoppers during navigation and payment. They want to save time finding what they’ve come for, if they’ve come with a purchase in mind, and they want to save time when they go from browsing to buying.
Your website experience should be designed to suit the wants and needs of your website visitors at various stages of their journey. To design and adjust the experience in this way, you need to understand how your visitors currently behave and what they are looking for at each stage. You need to be a website analytics ninja!
You need to start off by understanding how a visitor’s time on your website breaks down. Then consider what the website visitor’s goals are on different pages (at different stages of their journey).
A download page or checkout page is a necessity stage for example, the visitor needs to complete this to get the report or product that they’ve just been browsing for. They want this to be quick and easy.
Blog posts and product category pages are where visitors want to spend a little more time. At these stages they are probably shopping for pleasure...they are leisurely scrolling your blog for fun and informative posts or scrolling through jackets and coats to find a fashionable clothing item.
The above image is taken from “Time: The Real Digital Currency”, an Amazon whitepaper that discusses the pleasure vs necessity trade-off in eCommerce. The diagram helps to illustrate the different stages of a consumer’s eCommerce journey. Awareness and Consideration stages are generally pleasure stages, whereas Purchase and Checkout are necessities for the consumer to finish their purchase.
When we start working with a new client, one of the first things we do is seek to understand the different stages of a visitor’s journey...and we keep track of it throughout our relationship (the structure of a website and visitor journey generally don’t stay in a status quo forever!). Our Account Managers use their data digging to inform the live chat engagement strategy that they create for each specific website. We interact at times when the necessity stage is taking too long (or the visitor is flicking back and forth between necessity pages) and when the visitor is clearly enjoying pleasure stages (they are reading through a lot of pages and spending a good average time on them).
We use live chat to speed up the necessity stages and enhance the pleasure stages.
Timely triggered interactions on certain pages allow live chat agents to deliver a great experience for website visitors and even increase conversion.
You should be doing the same on your website. If a visitor is taking a long time on a content download page or a checkout page, you should be interacting with them to solve any navigation or technical issues they may have. And you should use this information to inform redesigns or adjustments to your website.
At necessity stages we are there to make the journey as pain free as possible (fixing website issues, guiding customers etc.), so we try to only interact when the visitor does need help. We don’t want to extend the necessity stage by engaging in a conversation that the visitor doesn’t want or need.
On pleasure stages of the user journey however, you should be enhancing this experience with more fun content and product recommendations. We use live chat to interact at these stages, as they offer up an opportunity to create outstanding experiences that the visitor will associate with the client’s brand - we can offer the assistance of a personal shopper, link to more content that will move a prospect down the buyer funnel and even just have a friendly chat (that creates a positive experience in itself).
The pleasure stages are also stages where you can increase average order value or obtain more detailed information from prospects (so that when they become a lead, they’ll be highly qualified). As long as the techniques that you use are enhancing the experience rather than hindering it (helpful recommendations and friendly conversation that builds relationships).
Are you making sure that website visitors can make the most of the pleasure stages? And are you cutting down the number and length of necessity stages?
Our live chat services go well beyond FAQs or a simple customer service tool. We use live chat to deliver real results. We transform experiences and convert website visitors.
We enhance pleasure stages of online experiences and make sure necessity stages are pain free. Chat with us now and let us show you what live chat can do for your website.