The evolution of technology has brought us some incredible opportunities when it comes to engaging with consumers. Brands have an ever-growing number of channels to communicate with their customers as well as more data than ever before about their preferences.

However, this increasing availability of platforms and devices has also created a breed of ‘distracted consumers’ whose attention and time is more in demand than ever. Consumers use multiple devices to research and buy – often browsing on one device, perhaps a mobile, and then considering buying later on another.

The phenomenon of the distracted consumer is far-reaching. Smartphone usage is recognised as one of the key factors in the poor productivity levels of the UK and how it is affecting consumer behaviour. The impact of this distraction on consumers is a failure to complete on purchases and multiple channels and activities vying for consumers’ attention. The net result being that retail businesses typically convert just 2.8% of online shoppers, and on average 69% of online shopping carts are abandoned – the need to optimise the buyer journey has become the priority.

Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) can help brands to best engage with their audiences and turn the distracted browser into a converted consumer, resulting in long-term brand loyalty. Here are five tips if you’re looking to improve your conversion rate strategy.

1. Cater for the double screener

‘Double screening’ – using a phone and tablet or laptop and TV simultaneously – is now the norm. The result of this is that consumers who aren’t logged in to a brands website on both devices have become impossible to track, data-wise, due to the inconsistency of their buyer journey. And if you can’t track consumer data, how are you going to accurately communicate your offering in an informed manner?

The good news is that technology can now predict if multiple devices are being used by the same person, with behaviour similarities reviewed across touchpoints including location, device and time zone. Conversion platforms will recognise when a customer shops across different devices, so you can remarket to customers abandoning a basket on one device and provide the same basket on another device when they return, recovering the lost sale.

2. Make the consumer central to the online shopping experience

We’ve all been there – we’ve purchased a product online, say a rucksack, but banner ads for that exact rucksack follow us around for weeks and weeks after we’ve already purchased it. For consumers, this is a frustrating experience that will likely impact on brand loyalty and for brands, budget is being unnecessarily wasted. Make sure you understand when a consumer has completed a sale and their preferences are accordingly updated.

3. Use what you’ve got to ‘individualise’ the customer journey

Despite the vast amounts of customer data available, many brands are failing to individualise the customer journey. Not only should brands ensure that the buyer journey is frictionless and optimised but also catered to each individual customer. For years, brands have been talking about the importance of personalised marketing, yet this mission can stall at segmenting by one single criterion such as gender, age or location. Today’s data-based technology makes it possible to take data and provide an experience that hones in on the individual and provides them with an individual experience to suit their preferences, demographics, location and what device they are using.

4. Consider deeper analysis with artificial intelligence (AI)

Businesses are dealing with vast amounts of data that physically cannot be processed by humans, and so machine learning and artificial intelligence must be used to analyse this behavioural data. The rewards for this process are great. It becomes possible to convert abandoned transactions by gearing opportunities to be most relevant to the consumer, whether that be upselling or cross-selling.

5. Make it easy: Eliminate the card

Contactless and digital payment methods are the new norms. The distracted consumer is time-poor and removing any step of the payment journey increases the likelihood of a conversion. Particularly when many e-commerce transactions are happening on the go and in public places where getting your card out is both a hassle and a cybersecurity risk.

The ways in which we reach and convert the distracted consumer will continue to evolve as new platforms and feature become available. To enjoy a consistent and engaging relationship with key demographics, brands must optimise through multiple channels in a way that is individualised according to modern-day life’s demands. By putting the customer first it’s possible to increase conversion rates and create a seamless experience for both brands and consumers alike.