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Big brands miss out on major sales by ignoring customers online

Why are companies investing millions in new digital platforms to increase sales, but failing to convert many of their visitors once they go live? One reason these companies are failing to convert is simple: they’re ignoring visitors who need support in the final and most crucial stages of the sales process. We tested this theory on 12 large brands and the results were staggering.

Among the brands we tested were banks, insurance companies, furniture retailers and utility providers. In one scenario, we created a high-value shopping cart, while in the others we started to apply for a product or service online. Then we mimicked the behaviour of a visitor who runs into trouble or has doubts in the final steps of the online sales journey.

Learn more about: Puzzel Digital Engagement for Sales and Marketing

Who did we test?

  • Three car and household insurance companies where we started applying for cover
  • We tried to apply for a 400.000 GBP loan from three different banks
  • Three retailers where we had shopping carts totaling 6500 GBP
  • We tried to sign up for subscriptions worth 5500 GBP at three electricity providers

On one furniture retailer’s website, for example, we added 6500 GBP worth of beds to our shopping cart and waited to see if we’d be offered any support to complete the purchase. With the banks, we left loan applications incomplete at the last step by clicking the “back” button – away from the web form application.

Leaving confused customers to abandon their carts

Shockingly, not one of these companies offered us the support we needed to complete our purchase. We were left completely alone at the checkout with a full shopping cart – that we had no choice but to abandon. It was the equivalent of heading to the tills in a physical store only to find that all the sales staff had packed up and gone home.

Would companies accept that kind of scenario in a physical store? Certainly not.

Alexander Lunde, Digital Engagement expert at Puzzel explains: “Brands are spending millions on beautifully designed websites but investing almost nothing in technology that actually helps them convert or assist customers during the online journey. [1] For every $92 companies spend on campaigns that bring visitors to their websites, only $1 is spent on actually converting them when they get there.”

Failing to convert customers by forcing them offline

The key thing missing during our tests was proactive support from any of these brands. They simply hadn’t noticed we were there and needed help at that moment to convert.

At best, we were able to find a phone number that we could call for support. But forcing customers offline creates friction in the process that most visitors won’t have the patience to accept. Why aren’t these brands helping customers there and then, in context, on the webpage? Surely that would increase their conversion rates?

“60% of customers calling support started their journey online. Why force them to go offline? It’s like putting a ‘closed’ sign outside your physical store to let customers know that you’re not there for them. That’s not the way to build trust with a potential customer who’s waiting to spend 80,000 kr on beds,” says Alexander.

Increasing conversion with proactive digital engagement

We ran conversion effect A/B testing over a 6 month period, and the results were amazing. With the help of Puzzel Digital Engagement, these companies increased their online conversion rate from 3% to 24%. At the same time, they saw a 30% increase in their order value and handled 5x fewer incoming emails.

Visitors that ran into trouble or had doubts at checkout were either ignored or offered proactive support. Unsurprisingly, conversion rates shot up by 21% when visitors were offered the help they needed – when they needed it – through advanced chat.


Conversion effect A/B test over a 6-month period. Customers with problem(s) in the checkout were either left alone OR offered proactive help. The result was a 21% increase in the conversion rate when offered proactive help through advanced chat!

Puzzel Digital Engagement monitors the behaviour of every website visitor. It will prompt companies to engage with the right visitor, at the right time, based on certain triggers, potential order value and customisable rules.

Proactive digital engagement is a proven path to increased conversion, while the opposite leads to lost revenue and dissatisfied customers.

Four ways you can increase your online conversion rate right now

  • Stop ignoring your customers; be present on your website at their moment of need.
  • Understand what your customers are doing on your website by monitoring their online journey.
  • Learn who you should interact with, and when, in order to get the best conversion rate.
  • Invest in an digital engagement platform that enables you to interact with your customers in real-time based on set triggers and customisable rules.

Want to see Puzzel Digital Engagement in action?

You can book a live demo here. For more information on our latest products and features, visit our What’s New page.

[1] Econsultancy

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