tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/conversion-rate-optimization Latest Conversion Rate Optimization content from Econsultancy 2017-10-12T09:24:29+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69497 2017-10-12T09:24:29+01:00 2017-10-12T09:24:29+01:00 Research shows fewer marketers see CRO as ‘crucial’ in 2017, but is the discipline misunderstood? Ben Davis <p>Let's look at some of the more interesting findings...</p> <h3>The importance of CRO dips slightly</h3> <p>The 800 marketers and ecommerce professionals surveyed still attach a high level of importance to CRO (only 1% see it as unimportant), but as the chart below shows, there has been a dip in those admitting the discipline is 'crucial' to their overall digital marketing strategy (from 55% to 50%).</p> <p>Back in 2013, 59% of respondents though CRO was crucial, so there is a trend here. It could be that as other online marketing channels and technologies have emerged, CRO is falling slightly out of favour.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9599/importance_cro.png" alt="cro importance" width="615"></p> <h3>Marketers &amp; ecommerce bods unsatisfied with conversion rates </h3> <p>Every year since 2009, the CRO Report survey has revealed that more than 65% of respondents have seen conversion rates rise. Should we take such a stat with a pinch of salt, given the adoption of mobile in that time has seen a widely-accepted trend for lower conversion rates?</p> <p>Well, the chart below suggests that indeed, whether conversion rates are rising or not, many respondents are not happy with them as they stand. Nine percent are 'very dissatisfied', 28% 'quite dissatisfied' and 35% nonplussed.</p> <p>It's no surprise that more than half of companies (54%) surveyed plan to increase their CRO budgets over the next year.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9601/satisfaction_cro.png" alt="satisfcation with cro" width="615"></p> <h3>A/B testing is still favoured (should it be?)</h3> <p>A/B testing is the most commonly used CRO method amongst respondents (60% use it), and is also perceived to be the most valuable (72% say it is 'highly valuable'). This is a bit of a head-scratcher and could be due in part to the ease of implementation of A/B testing.</p> <p>There's no denying A/B testing can be very useful, but independent consultant Dan Barker explains why its pre-eminence can be dangerous:</p> <p>“A/B testing is almost synonymous with improving conversion rates. It’s important to remember that A/B testing is not actually a method of improving results, but a system for validating hypotheses. If you expand that slightly, you realize the important element is actually generating hypotheses, and therefore listening to customers, getting your tracking as sorted as you can, making sure knowledge flows okay within your company and scrutinizing your website/application for opportunities are big, simple levers to help you improve results.” </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9604/methods_cro.png" alt="cro methods" width="615" height="437"></p> <p>Beyond A/B testing, the survey finds that the more complex the testing undertaken, the more likely companies are to see improvements in conversion rates. This speaks to Barker's point about a hypothesis being crucial, and testing methods simply being employed to help provide evidence or insight.</p> <h3>Uptake of personalisation has stagnated – businesses need to rethink</h3> <p>Personalisation stands out in the CRO Report survey as by far and way the most difficult form of CRO to implement. Thirty five percent say it is very difficult to implement, way above segmentation, the second most challenging method at 18%.</p> <p>Though the implementation of website personalisation for marketing has risen in previous years, 2017 sees the proportion of respondents saying they use it returning to 2014 levels (62%). Only 23% are using it for CRO.</p> <p>The report postulates that website personalisation is perhaps the next 'big data' – taking a long time to come to fruition in marketing, but eventually being worth the wait.</p> <p>Some of the challenges of personalisation and broader CRO are manifest across businesses and this seems to be a big challenge for the industry. Data collection and organisation has to be well managed, teams need to reconcile conflicts of interest and work together on a structured approach to CRO, and the right people and skills have to be present. The next two to three years could well be crucial.</p> <p><em><strong>For more on methods of CRO and business challenges, subscribers can download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/conversion-rate-optimization-report/">CRO Report 2017</a> now.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69495 2017-10-11T10:16:00+01:00 2017-10-11T10:16:00+01:00 Why the butterfly effect is killing the conversion optimisation industry Paul Rouke <p>Why? </p> <p>This is where the butterfly effect comes in. Let me explain.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9578/butterfly.jpeg" alt="butterfly" width="292" height="172"></p> <h4>First, I'll start with some Wikipedia definitions…</h4> <p><strong>The Butterfly Effect:</strong></p> <p>“In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state. ... A very small change in initial conditions had created a significantly different outcome.”</p> <p><strong>Conversion Optimisation:</strong></p> <p>“In internet marketing, conversion optimisation, or conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is a system for increasing the percentage of visitors to a website that convert into customers, or more generally, take any desired action on a webpage. It is commonly referred to as CRO.”</p> <p><strong>True Conversion Optimisation:</strong></p> <p>“True conversion optimisation is the beginning of a mindset change within a business, maturing to becoming a customer-centric organisation that embraces experimentation to out-perform their competitors.”</p> <p>This last definition is mine, and is yet to make it onto Wikipedia! </p> <h3>The initial “condition” – Conversion optimisation is misunderstood </h3> <p>Fundamentally, conversion optimisation is hugely misunderstood by the most influential people in businesses. It’s perplexing to me how the good old “button colour testing” is still very much in evidence within the “idea factories” of decision-makers' minds.</p> <p>"Quick wins. Low hanging fruit. Tweaking the design. Changing a headline. Changing an image. I want to test this. We don’t need our developers, you do everything through the tool."</p> <p>This is the level to which conversion optimisation is considered within a startling number of business.</p> <h3>Misunderstood = under-appreciated</h3> <p>When something is misunderstood, that something is very easily under-appreciated, however much potential value it can bring. </p> <p>Conversion optimisation is cripplingly under-appreciated when it can and should be one of the most influential growth levers for a business. </p> <p>In my experience conversion optimisation is seen as a simple, tactical element of marketing. It typically plays no important role in the growth strategy of businesses.</p> <h3>You don’t invest in something you don’t appreciate</h3> <p>Where there is little perceived value in something, it is to be expected that you are not going to invest energy, time and resources in it – particularly people.</p> <p>In the early years of conversion optimisation, the most influential testing platforms positioned A/B testing as a simple and quick way to tweak your website and see if you could get more people to do what you wanted them to. Businesses were encouraged to provide their developers with a few lines of JavaScript, then you could leave them to it whilst you as the marketeer got on with using the WYSIWYG editor to set-up A/B tests.</p> <p>This led to a big rise in investment in tools and technology for conversion optimisation – with little if any investment in a multi-disciplinary team to develop intelligent, insight driven A/B tests. </p> <p>With the proliferation of talk, investment, excitement and worry about “AI” and machine-learning, what’s lost in the shuffle is the importance of investing in human beings. </p> <p>Until businesses realise growth is about people, and they should be investing in Human Intelligence in advance of Artificial Intelligence, investing in the right level of skills and resources simply won’t happen.</p> <h3>You don’t have the people or skills to conduct intelligent, genuine user research</h3> <p>Investing in user research is fundamental to any business that is striving to become customer centric and develop an experimentation mindset.</p> <p>With limited (if any) investment in people, there is limited (or non-existent) investment in conducting user research, in whichever form this may take.</p> <p>I find it shocking just how many companies go years without stopping to think “is what we are doing <em>really</em> what our visitors are looking for?”.</p> <h3>Without behavioural insights there is a lack of intelligence behind changes</h3> <p>Coming up with tests based on egos, opinions, best practices and competitor activities is the norm for most businesses. </p> <p>Test hypotheses are pretty much non-existent, and even if there is some form of hypothesis, it lacks genuine intelligence through behavioural research and understanding.</p> <p>Based on my experiences, over 75% of A/B tests that are run lack a genuine “why?” behind the test variation.</p> <h3>Confirmation bias leads to incorrect conclusions</h3> <p>All of us, including optimisers, suffer from confirmation bias – if you work really hard for something, your mind wants to believe that it's true: </p> <blockquote> <p>Does this variation really increase conversion rate by 94%? </p> <p>Is one week really enough to gather sufficient and appropriate levels of visitors to make a highly informed decision?</p> <p>Did we increase the micro conversion rate but didn’t bother looking at what effect this had on the macro conversion rate? </p> </blockquote> <p>A lack of statistical understanding coupled with a desire to want tests to be successful very often erodes the integrity behind the test results.</p> <h3>If you put garbage in, you get garbage out </h3> <p>Yes, never has this been more true than in A/B testing.</p> <p>Come up with a test idea with little or no research, hypothesis, data and intelligence, and you are not going to make any learnings off the back of it.</p> <p>I have previously shared how MVT (multivariate testing) should be renamed NHT – No Hypothesis Testing. When you run an experiment with multiple variations of different “things” mixed together, there is no intelligence or hypothesis there. </p> <p>The most successful companies with a genuine experimentation mindset are learning all the time about how to influence the decision making of their prospects and customers. </p> <p>There are very few successful companies in conversion optimisation.</p> <h3>Conversion optimisation doesn’t shift the needle</h3> <p>The harsh truth is that most companies don’t see that conversion optimisation has had a tangible, credible and trustworthy positive impact on their primary performance metrics. </p> <p>The number of times I have been in a meeting with a potential client who has been “running tests for the last few years”, whom I ask “what commercial impact have you seen on your bottom line?” which results in a very flat, non-committal answer, tells its own story. </p> <p>It's what industry thought leader Craig Sullivan explains simply as “the trough of disillusionment”.</p> <h3>If it doesn’t deliver value then why bother?</h3> <p>In the trough of disillusionment, it's understandable for the decision makers within a business to look at this investment in conversion optimisation and conclude “why are we bothering?”.</p> <p>With acquisition long established as the easiest way for a business to get more sales, simultaneously lining Google’s big pockets, it's easy to see why investment in conversion optimisation can be seriously questioned – particularly for businesses who have first-hand experience of the butterfly effect which comes from a lack of understanding.</p> <h3>In summary</h3> <p>“Yes but what about this ‘butterfly effect killing the conversion optimisation industry?” I hear you say.</p> <p>Well, following on from my points above, what are we left with? </p> <p><strong>1. Conversion optimisation is fundamentally misunderstood</strong></p> <p>Which means that...</p> <p><strong>2. Conversion optimisation is underappreciated</strong></p> <p>Which means that...</p> <p><strong>3. Conversion optimisation gets little in the way of investment in people</strong></p> <p>Which means that...</p> <p><strong>4. Conversion optimisation is done with little (if any) intelligent user research insights</strong></p> <p>Which means that...</p> <p><strong>5. Conversion optimisation lacks any real form of intelligence behind what is being tested</strong></p> <p>Which means that...</p> <p><strong>6. Conversion optimisation is dominated by test “results” which are a lie</strong></p> <p>Which means that...</p> <p><strong>7. Conversion optimisation delivers little (if any) tangible &amp; actionable visitor learnings</strong></p> <p>Which means that...</p> <p><strong>8. Conversion optimisation delivers little (if any) commercial impact</strong></p> <p>Which means that...</p> <p><strong>9. Conversion optimisation is considered irrelevant to the growth ambitions of the business</strong></p> <p>Which means that….  </p> <p>We are left with a CRO industry and way of doing business which, though it can prove a competitive advantage (see Amazon as one example), is actually the most under-utilised part in the whole of digital marketing.</p> <p>Until conversion optimisation is understood for what it truly is, it will remain as the biggest missed opportunity in global marketing.</p> <p>True conversion optimisation is the beginning of a mindset transformation within a business, maturing to becoming a truly customer centric organisation that embraces experimentation and long term thinking to out-perform their competitors.</p> <p><em><strong>More on conversion optimisation:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69447-ask-the-experts-conversion-rate-optimisation-trends-challenges-strategy">Ask the experts: CRO trends, challenges &amp; strategy</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/conversion-rate-optimization-report/">Conversion rate optimisation report (subscriber only)</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4623 2017-10-11T10:00:00+01:00 2017-10-11T10:00:00+01:00 Conversion Rate Optimization Report 2017 <p>This is the ninth annual <strong>Conversion Rate Optimization Report</strong>, in association with <strong><a href="http://www.redeye.com/">RedEye</a></strong>.</p> <p>The research, based on an online survey of more than 800 digital marketers and ecommerce professionals, 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, which has been updated for this year's report.</li> <li>The six key factors contributing to CRO success.</li> </ul> <h2><strong>Key findings</strong></h2> <ul> <li>Importance of CRO is widely acknowledged, fueled by a need for continued improvements.</li> <li>Complex testing continues to be the preserve of the few.</li> <li>Personalization challenges are preventing uptake.</li> <li>Responsibility for CRO is shared, requiring a structured approach.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Download a copy of the report to learn more.</strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69447 2017-10-03T09:45:00+01:00 2017-10-03T09:45:00+01:00 Ask the experts: Conversion rate optimisation trends, challenges & strategy Ben Davis <ol> <li> <a href="#Is%20it%20fair%20to%20say%20CRO%20is%20not%20as%20en%20vogue%20as%20it%20has%20been?%20If%20so,%20why?">Is it fair to say CRO is not as en vogue as it has been? If so, why?</a> </li> <li> <a href="#Is%20there%20received%20wisdom%20for%20what%20metrics%20conversion%20specialists%20should%20be%20measuring?%20And%20over%20what%20period?">Is there received wisdom for what metrics conversion specialists should be measuring? And over what period?</a> </li> <li> <a href="https://econsultancy.com/admin/blog_posts/69447-ask-the-experts-conversion-rate-optimisation-trends-challenges-strategy/edit/Mobile%20seems%20to%20have%20increased%20the%20checkout%20abandonment%20rate.%20What%20criteria/features%20are%20particularly%20important%20when%20creating%20%E2%80%98flow%E2%80%99%20in%20the%20checkout">Mobile seems to have increased the checkout abandonment rate. What criteria/features are particularly important when creating ‘flow’ in the checkout?</a> </li> <li> <a href="#What%20are%20your%20absolute%20UX%20no-nos?%20(e.g.%20carousel,%20type%20of%20nav,%20type%20of%20content%20etc.)">What are your absolute UX no-nos? (e.g. carousel, type of nav, type of content etc.)</a> </li> <li> <a href="#What%20are%20the%20best%20tools%20for%20CRO?%20Has%20Google%20Optimize%20been%20widely%20adopted?">What are the best tools for CRO? Has Google Optimize been widely adopted?</a> </li> <li> <a href="#What%20sorts%20of%20dynamic%20content%20and%20strategies%20are%20cutting-edge%20optimisers%20experimenting%20with?">What sorts of dynamic content and strategies are cutting-edge optimisers experimenting with?</a> </li> <li> <a href="#What%20are%20the%20pros%20and%20cons%20of%20machine-learning-led%20solutions?">What are the pros and cons of machine learning solutions?</a> </li> </ol> <h4>1. <a name="Is%20it%20fair%20to%20say%20CRO%20is%20not%20as%20en%20vogue%20as%20it%20has%20been?"></a>Is it fair to say CRO is not as en vogue as it has been?</h4> <p><em><strong><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/paulrouke/?ppe=1">Paul Rouke</a>,</strong><strong> </strong><strong>founder &amp; CEO,</strong></em> <em><strong>PRWD:</strong></em></p> <p>Yes. There is a divide taking place in the industry. The businesses at the strategic and transformative level of maturity don't even use the term CRO or conversion optimisation. Experimentation is the mindset change they have adopted and made part of their DNA. Brands like Amazon, Skyscanner, Booking.com, Shop Direct, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68375-airbnb-how-its-customer-experience-is-revolutionising-the-travel-industry">Airbnb</a> all have an "experimentation culture". The world's largest testing tools now position themselves as Experience Experimentation platforms.</p> <p>Where does that leave the rest of the industry? There is continued mis-understanding and under-appreciation of how conversion optimisation can be a catalyst for a business to become customer centric. In 2017 and beyond, brands have so many "sexy" areas for potential marketing investment, such as social media, programmatic, AI, big data and personalisation, so CRO in its basic sense is seen as tactical bolt-on.</p> <p>Did I also mention that over 95% of marketing spend is still invested in acquisition? This is a shocking and worrying reality.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/8622/img_3108-blog-flyer.png" alt="airbnb" width="250"></p> <p><em>Airbnb has an experimentation culture</em></p> <p><strong><em><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/depeshmandalia/?ppe=1">Depesh Mandalia</a>, CEO, SMCommerce:</em></strong></p> <p>CRO is still pretty important, however my observation from SMEs is that they're unwilling to commit to a single person overseeing CRO, or at least remain unconvinced that CRO is in itself a team or person. Instead more and more marketers are adding the CRO string to their bow, creating landing pages, running split tests and analysing results.</p> <p>The risk here is that the deep technical and statistical expertise that a CRO brings is often overlooked, with credibility given to tests that on the surface look great but lack impact when for example moving from 50% of traffic to 100%, because of statistical significance. There is more a CRO person can bring, but justification is that much more difficult.</p> <p><em><strong><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/tasin/?ppe=1">Tasin Reza</a>, CRO Director, Redeye:</strong></em></p> <p>I wouldn’t say it’s no longer in fashion. I would say it’s now becoming part of the whole success strategy. We are noticing that the companies are now getting their internal CRO team to focus on growth.</p> <p><em><strong><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/greg-randall-5817434/?ppe=1">Greg Randall</a>, MD, Comma Consulting:</strong></em></p> <p>Any organisation that offers CRO as a solution is a dinosaur. This is an old outdated approach and philosophy in improving the performance of the digital channel. The view of conversion rate optimisation is to try and make more money and improve conversion rates for the retailer. While this is important, it forces the business down an internalised view of success and puts the priorities of the brand/retailer first when in fact it should be the customer. </p> <p>CRO brings with it old outdated approaches to improve performance. Many CRO practitioners drive this function via AB testing. While this is part of a successful recipe, it is a very small piece to a larger puzzle. If AB testing is conducted on pages where digital best practice is not in place, the results will not add value. It’s like having a poor control group in the context of science.</p> <p>So what should take CRO’s place? Retailers need to replace CRO’s with “CCEO”’s…. “Chief Customer Empathy Officers”. A CCEO focuses on creating amazing online experiences and comes from the perspective of the consumer. Through this focus, consumers who have amazing experiences with a brand will be far more likely to purchase and develop loyalty.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9322/fossil.jpeg" alt="dinosaur" width="293" height="172"> </p> <p><em>CRO as dinosaur?</em></p> <h4>2. <a name="Is%20there%20received%20wisdom%20for%20what%20metrics%20conversion%20specialists%20should%20be%20measuring?%20And%20over%20what%20period?"></a>Is there received wisdom for what metrics conversion specialists should be measuring? And over what period?</h4> <p><em><strong>Paul Rouke:</strong></em></p> <p>The first thing to make clear is that "conversion rate" should never be looked at as the one main metric. Optimisers should be looking at broader business metrics, AOV, retention, RPV as well as ROI from their largest acquisition channels.</p> <p>Experimentation efforts should be measured both in the test period but also following the implementaion of successful tests. Post implemention testing, to understand the reality of how the change is actually impacting user behaviour and business metrics, is hardly ever done.</p> <p>When measuring performance, it's far more intelligent to look at funnel performance and other key indicators such as the percentage of visitors who are being sent further through your discovery and purchase funnel – there are simply too many external factors influencing site-wide conversion to make this the primary success measure – it's just a shame that the industry acronym is CRO!</p> <p><em><strong>Depesh Mandalia:</strong></em></p> <p>For the seasoned CRO practitioner, the measurement goals are quite clear; at KPI level, macro level and micro. You can't shift the click-to-buy conversion rate through a single test – instead you can impact a macro or micro conversion along the customer journey.</p> <p>Even then segmentation, for example by marketing channel, further muddies the waters when you consider how buyer behaviour will differ across channel and thus a low conversion rate on a top of the funnel keyword search may not simply be a problem with the website, but a natural part of the journey for a particular person. Therefore it continues to be of upmost importance to consider buying cycles when deciding how long a test should run, not simply to wait for statistical significance which does not take human behaviour into account. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5175/cj.png" alt="customer journey" width="600"></p> <p><em>A typical customer journey can be complex</em></p> <p><em><strong><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/matthewpaullacey/?ppe=1">Matt Lacey</a>, performance director, Code Computerlove:</strong></em></p> <p>We’re swimming in data these days, but a clear measurement strategy and well-defined KPIs are all too often lacking. Metrics will vary significantly depending on business model and business life stage.</p> <p>Defining 3-4 actionable metrics to focus on, and measuring them with consistency, is a great way to start. Fundamentally, you need to understand how metrics are related, which ones demonstrate success, and which you can influence.</p> <p>For ecommerce businesses, global conversion rate is a default metric, but revenue per visitor may be a better metric that helps you understand conversion, abandonment and AOV in one figure.</p> <p><strong><em>Greg Randall:</em></strong></p> <p>The Chief Company Empathy Officer works beyond behavioural data to gather value-driven insights to broaden and strengthen amazing retail experiences. The mix of data sources required are both quantitative and qualitative.</p> <p>Broader and more reliable data sources include:</p> <ul> <li>Behavioural site data</li> <li>Customer Support team data</li> <li>Chat data</li> <li>Employee interviews (interviewing those on the coalface to identify consumer pain points)</li> </ul> <p>The insights gathered from support teams, chat, and employees deliver context to the behavioural data and enriches the insights from the consumer’s perspective. This clearer view of consumer buying/information gathering journeys enables the Chief Company Empathy Officer to provide more value-driven changes to both the online and in-store experiences.</p> <h4>3. <a name="Mobile%20seems%20to%20have%20increased%20the%20checkout%20abandonment%20rate.%20What%20criteria/features%20are%20particularly%20important%20when%20creating%20%E2%80%98flow%E2%80%99%20in%20the%20checkout?"></a>Mobile seems to have increased the checkout abandonment rate. What criteria/features are particularly important when creating ‘flow’ in the checkout?</h4> <p><em><strong>Paul Rouke:</strong></em></p> <p>It's all about simplicity and pure usability – remove unnecessary fields, use large, finger-friendly form elements and buttons, dynamically change the keyboard based on the input, chunk up fields so as not to overwhelm visitors.</p> <p>User research is one of the most effective ways to quickly understand how usable your mobile checkout is. I recommend brands follow in Schuh's shoes (so to speak!) – don't accept that "mobile conversion rates will always be less than desktop".</p> <p>Providing Paypal as a primary payment option also means visitors don't need to mess about with their credit card.</p> <p><em><strong>Depesh Mandalia:</strong></em></p> <p>Mobile <a href="http://www.smartinsights.com/mobile-marketing/mobile-marketing-analytics/mobile-marketing-statistics/">has not seen a significant shift</a> in conversion rate over the last few years, however the same report signifies an increase in multi-device attribution which could suggest the focus on decreasing mobile dropout could be on enabling a better multi-device experience.</p> <p>For example if you have a fairly complex product that needs configuration and then consideration, offer the user the ability to save their configured product to email to view later, most likely on desktop or tablet perhaps if they want a better look later.</p> <p><em><strong>Tasin Reza:</strong></em></p> <p>I always say Keep Things Simple Stupid (KISS) and for mobile, this is even more important. The fewer steps users have to complete on mobile, the better their experience will be. For example, we have seen an increase in mobile conversion rate with the introduction of the PayPal express checkout.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9323/pp_express.jpg" alt="paypal express checkout" width="400"></p> <h4>4. <a name="What%20are%20your%20absolute%20UX%20no-nos?%20(e.g.%20carousel,%20type%20of%20nav,%20type%20of%20content%20etc.)"></a>What are your absolute UX no-nos? (e.g. carousel, type of nav, type of content etc.)</h4> <p><em><strong>Paul Rouke:</strong></em></p> <p>Firstly, are you conducting user research? If not, then how can you start to know 100% that some of your UX isn't working for your visitors? If and when you develop an experimentation culture, nothing is specifically a no-no – you will research and potentially test what is working or not working for your visitors.</p> <p><em><strong>Depesh Mandalia:</strong></em></p> <p>Lots of research has been put in on the use and impact of carousels and this continues to remain a UX no-no. The primary problem is of user focus and the impact on cognitive load. The more the user has to think about or decide between, the less likely they are to make a positive choice.</p> <p>Another definite no is music auto-play, which Facebook recently announced they'd be enabling by default for videos. There's nothing that annoys customers more (perhaps) than visiting a website with sounds on auto-play when you're not expecting it. This happens on some news and media sites which run auto-play videos.</p> <p><em><strong>Matt Lacey:</strong></em></p> <p>Nothing is sacred when designing an experience, but there are design principles and common heuristics that provide solid foundations for a great experience.</p> <p>We have seen examples on different sites where features and functionality perform quite differently based on context and environment. For example, carousels have won in some A/B tests and lost in others. Both long-form and short form landing pages have won in different contexts as well.</p> <p>If we can move more quickly through cycles of good design using common sense conventions, conducting user research and split testing, we will ultimately build better experiences.</p> <p><em><strong>Tasin Reza:</strong></em></p> <p>There are a couple of things:</p> <ol> <li>Don’t try to trick the user into doing something. While you can get a short term gain, in the longer term this will have a negative impact on the brand. </li> <li>Don’t overload the user with too much content at once. As humans, our attention span is reducing and based on a study I came across, it’s less than a goldfish! What this means is if you try to give a lot of unnecessary content that’s not relevant, users will struggle to find the content they are truly after. </li> </ol> <h4>5. <a name="What%20are%20the%20best%20tools%20for%20CRO?%20Has%20Google%20Optimize%20been%20widely%20adopted?"></a>What are the best tools for CRO? Has Google Optimize been widely adopted?</h4> <p><em><strong>Tasin Reza:</strong></em></p> <p>Based on my personal experience of working with a variety of tools, Optimizely is still the leading tech for CRO. Google Optimize is still in its infancy from a testing tools’ perspective. However, for companies who are just starting their CRO programme, this can be a great tool to prove the return on investment of CRO.</p> <p><em><strong>Paul Rouke:</strong></em></p> <p>The most important tool for businesses is what they have huge access to – their employees' brains. So often people and their expertise and ideas are overlooked or under-utililised – or simply not given the time to apply themselves to conversion optimisation strategy.</p> <p>Tools and technology in the classic sense are purely the facilitator to run experiments. There are too many companies who have "all the gear, and no idea" in my years of experience. There are also huge levels of investment made in tools that simply aren't being utilised to anywhere near their potential.</p> <p><em><strong>Depesh Mandalia:</strong></em></p> <p>As a marketing agency, we work with clients solely on Facebook advertising. However we also have a set of indispensable tools we convince clients to adopt from Hotjar, Google Analytics, a landing page tool like Leadpages or Unbounce and an email automation tool like Autopilot HQ.</p> <p>For any marketing channel to be effective, each part of the journey needs to be optimised from the first ad impression onwards. CRO therefore becomes an integral part of the marketing work we undertake to enable us to take joint responsibility with our clients on converting prospects.</p> <h4>6. <a name="What%20sorts%20of%20dynamic%20content%20and%20strategies%20are%20cutting-edge%20optimisers%20experimenting%20with?"></a>What sorts of dynamic content and strategies are cutting-edge optimisers experimenting with?</h4> <p><em><strong>Paul Rouke:</strong></em></p> <p>Businesses that have embedded an experimentation culture are now focusing a lot of attention on behavioural targeting, advanced personalisation and programmatic.</p> <p><em><strong>Tasin Reza:</strong></em></p> <p>I believe the best thing about CRO is the opportunity to be bold, be innovative and have a fail-fast approach. We have been doing some amazing experiments to try out things that no one has tried before. This allows us to test and learn and move forward with bigger wins.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><em><strong>Depesh Mandalia:</strong></em></p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Whilst old school for some, we're still seeing the benefits of dynamic landing pages based on advertising content. For example sending a link from a Facebook ad into a landing page, with data in the URL which the landing page interprets allows us to serve content and creative on the landing page to match the ad.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">It may sound trivial yet being able to dynamically create landing page experiences on the fly allows us to scale faster. </p> <h4>7. <a name="What%20are%20the%20pros%20and%20cons%20of%20machine-learning-led%20solutions?"></a>What are the pros and cons of machine-learning-led solutions?</h4> <p><em><strong>Matt Lacey:</strong></em></p> <p>I’m really excited about some of the areas where machine learning is being applied to optimising experiences. For example, using machine learning to identify segments that are under- or over-performing based on a wide range of factors, and then tailoring their experience to improve performance.</p> <p>However, there are a few caveats to consider. Machine learning can help us to optimise within a fixed set of constraints, but this leads to a set of limitations. How does it account for brand or lifetime value? How do we identify the size of opportunity within those constraints? How does it impact our approach to broader innovation to grow out of local maxima?</p> <p>The challenge is how to balance human judgment and machine optimisation, but get this right and the opportunities look exciting to say the least.</p> <p><em><strong>Depesh Mandalia:</strong></em></p> <p>I attended Turing Festival last summer in which Oli Gardner (co-founder at Unbounce) gave an amazing talk on how they're using machine learning to optimise landing pages before they're even launched to real users. The fascinating part is that what they were building would become self-learning. It was still in the works and who knows how long it would take to mature the technology but a company like Unbounce, with the millions of data points they have, could really help accelerate learnings for any company, but especially those that suffer from low traffic.</p> <p><em><strong>Tasin Reza:</strong></em></p> <p>Pros – initially heavy resource involvement but later it would automatically provide the best experience. Cons – lack of control. </p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li> <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/conversion-rate-optimization-report/">Conversion Rate Optimization report</a> (subscriber only) </li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68466-could-ai-kill-off-the-conversion-optimisation-consultant/">Could AI kill off the conversion optimisation consultancy?</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68648-five-predictions-for-conversion-rate-optimisation-cro-in-2017/">Five predictions for conversion rate optimisation in 2017</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68839-the-10-principles-for-creating-amazing-online-retail-experiences/">The 10 principles for creating amazing online retail experiences</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69402 2017-09-13T12:29:00+01:00 2017-09-13T12:29:00+01:00 Save the recruitment fees: Focus on process & culture, not more resources James Hammersley <p>Yet one of the observations we would have of many organisations is that they are not short of resources. You might think then that the issue is a shortage of the ‘right’ people, but that’s not necessarily true either.</p> <p>I have begun to wonder whether part of the problem is that as ecommerce develops we are less and less sure about what it is we need. Under these circumstances, particularly if we are being pushed for performance improvements, instincts encourage us to look for more heads and I think that counting heads is the wrong place to start.</p> <p>Our experience suggests that heads are the last things to worry about. Where you need to start is with how you want to work. This can be split into three things:</p> <h4><strong>1. Culture</strong></h4> <p>Organisations can behave badly, or at least the people in them can. In ecommerce we need everyone to work together, quite often including support functions such as legal and compliance as well as the more obvious IT and marketing.</p> <p>Function-first cultures abound in many places and these can at best slow down efforts to improve performance and at worst militate against them.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8923/badly.png" alt="" width="508" height="254"></p> <p><em>For more on this point, download Econsultancy's guide to <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/reports/building-a-digital-culture">Building A Digital Culture</a>.</em></p> <p><strong>2. Processes</strong></p> <p>Part of the reason why key functions can impact adversely on ecommerce teams is that there is no shared process to underpin roles and expectations. This gives permission for ‘localism’ and enables turf wars and the metaphorical stamping of feet.</p> <p><strong>3. Expert-led thinking</strong></p> <p>Experts in our world are often the cause of failure rather than the answer to a problem. I don’t mean specialists – these are generally very useful to have as they bring expertise and specific skills to help resolve problems.  </p> <p>I’m referring to the self-described ‘expert’ that does seem to exist in many ecommerce teams. You know the types, they start their contributions with phrases like: ‘as a UX expert’ and throw all the jargon in that allow the rest of us to play digital bingo as they talk.</p> <h3>The solution</h3> <p>Generally speaking, if you want to build a high-performing ecommerce team then you will need to be active in your management of culture, processes and egos. In immature functions this is a real challenge but if you get this right, it opens up significant opportunities to be quite radical in resourcing.</p> <p><strong>Cultures need to be customer-centric.</strong> They need to value, recognise and reward constant curiosity about the customer in the market as well as the current customer. They need to be driven by a desire to understand why people do and do not buy or become a lead or self-serve. Cultures that work best in ecommerce are curious, open, learning and rigourous about data and insight.</p> <p><strong>Processes need to be cross-functional.</strong> They should be disciplined and driven from the customer agenda not from a particular functional one. At every stage decision-making needs to be well defined including the data/insight required to make effective decisions. They have to include a test and learn discipline that iterates and links back into developing the understanding of the customer agenda.</p> <p>People need to be low-ego, high standards and low maintenance. They have to be able to collaborate internally and externally and they have to be able to follow a structured disciplined process. Technical specialists are important, but even more important is to ensure you identify the right capabilities that drive performance.  </p> <p>In our view these aren’t defined by activities such as UX/CX or web analytics but by skills sets that can make a competitive difference regardless of where they are deployed:  </p> <ul> <li>Data comprehension and manipulation</li> <li>Customer insight generation process</li> <li>Commercial understanding</li> </ul> <p>Thinking this way about capabilities changes the ‘talent’ pool from a rather limited one into one that embraces a very wide range of disciplines and backgrounds. After all, ecommerce isn’t rocket science is it? What differentiates the outstanding performers are those who understand their customers and the customers in their market and know how to use that to develop optimised executions through a process of test and learn.  </p> <p>That’s true whether you are marketing, selling or building customer relationships.</p> <p>Resourcing against the values that build the right cultures, the attitude that accepts the need to work collaboratively and within strong common processes and a genuine interest in customers rather than themselves is likely to deliver far better outcomes. It will also make your ecommerce team a great one to work for.</p> <p><em>For more on this topic, read:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68840-culture-and-digital-transformation-how-to-build-a-living-business/"><em>Culture and digital transformation: How to build a 'living business'</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69324-10-companies-with-a-digital-culture"><em>10 companies with a digital culture</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69380 2017-08-31T09:53:00+01:00 2017-08-31T09:53:00+01:00 Arsenal vs. Spurs: Which Premier League club offers the best mobile UX? David Moth <p>Since redesigning and replatforming <a href="https://arsenaldirect.arsenal.com/">their retail site</a> with SAP Hybris Commerce, the club has seen an 86% increase in mobile transactions, a 42% increase in sales, and a 57% reduction in page load time.</p> <p>The ability to checkout using Euros, US dollars, Australian dollars has contributed to a 48% increase in sales from outside the UK. A fine result indeed. To give an idea of the work that has been carried out, here are before and after images of the product pages.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8577/Old_Arsenal_Direct_PDP.png" alt="" width="700" height="469"></p> <p><em>The old design</em></p> <p><em><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8578/New_Arsenal_Direct_PDP.png" alt="" width="650" height="478"></em></p> <p><em>The new design</em></p> <p>The redesign included:</p> <ul> <li>Cleaner design with a focus on key products and imagery.</li> <li>Better visibility of key customer journeys; shop-by-player and shirt personalisation.</li> <li>Improved rendering of shirt personalisation.</li> <li>Improved shirt personalisation journey based on mobile first principles.</li> <li>Redesign of the checkout also based on mobile first design principles.</li> </ul> <p>It’s the last two points that I’ve chosen to focus on for this article, because the 86% increase in mobile transactions is quite impressive. To add an element of competition, I’ve compared Arsenal’s mobile journey versus that of my own club, the Hotspurs.</p> <p>Read on to find my totally unbiased appraisal. And for more on digital in the Premier League, checkout these other posts:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69332-how-premier-league-club-websites-are-changing-a-swansea-and-stoke-case-study/">How Premier League club websites are changing: A Swansea &amp; Stoke case study</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68696-digital-transformation-in-the-premier-league-southampton-fc-s-fan-first-strategy/">Digital transformation in the Premier League: Southampton FC's fan-first strategy</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68828-after-years-of-apathy-football-clubs-are-embracing-digital-transformation">After years of apathy, football clubs are embracing digital transformation</a></li> </ul> <h3>My Arsenal journey</h3> <p>The homepage has a hero image that aims to nudge people towards buying the new away kit. It features an indifferent Mesut Ozil, goal-shy Theo Walcott, and a third player who I don’t actually recognise. How can I resist clicking ‘Shop now’?</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8561/Arsenal_1.png" alt="" width="250" height="444">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8563/Arsenal_product_listing.png" alt="" width="250" height="444"></p> <p>The product page is clearly designed to get people to personalise their shirts. One could very easily accuse Arsenal of employing <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68973-13-examples-of-dark-patterns-in-ecommerce-checkouts">a dark UX pattern here</a>, pushing people towards the more expensive option.</p> <p>Adding a name and number to the shirt is very simple and the product image immediately reflects your choice. Not rocket science, but still all very quick and user-friendly thus far.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8564/Arsenal_4.png" alt="" width="250" height="444">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8565/Arsenal_5.png" alt="" width="250" height="444"></p> <p>One criticism would be that the shirt cost has jumped from £55 to £71 without warning. I would expect a personalised shirt to cost more, but the new price is shown below the 'Add sleeve patches' call-to-action, so users might miss the price increase if they don't scroll down past the CTA. A bit sneaky perhaps, and some users might abandon their purchase if they reach the checkout without noticing the price hike.</p> <p>And by the way, those sleeve patches are an extra £8.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8566/Arsenal_8.png" alt="" width="250" height="444">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8567/Arsenal_checkout.png" alt="" width="250" height="444"> </p> <p>As promised, the checkout is very simple to use and ticks <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65493-10-of-the-world-s-best-mobile-commerce-checkouts/">all the best practice boxes</a>. A progress bar lets me know it won’t take long to make the purchase and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65311-seven-important-ux-requirements-for-online-postcode-validation">the postcode lookup tool</a> simplifies the process of entering personal details. It even accepts Paypal.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8562/Arsenal_checkout_2.png" alt="" width="250" height="444">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8568/Arsenal_checkout_3.png" alt="" width="250" height="444"></p> <p>Standard delivery is almost £5 though, which seems steep at a time when most retailers offer free delivery or click and collect options. In total my order comes to £83.95.  </p> <h3>The Arsenal result</h3> <p>Overall the mobile purchase journey for a personalised Arsenal shirt was extremely quick and easy. The path from product page to checkout completion was very slick and intuitive, with each screen only requiring a handful of interactions.</p> <p>You could argue that it would be better to condense the checkout onto a single screen, but I don’t think that matters too much as long as there’s a progress bar and each page is short and simple.</p> <h3>My Tottenham journey</h3> <p>I breathed a sigh of relief that Spurs have a mobile site – it would have been a crushing blow if we fell at the first hurdle. </p> <p>The hero image on the homepage promotes Champions League merchandise, an option that wasn’t available on the Arsenal site for some reason. It takes three clicks to get to the home shirt product page, which costs £60. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8569/Spurs_homepage.png" alt="" width="250" height="444">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8570/Spurs_product_page.png" alt="" width="250" height="444"></p> <p>I’m trying to be objective here, and I think that the product pages are pretty much on par with one another.</p> <p>Both have good product images, and while Spurs get bonus points <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/9366-ecommerce-consumer-reviews-why-you-need-them-and-how-to-use-them">for product reviews</a>, I prefer Arsenal’s use of buttons to choose the shirt size instead of a dropdown menu. And if we’re assuming that both clubs would prefer to nudge fans towards getting a personalised shirt, then Arsenal’s CTA is probably more effective. </p> <p>If a customer opts for a personalised Spurs shirt, the options are presented in a pop up rather than on a new screen. Though it’s a slightly different experience, the outcome is the same – you enter your name and number and the product image is updated accordingly.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8571/Spurs_product_page_2.png" alt="" width="250" height="444">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8572/Spurs_personalisation.png" alt="" width="250" height="444"></p> <p>Spurs do offer some extra options though – you can choose between two fonts (Spurs Lettering or Premier League Lettering), though I’m not sure if that was reflected on the product image as I couldn’t tell any difference. And there’s also the extra option of Champions League badges, again an option that was missing from the Arsenal site.</p> <p>Spurs gain points here for being a bit more upfront about costs, but unfortunately our flaky nature now comes into play...</p> <p>You notice that heart icon at the bottom right of the personalisation screen? I clicked it, but as far as I can tell it didn’t do anything other than boot me back to the product page, deleting the shirt information I had just filled in.</p> <p>Also, if you click the blue 'Confirm’ button, the shirt is subtly added to your basket without any real warning. But you’re then left on the product page, where the price hasn’t been updated to reflect the personalised name and number. </p> <p>Worse still, the next logical step is to click the ‘Add to Bag’ button. But if you click ‘Add to Bag’ you then actually have two items in your basket. And at the checkout you can’t delete the items individually, you have to either buy both shirts or delete the entire order. I wasn’t actually planning to buy a shirt, and I still got frustrated at all this clicking.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8574/Spurs_checkout_2.png" alt="" width="250" height="444">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8573/Spurs_checkout.png" alt="" width="250" height="444"></p> <p>Pleasingly, the checkout experience is very swift. It all sits on one page, with concertinas expanding out as you move through each phase.</p> <h3>The final result</h3> <p>While the checkouts are evenly matched, Arsenal win this little UX test as Tottenham have contrived to shoot themselves in the foot at the last minute (just like both our home games so far this season...).</p> <p>On the product page Spurs don’t make it clear that the personalised shirt has been added to the user’s shopping basket, nor does the product page reflect the updated cost. It leads to a lot of unnecessary confusion and frustration, which lets down an otherwise quick and simple purchase journey.</p> <p>In contrast Arsenal’s mobile user journey requires minimal thought or effort on the user’s behalf. My only criticism would be that the additional costs for personalising a shirt are not made clear, which could lead some fans to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/11182-basket-abandonment-case-studies-and-tips-to-help-improve-your-conversion-rates">abandon their purchase</a>.</p> <p>Overall then, Arsenal win this user test. Does that make this the ecommerce version of St Totteringham’s Day?</p> <p><em>To learn more on this topic, check out these Econsultancy resources:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/mobile-user-experience-mobile-marketing/"><em>Mobile UX (User Experience) &amp; Marketing Training</em></a></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/user-experience-and-interaction-design-for-mobile-and-web">User Experience and Interaction Design for Mobile and Web</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69313 2017-08-04T10:26:00+01:00 2017-08-04T10:26:00+01:00 10 thrilling digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week Nikki Gilliland <h3>Users spend nearly 30 minutes on Instagram every day</h3> <p>Thanks to the popularity of Instagram Stories, which is now a year old, <a href="http://blog.instagram.com/post/163728483085/170802-storiesbirthday" target="_blank">Instagram</a> has revealed that people are spending more time on the platform overall.</p> <p>Users under the age of 25 are said to spend more than 32mins a day on Instagram. Similarly, users aged 25 and older use the app for more than 24mins a day.</p> <p>Stories has 250m daily users, with teenagers consuming four times more stories and producing six times more stories than non-teens.</p> <p>Brands have also been quick to see the value of Instagram Stories – 51% of monthly active businesses have posted a story in the last 28 days.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Celebrating one year of Instagram Stories <a href="https://t.co/GTJaFW7KdW">https://t.co/GTJaFW7KdW</a></p> — Instagram (@instagram) <a href="https://twitter.com/instagram/status/892748576195043329">August 2, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Marketers willing to pay Facebook influencers £75k per post</h3> <p>Research by Rakuten Marketing has revealed that UK marketers are willing to pay influencers more than £75,000 for a single Facebook post mentioning their brand. This figure rises depending on the industry, with premium fashion marketers saying they’d be willing to pay up to £160,000 per post. </p> <p>Earnings also differ by platform, as celebrity influencers on Facebook are said to earn an average of 12% more than their YouTube peers. And while Snapchat is ranked fifth in terms of earnings, marketers still say they are willing to pay stars as much as £53,000 per Snap.</p> <p>This news comes despite the fact that 86% of marketers admit they aren’t entirely sure how influencer fees are calculated, and 38% cannot tell whether a campaign drives sales.</p> <h3>Brands must offer more to build loyalty with younger customers</h3> <p>A new study by <a href="http://thoughtleadership.ricoh-europe.com/uk/triple-r/digital-innovation-key-for-smes-pursuing-customer-relationship-excellence/" target="_blank">Ricoh UK</a> has highlighted the generational differences when it comes to attitudes about customer service.</p> <p>Research found that older age groups are less forgiving to brands, with 62% of those aged over 55 saying they would be prepared to walk away from a brand with a laborious sales process compared to 43% of those aged 16-24.</p> <p>Meanwhile, younger customers expect far more information at the consideration stage and post-sales interaction – 43% of those aged 16-24 rated third party reviews and recommendations as the factor that impresses them most, compared to only 20% of people aged 55+.</p> <p>Out of all age groups, 55% of customers say they would abandon a purchase if they found the process difficult.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8088/Capture.JPG" alt="" width="473" height="197"></p> <h3>Brands send more holiday-themed emails despite lower open rates </h3> <p>A new <a href="http://www.yeslifecyclemarketing.com/who-we-are/news-and-events/news/study-q4-2016-holiday-themed-emails-may-produce-lower-open-rates" target="_blank">study</a> by Yes Lifecycle Marketing, which involved the analysis of almost 8bn emails sent in Q4 2016, found that holiday-themed emails generated a 14.6% lower open rate than standard emails.</p> <p>Despite this, brands sent 14.5% more emails to subscribers during the period, with 55% of all brands partaking in holiday-themed campaigns. </p> <p>The research also suggests that customers do not particularly value discounts in holiday-themed emails. Emails that didn't include an offer achieved higher open rates than those that promised money off.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8087/holiday_emails.JPG" alt="" width="738" height="226"></p> <h3>UK’s June heatwave sparked a 200% increase in Fitbit searches</h3> <p>It might feel like a distant memory now, but analysis by Summit has revealed how retailers benefited from the recent spell of hot weather in the UK.</p> <p>As temperatures reached 34.5 degrees this June, consumers purchased more goods relating to fitness and the great outdoors. Argos sold enough paddling pools to hold over 70m litres of water during the heatwave.</p> <p>Meanwhile, Fitbit searches saw a 200% increase in demand, and camping-related search terms increased by 86%, driving the biggest increase in demand in nine years. Lastly, searches for fishing equipment more than doubled, seeing a 193% increase, and demonstrating how changes in temperature can influence purchasing decisions.</p> <h3>Discounts on direct hotel bookings increase average order value</h3> <p>Research conducted by <a href="https://www.hotelchamp.com/blog/boost-direct-bookings-build-guest-relations/" target="_blank">Hotelchamp</a> has shown that discounts can result in higher conversion rate and average order value for direct hotel bookings.</p> <p>It found that hotels offering a 5% discount (rather than no discount) resulted in an 11% increase in conversion rate and a 12% increase in average booking value. When this was increased to a 10% discount, it found a 50% increase in conversion rate and an 11% increase in average booking value. </p> <p>So, despite offering a discount to guests in both instances, the average booking value always increased by over 10%, meaning that customers were naturally more inclined to purchase upsell features such as breakfast or a room upgrade.</p> <h3>A quarter of US consumers stop buying from brands due to political beliefs</h3> <p><a href="https://www.ipsos.com/en-us/knowledge/society/brand-risk-in-new-age-of-populism" target="_blank">Ipsos</a> has found that the political preferences of consumers have an increasing impact on their buying behaviour. </p> <p>In a survey of 2,016 US adults, it found that a quarter of American consumers have stopped using products and services due to boycotts or a company’s political leanings.</p> <p>The study also revealed that there has been an uptick in online search traffic for the term ‘boycott’ since Trump was officially elected in November 2016. Meanwhile, it found that the firms with the highest rate of consumer boycotts also registered the worst stock market performance between November 2016 and February 2017.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8086/boycott.JPG" alt="" width="637" height="298"></p> <h3>UK ad viewability reaches highest level in over a year</h3> <p>According to analysis by <a href="https://www.meetrics.com/en/benchmarks-uk/" target="_blank">Meetrics</a>, UK ad viewability has risen for the first time in nine months.</p> <p>This appears to be due to a significant increase in the amount of banner ads that meet minimum requirements – rising from 47% to 51% of ads in the second quarter of 2017. This is the highest level since Q3 2016, when 54% of ads met the minimum standard. </p> <p>Despite this news, the UK is still lagging behind in viewability levels compared to elsewhere in Europe, where countries like Austria and France have an average of 69% and 58% respectively. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8089/meetrics.JPG" alt="" width="680" height="267"></p> <h3>UK consumers positive about personal job security</h3> <p>In a survey of 2,000 UK consumers, <a href="http://www.lloydsbankinggroup.com/media/economic-insight/economic-research-library/spending-power-report/" target="_blank">Lloyds</a> found that 64% of people were feeling positive about their personal financial situation in June – up from 63% in May and just two percentage points lower than in June of last year.</p> <p>Despite the value of the pound falling since then, UK consumers appear relatively unfazed when it comes to their own personal prospects, with 80% saying they feel optimistic about their own job security, and 53% saying they are positive about employment prospects nationally.</p> <p>Howoever, the survey did highlight some disparity between attitudes about personal finances and the national economy as a whole, with just 33% saying they feel good about the UK’s financial situation compared to 45% in June 2016.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69301 2017-08-02T11:14:52+01:00 2017-08-02T11:14:52+01:00 How 10 online retailers promote free and fast shipping Nikki Gilliland <p>While <a href="http://www2.temando.com/l/86602/2017-07-10/4g564b">the research suggests</a> that 86% of UK shoppers prefer free over fast delivery, the majority of retailers assume that customers want a fast shipping service above anything else. As a result, just 27% of retailers say they offer free standard shipping every day, and almost a quarter of retailers admit that they don't use free shipping as a promotional tool.</p> <p>With this in mind, let’s take a look at how some of the biggest online retailers are promoting the service – and perhaps what they could be doing better.</p> <h3>Argos</h3> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67237-eight-examples-of-best-practice-on-argos-product-pages/" target="_blank">Argos</a> is one retailer that firmly favours fast delivery. </p> <p>Its FastTrack service is highlighted throughout its website, heavily promoting the fact that customers can get their hands on products the very same day as placing the order, seven days a week.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7950/Argos.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="365"></p> <p>While the £3.95 price point could arguably put off customers who do prefer free delivery, its Click and Collect service means there is also a fast <em>and</em> free alternative – a feature that combines the best of both worlds. </p> <p>Interestingly, Argos does offer free standard delivery on selected items (in an estimated four working days), but this option is kept a little under wraps, with the retailer clearly placing greater value on its FastTrack option. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7951/FastTrack.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="434"></p> <h3>B&amp;Q</h3> <p>B&amp;Q is not quite as transparent as Argos, with the price of its next day and standard delivery services only being highlighted at the checkout (or in the dedicated delivery info section).</p> <p>It also fails to use the word ‘free’ alongside its click and collect service, and although this is an arguably obvious detail its exclusion seems like a bit of an oversight.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7953/B_Q_1.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="552"></p> <p>That being said, its free delivery on items over £50 is nicely promoted, making sense for customers who will naturally buy bigger or bulkier items online. </p> <p>I also like the icons on category pages that tell customers whether items are available for pick up in-store at a glance.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7954/B_Q.JPG" alt="" width="448" height="412"></p> <h3>John Lewis</h3> <p>John Lewis is a little less worried about the speed of its delivery service, instead choosing to promote free services – both in terms of standard delivery and click and collect.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7955/John_Lewis.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="444"></p> <p>If Temando’s research is correct, and the majority of customers do value low or no-cost shipping, this could work in its favour.</p> <p>However, the fact that customers need to spend £50 to qualify could mean that people are more likely to go in-store. And while it’s a tactic used to increase overall order value, the trend for webrooming (browsing online before buying in-store) could also contribute to customers wanting to look elsewhere.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7959/John_Lewis_2.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="448"></p> <h3>Tesco</h3> <p>Last week, Tesco announced that it is to roll out its same-day delivery service across the UK, allowing customers to receive groceries from 7pm onwards if they order before 1pm.</p> <p>Unsurprisingly, the supermarket is now heavily promoting this online, highlighting how it can bring customers even greater levels of convenience. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7957/Tesco.JPG" alt="" width="625" height="555"></p> <p>While the service costs between £3 and £9, it is being offered free for a limited period for members of its delivery saver service. But according to Temando, price is not a deal breaker when customers really desire convenience. Its research shows that same-day delivery is the service that most customers are willing to pay extra for, with 56% of women and 57% of men agreeing. </p> <p>With the likes of Amazon setting the bar for this kind of convenience, it’s not surprising that supermarkets are starting to introduce it.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7958/same_day_delivery.JPG" alt="" width="714" height="515"></p> <h3>River Island</h3> <p>River Island often uses delivery promotions to increase online conversions. It is currently offering customers free worldwide delivery for a limited time only. </p> <p>With a prominent site-wide banner on the homepage and a creative tagline, it’s an effective example of how to use free delivery to boost short-term sales. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7960/River_Island.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="481"></p> <p>Again, it looks like River Island is veering toward free rather than fast as its selling point. It also promises free click and collect, and once the current promotion is over, free delivery on orders over £100. </p> <p>Meanwhile, the absence of visible returns information is a bit of a let down. Over a fifth of women are reported to abandon a purchase if free returns are not available, meaning that this could have an adverse impact on conversion rates.</p> <h3>M&amp;S</h3> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67883-marks-spencer-what-does-putting-the-customer-at-the-heart-of-everything-mean/" target="_blank">Marks &amp; Spencer</a> is one of the few online retailers that does not visibly highlight its delivery information at the top of its homepage – you’ll only find it if you scroll down to the very bottom. </p> <p>That being said, the services are clearly explained here, with M&amp;S favouring the word ‘free’ across the board to pique the interest of customers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7961/M_S.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="549"></p> <p>Its product pages also provide a lot of clear and concise information, including an eye-catching 'free delivery' notice in red. </p> <p>In terms of the actual delivery, M&amp;S gives customers a load of options, offering standard delivery, nominated day, free over £50, and click and collect. The retailer could most definitely shout about this a little more on its homepage, even if it means moving its current banner higher up the page.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7962/M_S_2.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="711"></p> <h3>Clarks</h3> <p>Clarks is currently choosing to offer a special code for free standard delivery. While it’s similar to River Island’s strategy of using a short-term shipping offer, the inclusion of a code is a bit of a strange choice, only adding an extra step in the customer’s journey.</p> <p>The fact that it’s promoted on the homepage also means that there is nothing exclusive about it.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7963/Clarks.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="453"></p> <p>Perhaps it is trying to make customer feel like they’re getting something extra. However, with most people now expecting free or fast delivery as standard, customers might feel it doesn’t provide anything of real value.</p> <h3>Warby Parker</h3> <p>Warby Parker cements its customer-focused service with the promise of free shipping in the US and selected countries. This is obviously a sweet deal in itself, but it also goes one step further in its customer-centric approach with the ‘Home Try-On’ feature.</p> <p>This allows customers to pick five frames to try for five days, before sending back the four pairs they don’t want for free. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7964/Warby_Parker.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="523"></p> <p>While it is undoubtedly a big expense for the company, Warby Parker demonstrates the value of free shipping, ramping up word-of-mouth marketing and increasing customer loyalty thanks to the service.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Warby Parker has a pretty good selection, you can pick 5 to try on at home and they'll send em for free, don't even pay shipping &amp; handling <a href="https://t.co/lwWI1miSbE">pic.twitter.com/lwWI1miSbE</a></p> — (@Jibaye_) <a href="https://twitter.com/Jibaye_/status/886610566848143360">July 16, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>JD Sports</h3> <p>JD Sports is yet another retailer using free delivery as a limited offer. Its inclusion of a countdown timer makes it one of the most effective examples of the bunch though, using <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65348-how-to-increase-conversions-by-creating-buyer-urgency-fear-of-loss/" target="_blank">urgency</a> to prompt customers into action. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7965/JD_Sports.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="548"></p> <p>It also promotes this throughout the website, prominently highlighting free delivery on its category and product pages. </p> <p>Temando suggests that shipping is not just about the delivery of items – extra factors like tracking orders and options for leaving items in safe places are also important. JD Sports has a useful ‘Track My Order’ feature, which also helps to improve the customer experience.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7966/Tracking.JPG" alt="" width="679" height="579"></p> <h3>ASOS</h3> <p>Finally, ASOS uses reliable delivery to instil loyalty in customers. Its Premier Delivery programme costs £9.95 per year for unlimited next day delivery and click and collect – an undeniably enticing deal for regular shoppers.</p> <p>The brand is pretty adept at promoting the service too, nicely highlighting both the fast and free nature of the service in its marketing copy.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7967/ASOS_premier.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="533"></p> <p>Elsewhere, it gives customers lots of choice and up-front information, helping to prevent customers from abandoning purchases at the checkout due to surprise costs.</p> <p>Even using the word 'options' here effectively evokes the retailer's focus on flexibility.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7968/Options_ASOS.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="599"></p> <p><strong><em>Related reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68739-how-has-click-collect-evolved-and-is-it-still-in-high-demand/" target="_blank"><em>How has Click &amp; Collect evolved, and is it still in high demand?</em></a></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67322-not-offering-same-day-delivery-you-could-be-losing-customers/" target="_blank">Not offering same-day delivery? You could be losing customers</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66151-ecommerce-delivery-how-fast-are-uk-retailers/" target="_blank">Ecommerce delivery: how fast are UK retailers?</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69279 2017-07-27T10:01:00+01:00 2017-07-27T10:01:00+01:00 13 creative call-to-action examples and reasons why they work Nikki Gilliland <p>So, what makes an effective CTA? Here are 13 creative examples and the reasons why they work so well.</p> <h3>OKCupid</h3> <p>The CTA on OKCupid’s homepage cleverly takes away the need for any deliberation, drawing users in with a simple form that promotes the idea of a quick and easy sign-up process. Combined with the humorous nature of the main copy, which effectively explains the brand’s value proposition, it makes clicking ‘continue’ feel like a natural next step.</p> <p>The prominent position of the CTA button also means that there are zero distractions. With nowhere else to browse or scroll, the chances of the user clicking through are likely to be increased.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7728/OKCupid.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="388"></p> <h3>Joules</h3> <p>This Joules newsletter is another good example of effective CTA positioning. It’s impossible to miss the dark blue button in the centre of the email.</p> <p>Sure, the ‘shop now’ phrase is uninspiring, however, the accompanying pun of ‘don’t mullet over’ is what makes it work. A clever play on user behaviour - it naturally instils urgency, and prompts the consumer to browse the sale before all bargains are gone.</p> <p>I also like the ‘come and say hello’ copy at the bottom, which uses a friendly and personable tone to entice customers to head in-store.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7729/Joules_email.JPG" alt="" width="550" height="774"></p> <h3>Warby Parker</h3> <p>Instead of leaving users to browse the website of their own accord, Warby Parker cleverly uses an interactive quiz to guide people down the purchase funnel. </p> <p>With the promise of helping to narrow down the perfect pair of frames, the ‘take the quiz’ CTA adds a gamification element as well as a more personalised outcome. The inclusion of a box that says ‘good things await you’ emphasises this point.</p> <p>This kind of CTA is particularly effective at hooking in consumers still very much in the discovery stage, adding a bit of fun to what could be a lengthy or boring browsing experience.  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7730/Warby_Parker.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="418"></p> <h3>The Skimm</h3> <p>The Skimm – a free daily newsletter aimed at women – uses newsletter CTAs to encourage word of mouth, prompting existing readers to share articles with others. To do so, it encourages people to sign up for its ‘Skimm’bassador’ program, which gives members perks like free trips and early access to special offers.</p> <p>The progress bar shows users how many steps stand between them and their status as a ‘Skimm’bassador’, while the prominent circular button grabs the user’s attention with a tongue-in-cheek CTA.  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7733/The_Skimm_2__2_.JPG" alt="" width="648" height="554"></p> <h3>Grammarly</h3> <p>Grammarly’s homepage CTA is simple but incredibly effective. The bright and bold colour ensures the button stands out, while the copy cleverly includes both a prompt to add Grammarly and a reason why you should. Highlighting the fact that Grammarly is free helps reassure people who might be thinking twice about clicking.</p> <p>This CTA is also a great example of personalisation, with Grammarly recognising which browser you are using and changing the copy accordingly. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7734/Grammarly.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="371"></p> <h3>Missguided</h3> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68387-how-missguided-uses-personalisation-to-create-an-addictive-shopping-experience/" target="_blank">Missguided</a> often uses language to appeal to a young, digitally-savvy and pop-culture-loving audience. This CTA prompting customers to sign up to its newsletter is no different, using the word ‘squad’ to promote the sense of comradery and togetherness that comes with being part of the Missguided gang.</p> <p>The 30%-off promise is also a valuable proposition, giving customers a sense that they’re signing up to something far more exclusive than just a newsletter.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7736/Missguided.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="510"></p> <h3>HostelWorld</h3> <p>Unlike the standard ‘search’ button, HostelWorld manages to evoke the exciting nature of travel with a short but punchy CTA. The phrase ‘Let’s go!’ – complete with exclamation point – creates urgency, giving users the sense that there’s no point wasting time. Meanwhile, the ‘best price guarantee’ instils trust. </p> <p>The bright orange design and central positioning grabs the user’s attention, eliminating distraction so that people will be prompted to go straight to search.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7737/HostelWorld.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="632"></p> <h3>Firebox</h3> <p>Firebox is another brand that’s known for its quirky and creative tone of voice, which is demonstrated here by its ‘ARRIBA ARRIBA’ CTA.</p> <p>Meaning a variation of ‘hurry up’ or ‘let’s go’ in Spanish, the phrase cleverly co-ordinates with the fiesta-themed product category, while its playful and motivational nature further entices customers to click-through. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7745/Firebox.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="465"></p> <h3>Amazon Prime</h3> <p>In contrast to other more minimal examples, Amazon veers towards clutter with this CTA for its Amazon Prime service. However, it is undeniably persuasive, using words like ‘simplify’, ‘free’, and ‘limitless’ in the surrounding copy to sell its package of convenience.</p> <p>The CTA button itself is clear and concise, and other phrases such as ‘cancel anytime’ and ‘see more plans’ reassure customers to make them feel like they’re in control. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7739/Amazon_Prime.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="434"></p> <h3>AYR</h3> <p>US clothing brand AYR aims to tap into the consumer mind-set with its short and sweet CTA. </p> <p>Instead of using language that asks you to do something (e.g. ‘buy now’), the company often talks from the perspective of the customer. Language like ‘Mine’ and ‘I want’ reflects an inner desire for the product, inspiring consumers to actually imagine owning it instead of browsing from afar.</p> <p>Elsewhere, the brand uses conversational language to instil intrigue. For example, using ‘it’s super fun’ as a CTA to check out AYR's physical stores might sound abstract, but it makes the user question <em>why</em>, and encourages them to find out.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7740/AYR.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="438"></p> <h3>River Island</h3> <p>Urgency is another tactic often deployed by online retailers, as seen here in a River Island email.</p> <p>It’s certainly not the most inspiring creative, but by including a strong CTA that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65348-how-to-increase-conversions-by-creating-buyer-urgency-fear-of-loss/" target="_blank">successfully instils FOMO</a> (‘fear of missing out’) alongside a discount – with nothing else in the email – the brand increases the likelihood of users clicking straight through rather than browsing other content and eventually clicking away.  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7747/River_Island.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="581"></p> <h3>BlueCross</h3> <p>CTAs are a vital tool for the <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68781-five-ways-charities-can-encourage-more-online-donations" target="_blank">charity sector,</a> helping to maximise user engagement and fundraising.</p> <p>People might automatically assume that giving money is the only way to help, so in order to combat this the BlueCross nicely highlights the different ways people can get involved with four distinct CTAs.</p> <p>While it could arguably be more effective to move this section higher up the landing page, the drop-down menu already prompts users to take a specific path. What’s more, the simple but striking graphics grab the user’s attention if they do happen to scroll down. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7744/BlueCross.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="519"></p> <h3>Unicef</h3> <p>Another charity example to end the list, with Unicef and its motivational CTA. Instead of merely asking users to donate or help out, it explains the results of a specific fundraising scenario in order to inspire and drive action. This effectively paints a picture in the mind of the user.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the bright yellow ‘donate to help children’ button catches the eye, simultaneously giving the user a much more direct and immediate route to making a difference. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7743/Unicef.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="456"></p> <p><strong><em>Related reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63139-six-useful-case-studies-on-where-to-place-your-cta-to-maximise-conversions">Six useful case studies on where to place your CTA to maximise conversions</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63139-six-useful-case-studies-on-where-to-place-your-cta-to-maximise-conversions">10 nudge-tastic examples of persuasive copywriting from charities</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69227 2017-07-11T10:45:00+01:00 2017-07-11T10:45:00+01:00 How to attract lots of quality online reviews to your ecommerce store Andy Favell <p>But how do you build and sustain a wealth of quality reviews across your own sites and those of your partners?</p> <p>Answer: 1) Post-interaction email; 2) syndication.</p> <h3>There are two sorts of reviews found on retailer (and other) sites.</h3> <p><strong>1. Organic reviews</strong></p> <p>These are ratings and reviews that the company has collected itself from its customers, probably with the help of a tool, such as Trustpilot, Yotpo, eKomi, Feefo or Bazaarvoice.</p> <p>Let’s be clear, there are lots of ways that companies can and do elicit reviews from customers. These include incentivized requests (e.g. sweepstakes, coupons); post-checkout web survey; sampling (sending out free product; trialling services); requesting reviews via social media channels (paid and unpaid) and soliciting reviews via a homepage banner.</p> <p>However the most common tactic for getting reviews is to request them via post-interaction email (PIE). According to a 2016 survey conducted by Bazaarvoice among its 5,000 retailer and brand customers, PIE is used by 87% of its brand clients and 64% of its retail clients.</p> <p>This could also be called post-purchase email. But then PPE doesn’t have the same acronym appeal as PIE.</p> <p><strong>2. Syndicated reviews</strong></p> <p>These are reviews that were collected on different sites and/or by different companies.</p> <p>These could be reviews that were posted on one retailer website and then reposted to another site in the same group that sells the same products. For example some reviews for products on Shop Direct’s Littlewoods.com were left by customers on the sister site Very.co.uk – see, for example, <a href="http://www.littlewoods.com/calvin-klein-eternity-moment-100ml-edp/1005793955.prd" target="_blank">this perfume</a>.</p> <p>More commonly these are reviews that were collected by brands, perhaps while customers registered a new product to secure a guarantee, which are then supplied to the retailers that sell the brand’s products. These will be distributed through a syndication network such as Bazaarvoice, PowerReviews or Reevoo.</p> <h3>Why reviews matter</h3> <p>As noted in my previous article, which outlined the importance of putting someone <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69220-who-should-own-customer-reviews-in-your-organisation/" target="_blank">in charge of reviews</a>, consumer opinions of products are influenced not only by ratings but also by the number of ratings.</p> <p><a href="https://www.profitero.com/2017/06/profitero-finds-strong-correlation-between-a-products-number-of-online-reviews-and-sales/" target="_blank">Research by Profitero and BzzAgent</a> (June 2016) backs this up. The report concluded that there is a strong correlation between the number of online reviews a product has and ecommerce sales.</p> <p>As shown in the graph below, just adding one review to a product with zero reviews will lead to a sales lift of 10%. Adding 50 reviews leads to a sales lift of 30%. Above 50 reviews products continue to receive a lift in sales, but at a diminishing rate.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7584/bazaarvoice.png" alt="" width="700" height="436"></p> <h3>Post-interaction email - PIE</h3> <p>When a customer has purchased a good or service or otherwise engaged with a company, it is increasingly common for the customer to receive an email asking for feedback. This will often then be posted to the relevant pages of the website. PIE generally gets good results – or better results than other methods – for the retailer.</p> <p>Data provided to Econsultancy by Bazaarvoice, based on insights from its network of 5,000 retailers and brands, shows that this is certainly the case among its customer base. Of all organic reviews on retailer sites the vast majority come from PIE: 81% in APAC, 84% in Europe and 77% in North America. Of all organic reviews on brand sites 80% in APAC, 70% in Europe and 62% in North America come from PIE.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7267/t8_reviews_pie_bazaarvoice.png" alt="" width="615" height="416"></p> <p>Conversations with retailers suggests that success with PIE is an industry-wide phenomena. Shop Direct, which runs the UK-focused online department stores Very.co.uk and Littlewoods.com, sends a PIE to every shopper post purchase.</p> <p>Paul Hornby, head of ecommerce at Shop Direct, tells Econsultancy:</p> <blockquote> <p>Our biggest driver for reviews volume is our post purchase email, which goes out weekly to every customer who’s bought from us. The email needs to go out at the right time and must represent a consistent customer journey across device.</p> <p>We’ve found from experience that the email should be clean and to the point, with no sales tactics distracting from the call to action. We also introduced an incentive, which has definitely helped to encourage more feedback.</p> <p>We’re now doing a piece of work to understand the optimum length of time to wait before asking for feedback, depending on product category.</p> </blockquote> <p>The screenshot below shows a PIE from Very inviting the customer to write a review for two products purchased, with the added incentive of a chance to win £500 in a monthly draw.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7268/t8_review_email_shopdirect.png" alt="" width="467" height="492"></p> <p>Requesting reviews by email also works extremely well for smaller ecommerce vendors.</p> <p>PuraVida, a San Diego-based ecommerce startup that sells hand-made jewellery from artisans in Costa Rica, has generated a volume of reviews for its <a href="https://www.puravidabracelets.com/collections/best-sellers" target="_blank">best sellers</a> that would make eyes water at many much larger retailers. See image below.</p> <p>Griffin Thall, CEO of Pura Vida Bracelets:</p> <blockquote> <p>We use Yotpo to gather customer reviews. To date, we have sent out over 1.7m emails and have received over 130,000 positive reviews.</p> <p>After 12 days, the customer receives their first review request, five days later they receive their second, and five days later they receive their third. There’s no particular time, just the set amount of days after they purchase.</p> <p>For the copy, we recommend being sincere, personable, and thankful that your new customer shopped with you.</p> <p>After the customer writes a review, we email them with a coupon code to say Thank You.</p> <p>We also use Delighted to monitor our NPS (net promoter score) on a weekly basis. </p> </blockquote> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7269/t8_reviews_email_puravida.png" alt="" width="615" height="482"></p> <h3>What works makes consumers read PIEs, click through and review?</h3> <p><a href="https://www.yotpo.com/data/benchmark/" target="_blank">Research by Yotpo</a>, based on analysis of the 200,000 stores that use the platform worldwide, finds that review solicitation emails have an 8.1% response rate on average. Of course some PIEs will deliver a much higher conversion and some much lower.</p> <p>As any email marketer would expect, just the smallest tweaks to the format and wording – particularly the subject line – can increase the email open rate and the response rate. Yotpo’s research highlights three dos and don’ts:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Do:</strong> phrase the request as a question (delivers an 86% increase in response rate); use an incentive (18.5% increase) and include your store name (10% increase)... duh!</li> <li> <strong>Don’t:</strong> include urgent words e.g. now, today (delivers a 28% decrease in response rate); include customer’s name (19% decrease); use a TOTALLY uppercase word (5.8% decrease).</li> </ul> <p>Great advice, but we’d add two more tips. Don’t: just take Yotpo’s word for it. Do: A/B test your emails to see which tweaks work for you.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7270/t8_reviews_email_yotpo.png" alt="" width="615" height="443"></p> <h3>When is the best time to send a review request email?</h3> <p>According to Yotpo’s analysis of 4.5m emails:</p> <ul> <li>The best time is Saturday 8am.</li> <li>The worst time is Thursday 3pm.</li> </ul> <h3>Syndication of reviews</h3> <p>Syndication of reviews happens more regularly than most marketers would expect and certainly more often than most consumers would notice.</p> <p>There is a mutual benefit for the brand and retailer. It is in both their interest if product conversions on retailer sites are improved due to having more and better quality reviews and ratings.</p> <p>Research undertaken by Bazaarvoice among its customer base finds that some types of retailers are particularly heavily reliant on the syndicated reviews. For food, beverage and drug sites 98% of the volume of onsite reviews are syndicated; in pharmaceuticals 93% are syndicated and in footwear it’s 91%.</p> <p>Retailer dependency on syndication for reviews also varies by region. In APAC 81% of reviews are syndicated, in North America it’s 67% and in Europe 33% of reviews are syndicated.</p> <p>Companies will commonly syndicate reviews via a network of brands and retailers, operated by vendors such as Bazaarvoice, PowerReviews or Reevoo. These network providers will verify the reviews/reviewers and distribute to the brand pages on participating retailer sites. The networks also notify brands and or retailers when reviews have been posted, particularly negative ones, so the brand/retailer can respond.</p> <p>For example, if you checkout <a href="http://www.boots.com/electrical/electrical-dental/electric-toothbrushes" target="_blank">electric toothbrushes on Boots.co.uk</a> there are a variety of products from Philips, Colgate and Oral-B, some with hundreds of reviews.</p> <p>But closer inspection of the best sellers, shows that many of the 352 reviews for the <a href="http://www.boots.com/oral-b-pro-2000-rechargeable-electric-toothbrush-powered-by-braun-10176433" target="_blank">Braun Oral-B Genius</a> toothbrush are from the Oral-B site or Victoria.co.uk, which belongs to P&amp;G (the parent brand), though many are also from Boots shoppers. The majority of 194 reviews for <a href="http://www.boots.com/philips-sonicare-easyclean-hx6511-50-rechargeable-toothbrush-10090162" target="_blank">Philips Sonicare</a> brush are syndicated from Philips.co.uk (as shown below). Similarly the <a href="http://www.boots.com/colgate-pro-clinical-c350-max-white-one-electric-toothbrush-10176644" target="_blank">Colgate Pro Clinical</a> draws the majority of its 80 reviews from Colgate.co.uk.</p> <p>Some products by comparison have no reviews, including <a href="http://www.boots.com/electrical/electrical-dental/electric-toothbrushes/panasonic-ew-dl82-sonic-vibration-rechargeable-toothbrush-10176652" target="_blank">Panasonic Sonic Vibration</a> and <a href="http://www.boots.com/lab-chrome-sonic-rechargeable-toothbrush-10182106" target="_blank">LAB Chrome Sonic</a>, both products are found at the wrong end of the Boots bestsellers list. If the two brands wish to improve sales, a good place to start would be soliciting reviews from customers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7271/t8_reviews_philips_boots.png" alt="" width="615" height="575"></p>