tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/conversion-rate-optimization Latest Conversion Rate Optimization content from Econsultancy 2017-02-21T01:00:00+00:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68822 2017-02-21T01:00:00+00:00 2017-02-21T01:00:00+00:00 Where is data-driven marketing headed in 2017? Jeff Rajeck <p>Terms like programmatic buying, real-time bidding (RTB), data management platform (DMP), customer data platform (CDP), and attribution modeling are now standard lingo when talking about using data for marketing nowadays. Without some grasp of these terms and the concepts behind them, marketers can quickly become lost when speaking with others in the biz. </p> <p>Perhaps, then, it does make sense to talk about 'data-driven' marketing differently from other marketing which focuses more on the '<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marketing_mix">four Ps</a>' or '<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67395-three-things-email-marketing-leaders-do-regularly-apac-case-studies/">STP marketing</a>'.</p> <p>For readers who feel that they need to catch up in this area, Econsultancy has a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65677-a-super-accessible-beginner-s-guide-to-programmatic-buying-and-rtb/">number of blog posts</a> on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67583-what-does-the-future-hold-for-data-management-platforms/">these topics</a> and Econsultancy subscribers can consult our recent research covering <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-cmo-s-guide-to-programmatic">programmatic</a>, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/admin/blog_posts/new/%20https:/econsultancy.com/reports/programmatic-branding">data-driven branding</a> and the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-role-of-crm-in-data-driven-marketing">role of the CRM in data-driven marketing</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3993/cmo_guide_to_prorammatic_-_old_template-report-full.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="594"></p> <p>But for those who are familiar with these concepts, the next question is: where is it all headed? What changes should marketers anticipate in 2017 with regards to the technology, capabilities, and effectiveness of data-driven marketing?</p> <p>To find out more on this topic, we interviewed an industry expert, Will Griffith from Oracle Marketing Cloud, who offers three big ideas about data-driven marketing in the video below, followed by some commentary on his points.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bwXSj5Ws-yM?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>1. Platforms, technology, and data are improving</h3> <p>Using data to buy media and place creative can be frightening. It cedes control of ad buying, site choice, and audience targeting to an algorithm which may lead to both <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67659-three-things-that-show-the-scale-of-the-ad-fraud-challenge/">ad fraud</a> and <a href="http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/big-brands-fund-terror-knnxfgb98">inappropriate placements</a>, both of which may harm a brand. </p> <p>These concerns are part of the reason why, as of late 2015, more than half (57%) brands <a href="http://digiday.com/brands/5-charts-brands-publishers-using-dmps-globally/">have not yet implemented a DMP</a> and most (61%) were not going to implement one in the coming year.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3994/plans-.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="441"></p> <p>What may alter this trend, however, is that marketers are becoming increasingly aware of the data-driven platforms and technology that is available and realize that they are improving.</p> <p>Facebook and Google are leading the way in making data available to advertisers. Programmatic ad-buyers on these and other demand-side platforms (DSPs) can now choose to pay by impression, click, action, download or a number of other different metrics. These platform and technology improvements then lead to better data about consumer interests which, in turn, make the platforms more valuable.</p> <p>As Mr Griffith points out in the video, all of these improvements lead to new opportunities for brands who are able to devise new strategies which use the new technologies. </p> <h3>2. Marketers are increasingly using data to improve performance</h3> <p>Along with catering for new marketing strategies, the improvements in platforms, technology and data also help marketers understand what is and what is not working. This allows brands, as Mr Griffith points out, to understand what they are getting for their media spend as well as understanding how to improve the customer experience once people are on their site.</p> <p>According to a recent Econsultancy survey, the two most popular methods for improving conversion rates derive from data, customer journey analysis and A/B testing.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3995/conversion.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="531"></p> <p>Additionally, the most popular place for marketers to get ideas for what to test comes from analysing data.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3996/testing.png" alt="" width="800" height="489"></p> <p>This means that in order for their brands to remain competitive, marketers need to use data to both review the performance of their campaigns as well as guide changes to their marketing, customer journey, and digital properties.</p> <h3>3. Through combining first- and third-party data, marketers will be able to allocate budget more effectively</h3> <p>In the video, Mr Griffith alludes to the recent trend to combine first- and third-party customer data to improve marketing performance. While it sounds like a complicated strategy reserved for only those 43% of companies who have implemented a DMP, combining first- and third-party data is actually straightforward to do with the major advertising platforms.</p> <p>Google offers a facility where marketers can upload customer data and then target both display and search ads based on both the uploaded (first-party) and Google (third-party) data.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3997/google.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="415"></p> <p>Facebook offers similar capabilities and even lets you remove people from the list who do not meet your current targeting requirements.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3998/facebook.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="227"></p> <p>Additionally, all major ad platforms, DMPs and DSPs offer retargeting capabilities which let marketers use onsite behavior, such as a product view, to determine what ad is shown to a potential customer. Combined with contextual, interest, and in-market consumer data from third-party data providers and consumer targeting can become very sophisticated, indeed.</p> <p>Data-driven marketing has certainly come a long way from just measuring cost-per-click and bounce rates. Marketers now have a wide array of platforms, technology, and data sources to use which help them target the right consumers, improve marketing performance, and devise new strategies.</p> <p>The task ahead for marketers is to become familiar with what is now available to them or risk losing out in the digital realm to brands who have a more informed approach to data-driven marketing.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68792 2017-02-15T14:52:09+00:00 2017-02-15T14:52:09+00:00 Amazon Payments usage grows: should you adopt it? Patricio Robles <p>All told, Amazon customers in more than 170 countries used Amazon Payments last year and Amazon says that more than 50% of them are Prime members. The average purchase for Pay with Amazon transactions was $80, and the largest purchase Amazon Payments handled was $40,000.</p> <p>While Amazon didn't reveal how many merchants are now offering Pay with Amazon, it says that active merchants grew by 120% last year.</p> <p>Amazon Payments launched in 2007 and operates as a subsidiary of Amazon. Its focus is Pay with Amazon, which as the name suggests, allows individuals to make purchases using their Amazon accounts. For merchants, Amazon's value proposition is simple: by allowing customers to pay using their Amazon accounts, which already have payment data stored, they can increase conversions, reduce cart abandonment and boost average order values.</p> <p>Pay with Amazon is integrated with Amazon's 1-Click Checkout feature, so merchants can take advantage of a streamlined payment process. Pay with Amazon can also be used to handle recurring payments.</p> <p>Merchants pay Amazon no monthly or set-up fees; like PayPal and other payment providers, they are charged authorization and processing fees for each transaction. </p> <p>Retailers like AllSaints, Lenovo and Build.com are among those offering Pay with Amazon. AllSaints says that it has increased conversions by more than a third and average order value by 15% since adopting Pay with Amazon. And when customers choose to pay using Amazon, checkout time is reduced by 70 seconds.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/EU810Cu9qoQ?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>According to Rich Ascott, AllSaints' global digital director, "...Pay with Amazon has tackled the fact that you don't have to remember your credit card details, which address to send to, or where your sister lives - it's all there in the address book.</p> <p>"The best bit of all is not having to re-enter your credit card details. Our customers can just click and checkout, and that is what is generating these exciting results." </p> <h3>A growing number of ways to reduce cart abandonment</h3> <p>While Pay with Amazon has a long, long way to go before it catches up to PayPal, its significant growth not only demonstrates Amazon's ever-growing influence but the increasing willingness of online merchants to turn to third-parties to help them reduce <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/11182-basket-abandonment-case-studies-and-tips-to-help-improve-your-conversion-rates/">cart abandonment</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3532/AO_2.JPG" alt="" width="294" height="520"></p> <p>In addition to services like Pay with Amazon, more and more retailers are embracing <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68761-does-buy-now-pay-later-reduce-mobile-basket-abandonment/">buy now, pay later solutions</a> like those offered by companies such as FuturePay, Klarn and Affirm. The latter was co-founded by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, and one of its target markets is millennials, <a href="http://www.nasdaq.com/article/millennials-are-applying-for-credit-cards-but-not-qualifying-for-them-cm742923">many of whom don't have access to credit cards</a>.</p> <p>Because Affirm uses alternative data sources beyond traditional credit scores when deciding when to extend credit to a consumer, it enables retailers to convert shoppers that might otherwise have been lost.</p> <p>According to Affirm, offering customers the ability to pay for purchases over time can increase conversions by up to 25% and average order values by upwards of 80%.</p> <p>Of course, retailers must be careful that they don't make their checkout processes more confusing by offering too many payment options, but with the expanding universe of payment providers, including those that allow customers to make purchases on credit, it's worthwhile for retailers to explore whether new payment options can benefit them.</p> <p>As a starting point, retailers should look at the types of products they sell and the demographics of their shoppers. For instance, if a retailer determines that many of its customers are also Amazon customers, Pay with Amazon could be a good fit.</p> <p>And retailers that offer big-ticket items that have high purchase consideration have good reason to explore buy now, pay later solutions.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68767 2017-02-07T10:28:08+00:00 2017-02-07T10:28:08+00:00 How retailers are targeting mobile shoppers this Valentine’s Day Nikki Gilliland <p>With last-minute and on-the-move gift buying a real (if somewhat depressing) phenomenon, retailers need to ensure they are meeting the demand.</p> <p>With this in mind, here’s how retailers are targeting Valentine’s Day shoppers on mobile.</p> <h3>Debenhams</h3> <p>Debenhams is targeting consumers early this year, sending out a Valentine’s Day email before the end of January. With a growing number of people <a href="http://www.zdnet.com/article/consumers-prefer-marketing-offers-via-email-over-social-media-according-to-new-study/" target="_blank">using smartphones to check email</a>, this tactic is effective for prompting mobile shoppers.</p> <p>With a focus on gift guides, the creative is a fairly standard affair.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3584/Debenhams_subject_line.JPG" alt="" width="250"></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3583/Debenhams_email.JPG" alt="" width="250"></p> <p>Debenhams is already promoting Valentine’s Day quite heavily on its mobile site, too, using a prominent homepage banner.</p> <p>However, the banner sends users straight to the lingerie category rather a general category page. Which is an odd move, as it could be sending mobile shoppers towards items they might not be interested in, which is potentially very disruptive.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3586/Debenhams.JPG" alt="" width="250">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3587/Debenhams_3.JPG" alt="" width="250"></p> <p>Luckily, it also promotes an ‘Editor’s Picks’ article from the Debenhams blog, which points consumers to the various other items on offer.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3588/Debenhams_2.JPG" alt="" width="250"></p> <h3>Firebox </h3> <p>Firebox is another adopter of Valentine’s Day-themed emails, using a humorous tone and personalisation elements to tempt consumers into clicking through to the mobile site.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3595/Firebox_email.JPG" alt="" width="250"></p> <p>Unfortunately, the mobile experience is less than inspiring.</p> <p>All Valentine’s Day items are lumped into a single category (with no filters for him or her, etc.)</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3595/Firebox_email.JPG" alt="" width="250">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3598/Firebox_2.JPG" alt="" width="250"></p> <p>This means users are required to endlessly scroll through potential gift ideas, which could quickly lead to boredom and higher abandonment rates.</p> <p>It would make sense to incorporate some kind of sorting system, at the very least, to help channel mobile browsing.</p> <h3>H&amp;M</h3> <p>H&amp;M is not promoting February 14 too heavily on mobile, choosing instead to include subtle category banners towards the bottom of the homepage.</p> <p>The curated children’s category is an original approach, which nicely balances out its focus on stereotypical Valentine’s Day gifts elsewhere.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3600/H_M.JPG" alt="" width="250"></p> <p>Again, lingerie seems to be a big theme, with an email that oddly relates ‘luxurious’ to skimpy underwear. </p> <p>With no indication of any other related categories, this could lead mobile users to assume it's the only option from H&amp;M.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3601/H_M_subject_line.JPG" alt="" width="300" height="61"></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3602/H_M_email.JPG" alt="" width="250"></p> <h3>Tesco</h3> <p>Last year, sales of flowers increased by a whopping 220%, making it the biggest Valentine’s Day category of all.</p> <p>Unsurprisingly, many retailers have cottoned on to this, with the likes of Tesco using the category to drive sales on mobile.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3603/Tesco_1.JPG" alt="" width="250"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3604/Tesco.JPG" alt="" width="250"></p> <p>While the homepage banner is restrained, Tesco is ramping up the incentives by offering free delivery and a free vase if you order online.</p> <p>I also noticed that Tesco is now prompting customers to sign up for alerts when new items come into or back into stock – a tactic which could help to turn mobile browsers into buyers at a later date.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3605/Tesco_3.JPG" alt="" width="250"></p> <h3>Thorntons</h3> <p>Despite a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68535-thorntons-fudges-site-relaunch-asks-customers-to-re-register/" target="_blank">relaunch marred by migration problems</a>, Thorntons is hoping to bounce back with an effective Valentine’s Day campaign.</p> <p>The creative is one of the most appealing I’ve seen, capitalising on pretty imagery and the sleek new design of its mobile site.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3606/Thorntons_2.JPG" alt="" width="250"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3607/Thorntons.JPG" alt="" width="250"></p> <p>The navigation is somewhat of a mixed bag, however.</p> <p>While there is the option to sort the Valentine's Day category by best sellers or price, there's no option to filter by type of gift, meaning users are left scrolling or searching elsewhere on-site.</p> <h3>House of Fraser</h3> <p>House of Fraser has nicely incorporated Valentine’s Day on its mobile site, making gifts front and centre on the homepage.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3608/House_of_Fraser.JPG" alt="" width="250"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3609/House_of_Fraser_2.JPG" alt="" width="250"></p> <p>It’s also one of the easiest mobile browsing experience I’ve come across, breaking down categories by gender and price. Likewise, it allows users to further filter by type of gift.</p> <p>Instead of bombarding users with a particular category (e.g. lingerie) or lumping all items together, it aids the mobile journey and nicely showcases relevant items.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3610/House_of_Fraser_3.JPG" alt="" width="250"></p> <h3>Lush</h3> <p>Lastly, Lush is a good example of how to use seasonal holidays to drive sales.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3611/Lush.JPG" alt="" width="250"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3614/Lush_2.JPG" alt="" width="250"></p> <p>By creating a specific range of products for Valentine’s Day and promoting it across all channels, it aims to capture consumer attention and increase spending (even though mobile users might not even be browsing for this reason).</p> <p>I particularly like how the creative does not mention 'gifts', meaning that consumers won’t be discouraged from buying regardless of relationship status.  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3613/Lush_3.JPG" alt="" width="250"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68761 2017-02-01T15:04:00+00:00 2017-02-01T15:04:00+00:00 Does ‘buy now, pay later’ reduce mobile basket abandonment? Nikki Gilliland <p>According to MEF’s new <a href="http://mobileecosystemforum.com/mobile-money-report/" target="_blank">Mobile Money Report</a>, 58% of people have started to pay for something via mobile, only to abandon it before the final checkout. </p> <p>With 31% saying this was because they were asked for too much sensitive information, and 21% saying the process was too long – it has been suggested that offering a ‘buy now, pay later’ option could help combat this. </p> <p>But would this option really prevent buyers from abandoning their baskets?</p> <p>Here’s a bit more info on the feature, as well as how online retailers are currently incorporating it. And to learn more about mobile UX, check out these Econsultancy resources:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/mobile-user-experience-mobile-marketing/">Mobile UX (User Experience) &amp; Marketing Training</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/reports/user-experience-and-interaction-design-for-mobile-and-web">User Experience and Interaction Design for Mobile and Web</a></li> </ul> <h3>Paying at a later date</h3> <p>Some retailers have been offering the option to ‘pay later’ for a while, however this has commonly involved opening a credit account with potentially steep interest rates.</p> <p>Recently, a number of new third-party payment companies have popped up, aiming to offer more flexible and transparent services, and bridging the gap between consumers and retailers.</p> <p>Brands like FuturePay and Klarna essentially pay the retailer first, which means the consumer then owes them. These companies typically promote low or no interest as well as multiple payment options, providing the consumer with greater flexibility. </p> <p>Of course, there is still the suggestion that it is irresponsible to offer any type of credit, however companies like Klarna deliberately position themselves as an alternative to stereotypical credit companies.</p> <p>With a focus on the quick, easy and trustworthy nature of the service - it's all about making the mobile shopping experience as smooth as possible.</p> <h3>How do retailers promote pay later?</h3> <h4>AO</h4> <p>AO is known for its customer-centric approach, so it's unsurprising that it offers multiple payment options.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3534/AO_1.JPG" alt="" width="350" height="632"></p> <p>Partnering with credit company V12, it offers consumers the opportunity to 'pay on finance' - meaning they can pay nothing for six months or spread the cost (with interest). </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3532/AO_2.JPG" alt="" width="350" height="619"></p> <p>The service has been around for a while, meaning that the wording is rather out-dated and jargon-heavy. The focus on 'interest free credit' sounds rather serious as opposed to the general notion of paying at a later date, which could put potential customers off.</p> <h4>Currys</h4> <p>Curry's is another retailer that offers flexible credit, but it is poorly promoted on mobile.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3530/Currys_1.JPG" alt="" width="350" height="616"></p> <p>While it is highlighted on the product page, consumers are still required to fill out a lengthy checkout form before the option arises again.</p> <p>Similar to AO, the sheer amount of information offered here is also likely to confuse or put consumers off from using it to make the purchase.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3531/Curry_s_2.JPG" alt="" width="368" height="664"></p> <h4>GHD</h4> <p>GHD is just one of the retailers that has partnered with new third-party payment company, Klarna.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3535/GHD_1.JPG" alt="" width="350" height="632"></p> <p>There is immediately a much bigger focus on transparency and simplicity, with a lot of copy dedicated to explaining the concept.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3537/GHD_2.JPG" alt="" width="350" height="630"></p> <p>This extends to the checkout process, which includes the enticing 'shop now, pay later' option.</p> <p>By including it alongside the standard credit card or PayPal options, it's likely to catch the consumer's attention.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3538/GHD_3.JPG" alt="" width="350" height="608"></p> <h4>Clarks </h4> <p>Clarks Australia is another retailer that has partnered with a third-party payment provider.</p> <p>It is also one of the most heavily promoted examples, including links to AfterPay on its homepage and on each product page.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3540/Clarks_1.JPG" alt="" width="350" height="624"></p> <p>This is undoubtedly the most effective approach.</p> <p>Not only does it let the user know early on, but it allows them to explore the concept instead of being confronted with it at the checkout.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3541/Clarks_2.JPG" alt="" width="350" height="620"></p> <h3>Will it reduce basket abandonment?</h3> <p>So, back to the real question at hand. Does the option to pay later really provide futher incentive to checkout on mobile?</p> <p>From the aforementioned examples, we are able to see that the way brands promote and present this information has an impact.</p> <p>The likes of AO and Currys - with their finance-heavy descriptions and dense explanations - might put consumers off, simply because this type of information is not convenient or engaging on mobile.</p> <p>However, with the subtler approach demonstrated by GHD and Clarks (plus the customer-centric nature of the third-party companies) - customers are more likely to show interest.</p> <p>Likewise, prominent promotion of 'shop now, pay later' on product pages and as early as possible during the checkout is key. For mobile shoppers making quick or spontaneous purchases - the concept sounds enticing.</p> <p>Despite recent criticism over '<a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38378069" target="_blank">shock bills</a>' and spiralling debt, it is clear that flexible payment options can provide greater convenience.</p> <p>As long as the service is transparent and simple to understand, consumers might be willing to make it part of their mobile shopping experience.</p> <p><em><strong>Related articles:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67120-12-ways-to-reduce-basket-abandonment-on-your-ecommerce-site/" target="_blank">12 ways to reduce basket abandonment on your ecommerce site</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64167-basket-abandonment-emails-why-you-should-be-sending-them/" target="_blank">Basket abandonment emails: why you should be sending them</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64343-checkout-abandonment-mobile-ux-examples-to-help-boost-conversions/" target="_blank">Checkout abandonment: mobile UX examples to help boost conversions</a></em></li> </ul> 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: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>