In the classic late 80s film “Field of Dreams,” Kevin Costner is inspired to turn his cornfield into a baseball field after hearing a mysterious voice whisper the famous line, “If you build it, he will come.”

Indeed, the ghost of Shoeless Joe Jackson soon shows up, followed closely by the Chicago Black Sox and half of the town.

Unfortunately, many marketers believe that if they only build an ‘awesome’ website, the customers will start pouring in. But what happens when visitors show up and, instead of playing ball and inviting all their friends, turn right around and leave? 

Building a ‘site of dreams’ requires a whole lot more than a pretty hero image and scrollspy navigation. To truly capture and engage today’s consumers, brands must focus on creating an immersive, interactive user experience that spans channels and devices.

Here are three UX pitfalls causing your customers to abandon your site, and how to make them stay.

1. Complex registration, login & checkout

The fastest way to make site visitors turn on their virtual heels and leave your site is by welcoming them with a laundry list of questions.

The same goes for abandoning cart. I’d rather shop somewhere else than provide my social security number to buy a T-shirt. 

11% of US consumers admit to having abandoned a site because it asked for too much information (Forrester). And as mobile usage approaches 25% of all internet usage, lengthy forms will become an even bigger roadblock as consumers attempt to register and checkout via smaller mobile screens. 

If you build this, they will stay

Give consumers a fast, simple way to register for and login to your site or app regardless of device.

Social Login allows visitors to verify their identities with the click of a button using their existing social accounts, while granting you permission-based access to the information you need.

Offer login options from payment providers like Amazon and PayPal to further simplify the checkout process by auto-filling mandatory fields like credit card number and shipping address.

 

2. Lack of connectivity

The interdependent growth of mobile and social have made modern consumers 100% connected, nearly 100% of the time.

The ability to consistently reach out and interact with others has turned even the most mundane, everyday events into social experiences, from listening to a song on Spotify to checking in at a restaurant. 

Modern consumers don’t just want to read your content, they want to discuss it. They may want to buy that pair of shoes, but not without seeing what their friends think first.

User-generated content is 20% more influential, 35% more memorable and 50% more trustworthy than any other medium, according to Millennials (Social Times).

You can bet that if you fail to provide consumers with a forum to check in with peers on-site, they will seek it elsewhere – and may never return. 

If you build this, they will stay

Make your site or app a hotspot for consumer interaction by implementing solutions like comments and reviews.

Enabling customers to share and consume valuable feedback in the context of your site not only creates a sticky user experience, but it also builds brand trust and improves SEO performance. 

3. Single channel experiences

As mentioned earlier, mobile usage is quickly growing, with 44% of adult consumers under 35 visiting websites on their mobile phones on a weekly basis (Experian).

While marketers are embracing responsive design as an extension of desktop experiences, many are failing to see how mobile contributes and fits in to the overarching multichannel picture. 

67% of online shoppers admit to having recently made a purchase that involved more than one channel (Zendesk), with many of them using multiple screens in tandem.

Having to start from scratch as an anonymous user each time you engage with a brand on a new device is extremely frustrating. Failing to connect the dots between channels is a sure fire way to send users on a search for a more cohesive user experience.

If you build this, they will stay

Providing visitors with a quick and painless way to register and login across devices is only the first step to creating successful multichannel experiences.

Next, you need to use a database that can store and aggregate data from multiple sources to create a single, actionable view of consumers, enabling one experience to pick up where the last device left off.

Creating a website is easy, but building a sticky yet streamlined user experience is harder than it sounds. Brands that start by developing a strategy to combat these three key areas of abandonment are sure to hit a homerun.