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Leveraging data to improve the customer experience

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Website not doing what you’d hoped it would? The answer is at your fingertips

Think about your company’s website. Is it doing the best possible job of converting visitors into customers? Does it provide a frictionless experience all the way to the checkout page? 

If you’re not seeing the results you want from your website, there’s some good news. The answer is probably already at your fingertips.

When analysed and actioned appropriately, your user data can be used to increase traffic, maximise conversions and provide a better user experience overall. 

Not sure where to start? Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • How do consumers behave on your website?
  • What pages do they fall off on the most?
  • How do they respond to different deals and incentives?
  • What payment and delivery options do they expect?
  • What makes them want to return items and how can it be easier?
  • Are these things causing frustration or satisfaction?

In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the ways that user data can be leveraged to achieve your business goals and smooth out any rough patches in the customer journey.

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Offer incentives tailored to customer needs

Optimised offers and bundles

Every customer likes a good deal. If they’re on the fence about a purchase, a well-targeted offer can be the thing that sways them. 

By examining data around popular products, pages, and active browsing times, you can put together offers tailored to their needs and preferences that are more likely to result in conversions.

Personalisation plays a key role in this. Although you may notice trends and patterns in user behaviour, no two customers will have the same preferences. If your eCommerce store allows users to create accounts, order histories will contain patterns that reveal insights into likely future purchases. 

This will enable you to automate well-targeted personalised email offers on products they’ve purchased in the past or recommend similar types of products. You can also experiment with different types of landing pages for different markets or demographics.

Case study: Zuken

Screenshot of the Zuken WooCommerce store showing product information

Having visibility over your data right from your website’s launch makes it easier to identify areas of improvement later on. When global B2B software company Zuken approached us to build their first ever eCommerce store, the capturing data was a key priority from the beginning.

By integrating Zuken’s new WooCommerce store with Salesforce, we were able to automate the transmission of important data to the relevant departments quickly and efficiently. This visibility of data throughout the B2B sales journey has enabled their sales teams to see what products are being purchased and by whom.

We also simplified the process of configuring products and added functionalities to allow customers with online accounts to build, save and download quotes, order histories and invoices, in addition to other bespoke features tailored to Zuken’s specific needs.

Reduce friction during the checkout process

Avoid abandoned carts

Customers who abandon their shopping carts do so for many different reasons. The most common reason is that they are browsing or are not ready to complete the purchase at that time.

However, other common reasons include:

Examining data from your checkout process can reveal challenges or points of frustration that are causing customers to drop off your website before completing a purchase. 

Redesigning your checkout page can be fundamental for turning this around. You can maximise conversions while providing a more streamlined experience by:

  1. Reducing visual clutter
  2. Cutting out unnecessary inputs
  3. Reducing the steps required to complete a purchase

Follow up on cart abandonment

Another important factor to consider is whether or not you have functionalities in place for following up on abandoned carts. 

According to WooCommerce, the average abandoned cart rate is 55-80% across different industries. Sending a follow-up email can make a noticeable difference to your bottom line by helping recover at least 30% of these sales.

There are a range of plugins that automate customer incentives based on user data. Product recommendations, loyalty programs, product bundles and cross-sells can all be integrated seamlessly into your existing WooCommerce store.

Even if you already have an automated follow-up email system, it’s still worth trying out different messaging or layouts. Combine A/B testing with a deeper look at your user data, then create incentives with the aim of increasing your average order value (AOV) and conversions.

Case study: Elizabeth Shaw

A key priority during our work with luxury chocolate brand Elizabeth Shaw is investigating how to get their online store working harder. We work closely with their digital team to identify where we can fine-tune the customer journey. This has involved:

Meeting talking about conversion optimisation

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Payment processes that provide peace of mind

Building consumer trust

Building trust in your brand is crucial, in particular when it comes to payments and handling customer data. The more details you request from customers, the more they need to trust that it’s being handled appropriately.

Transparency from the beginning of the journey about any extra costs, for examples relates to shipping or taxes, will support you in your mission to build trust and increase the likelihood of having happy, loyal customers.

Even if you have a limited control over some costs, ensure they are communicated as early in the checkout process as possible and that your advertising and website content are never misleading, but always clear and aligned.

Case study: Longreads

Screenshot of the Longreads WooCommerce store showing a selection of mugs

When online publication Longreads set up their WooCommerce store to complement their main website, they ran into challenges around calculating taxes in different US states, and stopping fraudulent transactions. 

Due to recent changes in US sales tax laws, the company had to collect tax in all states they had a ‘nexus’ in. Since different states have different tax rates and this needs to be accounted for and communicated clearly during the checkout process.

The site also experienced security issues that needed to be rectified. After noticing some concerning transactions following the store’s launch, they added WooCommerce Anti-Fraud to their site. This plugin allows vendors to set up rules for a customer’s first transaction to rate the likelihood of them being fraudulent and places transactions flagged as high-risk on hold.

Offer payment methods your customers want and expect

Providing customers with a range of payment options is likely to lead to an increase in conversion rates while also encouraging customer loyalty. It helps build trust in your brand as customers feel valued and safe, knowing they can browse your website and pay in whatever form they are comfortable with.

Offering a mix of secure payment options can also help you capture different demographics. Younger generations are likely to favour in-app purchases, digital wallets, and buy-now-pay-later options, whereas customers from older generations often still prefer credit cards.

Use returns data to address product and service issues

Considering the post-purchase experience

Improving your customer experience doesn’t end when they complete a purchase. There are many aspects of the post-purchase experience that can reveal valuable insights you can use to make the process smoother.

Choosing the right CRM

Having greater visibility over your returns means you have more data to draw from to help improve this part of the customer journey. A key step is to pick the right customer relationship management (CRM) system. 

Different types of businesses need different functionalities from their CRM, but choosing one that is secure, easy to use and offers insight into trends and user behaviour will give you a clearer picture of what your customers need so you can adapt your offering accordingly.

For instance, setting up reason codes for different returns will allow you to track what products are being returned the most and why. Having this information means you can correct design flaws, add more detail to product specifications or streamline workflows to reduce friction during the returns process.

We’ve already looked at Salesforce, but other popular CRM tools include Hubspot, Insightly, Zoho and Zendesk.

Building trust through your returns process

Return rates reached record highs in the UK in 2022 as the cost of living crisis hit consumers’ wallets hard. Nailing your returns process can build trust because it shows that you are willing to take responsibility for products that don’t live up to expectations. 

However, returns can be costly for merchants and time-consuming for the consumer, especially eCommerce customers who may not be able to return to a physical store.

Complicated or inconvenient returns processes can put customers off future purchases — 84% of shoppers will avoid a retailer after a poor returns experience. 

One way to offer customers a more simplified returns process is to enlist the help of a third-party company. Happy Returns, part of the PayPal family, helps merchants handle the logistics associated with returns. They provide companies with branded portals with full visibility over returns, and offer in-person returns at third-party locations called Return Bars.

Customers can receive refunds without needing to post or package items, and retailers can save up to 40% on their standard return shipping costs. The service is gaining popularity with some of the biggest global brands, including Levi’s, Everlane and Steve Madden.


We’ve looked at a few points in the customer journey that could be improved by leveraging user data. To recap:

These are just a few of the possible applications for this data, but sometimes even a small change like updated product information or inventory visibility can make a huge difference to your conversion rates.

By using data in this way, you can provide increasingly smooth, seamless customer journeys from your homepage to checkout.

Always Evolving to improve the customer experience

A smooth journey for today’s users could be intolerably complex to future visitors. That’s why you need to stay on top of the latest digital trends to make sure your website is doing the best possible job of meeting your business goals.

Atomic Smash colleagues looking at print outs and strategising using analysis of conversion data

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Piers Tincknell Co-founder & Managing Director

Tuesday 14th March 2023