Reaching customers through personalized experiences is essential in the post-2020 consumer economy. But it doesn’t necessarily require extensive or far-reaching transformations with hefty tools, specialized teams and enormous budgets. Consider reaching your customers through small yet data-backed changes to user experience.
For example, Amazon increased its revenue by tens of millions of dollars by simply moving credit card offers from the homepage to the shopping cart. When you make small-scale changes like this at pivotal moments, you can boost sales while improving customer experience.
How do you determine when these critical moments take place? Experimentation. A/B testing, quantitative and qualitative data mining, personalization and customer insights are just a few experimentation tools that can help you discover which strategies resonate with your customers to deliver exceptional experiences.
Experiment for personalization
As the world continues to migrate toward digital spaces, apps and websites are becoming the primary interface between brands and consumers. Experimentation is more important than ever to ensure you’re providing positive, relevant user experiences while making smart decisions.
To make relevant changes, you need to determine what works with your customers—especially since over 90% of consumers are more likely to shop a brand that offers relevant, personalized content.
Experimentation allows you to quantify the changes to your website, mapping them directly to changes in shoppers’ behavior alongside revenue. This allows you to avoid placing bets on what you think will resonate, and instead allows you to test your assumptions in real time and analyze the data to help direct your next move. Need some ideas? Here are a few common pivotal moments to evaluate:
- Optimize your checkout functions: Checkout is one of the most important parts of any shopping experience, yet cart abandonment remains a huge problem in e-commerce. While sometimes it’s a matter of shoppers changing their minds about a product, I advise clients that clear, relevant checkout functions help reduce cart abandonment. Experiment with features like a progress indicator on the checkout page, single versus multi-page checkout, or moving offers to the shopping cart. Experimentation will help you determine the functionality that your customers prefer.
- Reassess your top categories: The products and product categories displayed on your website should align with what your customers are looking for. Category optimization can improve customer experience by making it easier for site visitors to search for a product. You can add icons to your top categories or a “what’s new” category so your customers can easily find the trending items they’re looking for.
Experimentation is a discipline. And when truly embraced by an organization and executed strategically, it helps improve the customer experience while keeping your brand identity intact — and your revenue climbing.
Three traits of successful experimentation
Experimentation doesn’t just help your customers. By encouraging a culture of experimentation and innovation, you allow employees across departments to test and confirm their hypotheses. Empowering your employees inspires them to bring fresh ideas to the table and continuously improve your brand.
As you begin your experimentation journey or uplevel your current experimentation efforts, consider these tips:
- Identify and empower a catalyst for change: Identify an influential employee to be the face of the experimentation function for the C-suite. This individual should have an understanding of the tools and technology needed to support testing, be able to communicate efficiently with employees in all departments, and have an understanding of the impact experimentation can have on the organization. Support your catalyst by providing insights and granting them the platforms and resources necessary to drive the experimentation function forward.
- Create a centralized source of truth for insights: Establish a centralized source of information accessible to all team members. More than 40% of respondents who took our survey on experimentation effectiveness said test insights were shared only rarely or sometimes, often slowing down processes — so remember that cross-team collaboration is essential.
- Maintain open communication with the C-suite: A seamless flow of information between leadership and the entire organization is crucial for alignment on experimentation opportunities and data. Once you determine your communications medium and frequency, you can work together to make data-driven decisions. Seventy percent of executive leaders see value in testing team insights, so go the extra mile to communicate test insights up the chain.
Experimentation enables you to see that small changes in the right place can enhance user experience. Continuous, hyper-focused experimentation can lead to major revenue gains while better connecting with your customers—and that’s why it should be a top organizational priority in 2021.
Suzi Tripp joined Brooks Bell in 2011, overseeing and growing experimentation programs for Brooks Bell’s expanding roster of enterprise companies. She fell in love with test strategy and helped define and implement industry-exclusive expertise in the areas of test ideation methodologies that incorporate quantitative data, qualitative data and behavioral economics principles.
Her current role at Brooks Bell allows her to continue her passion of generating impactful test strategies and uncovering meaningful customer insights to solve complex business problems, while training the team on their methodologies and leading a product to support experimentation programs.