The customer flow of a site or the sequence of pages that the customer is directed to when making a purchasing decision online can have a significant impact on whether or not the customer decides to make a purchase at all. A number of factors go into retaining customers and keeping their interest and even the smallest details matter when you add up all of their effects. Being meticulous when it comes to your site’s customer or purchasing flow can pay off tremendously in the long-run.

The Particulars and Parameters of a Flow

Did you know that the aesthetics as well as the number of fields that a client has to fill out on a page actually influences whether or not they will proceed with the rest of a flow? These considerations relate strongly to the user experience (UX) of a site and should be a priority on the list of any successful e-commerce venture. Additionally, a variety of other details play a significant role as well. Some important factors for user retention in a flow are:

  • Whether the site requires the user to create an account before, during, or after the process
  • The overall process being too long (too many page redirects in the flow)
  • Unclear cost calculation during the time of transaction
  • Errors in the coding of the website or crashes during the purchasing process
  • The site itself appears too untrustworthy or sketchy to input credit card information on

The point here is that for your touring site, or any site for that matter, user experience matters a great deal and can actually make more of a difference whether a client decides to purchase than the content of the trip itself might. Therefore, it is a must for site and business owners to double check the aesthetics, the convenience, and the overall image of their site so as to minimize the amount of clients lost as a result of faulty UX. The problem that we want to solve is users abandoning a checkout process not because they are necessarily against the product, but simply because of major flaws affecting the site’s design.

The General Methods of Optimizing Customer Flow

Given the types of issues that we’ve just identified, there are a few approaches that you can take to optimize your customer flow to allow for the greatest number of conversions (purchases) that are free from the negative influence of certain UX elements. The most direct and salient approach is to simply fix the issues.

If there are errors with the site, have your programmer debug them and make sure that the site is running properly. If there are too many fields, delete some of them. If your customer flow is too long - then shorten it. If your site looks too unreliable, then fire your current graphic designer and hire one that can design one that looks professional enough to accept credit card payments. The list of common sense goes on and on.

However, this only answers the issues on a superficial level. When you actually proceed with the implementation, you might find it hard to simply cut or reduce the number of fields or the number of pages that the consumer is redirected to go through during a purchasing flow. You’ll want to look into how to perfect your customer journey maps - this involves getting into the nitty-gritty as well as the big picture considerations - in order to increase your conversion rates for site visitors. Journey mapping involves things such as:

  • Providing a cohesive purchasing experience for the customer throughout the site
  • Having dynamic and adaptable sales and marketing processes
  • Taking some time to understand the purchasing journey from your customer’s perspective
  • Using quantitative data to strengthen your arguments and sales pitches

Mastering the Booking Flow

The booking flow is a very specific subset of the customer or purchasing flow that’s unique to touring companies and similar businesses that deal frequently with reservations. The complexity of a booking flow is that consumers are making a purchasing decision with regard to a product or service that is to be delivered on a future date rather than immediately, like a t-shirt or some electronic accessory. As a result, the logistics are much more complex.

In the case of the booking flow, you’ll want to ideally have a reservation software that’s easily integratable and preferably the same as the analytical and logistical software that you use on the back-end of the site to analyze and schedule reservations in the most efficient manner. Adventure Bucket List offers this exact service consisting of a complementary front-end reservation system that feeds into a back-end booking software for use by the company’s associates. The simplicity and the coherence that you gain as a result of this complementarity will be invaluable for your business’ booking flow.