For most retailers 95% of online store traffic is anonymous at any one time. And most of us ignore it. Mainly because we don’t think we can do much with it. Technology though is catching up fast, so now is the time to take advantage of it.
First a definition: Anonymous traffic is people on our site who we cannot identify. They are earlier in the shopping journey and are not known to personalisation and CRM systems. Those systems might kick in later when there is enough data, but by then, most anonymous people will have moved on.
So the top 5 reasons anonymous traffic is so important.
1. You already paid to attract them
Whether you physically paid through AdWords, or by proxy through SEO, you still paid for it. And you paid a lot. With typical ad investment of 12% to 15% of revenue, we are committing a large proportion of margin attracting customers for conversion rates of 1 to 4 percent (source: Smart Insights, e-Commerce Conversion Rates 2021).
2. They have shown intent to buy
Anonymous traffic is full of people who are showing intent to buy. Okay not all of them may buy today, but they have shown they have an interest. With careful nurturing, we can convert that intent into sales, but first we must decide it is important and treat it differently.
3. They are on your real estate
When we talk about anonymous traffic, we are referring to people who have landed in your online store. They are on the one piece of real estate you get to control on the internet. If we are clever, we can use our own real estate a lot better than most do today.
Your brand and advertising has already done a great job, so it makes sense for that the store should do it’s bit, beyond displaying product.
4. No one else is talking to them – for a few clicks
This is an extension of the last point, but if they are in your store, for the next few clicks, you get to keep them away from competitors. Done well, you can push them further along the shopping journey to get them deeper into your store.
You can also learn more about them in those few clicks then you will ever learn from traditional methods like surveys (Forbes – Why Your Customer Surveys are (probably) inaccurate).
5. You catch them before they make most decisions
This is the most important point. The earlier you catch a customer in the shopping journey, the more you get to influence their decisions. Yet, the more likely they are to be anonymous.
We see people researching for up to 30 days before buying. For most of that time they have not decided on product, brand or price point, and that is where a store can have most influence. The more we let those decisions happen outside our store, the less likely they are to buy from us.
We have become excellent at getting people into the top of the sales funnel and converting them at the end. But lack of differentiated engagement in the store means the middle of the funnel is too leaky.
We can compensate by spending more to re-attract the same customers, but it really eats into margins. By making the online store work harder we protect margins and focus our ad budgets on new customers.
If anything, here resonates with you, do get in touch. We’d love to hear your perspective. We’ll follow up soon with some ideas about how to engage people earlier.