Building a Grocery Cart Faster

Building the ideal shopping experience for existing customers is extremely important because they drive the most profit.  At one client, existing customers were only 20% of the sessions but drove 80% of the profit which is common for many retailers.  We spent time analyzing the customer flow from initial query through to site exit or purchase with Content Square, Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and transaction data through Microsoft Power BI.  Once we formed a hypothesis, we would create an experiment and test it through Optimizely with A/B testing.  Follow ups were performed using qualitative surveys with Qualtrics to understand what the customer was thinking.  The whole process yielded tremendous insight into their buying behavior.

One of the most insightful charts was the Content Square journey analysis and their heatmaps.  As shown below, you can see the flow of customers where the chart aggregates common URLs for each step in the customer journey.

Through the intuitive interface you can see that existing customers primarily spent time looking at prior order history and the search bar.  What exactly were they doing?  They were building their cart as fast as they could.  As mentioned before, we saw existing customers would spend an average 12 min shopping.  They would add as many items as they could in that 12 min and then would stop the session.  Sometimes they would use multiple sessions and other times they would continue on to purchase.

The customers would start with their frequently bought items from previous carts and then shift to the search / add to cart flow seen above in the purple and orange wedding cake flow.  People are creatures of habit and buy items they have purchased in the past.  So, one of the tests we decided to run was to change the type ahead search to display frequently purchased items based on the key word and then allow the customer to add the item to their cart directly from type ahead results.

By doing this, you would speed up the process of adding items to the cart resulting in a quicker shopping experience.  What’s the downside of this flow? You don’t have as many opportunities to merchandise to the customer and entice them to buy additional items.

In another article we’ll discuss ideas on how to still merchandise to customers and make the flow as efficient as possible. K3Group can help you improve your customer experience with similar techniques leading to an increased order value and improved conversion rates.