tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/user-experience-and-usability Latest User Experience and Usability content from Econsultancy 2016-10-26T10:38:14+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68445 2016-10-26T10:38:14+01:00 2016-10-26T10:38:14+01:00 Can Southampton FC break the hegemony of crap football websites? Ben Davis <p>On top of that, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62091-why-is-buying-premier-league-football-tickets-such-a-terrible-user-experience/">the average ticket buying experience is usually enough to make you tear your hair out</a>.</p> <p>Thankfully, over the last two or three years, most Premier League clubs have improved their websites, but there is still not much to get excited about.</p> <p><strong>Take West Ham United as an example.</strong> The club launched a new website in early 2015.</p> <p>Improvements were made but you can still see evidence of 'enter site' interstitials, alongside arguably too much display advertising (retargeting from retailers etc.), and a slightly confused homepage that includes, amongst other things, social media posts which are surely better consigned to their own channel.</p> <p><em>Interstitial when you arrive at West Ham's website</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0724/Screen_Shot_2016-10-25_at_11.32.22.png" alt="west ham website" width="615" height="358"> </p> <p>The usability of the site is also compromised by less than elegant UX and formatting (see below).</p> <p>I'm being a little picky, but the point is that Premier League websites have improved but still aren't great.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0741/IMG_3358.PNG" alt="west ham website" width="250">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0740/IMG_3357.PNG" alt="west ham website" width="250"></p> <h3>Southampton FC</h3> <p>However, Southampton FC launched its new site earlier this month claiming it would rethink the fan-club relationship and be measured against world-leading brands, rather than simply other football clubs.</p> <p>So, does the site look promising? Here are some of the things I noticed.</p> <h4><strong>Newsfeed as homepage</strong></h4> <p>This is a sensible idea. Homepages are too often a confusing hodge podge of content blocks.</p> <p>Southampton's homepage defaults to 'Saints Live', the name Southampton gives to its newsfeed. For anything else, you can dive into the menu.</p> <p>Above the fold sits a carousel which shows the latest news story and a marketing message (when I visited this was discounted tickets for an upcoming cup game).</p> <p>It is slightly annoying that I can't swipe this carousel, but the transition does at least grab my attention.</p> <p>Below this carousel and still above the fold is key information (next match and league position), which is presented clearly.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0729/IMG_3351.PNG" alt="southampton fc website" width="250">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0728/IMG_3352.PNG" alt="southampton website" width="250"></p> <p>From then on, you can scroll down through the newsfeed (ordered chronologically) and pick out a story or video that interests you.</p> <p>It's nice that stories can be closed easily, via a button at the top of the article, so the user doesn't have to navigate back to the newsfeed.</p> <p><em>Easy to open and close news items</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0727/IMG_3353.PNG" alt="southampton fc website" width="250"></p> <p>Promotional blocks are interspersed throughout the newsfeed, but not so frequently as to annoy.</p> <p>Social posts from players are also featured in the newsfeed. I'm not sure they work particularly well, as the formatting is poor - for example, Instagram posts do not show any text or comments when previewed (see below).</p> <p>Users can click through these social posts and be taken to the player's Instagram post in-app, so this undoubtedly will bring followers to the squad, but it doesn't exactly provide edifying content on the site itself.</p> <p>Cross-channel content like this can work well, but too often the integration is a little clunky.</p> <p><em>Social content is poorly formatted</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0726/IMG_3354.PNG" alt="instagram" width="250"></p> <p>Elsewhere, nice details include 'related content' suggestions at the bottom of articles, which work well. </p> <p>And search, too, was competent.</p> <p><em>Suggested content and search</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0732/IMG_3355.PNG" alt="southampton fc website" width="250">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0731/IMG_3356.PNG" alt="search on southampton website" width="250"></p> <p>All in all, the newsfeed is exactly the sort of content football fans look for from publishers, and Southampton does well to make it so accessible and prominent.</p> <p>Simply put, give the fans what they want.</p> <h4>Registration for video is a good idea</h4> <p>The video content available is pretty good. Interviews, match replays, highlights etc. are presented appealingly within the newsfeed.</p> <p>To watch videos or listen to matchday commentary, users must register either using their email address or via social log-in.</p> <p>This is a nice way of capturing customer data.</p> <p>One small niggle - the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/copywriting">copywriting</a> here could be improved. 'Access digital content' doesn't mean much and takes the fun out of football.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0742/IMG_3359.PNG" alt="southampton fc website" width="250"></p> <h4>Simplicity of UX</h4> <p>The menu is easy to use and pleasingly limited with five main options and no niggly submenus (see West Ham's site).</p> <p>Less visited webpages are tucked away in the 'more' tab, and this is a model of efficient information architecture.</p> <p>As one would expect, the site is mobile-friendly (using Google's testing tool), and its pages score pretty well (homepage at 70/100) when put through Google's Mobile Page Insights.</p> <p>There are also few distractions in the content itself (no display ads) and the design is simple enough to avoid niggles.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0743/IMG_3361.PNG" alt="southampton fc website" width="250">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0744/IMG_3360.PNG" alt="menu southampton fc" width="250"></p> <h4>Perhaps a lack of inventive content?</h4> <p>Southampton FC has more product development planned, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see some more sophisticated and interactive content on this platform.</p> <p>It feels like something that's missing at the moment.</p> <p>The newsfeed content is great, but without anything to appeal to younger demographics, does the site neglect the next generation?</p> <p>Below are two examples of fun content from Arsenal, the kind of interaction that Southampton should look to add if possible.</p> <p>This kind of content, albeit more expensive to produce, draws more traffic from social media and may be a valuable weapon for data collection.</p> <p><em>Identify former players and predict who will get 10 goals this season</em></p> <p><em><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0745/IMG_3362.PNG" alt="arsenal fc website" width="250">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0746/IMG_3364.PNG" alt="arsenal fc website" width="250"></em></p> <h4>Buying tickets</h4> <p>There are some nice touches to the ticket buying experiences. A user can set a favourite seat section which is selected each time they buy.</p> <p>There is a handy 'where should I sit?' prompt, which, although it loads a non-mobile-friendly PDF, is helpful if you don't know the stadium (e.g. which stands are family-friendly).</p> <p>Like pretty much all football club websites, I can only go so far down the ticket purchase journey before I have to register.</p> <p>This occurs pretty early on and I can't help but think these clubs are missing a trick.</p> <p>Allowing guest checkout surely wouldn't be such a bad thing? After all, I would still have to provide an email address and a billing address.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0747/IMG_3366.PNG" alt="southampton ticket buying" width="250">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0748/IMG_3367.PNG" alt="southampton ticket buying" width="250"></p> <p>Continuing with ecommerce, the club online shop isn't great. However, this is on a microsite and I suspect hasn't been updated in the revamp.</p> <p>I would expect the shop to be another point on the club's digital roadmap.</p> <h3>In summary</h3> <p>I enjoyed using the Southampton FC site.</p> <p>Having moved from the Football League's limited website platform to this new design, the club will hope this site will serve the purpose for the next three years at least.</p> <p>By eschewing bells and whistles, sticking to a simple design that puts content first, the fans should be happy.</p> <p>Especially if Nathan Redmond and Charlie Austin keep scoring.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68443 2016-10-25T14:31:00+01:00 2016-10-25T14:31:00+01:00 13 inspiring examples of design thinking from Japan Ben Davis <h3>1. Sinks on top of toilet cisterns</h3> <p>The toilet shown below is relatively common in homes. When you flush, the water that refills the cistern first comes out of the tap letting you wash your hands (for the period of time it takes the cistern to fill through the plughole).</p> <p>This saves water, but also space.</p> <p>Image via <a href="https://sarahinmaibara.wordpress.com/">Sarah in Maibara</a></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0645/cistern_tap.jpg" alt="cistern tap" width="500"></p> <h3>2. Queueing markers for first and second trains</h3> <p>It's not particularly ingenious to mark a line on a train platform allowing customers to queue successfully.</p> <p>However, I was particularly impressed by the two queue system on the monorail platform at Hamamatsucho.</p> <p>If you're waiting for the second train, simply use the red queue marked '2'. This image shows Japan's commitment to order.</p> <p><em>Image via <a href="http://schwandl.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/japan-tokyo-part-27.html">Scwandl</a></em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0661/monorail.JPG" alt="monorail japan" width="640" height="480"></p> <h3>3. 'Automatic' taxi doors </h3> <p>Tokyo is an interesting market for taxis, not least because it's the biggest in the world and <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-23/uber-turns-its-strategy-upside-down-in-japan">Uber is not allowed to operate</a> (licensed cabs only).</p> <p>Many taxis I saw had a passenger-side rear door that could be opened and closed by the driver.</p> <p>This improves speed and efficiency, as passengers can step in or out without having to mess around with their shopping bags, and without the driver having to exit the vehicle in order to be courteous.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/mDtZT1ftFos?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>4. Distances on subway directional signage</h3> <p>Tokyo train stations such as Shinjuku are cavernous compared to most others in the world.</p> <p>Finding your way around can be difficult, but is made easier and more bearable by distance markers on directional signage.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0644/signage_tokyo_metro.jpg" alt="signage tokyo subway" width="500" height="375"></p> <h3>5. Petrol/gas from above</h3> <p>I'm not sure exactly how this works (I presume the petrol still sits in tanks below the station), but it's a fantastic space saver and allows for a very dinky forecourt.</p> <p>The counters showing volume and price of petrol are mounted on the wall.</p> <p>Image via <a href="http://www.mangovine.net/site/entry/tokyos_minimal_petrol_stations">Mangovine</a></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0660/tokyo-petrol-station.jpg" alt="tokyo petrol" width="468" height="313"></p> <h3>6. Illuminated light switches</h3> <p>When in the 'off' position, light switches are backlit by a neon bulb or an LED. This means you can find them easily in the dark.</p> <p>These light switches are used in many countries, but I saw a high frequency of them in Japan (plentiful in both my Airbnbs).</p> <p><em>Image via <a href="http://sopheliajapan.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/8-insignificant-things-about-japan-that.html">Sophelia's Japan</a></em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0639/japanese_backlit_light_switch.jpg" alt="light switch" width="400"></p> <h3>7. Subway platforms tell you the next station</h3> <p>Many things to enjoy here. Each subway platform sign tells you what the next station is (Yoyogi, below), so that unsure train passengers can look out of the window and quickly see if they have to get off at the next stop.</p> <p>You'll notice, too, that each station name is written not only in Japanese and the Roman alphabet, but is assigned a number and letter (C03) corresponding to the line and the number of stops from the terminus (C01, C02, C03 etc).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0666/sign.jpg" alt="subway sign in tokyo" width="615" height="384"></p> <h3>8. Smart cards</h3> <p>Tokyo's equivalent of London's Oyster card is the Suica or the Pasmo card.</p> <p>However, these smart cards are not reserved only for public transport. Your credit can be used at vending machines, to use a station locker, to pay for food and drink on a train or to pay for goods at many convenience stores.</p> <p>Given that tax on goods can leave customers with lots of small change in their pocket, the smart card system is a boon.</p> <p><em>Image of vending machine smart card payment via <a href="http://www.thejapanguy.com/using-your-suica-card-and-pasmo-card/">The Japan Guy</a></em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0665/vending.png" alt="Vending machine pasmo" width="500" height="333"> </p> <h3>9. One tap for bath and sink</h3> <p>Another great space saver.</p> <p>One long mixer tap above the sink is also used to fill the bath (simply turn it until it overhangs the bath). Very neat.</p> <p><em>Image via <a href="https://bashny.net/t/en/339780?page=5">Bashny</a></em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0667/tap.jpg" alt="tap" width="500">  </p> <h3>10. Yellow tactile paving</h3> <p>This paving is seen all over Japanese cities, in the street and leading into hubs such as train stations.</p> <p>The markings change at crossings and when directions change, so those with impaired vision can navigate more easily using their feet.</p> <p>This paving leads to important points such as station platforms and ticket desks.</p> <p>Image via <a href="http://designblog.nzeldes.com/2009/09/japan-1-tactile-sidewalk-strips-for-the-blind/">Commonsense Design</a></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0668/tactilestrip.jpg" alt="tactile paving" width="500" height="323"></p> <h3>11. Baby seats in toilets</h3> <p>I didn't see many prams or pushchairs in Tokyo because of the obvious space restrictions.</p> <p>Most mothers and fathers seemed to carry babies in a sling on their front.</p> <p>That's why the fold-down seats shown below in toilets are invaluable, allowing a parent to do their business with baby safely sat by their side.</p> <p>Image via <a href="http://www.shadowes.org/24/?p=677">Roberto Casati</a></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0662/baby_seat.jpg" alt="baby seat" width="400" height="533"> </p> <h3>12. Transparent umbrellas</h3> <p>Nothing particularly new or innovative, but something truly appreciated in a city of 35m people.</p> <p>Transparent plastic umbrellas make it slightly easier to navigate the crowds on a rainy day.</p> <p>Incidentally, the Japanese have a <a href="https://www.tofugu.com/japan/umbrellas-in-japan/">long history of umbrella culture</a>, and they get through a lot of these 'disposable' plastic umbrellas.</p> <p>When everyone is required to leave their clear plastic brolly at the entrance to shops and restaurants, yours may often get taken during or after a shower.</p> <p>However, some larger buildings such as museums have lockable umbrella racks which are free to use.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0658/umbrella.jpeg" alt="umbrella" width="300" height="168"></p> <h3>13. Sliding doors</h3> <p>A staple of Japanese interior design and a common way of partitioning the kitchen from a living space.</p> <p>Even if they are more costly to install, pocket doors are a fantastic space-saving device and something I wish I had in my own house.</p> <p>The original Japanese design is, of course, made from wood and paper (called a shōji).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0643/shoji.jpg" alt="shoji" width="615" height="410"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/3008 2016-10-20T16:10:00+01:00 2016-10-20T16:10:00+01:00 Internet Statistics Compendium Econsultancy <p>Econsultancy’s <strong>Internet Statistics Compendium</strong> is a collection of the most recent statistics and market data publicly available on online marketing, ecommerce, the internet and related digital media. </p> <p><strong>The compendium is available as 11 main reports (in addition to a B2B report) across the following topics:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/advertising-media-statistics">Advertising</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/content-statistics">Content</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics">Customer Experience</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/web-analytics-statistics">Data and Analytics</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/demographics-technology-adoption">Demographics and Technology Adoption</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/reports/ecommerce-statistics">Ecommerce</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/email-ecrm-statistics">Email and eCRM</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/mobile-statistics">Mobile</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/search-marketing-statistics">Search</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-statistics">Social</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/strategy-and-operations-statistics">Strategy and Operations</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a title="B2B Internet Statistics Compendium" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-internet-statistics-compendium">B2B</a></strong></li> </ul> <p>Updated monthly, each document is a comprehensive compilation of internet, statistics and online market research with data, facts, charts and figures.The reports have been collated from information available to the public, which we have aggregated together in one place to help you quickly find the internet statistics you need, to help make your pitch or internal report up to date.</p> <p>There are all sorts of internet statistics which you can slot into your next presentation, report or client pitch.</p> <p><strong>Those looking for B2B-specific data should consult our <a title="B2B Internet Statistics Compendium" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-internet-statistics-compendium">B2B Internet Statistics Compendium</a>.</strong></p> <p> <strong>Regions covered in each document (where available) are:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Global</strong></li> <li><strong>UK</strong></li> <li><strong>North America</strong></li> <li><strong>Asia</strong></li> <li><strong>Australia and New Zealand</strong></li> <li><strong>Europe</strong></li> <li><strong>Latin America</strong></li> <li><strong>MENA</strong></li> </ul> <p>A sample of the Internet Statistics Compendium is available for free, with various statistics included and a full table of contents, to show you what you're missing.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68412 2016-10-18T13:23:06+01:00 2016-10-18T13:23:06+01:00 Traffic to hotel websites is declining: How should they respond? Patricio Robles <p>According to the study, monthly visits to sites like Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway has surged by 70% over the past three years while direct traffic to hotel sites has decreased by 3.6%.</p> <p>While the latter might seem like a modest decline, consider this: Hitwise estimates that within the next 12 months, visits to residential rental sites will surpass direct visits to hotel sites. </p> <p>What's more, the Airbnbs of the world would appear to have potentially more favorable traffic profiles than their hotel site competitor.</p> <p>They are slightly less dependent on search engine traffic than hotel sites and they generate more than double and triple the traffic from social channels and email, respectively.</p> <p>Hitwise speculates that this "may be due to the fact that travelers seeking rentals may be emailing property links to friends" at a much higher clip, a behavior that is beneficial for rental sites for obvious reasons.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0428/image002.png" alt="" width="478" height="306"></p> <p>Not surprisingly, the rise of residential rental sites has not been kind to hotel aggregators like Booking.com and Hotels.com either.</p> <p>According to Hitwise, their traffic has declined by nearly 8% over the past three years.</p> <p>They are most dependent on search engine traffic, which when paid for can be very costly, and while they do receive more traffic from social channels and email than hotel sites, they don't outperform them by much in these two categories.</p> <h3>What should hotels and aggregators do?</h3> <p>While the continued rise of rental sites seems all but inevitable, hotels and aggregators can't sit on their hands.</p> <p>In an effort to ensure that they don't unnecessarily cede gains to rental sites, they should look at consumer behavior, which might explain in part why rental sites have been so successful.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0427/image006.png" alt="" width="476" height="284"></p> <p>According to Hitwise, "females tend to dominate the booking of vacations" and they have very different preferences than males.</p> <p>For example, female vacationeers are far more interested in booking vacation experiences that differentiate them from their friends, visit a different location every time they travel, and book through a company they have never heard of. </p> <p>Rental sites arguably have greater appeal in these areas, but that doesn't mean hotels and aggregators can't compete.</p> <p>Here are a few actions they can take...</p> <h3>1. Segment and personalise better</h3> <p>The differences between the preferences of female and male vacationeers highlight the importance of segmentation and personalistion for hotels and hotel aggregators.</p> <p>While these companies do use segmentation and personalisation, this author hasn't seen much evidence of gender-based segmentation in email marketing campaigns from hotels and hotel aggregators despite the fact that their preferences are so divergent in key areas.</p> <h3>2. Focus on customer experience</h3> <p>Given the fact that overall vacation experience is so important today, particularly for women, hotels and hotel aggregators need to think beyond offering a place to stay.</p> <p>While they may not be able to offer the variety and some of the novelty of the rental sites, which have a unique portfolio of properties to offer due to the nature of their businesses, hotels still have opportunities to create <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67658-how-hotels-can-personalize-the-customer-experience-to-compete-with-airbnb/">unique, personalised experiences</a> for their customers.</p> <h3>3. Revisit UX</h3> <p>The user experience of sites like Airbnb has been a big part of their success.</p> <p>While hotel and hotel aggregator sites will necessarily have some differences, there are a number of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65149-nine-user-experience-lessons-travel-sites-can-learn-from-airbnb/">UX lessons they can learn from sites like Airbnb</a>.</p> <h3>4. Take advantage of their strengths</h3> <p>Hotels and hotel aggregators still have the ability to appeal to vacationeers in ways that their rental site competitors don't currently.</p> <p>For example, many vacationeers are interested in vacation packages in which activites are included.</p> <p>Hotels and hotel aggregators are still far better positioned to offer these and they should take advantage of that while they can because it won't remain forever.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68326 2016-10-17T14:54:56+01:00 2016-10-17T14:54:56+01:00 Three brands succeeding in connecting online and offline experiences Ben Davis <h3>Topshop</h3> <p>Topshop's recent '<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68305-runway-to-retail-how-fashion-brands-are-introducing-see-now-buy-now/">Retail to Runway</a>' initiative integrated London Fashion Week (LFW) with the retailer's stores and digital properties.</p> <p>For its young audience, Topshop is truly a multichannel experience (with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66389-what-does-the-ideal-click-and-collect-service-look-like/">click and collect</a>, free WiFi in store, a social-enabled ecommerce app with barcode scanner), but Retail to Runway took this a step further.</p> <p>The launch played out as follows: </p> <ul> <li>Consumers could watch the Topshop catwalk show livestreamed on Topshop.com and on playback thereafter.</li> <li>Pieces from the show were available to buy immediately in selected stores, online and a pop-up showspace.</li> <li>The Topshop website ran plenty of editorial about LFW and allowed consumers to sign up for updates via email.</li> <li>The Topshop app provided notifications to users of all the LFW news.</li> </ul> <p>The merging of online and offline continues apace at Topshop, with the identity of the website (with its quick turnover of content and integrated social) matching the feel of the Topshop stores.</p> <p>Topshop plans to debut a 100% shoppable range at the next Fashion Week in February 2017, as it makes fashion ever more accessible, both online and offline.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9496/Screen_Shot_2016-09-23_at_16.54.29.png" alt="topshop unique" width="615" height="304"></p> <h3>Hilton</h3> <p>Whilst <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68375-airbnb-how-its-customer-experience-is-revolutionising-the-travel-industry/">Airbnb gets the plaudits in travel</a> for a unique UX including its peer review system, Hilton is fighting back.</p> <p>By adding functionality to the Hilton HHonors app, the hotelier is removing some of the more frustrating elements of using hotels.</p> <p>Users can choose a room in selected hotels and check in via the app, unlock rooms with their app's digital key, and book a cab via Uber.</p> <p>Customer service with a smile at the front desk can always be compromised in a busy period, but these app improvements help to empower customers to customise and control their own experiences, beyond the online booking journey.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9526/Screen_Shot_2016-09-23_at_17.33.24.png" alt="hilton app" width="615" height="622"> </p> <h3>Starbucks</h3> <p>It's easy to dismiss Starbucks as just another big brand example of great CX - don't they just have plenty of money to throw at digital technology?</p> <p>Such an attitude would do an immense disservice to a brand that has been at the forefront of online/offline experiences for a number of years.</p> <p>Starbucks was the first store to widely offer free Wi-Fi and is, of course, known for letting customers dwell (which has become the default for all coffee shops).</p> <p>The coffee giant nailed mobile payment &amp; loyalty early, with its app that uses a barcode system launching in 2009.</p> <p>A staggering 21% of US transactions take place via the app and in 2015 the brand launched <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66997-starbucks-new-click-collect-app-is-it-any-good/">click-and-collect coffee</a> for those that don't want to wait in line.</p> <p><em><a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-30/starbucks-takes-its-pioneering-mobile-phone-app-to-grande-level">Chart via Bloomberg</a></em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9527/Screen_Shot_2016-09-23_at_18.31.18.png" alt="starbucks mobile sales at 21%" width="615" height="414"></p> <p>Starbucks' digital marketing reaches into stores, too. Just a few initiatives include: </p> <ul> <li>The brand has used location-based app notifications (seen below),</li> <li>Starbucks' famous music playlists are available exclusively to rewards members on Spotify, where users can suggest their own tracks for in-store.</li> <li>An active <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/email-ecrm/">email marketing</a> and social media programme pushes seasonal specialities and offers to rewards members.</li> </ul> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/0789/Location-Based-Mobile-Marketing-Example.jpg" alt="starbucks notification" width="350"></p> <p>Overall, Starbucks' investment in stores (<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67085-starbucks-new-london-digital-concept-store-puts-focus-on-customer-experience/">including concept stores</a>) is just as impressive as its investment in its digital capabilities, making it a truly multichannel brand.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4263 2016-10-05T12:00:00+01:00 2016-10-05T12:00:00+01:00 Conversion Rate Optimization Report 2016 <p>This is the eighth annual Econsultancy <strong>Conversion Rate Optimization Report</strong>, in association with <strong><a href="http://www.redeye.com/">RedEye</a></strong>.</p> <p>The research looks at the types of conversion strategies and tactics organizations are using, in addition to the tools and processes employed for improving conversion rates.</p> <p>As well as touching on the use and impact of personalization, the report explores different areas of best practice and identifies methods and techniques which are most valuable for improving conversion rates.</p> <p>The aim is to provide data and a framework to help companies invest their time and resources as effectively as possible by examining which methods and processes are most likely to yield results.</p> <h2>What you'll learn</h2> <ul> <li>Find out the types of conversions and measurements organizations are using and the best practices that shape them.</li> <li>Discover the most valuable methods used to improve conversion rates and the methods organizations will be using in the future.</li> <li>Understand how companies are using personalization as part of their CRO efforts and the effect this has on conversions.</li> <li>Benchmark your organization's approach to CRO using the Conversion Maturity Model.</li> <li>The six key factors contributing to CRO success.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Download a copy of the report to learn more.</strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:WebinarEvent/835 2016-10-04T03:36:13+01:00 2016-10-04T03:36:13+01:00 Understanding the Customer Journey in Asia Pacific <p>This webinar will highlight results from Econsultancy's Understanding the Customer Journey in Asia-Pacific report, produced in association with global leading provider of marketing automation software, <a href="https://www.emarsys.com/en-sg/" target="_blank">Emarsys</a>. The report looks at how organisations are mapping the customer journey and their understanding of the journey.</p> <p>The live session will be hosted by <strong>Jeff Rajeck, Research Analyst, APAC at Econsultancy </strong>and co-hosted by <strong>Daniel Hagos, Client Success Director at Emarsys</strong>. There will be a 15 minute Q&amp;A session after the presentation.</p> <h4>FAQ:</h4> <p><strong>I'm not an Econsultancy subscriber, can I join?<br></strong>Ans: You sure can. The sessions are complimentary for existing customers and new friends.</p> <p><strong>Will the session be recorded?<br></strong>Ans: Yes! We record all of our webinars, and we'll send out a link to the recording the following week.</p> <p><strong>What if I register but can't make it?<br></strong>Ans: It's all good. We'll send a follow-up with key takeaways and a link to the recording.</p> <p><strong>Can I ask questions?<br></strong>Ans: Absolutely! This session is for you. Bring your questions and participate during Q&amp;A.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68352 2016-10-03T14:28:00+01:00 2016-10-03T14:28:00+01:00 BHS is now pureplay ecommerce: Will loyal customers move online? Nikki Gilliland <p>Just months after its stores closed, it has returned in an online-only format. </p> <p>So, will it work as an ecommerce brand?</p> <p>Here’s a closer look at the retailer’s new strategy as well as a quick review of the site itself.</p> <h3>Targeting loyal customers</h3> <p>According to the Managing Director, David Anderson, the BHS re-brand will be counting on the loyalty of the store’s original customers.</p> <blockquote> <p>With a customer base of well over one million people and the fact that we have secured contracts with so many leading suppliers who are providing products that were among the most popular with our shoppers, we are in the best possible position for launch.</p> </blockquote> <p>Of course, this audience is likely to be an older demographic – those who faithfully shopped from BHS up until the very end.</p> <p>It makes sense that if the customers remain, so too will their desire to shop from BHS.</p> <p>But will they be willing to go online?</p> <h3>Focus on biggest-selling products</h3> <p>BHS is hoping to draw in loyal customers with a limited but high quality product range.</p> <p>With 75% of the store’s most popular stock being homeware and lighting, it will be specifically concentrating on these areas for the time being.</p> <p>Clothing, shoes, furniture and food are gone, despite a promise to introduce some new ranges in future.</p> <p>By streamlining its product offering, BHS appears to be banking on its reputation as an iconic homeware retailer – the area that contributed to its success in the first place.</p> <h3>Look &amp; Design</h3> <p>So how does the new site compare to the old?</p> <h4>Old site</h4> <p>The old BHS website looked cluttered and mismatched, with the traditional logo and imagery feeling slightly dated.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9689/BHS_old.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="764"></p> <p>It also heavily focused on deals and discounts, using this as its main incentive for online consumers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9690/BHS_old_2.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="707"></p> <p>The main navigation menu was also quite cluttered, including an overwhelming amount of categories.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9693/old_home_and_lighting.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="538"></p> <h4>New site</h4> <p>In comparison, the new BHS site looks pleasingly minimal and sleek – a good reflection of the company’s streamlined product offering.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9687/BHS.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="728"></p> <p>While there is still an emphasis on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64943-12-excellent-ways-to-present-ecommerce-shipping-information/" target="_blank">free delivery and returns</a>, the new site definitely takes a subtler approach.</p> <p>Gone are the in-your-face discounts, indicating that the new BHS has a renewed confidence in its product range.</p> <p>The main menu is better organised and less overwhelming in terms of choice.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9695/navigation.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="416"></p> <h4>User experience</h4> <p>When it comes to the browsing experience on the relaunched BHS.com, it's all a bit hit and miss.</p> <p>The categories are well defined and the navigation is straightforward.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9699/BHS_new_lighting.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="664"></p> <p>However, the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68222-ecommerce-product-filters-best-practice-tips-for-a-great-ux" target="_blank">filter system</a> is a bit of a let-down, with no ‘clear all’ button and a lack of any rating or review system.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9697/Filter_basic.JPG" alt="" width="474" height="684"></p> <p>I also found the copy on the ‘Homeware’ category page to be a very baffling addition.</p> <p>Firstly, the opening paragraph doesn’t actually make sense, and the sheer amount of copy included when you click 'read more' is unnecessary.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9698/homeware_copy_long.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="748"></p> <p>Oddly enough, a category description is nowhere to be found in the ‘Lighting’ section. </p> <p>Maybe they haven’t got round to it yet… but I’m kind of hoping they don’t.</p> <p>Onto the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63161-31-things-i-need-to-see-on-your-ecommerce-product-page/" target="_blank">product pages</a>, and they are very minimal to say the least.</p> <p>Most include just one image (which is very unhelpful for online consumers buying large household items like lighting fixtures).</p> <p>And most of the page is made up of white space, with no links to other products or categories. This means there is zero encouragment for the user to carry on browsing.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9700/Product_pages.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="788"></p> <p>The <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67623-ecommerce-product-descriptions-are-they-always-necessary" target="_blank">product names and descriptions</a> are pretty bland too.</p> <p>Fancy buying a “Carlton Swing Arm Table Lamp” or “Cut Chenille Fern Cushion, Black, One size”?</p> <p>Not exactly inspiring.</p> <p>Onto checkout and it's an easy enough process, with the positives being free delivery and a pleasing option to checkout as a guest.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9701/Checkout.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="471"></p> <p>However, there’s no option to pay via Paypal or any real call-to-actions to incentivise further purchases.</p> <h3>In conclusion…</h3> <p>All in all, I found the revamped BHS experience to be pretty frustrating, mainly because the early signs were good. </p> <p>The streamlined categories and sleek design are bound to appeal to both new and old customers alike. </p> <p>However, regardless of the consumer’s opinions or pre-conceptions of the retailer, a poor UX is always going to make or break a site’s success.</p> <p>Most of the site is bare, leaving the user with the feeling that the site is unfinished or just poorly made.</p> <p>With the best ecommerce sites offering greater personalisation, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65722-18-highly-effective-examples-of-social-proof-in-ecommerce" target="_blank">social proof</a> and general ease-of-use, BHS still has a long way to go before it can really compete as an online retailer.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68342 2016-09-29T14:19:12+01:00 2016-09-29T14:19:12+01:00 13 UX improvements Nespresso should make to its ecommerce customer journey Ben Davis <p>N.B. I should say that I have previously written positively about Nespresso, and believe it to be a great brand doing great things.</p> <p>However, with the ecommerce website not changing dramatically since I wrote <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64507-nespresso-experiential-marketing-at-its-best/">this piece in early 2014</a>, and with subscription ecommerce maturing, there's a definite need for a slicker experience. </p> <h3>1. FREE delivery for large orders - missed opportunity on homepage</h3> <p>Look below. The homepage says 'next day delivery or pick up point when you purchase 200 or more capsules'.</p> <p>Bizarrely it doesn't say 'FREE' delivery, which is indeed the case for these larger orders, saving the customer £3.95.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9638/Screen_Shot_2016-09-27_at_16.11.22.png" alt="free delivery" width="615" height="398"></p> <h3>2. FREE delivery for large orders - missed opportunity on product pages</h3> <p>When I delve into the capsule product listings, one or two of them include a nice little banner saying 'FREE STANDARD DELIVERY - With 200 capsules or more'.</p> <p>As you can see here...</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9637/Screen_Shot_2016-09-27_at_16.11.14.png" alt="free delivery" width="615"></p> <p>But the majority of the product listings do not contain this message (see below).</p> <p>Nor is the free delivery message stressed when I use a dropdown to select my order size - this would be the perfect place to put a marker, next to the 200 option.</p> <p><em>The majority of Nespresso product pages do not carry a free delivery banner</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9636/Screen_Shot_2016-09-27_at_16.09.15.png" alt="free delivery" width="615"></p> <h3>3. Distraction issues in the checkout - downselling!</h3> <p>This one baffled me. I had £62 worth of coffee capsules in my basket, I proceeded to checkout and I'm offered a lower price selection of capsules (£47.50) that comes with a free gift.</p> <p>Now, this offer is for new Nespresso members, of which I am one, so you might argue that this represents good practice - I'm welcomed aboard with the offer of a free gift.</p> <p>Perhaps this gift and selection of capsules will stand a chance of increasing my <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65435-what-is-customer-lifetime-value-clv-and-why-do-you-need-to-measure-it/">lifetime value</a>?</p> <p>However, in my opinion not only does this cross-sell (or down-sell, however you want to look at it) add another barrier in the checkout process (I have to click the small text link 'I am not interested for now'), but it is reducing average order value, by encouraging me to spend £14.50 less.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9635/Screen_Shot_2016-09-27_at_16.15.28.png" alt="free gift" width="615" height="615"> </p> <h3>4. Distraction issues in the checkout - milk frother cross-sell</h3> <p>More <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66856-cross-selling-online-why-it-s-important-how-to-do-it/">cross-selling</a> issues arise when I get to the payment part of the checkout.</p> <p>I am shown a little ad for milk frothers. Again, I think it's strange to offer me this now, when Nespresso has almost got my money.</p> <p>Okay, if there was the option to add a milk frother to my bill there and then, it might make sense, but this is inviting me to exit the checkout altogether and start shopping again.</p> <p>Surely, this is increasing the chance of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64167-basket-abandonment-emails-why-you-should-be-sending-them/">basket abandonment</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9614/Screen_Shot_2016-09-27_at_16.25.44.png" alt="frother cross sell" width="615" height="395"> </p> <h3>5. Postcode field validation is poor</h3> <p>This field doesn't like lower case letters.</p> <p>It's so boring having to capitalise things when a computer could have done it for me if it was that bothered.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9618/Screen_Shot_2016-09-27_at_16.17.37.png" alt="postcode" width="400" height="124"> </p> <h3>6. Sign in? I already have</h3> <p>Once I have ordered my coffee, I am now registered with Nespresso and logged in.</p> <p>However, the slightly strange prompt to sign in (which is not fixed to the header and scrolls up and down) remains.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9613/Screen_Shot_2016-09-27_at_16.27.25.png" alt="account" width="615" height="244"> </p> <h3>7. Poor copywriting: 'You have made your order from Internet'</h3> <p>In 'My account' I can see all my order details. There's a slightly clunky bit of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/online-copywriting/">copywriting</a> here - 'You have made your order from Internet'.</p> <p>Little typos like this often show up an organisation still reliant on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67346-agile-development-what-do-marketers-need-to-know/">waterfall processes</a>. These sorts of tiny errors should be fixed as soon as they are noticed.</p> <p>And they should be noticed by ongoing testing.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9612/Screen_Shot_2016-09-27_at_16.27.25_copy.png" alt="order from internet" width="600" height="385"></p> <h3>8. Pointless-alert alert </h3> <p>An alert based on your usual order frequency to notify you when your capsules have most likely finished.</p> <p>This is a strange feature. Firstly, I've only made one order, so Nespresso has no idea what my consumption rate is.</p> <p>Secondly, even if Nespresso knew more about me, this alert is simply a stab in the dark.</p> <p>Of course, chivvying me along to buy more capsules isn't a bad thing and it sort of works for both parties, but there's an obvious conclusion to reach here.</p> <p>Wouldn't it be better to offer me an automatic subscription to a set number of capsules per month or three months, then give me a nominal discount on the order value for doing so?</p> <p>After all, there are other companies winning business with this subscription model, which is more convenient than even the reorder feature Nespresso offers. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9610/Screen_Shot_2016-09-27_at_16.45.21.png" alt="capsule alert" width="615" height="317"> </p> <h3>9. Recycling bags - add a prompt in the checkout</h3> <p>It's great that Nespresso encourages recycling. You can take a bag of empty capsules to your nearest store, or arrange a free collection alongside your next coffee delivery.</p> <p>The recycle bags are free and a recommended product when browsing coffee on the website (see the bottom right of <a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9637/Screen_Shot_2016-09-27_at_16.11.14.png">this screenshot</a>).</p> <p>However, I didn't notice this recommendation, then when I tried to get a recycling bag after making a purchase, the Nespresso checkout won't allow me to (see screenshot below).</p> <p>I think the obvious solution is to add a simple one-click prompt in the checkout (do you want a free recycling bag?).</p> <p>This would do a lot for uptake of the service, something Nespresso is no doubt keen to see further adoption of to bolster its <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_social_responsibility">CSR</a> efforts and make the brand more friendly.</p> <p>Getting rid of that earlier milk frother ad in favour of a recycling prompt is a no-brainer.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9609/Screen_Shot_2016-09-27_at_16.49.58.png" alt="recycling" width="615" height="377"></p> <h3>10-12. Minor address field niggles (but things that I still noticed)</h3> <p><strong>10. Poorly labelled field: 'Delivery Remark'</strong></p> <p>Better copywriting needed here.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9634/Screen_Shot_2016-09-27_at_16.17.02.png" alt="delivery remark" width="400" height="176"> </p> <p><strong>11. Why is pickup point selected as default?</strong></p> <p>I have already been asked for my delivery address. So why then make pickup the default?</p> <p>Pickup points should have been an option before I had to enter a delivery address.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9617/Screen_Shot_2016-09-27_at_16.19.15.png" alt="pickup" width="615" height="577"> </p> <p><strong>12. 'Delivery instructions' field not labelled</strong></p> <p>If I select to allow my delivery to be left 'in a safe place', I am told to specify this safe place in the 'delivery instructions field above'.</p> <p>But there is no such field labelled above.</p> <p>One has to assume the text is referring to the box I have highlighted in the second screenshot below. Again, there is a really simple fix that hasn't been made.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9616/Screen_Shot_2016-09-27_at_16.22.38.png" alt="nespresso" width="615" height="258"></p> <p><em>Delivery instructions field?</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9615/Screen_Shot_2016-09-27_at_16.22.56.png" alt="delivery instructions" width="615" height="424"> </p> <h3>13. Mobile app works nicely but no delivery prompt for +200</h3> <p>I haven't included much on the mobile app here. It's an altogether nicer experience than using the desktop site and looks fairly slick.</p> <p>However, there are still issues. Again, free delivery for larger orders is not highlighted. All I get is a prompt to round my capsules to the nearest 50.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9647/IMG_3175.png" alt="nespresso app" width="300">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9649/IMG_3176.png" alt="nespresso app" width="300"></p> <h3>14. Emails are not mobile optimised</h3> <p>I had lots of useful follow-up emails, welcoming me as a member, giving me my order details and telling me of order dispatch.</p> <p>Unfortunately, none of the three were readable without plenty of zooming on mobile.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9651/nesp_email.png" alt="email nespresso" width="335" height="595"></p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>Why did I bother with this exercise you might ask? Well, as I mentioned in the intro, standards continue to rise, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68325-how-can-startups-beat-fmcg-giants-an-interview-with-cornerstone-s-founder/">particularly in FMCG as subscription models raise the bar</a> for online UX.</p> <p>Nespresso's ecommerce functionality didn't make me curse and I managed to easily order my coffee.</p> <p>But, if Nespresso produces a top notch and slick experience on the next development of its platform, alongside a subscription offering, I am more likely to return.</p> <p>As it is, I may simply head back to my supermarket, and the next best brand.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68330 2016-09-27T10:20:00+01:00 2016-09-27T10:20:00+01:00 An in-depth analysis of how Expedia converts visitors into customers: Part one Duraid Shaihob <p>One of the largest travel sites in the world, Expedia and its subsidiaries (which include Hotels.com, Trivago, HomeAway and Travelocity) help millions of travelers find flights and hotels every month.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/conversion-rate-optimization-report/">Conversion rate optimization</a> is a major concern for a business as large as Expedia’s.</p> <p>When you’re dealing with tens of millions of transactions every year, even a 0.2% bump in conversion rates can translate into millions in extra revenue.</p> <p>For obvious reasons, there’s a lot you can learn about CRO best practices and innovations by understanding how Expedia turns visitors into customers. </p> <p>Paul Rouke, Founder &amp; CEO at PRWD previously wrote about <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64681-is-booking-com-the-most-persuasive-website-in-the-world/">Booking.com being the most persuasive website in the world</a>, and after using Expedia for the first time, I think it also deserves to be ranked among the best in the business.</p> <p>In the first of two posts, I’ll do an in-depth teardown of Expedia.com and show you how it converts traffic coming in from two different channels - organic search and direct type-ins.</p> <p>Part two, due to be published next week, will focus on traffic from <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/paid-search-marketing-ppc-best-practice-guide/">PPC</a> and social (organic and paid).</p> <h3>Expedia: Then vs. Now</h3> <p>Expedia was founded in October 1996, which makes it one of the oldest travel sites online.</p> <p>Here’s how the site looked like at launch:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9491/expedia_1996.png" alt="" width="800" height="573"></p> <p>The site did not even have a search box when it was launched, let alone a flight booking facility. </p> <p>This is a far cry from the slick, conversion-optimized website that greets you today:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9492/expedia_1.png" alt="" width="800" height="446"></p> <p>If you’ve hung out on any CRO focused websites, a few things about the Expedia.com site will jump out immediately:</p> <p><strong>1.</strong> <strong>Highly noticeable CTAs:</strong> Both the “Search” button and the top “Hello bar” are in a bright shade of yellow.</p> <p>This grabs attention as soon as you land on the site, especially when contrasted against the blue/gray colors.</p> <p><strong>2.</strong> <strong>Non-intrusive navigation:</strong> The navigation menu doesn’t necessarily grab attention. Instead, the entire focus of the site is on the flight/hotel booking area.</p> <p><strong>3. Distinctive notifications:</strong> The notification icon in the top navigation menu has a distinctive red color and a clear “alarm” icon.</p> <p>You can’t really land on the homepage without noticing it.</p> <p><strong>4. Above the fold:</strong> All the important information - booking a flight, checking out different deals , etc. - is above the fold.</p> <p>In fact, you don’t even have to scroll down the page to book a ticket or a hotel room.</p> <p>There are plenty of other tactics Expedia uses to grab and focus user attention, as you’ll see later.</p> <h3>How Expedia Converts Visitors in Different Scenarios</h3> <p>As a large travel site, Expedia gets its users from search, social, referrals, direct type-ins and paid channels. </p> <p>How Expedia tailors its user experience for visitors coming in from each of these channels can teach you a lot about CRO.</p> <p>For example, on Expedia’s Twitter handle, the company promotes <a href="https://viewfinder.expedia.com/">its blog</a> instead of the main website.</p> <p>It also promotes its other social channels such as Snapchat through pinned tweets and custom logos.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9493/expedia_twitter.png" alt="" width="800" height="472"></p> <p>This is very different from the company’s Facebook page where it promotes its main site, Expedia.com:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9494/expedia_twitter_2.png" alt="" width="800" height="527"></p> <p>Below, I’ll breakdown the user experience for different channels and show you how Expedia maximizes conversion rates for organic search, social, and direct traffic.</p> <h3>Scenario #1: Direct Traffic to Expedia.com</h3> <h4>The Situation</h4> <p>Imagine that you’re a 35-year-old man from Texas. For an upcoming anniversary, you want to treat your wife to a vacation in New York.</p> <p>Since you’ve seen dozens of Expedia ads on TV, you decide to give Expedia a try to book flights. </p> <p>Thanks to the constant advertising, you have strong recall for the Expedia website. So instead of search, you type in Expedia.com directly into your browser.</p> <p>Here’s how Expedia turns such a user into a customer:</p> <h3>The landing page</h3> <p>When you land on Expedia.com, this is the page that greets you:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9495/expedia_landing_page.png" alt="" width="700" height="384"></p> <p>Four things to note here:</p> <p><strong>1.</strong> <strong>The default open tab is flight + hotel “Bundle Deals”. </strong></p> <p>This is more profitable for OTAs (Online Travel Agencies - like Expedia or Booking.com) since they get to sell not one but two products - a hotel and a flight.</p> <p>It’s also better value for customers since they can often get bundled deals. </p> <p><strong>2. “Hello Bar” promotes sign-ups</strong></p> <p>You’ll notice that there is no “sign-up” button anywhere on the homepage.</p> <p>To find this link, you have to click on “Account”, then “Sign-in” to get to the login page.</p> <p>The only other sign-in prompt is at the top of the page on the yellow Hello Bar.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9497/expedia_3.png" alt="" width="800" height="256"> </p> <p>This is something Expedia shares with most of its subsidiaries.</p> <p>For example, here’s Travelocity’s navigation bar:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9498/expedia_5.png" alt="" width="800" height="241"></p> <p>And here’s Orbitz’s navigation:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9499/orbitz_nav.png" alt="" width="717" height="261"></p> <p>Clearly, this is a strategy that’s working for Expedia.</p> <p><strong>3. The notification icon in the navigation menu</strong></p> <p>This icon tells visitors about the “My Scratchpad” feature.</p> <p>This has been a big part of the conversion rate optimization push at Expedia. I’ll show you how it works later.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9500/expedia_notification.png" alt="" width="645" height="207"></p> <p><strong>4. The app download incentive</strong></p> <p>Expedia offers customers points for using its service, called “Expedia+ points”.</p> <p>You can redeem these points for tickets and hotel rooms on the platform (you can also donate these points for cash to St. Jude Children’s Hospital for charity).</p> <p>To incentivize downloads of the Expedia mobile app, the company features a banner for the app on its homepage. Plus, it gives you 3x more points for using the app.</p> <p>Clicking on this text banner takes you to <a href="https://www.expedia.com/app?mcicid=USTriple2">a landing page that promotes the mobile app features</a>, reviews, etc.</p> <p>Expedia also gives users a $25 off coupon for the first hotel booking through the app.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9501/expedia_coupon.png" alt="" width="800" height="304"></p> <p>These incentives can compel new users to try out a new app.</p> <p>In fact, research shows that besides recommendations from family and friends and personalized offers, such one-time offers are one of the biggest reasons for trying out new apps.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9502/bar_graph.png" alt="" width="859" height="509"></p> <p><a href="http://skift.com/2014/12/19/what-travels-top-ceos-have-to-say-about-consumers-mobile-habits/">As per Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshah</a>i, roughly 40% of Expedia’s users are booking across multiple devices.</p> <p>Incentivizing mobile app downloads with coupons and reward points is a big part of the company’s strategy to capture users on smaller screens.</p> <h3><strong>Using Expedia's search tool</strong></h3> <p>Let’s say that instead of flights + hotels, you only want to book a flight ticket from Expedia.</p> <p>So you click on the ‘Flights’ tab and enter your preferences:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9503/expedia_search.png" alt="" width="700" height="380"></p> <p>Note that you can also select ‘Add a Hotel’ and ‘Add a Car’ to expand your search beyond flights.</p> <p>As Expedia starts the search process, this is what you see:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9504/expedia_6.png" alt="" width="800" height="439"></p> <p>Take note of three things here:</p> <p><strong>1. A progress bar shows the status of the search</strong></p> <p>This is a neat UI/UX touch that not only cues in visitors to the status of the search, but also discourages people from abandoning a lengthy search.</p> <p><strong>2. The “Price Alerts” modal on MyScratchpad</strong></p> <p>As soon as you start the search, a Javascript modal box pops up telling you that the “search has been saved in your Scratchpad”, and that by clicking the bright yellow button, you can “Get Price Alerts”.</p> <p>What is the Scratchpad? Think of Scratchpad as a digital notepad for planning your travels (Expedia even calls it that in its marketing docs).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9505/scratchpad.png" alt="" width="800" height="446"></p> <p>This “digital notepad” keeps track of all your searches and gives you the option to get fare alerts for a particular search. </p> <p>More importantly, this scratchpad retains its information even as you move across devices.</p> <p>This means you can start your search on your laptop, then switch to the smartphone and still find all your old searches.</p> <p>As Expedia’s CEO explains:</p> <blockquote> <p>So ScratchPad is really a framework that we’ve built. We are going to take it across devices as far as push notifications.</p> <p>You can imagine appending searches. If you’ve done a bunch of flight searches, you might be able to append them, send them to your wife, share them socially.</p> </blockquote> <p>For obvious reasons, this is good for conversions. </p> <p><strong>3. “Why shop with us” benefits list</strong></p> <p>OTAs have a big problem on their hands: they have no real way to differentiate themselves. </p> <p>It doesn’t matter whether you go to Travelocity or Booking.com or Expedia - you’re still going to buy the same end-product - a flight ticket or a hotel room.</p> <p>The only way travel sites can differentiate themselves is through the quality of their services, better prices, and low fees.</p> <p>This is exactly what this section hopes to accomplish - by telling users exactly why they should choose Expedia over competitors.</p> <h3>Booking a Flight</h3> <p>After selecting a flight by clicking “Continue”, you will be taken to another similar page to select the return flight.</p> <p>Once you’ve selected the flight, Expedia prompts you to book a hotel as well to get steep discounts:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9507/expedia_booking_a_flight.png" alt="" width="800" height="260"></p> <p>Combined with the default open tab on “Flights + Hotels”, this is another example of Expedia’s core strategy to upsell hotels along with flights.</p> <p>After you click through, you’ll be taken to the checkout page.</p> <p>Lots of interesting things happening here:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9508/expedia_booking.png" alt="" width="800" height="439"></p> <p><strong>1. “Best value flights” prompt</strong></p> <p>This prompt (note the green color and the checkmark) congratulates you on selecting the right flight.</p> <p>Then it asks you to “book now” so you get the best possible price.</p> <p><strong>2. Correct flight departure</strong></p> <p>In my case, I’m landing at LGA but departing from EWR.</p> <p>Expedia helpfully warns me about it - in highly noticeable red text, no less.</p> <p><strong>3. Hotel prompt</strong></p> <p>Once again, Expedia upsells a hotel package.</p> <p>There’s a simple reason for the aggressive upselling - <a href="http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2016-01-12/news/69704913_1_hotel-segment-hotel-chains-market-share">hotels offer OTAs 10-15% margins</a>, vs. just 5% for flight bookings.</p> <p><strong>4. “34 people book a flight…”</strong></p> <p>This prompt acts as social proof - one of the foundational principles of persuasion - by showing that there are plenty of others (34, to be exact) who’ve booked the exact same flight.</p> <p><strong>5. Upsell for Expedia credit card</strong></p> <p>Yet another upsell, this time for an Expedia Voyage credit card that will not only help you score great travel deals, but also get you 25,000 Expedia+ points.</p> <p>Since the user is already somewhat committed to the purchase, this is a good place to upsell this credit card.</p> <p><strong>6. Best Price Guarantee</strong></p> <p>Expedia “guarantees” the best possible price (<a href="https://www.expedia.com/p/info-other/guarantees#1">here’s the page explaining how</a>).</p> <p>In fact, if you find a lower price than Expedia’s, the company will pay you the difference and give you a $50 coupon.</p> <p>Again, this helps assure customers that they’re getting the best possible deal.</p> <p><strong>7. “Best Value”</strong></p> <p>More pats on the customer’s back for picking the flight that offers the best value.</p> <p>Expedia wants to make you feel that you were smart enough to pick the right flight (and not that Expedia picked the flight for you).</p> <p>Giving the customer agency this way can help improve conversion rates.</p> <p>After reviewing the price, you can continue the purchase by clicking the appropriately named button - “Continue Booking”.</p> <p>On this page, you’ll be asked for the passenger details.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9509/expedia_passenger_details.png" alt="" width="800" height="633"></p> <p>Besides the points noted above, a few more things stand out here:</p> <p><strong>1. Sign-in prompt</strong></p> <p>Expedia wants to convert more of its browsers into users. To do this, it offers customers bonus “Expedia points” for signing-in. </p> <p><strong>2. “Prices not guaranteed” </strong></p> <p>This can serve both as a warning and an incentive.</p> <p>It tells users that the prices shown on the page are not “guaranteed” until they actually book it.</p> <p>So if they want to lock in the savings, they better finish the booking process fast.</p> <p><strong>3. No navigation bar </strong></p> <p>Like the previous checkout page, the only navigation link here is the “Sign-in” button.</p> <p>All other navigational elements have been removed to focus on converting users.</p> <p><strong>4. “Breadcrumbs” navigation</strong></p> <p>This navigation menu helps guide users through the checkout process. Note the use of icons next to the text.</p> <p><strong>5. “Secure transmission”</strong></p> <p>A gray lock icon and a security declaration helps reassure customers that their data isn’t going to get lost - a big concern after the number of major companies losing customer data after breaches (most famously, the Target data breach).</p> <p><strong>6. Hotel upsell</strong></p> <p>Notice that in this upsell, Expedia gives you an exact figure for how much you can save on hotels by booking it with your flight tickets.</p> <p>Giving exact figures works better since they sound more “real” than rounded figures like “50% off”.</p> <p>In the case of pricing, for example, the lack of “roundedness” <a href="http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.1086/678484?searchUri=%2Faction%2FdoBasicSearch%3FQuery%3Dthis%2Bnumber%2Bjust%2Bfeels%2Bright%26amp%3Bacc%3Doff%26amp%3Bwc%3Don%26amp%3Bfc%3Doff%26amp%3Bgroup%3Dnone&amp;resultItemClick=true&amp;Search=yes&amp;searchText=this&amp;searchText=number&amp;searchText=just&amp;searchText=feels&amp;searchText=right&amp;uid=3739696&amp;uid=2134&amp;uid=2&amp;uid=70&amp;uid=4&amp;uid=3739256&amp;sid=21106111788201">improves conversion rates for rational purchases such as flight tickets</a>.</p> <h3>Paying for the flight</h3> <p>After you enter the passenger details, you’ll be taken to the payment page. This is the moment of truth - every step in the customer’s journey has been leading up to this.</p> <p>Expedia uses this page to maximize its earnings by heavily promoting an upsell: a $20 travel insurance policy.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9511/expedia_paying_for_the_flight.png" alt="" width="800" height="459"></p> <p>Keep in mind that Expedia doesn’t charge a transaction fee to users.</p> <p>Whatever money it makes, it makes through upsells and by charging hotels and airlines a commission.</p> <p>By pushing an insurance policy, Expedia can dramatically increase the amount of money it makes from every customer.</p> <p>How it promotes this offer is an exercise in conversion optimized design. From clever use of color to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/online-copywriting/">smart copywriting</a>, Expedia pulls out all the guns to get people to buy more.</p> <p>Let’s take a look at everything Expedia is doing here:</p> <p><strong>1. Fear of Missing Out</strong></p> <p>FoMO (Fear of Missing Out) is a well documented psychological phenomenon where people are compelled to do something just because it might not be available later.</p> <p>Expedia takes advantage of that by boldly asking customers to not “Miss Out” on this deal. A clock icon and red text adds to the effect.</p> <p><strong>2. Loss aversion</strong></p> <p>On the surface, this list of reasons looks innocuous enough. Dig deeper, however, and you’ll notice how they all focus on negativity - loss, sickness, medical emergencies.</p> <p>This plays into <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loss_aversion">the psychological phenomenon of loss aversion</a>, where people are motivated more by losing something than making new gains.</p> <p><strong>3. Purchase affirmation + negative opt-out</strong></p> <p>Here, Expedia makes “Yes” the default choice. It also phrases the purchase as protection (“I want to protect my trip”) and not as insurance.</p> <p>The statement - “Expedia protects over 1 million flight travelers a year” - works as social proof.</p> <p>If 1m people are buying insurance every year, surely they all can’t be wrong?</p> <p>Also note the checkmark next to this statement. The choice is also highlighted by clever use of color - green is frequently <a href="http://adpearance.com/blog/color-theory-and-landing-page-buttons">associated with wealth, renewal and stability</a> in color psychology. </p> <p>To opt out of buying the insurance, you have to click a radio button with a negative choice.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9512/expedia_insurance.png" alt="" width="800" height="150"></p> <p>By vocalizing the negative choice, Expedia makes it sound much less appealing.</p> <p>This is a tactic frequently used by marketers to push more users towards the positive opt-in. For example, here’s a pop-up on Copyhackers:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9513/copyhackers_messages.png" alt="" width="800" height="510">v</p> <p>Interestingly, the font for the opt-out button is slightly smaller than the font for the opt-in.</p> <h3>Testimonial </h3> <p>Effective use of testimonials is one of the best weapons in any CRO’s arsenal to push conversions.</p> <p>Here, Expedia not only uses a testimonial from a real customer, but also gives an exact value of the monetary benefits from the insurance.</p> <p>Combined, these design choices help push Expedia’s conversion rates for this upsell much higher.</p> <p>The actual payment form is surprisingly sparse:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9514/payment_details.png" alt="" width="750" height="478"> </p> <p>The only visual element are logos of different payment providers. Expedia includes a total of six logos - far beyond the usual two or three logos.</p> <p>This gives customers the impression that they have multiple payment options to choose from, which can give <a href="http://www.retailtechnologyreview.com/articles/2009/05/06/476-survey-finds-that-merchants-are-losing">a small boost to conversion rates</a>.</p> <p>Scroll down further and you’ll be asked to enter your email address to receive booking confirmation:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9515/booking_confirmation.png" alt="" width="750" height="465"></p> <p>The only thing of interest here is that Expedia checks the “Join Expedia+” checkbox by default.</p> <p>Just so you aren’t sore about it (and to make the membership more appealing), it offers you 56 Expedia+ points to push you to sign-up for an account.</p> <p>Once you’ve entered the payment information and clicked “Continue Booking”, you’ll have the flight ticket in your account.</p> <h3>Scenario 2: Organic Traffic Teardown</h3> <h4>The Situation</h4> <p>The Texas man who wants to gift his wife a weekend for two in New York city now heads over to Google instead of Expedia.com directly.</p> <p>He types in a query - “flight tickets to New York”.</p> <p>On the first page, he finds a search result from Expedia that looks promising:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9516/kayak_search_results.png" alt="" width="750" height="508"></p> <p>Let’s take a look at how Expedia converts this search visitor into a customer.</p> <h3>The landing page</h3> <p>This is the landing page from a search for “flights to New York” on Google. A few things deserve our attention:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9518/expedia_new_york_fights.png" alt="" width="750" height="321"></p> <p>The landing page is customized for the query.</p> <ul> <li>The lowest possible price ($98) is shown first to convince visitors to stick around.</li> <li>The landing page lists three reasons for choosing Expedia - tons of hotels, guaranteed low prices, and free 24 hour cancellation.</li> </ul> <p>Scroll down a bit further and you’ll see a list of flights to New York from different cities.</p> <p>Things to note here:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9519/expedia_options.png" alt="" width="750" height="333"></p> <p>1. The share button is a small drop down menu.</p> <p>The button blends into the background and doesn’t really attract attention.</p> <p>Obviously, shares are not a big source of traffic for Expedia for users coming in from search, which is why it has muted the button.</p> <p>2. As with the landing pages we saw above, Expedia pushes its Flights + Deals over flight-only deals.</p> <p>The reason is simple enough: OTAs make more money from hotel bookings than just flight bookings.</p> <p>3. The highest possible discount is highlighted in the section headline without any information on the flight’s date, hotel type or airline.</p> <p>The sole purpose is to get users to click through to the next page.</p> <h3>Using flight search</h3> <p>Once you initiate the search, you are greeted by a page similar to the one you saw above:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9520/expedia_flight_search.png" alt="" width="800" height="453"></p> <p>There are two design elements here that I want to highlight.</p> <p>Firstly, if you’ve made any previous searches on Expedia, you can “turn on search notes” in your Scratchpad to see how prices have changed since your last search.</p> <p>Secondly, a small but hard-to-ignore pop-up box in bright yellow informs me that “4043 people are shopping for flights to NYC on Expedia right now”. How is that for social proof?</p> <p>But before I can look at the search results, a pop-up shows on screen:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9521/expedia_pop_up.png" alt="" width="800" height="434"></p> <p>This pop-up warns users that ticket prices are set to rise in the next few days.</p> <p>The way it is phrased makes it sound like it is merely doing a service to users - warning them about an impending price change.</p> <p>However, from a CRO perspective, it is clear that this warning is meant to drive conversions, not just warn users.</p> <p>Two things you should note about it:</p> <p>1. Instead of giving a vague “prices are about to rise!” warning, it gives an exact figure for the expected price rise - 55%. This makes the warning sound much more believable.</p> <p>2. The price rise is time bound. Instead of saying that prices are going to rise “in the next few days”, Expedia tells you the exact number of days (six) before the impending price rise. </p> <p>Together, this compels more users to take action since prices will go up by more than half in less than a week.</p> <p>Also note the pop-up at the bottom - more social proof!</p> <h3>Selecting the flight</h3> <p>After you select a departing and a return flight (I’m picking the very first one), you’ll see a pop-up promoting a hotel + flight offer:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9523/expedia_hotel_and_flight_offer.png" alt="" width="800" height="308"> </p> <p>Again, Expedia pushes the flight + hotel deal since it’s better for Expedia as well as customers.</p> <p>The booking review page is similar to the page we saw earlier.</p> <p>Note the congratulatory message at the top - a subtle push to persuade users to finish the purchase.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9524/expedia_booking_review.png" alt="" width="750" height="372"></p> <h3>Paying for the flight</h3> <p>After entering the passenger details, you’ll be taken to the payment page. This is similar to the page we saw above.</p> <p>There’s the same upsell for travel insurance along with the customer testimonial, conversion focused design and persuasive copywriting:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9525/expedia_confirmation.png" alt="" width="750" height="392"></p> <p>After entering your credit card information, you can hit ‘Complete Booking’ and wrap up the purchase.</p> <h4>See you next time...</h4> <p>So far, we’ve seen how Expedia creates an optimum customer journey for users coming in through organic search and direct.</p> <p>This leaves two big acquisition channels - social media and paid traffic.</p> <p>As mentioned, the second part of this analysis will be published on Econsultancy's blog next week.</p>