tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/conversion-rate-optimization Latest Conversion Rate Optimization content from Econsultancy 2017-01-18T09:49:32+00:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68710 2017-01-18T09:49:32+00:00 2017-01-18T09:49:32+00:00 Lack of resources and budget still the main barriers to CRO: report David Moth <p>Much has been written on the Econsultancy blog recently about the importance of conversion rate optimization, but to what extent are businesses actually doing it? And what methods are most popular?</p> <p>The latest version of our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/conversion-rate-optimization-report/">Conversion Optimization Report</a>, published in association with Redeye, asked respondents about both of these areas, revealing some interesting findings.</p> <p>Encouragingly, 55% of client-side respondents said that CRO is ‘crucial’ to their overall digital marketing strategy. Only 10% rated it as ‘quite important’ or ‘not important’.</p> <p>According to business consultant and all-round digital whizz <a href="https://twitter.com/danbarker">Dan Barker</a>:</p> <p>"It’s a rarity to get any kind of consensus on what is/isn’t ‘crucial’ in any business, so this essentially vindicates that if you do not feel it’s in your interest to focus a good amount of resource on CRO, you are a big exception among website owners.”</p> <p>However, despite this consensus, the report indicates that businesses are failing to dedicate enough resource to CRO.</p> <p>For the third year running a lack of resource and budget were cited as the main barriers to improving conversion rates.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3121/CRO_barriers.png" alt="" width="700" height="541"></p> <h3>CRO methods</h3> <p>The report also asked respondents about which methods they currently use to improve conversion rates. While the list isn’t exhaustive, it shows that the simplest forms of CRO are the most popular, which is to be expected.</p> <p>A majority of respondents (61%) said they use A/B testing, while online surveys (54%) and copy optimisation (51%) are also popular methods.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3120/CRO_methods.png" alt="" width="700" height="481"></p> <p>Tactics that involve some level of personalisation achieved lower scores, perhaps due to the data and tech capabilities required to implement them properly.</p> <p>For example, website personalisation is only used by a quarter of respondents (25%), while abandonment and behavioural emails scored 34% and 37% respectively.</p> <p>If you’re one of those who has yet to implement basket abandonment emails, you can find out how to get started in our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-fundamentals-of-email-marketing" target="_blank">Fundamentals of Email Marketing Guide</a>.</p> <p>And to learn more about CRO, download <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/conversion-rate-optimization-report/">Conversion Rate Optimization Report</a> or book yourself onto our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/conversion-optimisation/">Conversion Optimisation training course</a>.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68692 2017-01-17T14:20:12+00:00 2017-01-17T14:20:12+00:00 Online merchandising: The importance of showing products in context Nikki Gilliland <p>By reducing <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68477-how-six-online-retailers-are-combatting-wrong-size-returns/" target="_blank">doubts about size and fit</a>, and enabling a shopper to envisage how they might use a product, ecommerce retailers can help to reduce basket abandonment and encourage consumers to buy.</p> <p>Here's a look at some of the best examples of brands putting products into context online.</p> <p>And to learn more on this topic, book yourself onto one of these Econsultancy training courses:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/fast-track-ecommerce-online-retailing/">Ecommerce and Online Retailing Training</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/online-merchandising-selling-in-the-digital-age/">Online Merchandising Training</a></li> </ul> <h3>Boots </h3> <p>When it comes to ecommerce retailers that sell a wide range of brands, implementing product demonstrations across the board can be difficult.</p> <p>In its 'electricals' category, Boots tackles this problem by making use of videos created by the brand manufacturers themselves.</p> <p>It includes demos from the likes of Braun and Dyson, which adds a sense of authority as the information comes direct from a trusted brand.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2938/Boots.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="770"></p> <p>As well as helping to make the online experience more engaging, this also gives shoppers a greater understanding of the product's key features as well as how it can be used in real life.</p> <h3>Nespresso</h3> <p>Nespresso uses context to solve consumer worries about the environmental impact of its coffee capsules.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2939/Recycling_with_Nespresso.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="438"></p> <p>Instead of merely focusing on the product itself, it uses its video on the ‘infinite journey of your Nespresso capsule’ to widen the story, informing customers what happens after the product has been used.</p> <p>By highlighting the surrounding environmental factors, consumers are reassured that they are making a responsible purchase, giving them more incentive to buy.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2xya-LSoIMo?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Under Armour</h3> <p>Though many ecommerce retailers use contextual product imagery on-site, it's less common to see it used in email marketing - missing a trick when it comes to reducing basket abandonment.</p> <p>Under Armour is a great example of how to effectively combine copy and contextual imagery, often promoting its products with seasonal context or consumer motivation.</p> <p>The below email displays the products in a real-life scenario, capitalising on the relatable context of running in cold weather.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2941/Under_Armour.JPG" alt="" width="400" height="747"></p> <p>Even better, this example includes integrated video, which nicely complements the various feature-based images.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2940/Under_Armour_email.JPG" alt="" width="400" height="815"></p> <h3>Bosch</h3> <p>Practical products like household appliances are best shown in-use, especially when it comes to large items like fridges and freezers.</p> <p>Bosch is a great example of this, using visuals to tell consumers how much food and drink can fit inside its fridges.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2942/Bosch.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="689"></p> <p>While sizing dimensions are all well and good, this highly visual element means customers are immediately engaged and well-informed.</p> <p>It also uses demonstration videos to further highlight the product's features in a real-life scenario.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Dz2fSx_yQR0?wmode=transparent" width="500" height="280"></iframe></p> <h3>Teapigs</h3> <p>Visuals are a great way to provide context, but Teapigs proves that words can also do the job.</p> <p>Its <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67052-a-copywriter-s-template-for-excellent-product-page-descriptions/">product descriptions</a> do not merely list ingredients or describe the taste of the tea. Instead, it tells the customer how and when the tea should be drunk, describing it in relation to time of day, and even with tips like ‘add sugar if particularly hungover’.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2944/Teapigs.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="740"></p> <p>This contextual information makes the brand seem more human, which helps to trigger a positive reaction.</p> <p>Finally, it uses recipe ideas to add extra value, reminding the customer that products can be used in scenarios outside of their common everyday context.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2945/Teapigs_2.JPG" alt="" width="390" height="512"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:RoundtableEvent/845 2017-01-11T17:14:25+00:00 2017-01-11T17:14:25+00:00 Conversion Rate Optimisation <p>55% of marketers now see conversion rate optimisation (CRO) as crucial to overall strategy. This roundtable discussion will cover the current landscape of CRO, including:</p> <ul type="disc"> <li>The tactics companies are using for CRO</li> <li>Tools and methodology - what’s new?</li> <li>The challenges of improving CRO and factors contributing to success</li> <li>Developing a testing culture</li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68686 2017-01-06T14:40:18+00:00 2017-01-06T14:40:18+00:00 10 stirring digital marketing stats from this week Nikki Gilliland <p>This week’s dose includes news about the internet of things, TV ads, and entertainment sales.</p> <p>Don’t forget – you can download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium" target="_blank">Internet Statistics Compendium</a> for lots more.</p> <h3>Holiday shopping generates $91.7bn in online sales </h3> <p>Adobe has revealed the total number of online sales from the Christmas period.</p> <p>November 1st to December 31st generated $91.7bn in online sales - an 11% increase year-on-year.</p> <p>Mobile brought in $28.43bn in revenue, which is a 23% increase from 2015. Figures also show that mobile drove 50% of visits and 31% of purchases.</p> <p>While there was an increase in sales, shipping costs were down, going from an average of $2.60 in 2015 to $2.50 in 2016.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2866/Holiday_spend.jpg" alt="" width="760" height="411"></p> <h3>Older consumers prefer rational marketing</h3> <p>A new study by the Journal of Advertising Research has found that older consumers have a clear preference for rational rather than emotional ads.</p> <p>While 49.7% of audiences under 50 preferred a rational advertisement compared to 50.3% favouring an emotional ad, this was significantly increased among those over 50, with 63% preferring the rational example.</p> <p>Insight suggests that this should inform marketing activity, with logical and knowledge-based appeals being much more effective for prompting older consumers into action.</p> <h3>One in five digital leaders consider their organization digitally mature</h3> <p>Clearhead recently undertook a survey of 150 ecommerce executives, aiming to find out the state of digital maturity with organizations.</p> <p>The results showed that there is still a significant gap between the desire for personalization and the processes and capabilities necessary to execute it, with just one in five leaders considering their companies as ‘digitally mature’.</p> <p>What’s more, despite the obvious desire to be data-driven – with 81% of retailers having purchased or built the technology required for testing programs – just 17% of online retailers have a path to develop personalized experiences for customers.</p> <h3>36% of consumers unfamiliar with IoT</h3> <p>According to a new study by Yahoo, consumer understanding of the Internet of Things (IoT) is below par, with many in the dark as to what the term actually means.</p> <p>Despite 70% of consumers currently owning a connected device, 36% still don’t know what IoT is. </p> <p>However, it appears many are keen to learn, with 41% of survey respondents interested in expanding their knowledge of the subject. </p> <p>The group with the highest level of understanding is teens and millennials, with video games and consoles the most popular connected device.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2867/IoT.JPG" alt="" width="493" height="407"></p> <h3>Increasing importance of customer service</h3> <p>Salesforce has released its latest <a href="http://salesforce.com/stateofservice" target="_blank">State of Service report</a>, delving into how service teams are responding to increasing customer demands.</p> <p>The most interesting stats from the research revolve around how collaboration within companies is key to delivering the best customer service. </p> <p>In fact, in a survey of more than 2,600 customer service professionals, 78% of respondents agreed that every employee is an agent of customer service. </p> <p>However, despite this level of recognition, there’s still room for improvement, with just 63% of service teams having a formal process in place to collaborate with sales.</p> <p>Alongside collaboration, service teams also recognise that a single 360-degree view of the customer can lead to greater productivity, with 79% agreeing that this helps to provide consistency and continuity in every customer interaction.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2870/Customer_Service.JPG" alt="" width="596" height="474"></p> <h3>One third of consumers actively choose to buy sustainable goods</h3> <p>A new study by Unilever has discovered how sustainability affects the purchases of 20,000 adults across five different countries.</p> <p>The results found that 33% now actively choose to buy from brands considered to be sustainable, while 21% would be more likely to choose brands that clearly promote sustainability credentials on packaging and in marketing.</p> <p>Consequently, Unilever predicts that the sustainable goods market is worth an average of £817bn in untapped sales.</p> <h3>'Personal assistants' is the top marketing search of 2016</h3> <p>Microsoft’s Bing Ads has released the top marketing-related searches of 2016.</p> <p>Due to greater advances in <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67894-what-are-chatbots-and-why-should-marketers-care/" target="_blank">chatbots</a> and virtual assistants like Alexa, Cortana and Amazon Echo, personal assistants and AI saw the biggest interest.</p> <p>The top five include:</p> <ol> <li>Personal Assistants/ Intelligent Agents</li> <li>Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality</li> <li>Search Marketing</li> <li>Artificial Intelligence </li> <li>Content Marketing</li> </ol> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2868/Bing_top_searches.jpg" alt="" width="537" height="268"></p> <h3>54% of consumers plan to buy a new smartphone this year</h3> <p>After a three-year low, an Accenture survey of 26,000 consumers has found that smartphone purchases are set to rise again this year.</p> <p>54% of the consumers surveyed said they plan to buy a smartphone in the next year - a figure up from 48% last year. </p> <p>Insight suggests that this demand is largely fuelled by better security, new functions and improved performance, with 51% of consumers planning to buy a new phone to access the newest and most innovative features and functions.</p> <p>Similarly, 45% of consumers cite inadequacy of their current device as motivation.</p> <p>While there is growing demand for smartphones, purchases of connected devices like smartwatches and fitness monitors are predicted to remain sluggish, mainly due to high prices and concerns about the privacy of personal data.</p> <h3>DFS dominates TV advertising over New Year</h3> <p>TVTY has analysed more than 80,000 TV spots from the Christmas and New Year period, revealing the brands that invested the most in the medium.</p> <p>Furniture company DFS came out on top with more than 1,200 spots over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. </p> <p>With a further 900 messages on New Year’s Eve and Day, the brand totalled 2,159 TV broadcasts.</p> <p>Other dominant brands over New Year included Confused.com and Thomas Cook, which both aimed to capitalise on consumer interest in holidays and finance. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2869/TV_spots.jpg" alt="" width="226" height="467"></p> <h3>Digital entertainment overtaking physical sales</h3> <p>According to new figures from the Entertainment Retailers Association, digital sales of games, music and video are now overtaking physical sales in the UK.</p> <p>74% of game sales are digital, and 57% of music revenues are derived from digital services like downloads or streaming.</p> <p>In total, digital revenues jumped 23% to £1,309.3m in 2016.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68648 2017-01-06T13:40:00+00:00 2017-01-06T13:40:00+00:00 Five predictions for conversion rate optimisation (CRO) in 2017 Paul Rouke <p>Here are my predictions and trends for 2017 which will both enhance and hinder the maturity of the conversion optimisation industry, and its application within businesses across the world.</p> <p><em>For more on this topic, check out these Econsultancy resources:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/conversion-rate-optimization-report/"><em>Conversion Rate Optimization Report 2016</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/conversion-rate-optimization/"><em>Conversion Rate Optimization Training</em></a></li> </ul> <h3 dir="ltr">1. CRO goes mainstream (driven by Google Optimize)</h3> <p dir="ltr">It was inevitable that Google would release a newly enhanced, powerful, free A/B testing tool and in 2016 the beta arrived.</p> <p dir="ltr">Much like the launch of Google Analytics provided a quantum leap in the amount of businesses across the world using web analytics data (caveat I am using the words “using web analytics data” loosely here), Google Optimize is also going to start bringing the concept of A/B testing to the masses.</p> <p dir="ltr">On the one hand, this is good news for the awareness and credibility of the conversion optimisation industry. Google’s rubber stamp (and an improved tool from its last effort) will mean that more people will be developing a culture of experimentation.</p> <p dir="ltr">On the other hand, the harsh reality is, when we get something for free, we typically place less value on its importance and the need to invest time and money into it.</p> <p dir="ltr">Google Analytics is one of the most powerful yet poorly configured and utilised tools in the digital industry.</p> <p dir="ltr">Google Optimize has the potential of joining its big brother, if all that it does is encourage more businesses and agencies to <a href="https://conversionxl.com/bs-optimization/" target="_blank">jump on the CRO bandwagon</a> (and practice poor A/B testing based on egotism and opinion).</p> <p dir="ltr">Will SMEs understand the different statistical models they need to use to understand whether a variant on their testing tool is truly the winner? Will all businesses be able to configure their testing tool to their analytics and ensure the data they are recording is correct?</p> <p dir="ltr">Just as Google Optimize will help make the CRO industry visible, it will inevitably bring about poor practice and misinformation.</p> <p dir="ltr">Personally, I’m not prepared to let this happen. The CRO industry deserves to be valued by businesses as a core growth lever. Intelligent, customer-driven experimentation should be part of company DNA. I hope Google shares this view.</p> <h3 dir="ltr">2. The proliferation of AI and machine learning</h3> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/2498/landscape-1431110160-terminator-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="235"></p> <p dir="ltr">The machines are coming to take all of our jobs! <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64743-predictive-analytics-machine-learning-and-the-future-of-personalization/">Machine learning</a> is the future that we need to embrace today.</p> <p dir="ltr">In 2017, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68466-could-ai-kill-off-the-conversion-optimisation-consultant/">machine learning will take greater prominence</a> in the conversion optimisation landscape. Is this a bad thing? It doesn’t have to be.</p> <p dir="ltr">AI can alleviate some of the day-to-day workload that conversion optimisation strategists and practitioners have, such as small design tweaks, traffic allocation and data analysis.</p> <p dir="ltr">It’s these functionalities that make me interested in what AI and machine learning can offer, just as long as businesses don’t neglect HI.</p> <p dir="ltr">Human Intelligence is more important now than ever. To match customer expectations, businesses want to create engaging and exciting online experiences and the only way to do that is through creativity and understanding. At this point, AI can’t replace these two human attributes.</p> <p dir="ltr">To truly draw value from machine learning, you still need to have a human behind the machine, ‘feeding’ it ideas, concepts and designs that have been built from user research and in-depth data analysis.</p> <p dir="ltr">That way, you can get more improvements and solutions in your online experience than you could manually and leave your optimisers and strategists to do what they do best: create.</p> <p dir="ltr">There is no getting away from the fact that AI is going to play an increasing role in our daily lives. The question is, do we just throw in the towel and leave all this to machines? </p> <p dir="ltr">Personally, I’m going to keep hold of my towel for my next holiday.</p> <h3 dir="ltr">3. Full spectrum A/B testing</h3> <p dir="ltr">Very often, at the major growth and conversion optimisation conferences, thought-leading speakers mention “button testing” when sharing their experiences of how many businesses are still ‘conducting’ conversion optimisation.</p> <p dir="ltr">In A/B testing there is a full spectrum of test types for businesses to harness:</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Iterative:</strong> Smaller scale and quick to implement tests, that provide immediate commercial impact.</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Innovative:</strong> Comprehensive and bolder tests, which enhance the customer experience and generate significant commercial impact.</p> </li> <li dir="ltr"> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Strategic:</strong> Tests designed to drive transformation of brand perception and proposition, alongside supporting long-term business growth aspirations.</p> </li> </ul> <p dir="ltr">In 2017, we may see the complete flip in approach to A/B testing. Already, I’ve seen more businesses ask for bigger and bolder tests, thinking it will bring about a big result.</p> <p dir="ltr">As happy as I am to see businesses wanting to be more ambitious in their tests, sometimes, it can be a case of ‘the bigger they are, the harder they fall’.</p> <p dir="ltr">This is why it’s more important than ever to find the perfect blend of the three A/B test types listed above; sometimes a series of small tests might not shift the needle but instead, lead towards a larger, more innovative test that will and vice versa.</p> <p dir="ltr">The businesses that embrace the full spectrum of A/B testing will be the ones that see the dramatic changes in their business growth performance they’ve read about in all the blogs.</p> <h3 dir="ltr">4. The realisation that culture really does eat strategy for breakfast in CRO</h3> <p dir="ltr">Culture eats strategy for breakfast and this will be even more applicable in 2017 as many businesses begin to embrace a culture of experimentation through testing, and shift their focus from being product-led, to customer-led.</p> <p dir="ltr">The first of the four pillars of my <a href="http://www.cromaturityaudit.com" target="_blank">Conversion Optimisation Maturity Model™</a> is Strategy &amp; Culture. Within this pillar are assessment points looking at company mindset, strategic appreciation, having an influential champion, and planning long-term.</p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/2496/4389412220_edb861f8b4_b-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="353"></p> <p dir="ltr">You can have the latest and greatest tools, you can have a multi-disciplinary team made up of researchers, strategists, data analysts, UX designers and developers. You can have a process in place for how you develop intelligent hypotheses for running tests.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, if you don’t work on your company culture, at some stage, you will hit a mighty brick wall.</p> <p dir="ltr">Intelligent experimentation has to become a core part of the company DNA for it to succeed long term.</p> <h3 dir="ltr">5. Less of ‘I know best’ or reliance on machine learning</h3> <p dir="ltr">Throughout 2016 we have seen more and more content being pushed out there about customer experience, and I’m expecting this can only be a good thing. </p> <p dir="ltr">If want to become truly customer-centric, you have speak to your customers one-on-one. Period. You have to respect the ideas and opinions of other people.</p> <p dir="ltr">When you do, ask them for their thoughts on the websites of your competitors. You may just find you get some invaluable, powerful insights which will make decision makers sit up and listen.</p> <p dir="ltr">As we expect business culture to evolve and embrace more experimentation in 2017, more decision makers will begin to harness the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68080-it-s-time-to-reinvent-the-hippo/" target="_blank">new HIPPO characteristics</a><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68080-it-s-time-to-reinvent-the-hippo/" target="_blank">:</a> Humility, Integrity, Passion, Positivity and Open-mindedness.</p> <p dir="ltr">The gap between your perception of how good your online experience is and what your customers actually think of your online experience can be huge.</p> <p dir="ltr">Bridge the gap between your products and your potential customers..</p> <p dir="ltr">Face up to your fears that maybe your product, services or online experience needs some TLC and it will provide you with a more sustainable business.</p> <p dir="ltr">Evolve from being a product-led business, to becoming a customer-led business.</p> <h4 dir="ltr">Is the future bright for CRO in 2017?</h4> <p dir="ltr">Amongst the heady mix of AI, machine learning, data clouds, Google Optimize and fixed mindsets within businesses, these five trends will be harnessed by the few brands who choose to step outside of their comfort zone.</p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/2497/7717136134_e7fbc977e4-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="323"></p> <p dir="ltr">The question is, will your business step outside of its comfort zone? It is often where the magic really does happen.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68652 2016-12-22T09:50:00+00:00 2016-12-22T09:50:00+00:00 Ecommerce in 2017: What do the experts predict? Nikki Gilliland <p>If you’d like to learn more about ecommerce, book yourself into one of the following training courses from Econsultancy:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/fast-track-ecommerce-online-retailing/">Ecommerce and Online Retailing Training</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/conversion-optimisation/">Conversion Optimisation - How to Deliver Digital Growth Training</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/usability-and-persuasion-in-ecommerce/">Usability and Persuasion in E-commerce Training</a></li> </ul> <h3>Seamless customer experience</h3> <p><strong>Matt Curry, Head of Ecommerce at LoveHoney:</strong></p> <p>I think we'll be seeing a lot more zero-friction experiences. The recent announcement of Amazon Shop is a good example of this in the real world, but online we'll be doing everything we can to get out of the way of someone trying to order.</p> <p>Everything from seamless identification, automated intelligent orders, native payments in the browser and on IoT devices, to sites that customise their UI on the fly.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2533/Amazon_Go.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="456"></p> <h3>Data-driven marketing</h3> <p><strong>James Gurd, Owner of Digital Juggler:</strong></p> <p>I’m not going to get excited yet by IoT and VR – I know they’re already established in some markets, but I just can’t see mass adoption coming in the UK yet, and especially not in retail ecommerce. </p> <p>For me, marketing automation based on product lifecycles and user-level behaviour will become more and more apparent.</p> <p>We’ll see less bucket emails and more targeted communication, which has been happening over the past few years but at a slow rate.</p> <p>I think ecommerce specialists are growing in maturity and confidence, so data driven decision-making is becoming more of a norm, even though opinions and ‘it’s good practice’ do still influence many decisions.</p> <h3>Mobile rewards </h3> <p><strong>James Gurd:</strong></p> <p>Mobile payment still threatens to break free but it hinges on successfully integrating loyalty programs and rewards. </p> <p>So far brands like Starbucks have nailed it, and 2016 has seen some other high profile brands like Kohls push in this area. What’s lacking to make me confident 2017 is <em>the year,</em> is one of the big tech/payment companies resolving loyalty across a wide range of merchants.</p> <h3>Personalisation of shopper bots</h3> <p><strong>Depesh Mandalia, CMO of ToucanBox:</strong></p> <p>The emergence of bots and apps which provide a convenience shopping play will be a growing trend in 2017. Both Apple and Facebook are investing here with a view to enabling brands to deploy shopper bots that can create personalised recommendations.</p> <p>Personalisation has lacked an element of context in the past, but a bot could both dig deep into a customer's history and ask questions in real-time to better tailor products.</p> <p>While I can order items on my Amazon Echo, it doesn't yet have awareness of my history to better tailor my requests. Asking Echo "buy some vests for my son", it should ask contextual questions like 'how old?' or 'what size?', but should also check my browsing/purchase history to tailor those results.</p> <p>Having an in-home shopping assistant could be a huge advantage for retailers to connect in a more intimate manner with potential and new customers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2529/Amazon_Echo.JPG" alt="" width="590" height="336"></p> <h3>Uptake of A/B testing</h3> <p><strong>Paul Rouke, founder &amp; CEO, PRWD:</strong></p> <p>The free-to-use Google Optimize is going to bring a significant increase in both the awareness (and uptake) of A/B testing amongst retailers.</p> <p>With this, my word of warning for retailers would be - when a tool is free, there is less value placed on the importance of having the correctly skilled people available to get the most out of the tool. </p> <p>A/B testing carried out intelligently (and even strategically), requires a multidisciplinary team with hypotheses underpinned by user research, data analysis and heuristics. </p> <p>Ensure that your business doesn’t end up with “all the gear, but no idea” when it comes to A/B testing in 2017.</p> <h3>Wearables</h3> <p><strong>Matt Curry:</strong></p> <p>Now that Mobile is by far the largest driver of traffic and revenue, we have to presume the next device type will be wearables.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2528/wearables.jpg" alt="" width="650" height="433"></p> <h3>The re-invented HIPPO </h3> <p><strong>Paul Rouke:</strong></p> <p>An increasing amount of humility being exhibited by retailers, as they evolve to becoming customer-centric. </p> <p>The re-invented <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68080-it-s-time-to-reinvent-the-hippo" target="_blank">HIPPO </a>characteristics will continue to be harnessed by businesses and individuals as egotism, opinion and “what competitors are doing” are slowly removed from decision making around how we improve our user experience.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2530/HIPPO.JPG" alt="" width="544" height="303"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68646 2016-12-21T15:30:00+00:00 2016-12-21T15:30:00+00:00 Was 2016 the year companies finally moved beyond button testing in CRO? Paul Rouke <p>There is no user behavioural insight, no process or methodology, WYSIWG testing, tests being concluded too early, egotism and opinions running riot and most significantly, there is a lack of appreciation for the importance for experimentation from the C-suite - due mainly to a lack of knowledge and understanding.</p> <p>The list goes on. </p> <p>In early 2016, I set out <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67454-five-digital-realities-every-ceo-md-must-face-in-2016/">the five digital realities every CEO and MD must face up to</a>. The article was centered around how businesses need to become more customer-centric and harness the potential of strategic conversion optimisation and the positive effect it could have on their business. </p> <p>Unfortunately, over the past year (well, almost a year) I can see that little progress has been made. In this article, I am going to share my thoughts on this lack of progress.</p> <h3>Why is there still a startling lack of investment in converting visitors to customers?</h3> <p>It is true that converting visitors to customers will become essential, but has this message resonated and started having an impact within businesses? Not very much; at least, not yet. </p> <p>The reality at the end of 2016 is much like it was at the beginning: most businesses have a fixed mindset, running and growing their business as they always have, with the primary focus on acquiring traffic to generate sales.</p> <p>For many decision makers and marketeers, A/B testing is a simple tactic to tinker with buttons, headlines and images from basic data analysis. There’s still no real strategy. </p> <p>The penny will drop at some stage, although for many businesses this could quite easily be too late as their more open-minded, progressive and growth-focused competitors have embraced the importance of CRO (long before others have).</p> <p>With more than<a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/07/12/record-80-new-companies-being-born-an-hour-in-2016/"> 80 new companies being started <strong><em>every hour</em></strong></a> (each looking to take market share and disrupt the status quo), I hope established businesses start putting their budgets in more intelligent strategies in 2017.</p> <p>As the saying goes, there is no time like the present.</p> <h3>We need to master A/B testing <em>before</em> tackling personalisation and big data</h3> <p>Why walk when you can start running straight away?</p> <p>As we heard in 2015 and throughout 2016, the future is all about big data, one-to-one experiences, behavioural targeting, automation and machine learning.</p> <p>With so many articles and other media promoting this message, many businesses were leapfrogging intelligent A/B testing and landing feet-first in automation and personalisation in 2016.</p> <p><em>What a shame.</em></p> <p>It is time for businesses to firstly go back to the roots of simple A/B testing, driven by understanding users, understanding data and harnessing a multi-disciplinary team to create more persuasive and compelling user experiences for every single visitor.</p> <p>Once that has been accomplished, then you can start adding on the bells and whistles. </p> <p>You don’t personalise a crappy checkout for a one-on-one experience – you improve the experience for every single visitor through intelligent, persuasive UX design and A/B testing.</p> <h3>Tools and machines can’t replicate brains</h3> <p>Despite my protestations, in 2016, we saw the tools and tech get even bigger and shinier.</p> <p>As far as testing tools and experimentation software, Optimizely gave us Optimizely X, Qubit developed a more cohesive experience-building platform and now more AI tools are coming to market.</p> <p>What this has meant in 2016 is more businesses believing the answer to improved website performance lies in these tools because:</p> <ol> <li>they’re better than the last one and..</li> <li>they have more features and functions, meaning our experimentation workflow can be more efficient.</li> </ol> <p>For the millions of pounds or dollars invested in the latest tools and technology (which in the majority of cases gather dust amidst the lack of resources), the lack of knowledge and skills available to get the best out of these tools is a crying shame.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/2485/ezgif.com-resize__1_-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="400"> </p> <p>Within many businesses it’s still a case of 'all the gear, no idea'.</p> <p>The most important tool businesses have got at their disposal is people. You can’t buy ‘off the shelf’ creativity, innovation and strategic thinking. Even machines need to be given the data to create variations. </p> <p>Conversion optimisation requires creativity, innovation and strategic thinking. It requires people and their brains.</p> <h3>Are you customer-centric?</h3> <p><em>We are a customer-centric business. The customer is king. We listen to our customers.</em></p> <p>Almost all business say they are customer centric, yet the reality at the end of 2016 is that very few actually are. It’s merely lip-service. </p> <p>Many business will claim that they have multiple channels that all feed into their online experiences.</p> <p>Affordability and simplicity have meant there’s increased visibility on customer actions, but the responsive solutions to problems flagged through these tools are:</p> <ol> <li>based on internal opinions of what the solution should be and..</li> <li>not put through a testing tool to let the customers tell you what is their preferred solution. </li> </ol> <p>Not only that, but in a year which saw machine learning’s rise to prominence, many businesses are still ignoring the value that one-on-one research has.</p> <p>When was the last time you spoke one-on-one with your customers and prospects to ask them how you can improve your user (and customer) experience?</p> <p>Intelligent, natural one-one user research is still <em>the</em> most undervalued and underutilised activity that businesses invest in. </p> <p>No matter how long companies choose to run their business, there is no escaping that the most successful, sustainable businesses truly invest in understanding how they can best serve their customers.</p> <h3>Your competitors are taking optimisation seriously</h3> <p>It isn’t all doom and gloom. There’s been a real uptake in businesses understanding the importance of experimentation in their business and this is a definite shift in the right direction.</p> <p>The next step heading into 2017 will be businesses transforming their internal processes to develop an intelligent culture of experimentation across all aspects of the online experience.</p> <p>It is very likely that some of your key competitors are in this minority. They have recognised how much of a competitive advantage it can be, and they are busy planning and testing a much better user experience for their (and your) potential customers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/2484/ezgif.com-resize-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="500" height="234"></p> <p><em>Will you join your competitors and start taking optimisation seriously?</em> </p> <h3>You have the power to start controlling your own destiny</h3> <p>Compared to the increasingly competitive space of visitor acquisition, conversion optimisation allows you to control your own destiny. </p> <p>You choose how much you want to invest in optimising and improving your website experience and commercial performance.</p> <p>Will 2017 see you and your business start controlling your own destiny? Go on, you know you want to! </p> <p><strong><em>Now read:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68621-ux-in-2017-what-do-the-experts-predict/">UX in 2017: What do the experts predict?</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68632 2016-12-13T15:10:54+00:00 2016-12-13T15:10:54+00:00 Seven tactics for increasing online conversion at Christmas Nikki Gilliland <p>Here are seven tactics, with seven current examples of retailers putting them into practice. </p> <h3>Delivery dates &amp; info</h3> <p>The nearer we get to Christmas, the more likely we are to switch to shopping in stores for fear of items not being delivered before the big day.</p> <p>Consequently, it's important that retailers provide <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64943-12-excellent-ways-to-present-ecommerce-shipping-information/" target="_blank">prominent delivery information</a> to reassure customers that there is still time.</p> <p>Topshop is one retailer that does this, including a dedicated tab for Christmas shipping dates on its homepage.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2340/Topshop_Christmas_Dates.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="515"></p> <p>It clearly and concisely lists the various delivery options, reassuring customers that they can still pick up items as late as two days before Christmas.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2341/Topshop_delivery_info.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="634"></p> <h3>FREE delivery</h3> <p>As well as clear and concise information about delivery dates, <em>free</em> delivery is always an extra incentive for cash-strapped customers at Christmas. </p> <p>The homepage for Curry's/PC World is chock-a-block with attention grabbing copy, but its emphasis on free next day delivery definitely stands out.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2342/Curry_s_PC_World.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="576"></p> <p>Ecommerce site Flying Flowers also prompts purchases by offering free delivery on all of its Christmas plants, as well as the added bonus of a free pop-up vase. </p> <p>Interestingly, I did discover that Flying Flowers offers free shipping all year round. </p> <p>It's a cheeky tactic, as this could easily be misconstrued as a seasonal-only offer, but it still demonstrates how much customers value it.</p> <h3><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2361/Flying_flowers.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="614"></h3> <h3>Gift guides</h3> <p>I recently wrote about <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68610-how-six-retailers-are-using-gift-guides-to-inspire-online-shoppers/" target="_blank">how retailers are using gift guides</a> to inspire shoppers online.</p> <p>As well as helping to narrow down the search for gifts, this type of content is also effective for getting shoppers in the festive spirit.</p> <p>One other example that has recently caught my eye is River Island's 'Lucky Dip'.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2344/River_Island_Gift_Guide.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="536"></p> <p>It's a very basic tool that offers up four random gift ideas based on a chosen personality type.</p> <p>However, with many other retailers merely passing off category filters as their 'gift guides', it's one of the most creative (and therefore memorable) examples I've come across.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2345/River_Island_Gift_Guide_2.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="373"></p> <h3>Product bundles and offers</h3> <p>A great incentive during Christmas time is to promote bundles or multiple-item deals.</p> <p>This is a good tactic for upselling, as while many people do shop with the aim of buying more than one gift, this type of offer can be hard to resist even if not.</p> <p>Thorntons capitalises on this, using the main header on its homepage to promote its '3 for 2' offer.</p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2349/Thorntons_3_for_2.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="395"></p> <p>Marks &amp; Spencer also uses this tactic.</p> <p>An extra bonus is that it allows customers to pick and choose from multiple categories, instead of limiting it to a specific type of gift.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2350/M_S_3_for_2.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="565"></p> <h3>Gifting options</h3> <p>As well as deals and offers, gift cards and vouchers can be a great way to target Christmas shoppers online.</p> <p>This option could lead unsure customers to make a purchase when they might have otherwise abandoned the site.</p> <p>A good example is Mr Porter, which nicely elevates the concept from a standard voucher to 'boxed and virtual gift cards'.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2374/Mr_Porter.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="689"></p> <p>Described as being 'ideal for a last-minute gift', it draws on the notion of extra convenience by also allowing customers to send it directly to the recipient.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2375/Mr_Porter_2.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="777"></p> <h3>Personalisation</h3> <p>From product recommendations to emails - personalised content is often used to engage long-term customers at this time of year.</p> <p>One retailer that's taking a somewhat different approach to personalisation is Nordstrom.</p> <p>Designed to create an emotional connection with the customer, its 'Love, Nordstrom' campaign expresses gratitude to the people who have shopped with the brand throughout the year.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2356/Nordstrom_social_proof.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="529"></p> <p>It's a creative approach to seasonal marketing. shifting the focus from the brand to the customer and reassuring shoppers that it is the brand to choose.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2357/Nordstrom_social_proof_2.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="775"></p> <h3>Urgency</h3> <p>The laid-back shopper is a rare breed at Christmas. Usually, everyone is in a bit of a rush, with the countdown looming over us from the very start of the month.</p> <p>So, what better way for retailers to get us buying than ramping up this <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64420-now-now-now-five-quick-ways-to-create-consumer-urgency/" target="_blank">sense of urgency</a>?</p> <p>Very is one online retailer that does this, displaying information about how many other people are looking at an item, as well as how many have been sold.</p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2358/Very_Urgency.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="601"></p> <p>House of Fraser also does this.</p> <p>As well as using <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65722-18-highly-effective-examples-of-social-proof-in-ecommerce/" target="_blank">social proof</a> to promote the sense that an item is popular, this tactic effectively taps into the shopper's fear of losing out.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2372/House_of_Fraser_Urgency.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="653"></p> <p><em><strong>For more on conversion strategies, you can download Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/conversion-rate-optimization-report/" target="_blank">Conversion Rate Optimization Report</a>.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68610 2016-12-08T10:00:00+00:00 2016-12-08T10:00:00+00:00 How six retailers are using gift guides to inspire online shoppers Nikki Gilliland <p>But are these features really that helpful? Or are they just a way of fleshing out email editorial or pointing you towards the most expensive items online? </p> <p>(Forgive me - what’s Christmas without a healthy dose of cynicism.)</p> <p>Here’s how top retailers are using gift guides to inspire Christmas shoppers this year.</p> <h3>Firebox</h3> <p>Firebox is a brand that’s built around the premise of gift-giving.</p> <p>I mean, you might buy a bottle of scorpion-infused vodka for yourself... but you’re probably more inclined to get it for someone you mildly dislike.</p> <p>With a ‘Gift Finder’ tab as well as a separate one for ‘Christmas’, Firebox is clearly about helping consumers find what they’re looking for all year round.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2157/Firebox_Gift_Finder_1.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="424"></p> <p>The 'Christmas’ guide is nicely designed, separating categories into ‘Gifts for Her, Him’ etc. as well by different price ranges.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2158/Firebox_Guide_2.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="602"></p> <p>However, I actually prefer the standard Gift Guide.</p> <p>Mainly because it allows you to filter by personality type, including ones like ‘Procrastinator’, ‘Outdoorsy’ and even ‘Dirtbag’.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2160/Firebox_Gift_Finder_3.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="528"></p> <p>It’s a simple feature built on the brand's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67434-four-brands-with-a-brilliantly-funny-tone-of-voice/" target="_blank">humorous tone of voice</a>, but it's very effective. </p> <p>Why Firebox hasn’t created a Christmas themed one - for the ‘Scrooge’ or ‘charades cheater’ in your life - is beyond me.</p> <h3>Disney</h3> <p>I'm not sure whether a gift finder is necessary for a retailer like Disney. Surely it's already quite niche?</p> <p>Anyway, the 'gift finder' is prominently displayed with a dedicated tab on the homepage.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2179/Disney_Gift_Finder_tab.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="533"></p> <p>The tool itself turns out to be a pretty basic <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68070-eight-examples-of-fashion-ecommerce-product-filters-good-bad" target="_blank">filtering system</a>, allowing you to sort by categories like 'Movies and TV' and price.</p> <p>Very simple, but I guess it's helpful for narrowing down the options.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2180/Disney_Gift_Finder.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="694"></p> <h3>John Lewis</h3> <p>While it has curated various other categories, such as ‘Luxury Gifts for Him’, this year John Lewis has also designed an interactive gift finder.</p> <p>It allows you to first choose between eight different kinds of gifts, before helping you to narrow it down further by price.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2161/John_Lewis_gift_finder.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="438"></p> <p>The concept seems quite cool at first. However, the categories are quite specific, which means that if you fail to identify with things like ‘glitzy’ or ‘warm and cosy’, it’s a bit useless.</p> <p>That being said, the tool itself is pleasing to use, automatically filtering products as you go.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2162/Glitzy.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="774"></p> <p>The only other bugbear is that the results are a bit jumbled, with no option to sort by 'low to high' or type of item.</p> <h3>ASOS</h3> <p>I recently mentioned how ASOS is nicely <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68606-six-examples-of-christmas-email-marketing-from-fashion-retailers" target="_blank">promoting its Christmas gift guide in emails</a>, focusing on budget instead of category type.</p> <p>This approach is effective, and definitely helps customers to narrow down that huge array of options available on the site.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2163/ASOS_gift_guide.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="615"></p> <p>There’s nothing majorly original or impressive about it otherwise, and you could just use ASOS’s regular filtering function in the same way.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2164/ASOS_gift_guide_2.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="609"></p> <h3>Harrods</h3> <p>The Harrods Gift Guide is located in the site's dedicated Christmas section.</p> <p>Unsurprisingly, it has a focus on luxury, but overall it’s a bit lacklustre.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2173/Harrods_Christmas.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="578"></p> <p>Essentially, it just curates items into simplistic categories like ‘Gifts for Girls’ and ‘Stocking Fillers’, before allowing you to sort and filter further.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2174/Harrods_gift_guide.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="668"></p> <p>Nothing majorly inspirational, unfortunately, which is a shame when you compare the experience of shopping for gifts in the Harrods store.</p> <p>The results do include a prompt to remind customers about Christmas delivery dates, however, which is a helpful touch.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2182/Christmas_order_dates.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="544"></p> <h3><strong>Pandora</strong></h3> <p>Pandora is yet another example of a drop-down filter being promoted as a gift guide.</p> <p>Despite looking Christmassy, and being highlighted on the homepage, there's oddly no 'Christmas' option for the 'What Are You Celebrating?' question.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2181/Pandora_4.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="496"></p> <p>It's also quite basic to be honest.</p> <p>There is an option to add gifts to a wish list, which is handy for anyone who might want to shop around and come back again later.</p> <p>Or, if you're using the guide to sneakily leave hints for your other half. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2178/Pandora_3.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="630"></p> <p><em>More Christmas-related articles:</em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68552-why-lidl-s-xmas-social-price-drop-campaign-is-no-turkey/" target="_blank">Why Lidl's Xmas 'Social Price Drop' campaign is no turkey</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68540-how-four-uk-retailers-are-giving-consumers-the-vip-treatment-this-christmas/" target="_blank">How four UK retailers are giving consumers the ‘VIP’ treatment this Christmas</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68595-three-musts-for-online-retailers-to-prepare-for-the-last-minute-rush/" target="_blank">Three musts for online retailers to prepare for the last-minute rush</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68602 2016-12-05T13:59:00+00:00 2016-12-05T13:59:00+00:00 Brand Commerce: Navigating through online customer indecision Michael Sandstrom <p>As marketers we tend to think that abundance of choice in products is one of the key strengths of ecommerce.</p> <p>But without proper management and structure, this can become a hindrance and not necessarily result in more sales.</p> <p>For this article we will go through some of the most common reasons behind customer indecision and showcase the brands that are successfully circumventing them through active “Choice Reduction”.</p> <h3>Facing the tyranny of choice</h3> <p>Now faced with the possibility of finding and buying anything online, we see more and more customers unable to commit to making a purchase then and there.</p> <p>They instead become afflicted by choice paralysis. Unfortunately choice paralysis isn't something only suffered by your new customers. Even those that enter your site having already made a decision can find themselves inundated by all the options available to them and start to question whether theirs is the right one.</p> <p>In the worst-case scenario, the customers will leave the site and never re-enter the customer journey, instead reverting back to their existing shopping behaviour and just buy from the brand they normally do.</p> <p>This is because when we fear making a bad decision, we would often rather remove ourselves from the situation and make no decision at all. </p> <p>The answer to this is simple, albeit for many brands an impractical one; reduce choice paralysis by limiting the number of visible alternatives available to your consumers.</p> <p>When this isn't a possibility, there is a need to clearly differentiate between the different options available.  </p> <h3>Relatable product taxonomy</h3> <p>Up until recently, when visiting IKEA’s website you were served with over ten categories in the top navigation.</p> <p>In a more recent version rolled out as a test in September in the UK and Ireland, the Swedish furniture company moved towards a much clearer taxonomy, organising all the content under just four categories; ‘Products', ‘ Rooms’, ‘Ideas' and 'This is IKEA’. </p> <p>Allowing users to find products not only through ‘Products’ but also through ‘Rooms’ allows for a more natural categorisation of products.</p> <p>The addition of ‘Ideas’ to the mix allows the brand to bundle content while suggesting related products. All in all, providing the user with a simple and easy to navigate experience and an organisation of products more relatable to the customers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2063/IKEA_Customer_Indecision.png" alt="IKEA UK" width="700" height="436">    </p> <h3>Ending shopper procrastination</h3> <p>The introduction of shopping lists has allowed online shoppers to save products and make sense of the vast selections available from e-retailers such as ASOS.</p> <p>A tool initially designed to single out products, for many it ends up introducing both procrastination and complexity into the customer journey.</p> <p>Without a limit to amounts of products you can add to a list, you end up mimicking the main ecommerce experience, risking further choice paralysis. ASOS has introduced some limitations to its lists, namely only allowing products on the list for 60 days before being automatically removed.</p> <p>There are also some other examples e-retailers can learn from. One such example is Priority, O2’s deal oriented app for its subscribers.</p> <p>For many of the deals run on the app, O2 cleverly links discounts and rewards with time limits. Before choosing to redeem an offer, users are warned that they have a limited amount of time to use said offer.</p> <p>By adding <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64420-now-now-now-five-quick-ways-to-create-consumer-urgency/">a sense of urgency</a>, the app pushes the user to commit to the purchase and cuts down on potential procrastination.</p> <p>This same mechanic can be adapted to e-retailers as well. For example, in cases of prolonged user inactivity, by triggering time limited discounts or free shipping if the purchase is completed within a pre-determined time frame.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2064/O2_Customer_Indecision.png" alt="O2 Priority" width="700" height="525"> </p> <h3><strong>Removing the last obstacles</strong></h3> <p>When asked in research done by <a href="http://baymard.com/lists/cart-abandonment-rate" target="_blank">Baymard Institute</a>, 61% of customers declare extra costs as the key reason behind abandoning their online shopping cart.</p> <p>For many e-commerce sites, shipping costs, insurance and other things are hidden until the last minute. While it might be to mask and lower the perceived cost of making an online purchase, these operators are in fact undermining themselves.</p> <p>Others such as the fashion brand Reiss are instead upfront with their extra costs. On Reiss’ website, the brand clearly states the different levels of shipping available and the cost the customer can expect. The brand also allows those more concerned with shipping costs to collect their purchase in store. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2066/Reiss_Hidden_Costs_Choice_Reduction.png" alt="Reiss UK" width="700" height="345"> </p> <p>In the same study, 24% of respondents say they abandoned their cart because they couldn't see the final cost upfront. ASOS counteracts this by allowing the customer to change the type (and cost) of delivery from a dropdown in the shopping basket.</p> <p>At the same time, through a notification ASOS cleverly tries to trigger the customer into a sale by offering a next-day delivery promo code.</p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2069/ASOS_Hidden_Costs_Choice_Reduction.png" alt="ASOS" width="700" height="451"></p> <p>While there are several other very effective tactics such as retargeting ads and basket reminder emails, these should be seen more as remedies to treat symptoms and not as relevant solutions to the problem; getting more people to commit to a purchase while on your site.</p> <p>The methods referenced are some of the simplest and easy-to-implement ways of removing customer indecision from your customer's journey and nudging them into making a purchase.</p> <p>Ultimately it comes down to “Choice Reduction”, one of the key sales triggers in <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68176-brand-commerce-a-new-planning-model-for-marketers/" target="_self">our new planning model for marketers</a>. </p>