What Contentsquare Learned at Shoptalk 2019

Contentsquare promised to show you the money at Shoptalk 2019 and we did. We held an interactive booth that put Shoptalk attendees to work on our wall, in search of hidden insights. Our guests went sleuthing for the code to our secret room, while our robot hung out with some of the visitors. Our team of UX-perts were on hand to demo our fabulous suite of digital experience analytics. And we also reaped a lot of knowledge regarding the intersection of retail and digital. Here are a few things we learned at Shoptalk 2019.

Influencer Marketing is Ramping Up

Influencer marketing, the practice of using influential people for brand awareness, is huge right now, and many brands are capitalizing on this magic formula of endorsement and audience rolled into one. What’s more is that it has the potential to not only raise brand awareness but to up revenues as well. Andrea Fasulo, the head of Consumer Products Marketing at Nickelodeon, divulged that Nick’s partnership with JoJo Siwa, a 15-year-old YouTuber, has increased their revenues as JoJo’s star rose. (The kid’s network added JoJo to their shows, apparel and toy lines). She now is worth about $1 billion and has a YouTube viewership of millions.

The success of this influencer partnership comes from her alignment with Nick’s brand. To infuse the influencer partnership with a feeling of validity, brands are pairing up with public figures who are passionate, or at least interested in their niche and products. In other words, with the right influencers, a business’s brand messaging looks less like an ad and more like genuine interest/usage of their offering.

But brands don’t necessarily need to reach out to big-name influencers; influencers with a relatively moderate to even a small following can go a long way for e-retailers. Cathey Curtis, the VP of Global Marketing for the surf and snowboard gear company Billabong, has revealed that the company’s Instagram posts that feature micro-influencers get 3 times more engagement than those that feature regular models.

Big Data Has Spawned the Rise of Artificial Intelligence

Data proliferation is no longer unusual, with most businesses pumping out onslaughts of data by the minute. The reliance of data is only increasing and when there’s an excess of data, it loses its digestibility — at least to human eyes and minds. That’s where artificial intelligence and machine learning come in. AI is at the fore of both data processing and how data is delivered to us.

Russell Scherwin, the CMO of Watson Commerce at IBM, spoke about AI at one of the sessions. “If you aren’t addressing AI, you’re behind,” he said. AI technology can help you discover the goings on of your website, without having to scout through a tiresome load of data. With AI technology at hand, brands can easily parse through their data and analytics to optimize their UX, personalize the customer journey and understand the most pressing issues regarding their sites.

Personalization is a Winning Strategy

E-commerce consumers are becoming more and more in want of a shopping experience tailored just towards them, or one built closely around their needs. With the constant bombardment of advertisements and brand messaging, usually with personal elements, consumers are looking to get the same kind of experience while perusing websites that are selling to them.

Personalization comes as a specialized strategy for UX optimization, as it will be different based on the different types of customers in the market. While many retailers have relied on creating emails that tap into their customers’ unique shopping tastes and experiences (ie, abandoned carts, product recommendations), there are far many other routes to take on the front of personalizing the customer journey.

Some of these methods include digital shelves, custom products, endless aisles, geo-targeting, personalized upsells, style finders and more.

Bouqs Co., an e-commerce flower seller based out of California has added special features to its site to increase the personalization factor.

These new features include giving customers the option of watching mini documentaries on the site. The documentaries exhibit the details of the farms which produce the bouquets before shoppers buy one. “We’re adding value beyond just the purchase and I think that’s a big part of the future of e-commerce,” said Bouqs founder John Tavis.

Implementing New Service Delivery Models to Meet Your Customers’ Needs

As part of a strategy to continue product subscriptions as well as to gain customers for single purchase goods, retailers are creating new delivery models. The revamping of delivery methods is part and parcel of the CX, or customer experience.

In this way, CX is an amalgamation of digital with physical experiences. The receipt of a delivery occurs in the physical world, while ordering it comes from digital.

Although customers may spend long periods of time scouring e-commerce sites, they may not always convert, not least where a delivery is involved.

Executives from Madison Reed, a hair care company, and Brandless, a food, beauty and personal care supplier, held a discussion on the fusion of digital and physical experiences. A major area of concern for this merger is the implementation of new service delivery models.

These new models include white label options, subscription boxes and various delivery methods to give brands the edge in a competitive retail market.

Shoptalk 2019

Signing off, we want to say that one of the best shows at the junction of e-commerce and retail certainly lived up to its name. Shoptalk 2019 was an outstanding and enlightening experience for us at Contentsquare and the visitors alike. We’ll definitely be back and we look forward to what the future of digital holds.

The Rise of Automotive UX

A guest post by Lillian Xiao, a user experience designer for a large European automaker.

Automakers are designing the next generation of cars with user experience (UX) at the forefront. The merging of physical and digital—driven by electrification, connectivity, self-driving technology, and fluid ownership models—will give rise to unprecedented user experiences. The most successful automakers will bring technologies and services together in ways that are usable and delightful for the end customer.

In the future, cars will resemble our smartphones more than they’ll resemble the cars that we know today—machines composed of gears, fluids, and thousands of moving parts. Instead, cars will be connected devices on wheels, part of a large, complex network of people, devices, and infrastructure. Automakers are already bracing for this transition, where digital blends with the physical, and user experience will become increasingly important to help people navigate the world.

 

Industry 4.0: A blend of digital and physical

The physical world around us will become more digital and connected in what experts are calling the 4th industrial revolution, or industry 4.0. Cars are just one example of how this transformation is taking place. We can measure this by looking at how many lines of code cars have today. Two decades ago, cars had on average 1 million lines of code. Today, cars have 100 million lines of code. Experts predict that before long, cars will have at least 200 million lines of code.

For automakers, the increasingly digital framework poses new challenges. A major challenge for established automakers is bridging two vastly different production cycles from the automotive and software domains. Today, a car can take anywhere from 2 to 5 years to go from concept to production. However, software development cycles are fast and iterative, constantly introducing new features and replacing old features that no longer meet user needs.

The discrepancy is most obvious in today’s in-car infotainment systems. User interfaces come in and out of fashion quickly, which means that digital infotainment systems can become outdated by the time cars are introduced to market. The result is that infotainment systems are routinely ranked as the least satisfying feature for car owners. Among other things, this discrepancy reflects the challenges that large automotive companies—also known as original equipment manufacturers (OEMs)—face in transitioning to a new era of mobility.

 

Automotive UX

For the automotive industry, new technology paves the way for new models of mobility. While software competence is the necessary first step, mobility will eventually be about usability, trust, and delight. UX may become the differentiating factor for cars in the future.

User experience has its origins in the software industry. At its core, UX is about designing solutions that meet human needs, often through the medium of technology. Oftentimes, technological solutions are introduced to a market, only for its creators to discover that there’s a mismatch in the market, product, or simply wrong timing.

In this way, UX provides a user-centered approach, as well as a set of practices, for automakers to test new concepts and solutions across a blend of new digital, physical, and service offerings.

 

Near-term automotive trends and UX opportunities

How can automakers take a user-centered approach to fuel innovation in the auto industry? Below, I explore four areas of near-term growth—based largely on public discussion around these topics—and look briefly at how UX can help automakers identify opportunities for innovation.

1. Electric cars become more affordable

As battery components become cheaper, electric vehicles (EVs) will become more affordable. Bloomberg predicts that in 2025, worldwide EV sales will reach 11 million, and in 2030, EV sales will reach 30 million.

Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance (NEF)

 

The experience of driving an EV is—or perhaps should be—considerably different than driving a car with an internal combustible engine (ICE). Unlike gas-powered cars, many EVs have single-pedal driving (without the need to switch gears), faster acceleration, and simpler car maintenance (without the upkeep of a complex system of gears and moving parts).

In reality, technology never advances in isolation, which means that entire ecosystems will emerge around EVs. Vehicle charging infrastructure is just one example of this. It takes much longer to charge an EV than to fuel a gas-powered car, which creates opportunities to help drivers make use of this idle time. UX can help us understand things like where drivers prefer to charge their cars, and what drivers want to do while their cars are charging. Today, I see Tesla owners waiting in their cars at the edge of shopping mall parking lots. As EVs gain wider adopting, the experience of charging will undoubtedly improve from what it is today.

 

2. Cars become connected digital platforms

A recent consumer report revealed that drivers want their cars to provide the same communication and entertainment capabilities as their phones. Automakers are responding by introducing concepts for large touchscreens, voice recognition, gesture recognition, and heads-up displays to assist drivers in accessing content while driving.

Infotainment systems—the host of in-car features that include music, navigation, and phone integration—has a long history dating back to the first in-car radio in the 1930s. From there, navigation systems were introduced in the 1980s, and the first hard drives and Bluetooth systems were introduced in the 2000s. Recent focus has been on 5G, which many anticipate will provide high-speed mobile connectivity for networked devices in the future.

Byton Interior; Source: Sean O’Kane, The Verge

 

3.  Cars begin to drive themselves

Self-driving technology is already embedded in today’s cars in the form of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). Features like adaptive cruise control (on freeways) and automatic parking can help drivers become more accustomed to the idea of semi-autonomous and autonomous vehicles.

Automakers can take these opportunities to educate consumers about the capabilities of autonomous technology, and to design experiences that prioritize trust and safety. A recent AAA study revealed that at least 2 out of 3 drivers using ADAS features report trusting the technology in their cars. Positive experiences can play an important cultural role in helping consumers become more comfortable with self-driving technology.

Tesla Autopilot; Source: Electrek

 

4.  Car ownership becomes more fluid

Car ownership has taken on many forms in recent years. Vehicle owners can make a living, or earn extra cash, by using their cars to drive people and goods around. Peer-to-peer platforms like Turo and Getaround allow car owners to rent out their vehicles, and ZipCar allows members to rent from its fleets of cars in half-hour increments. These shared mobility options help car owners and consumers determine the mobility models that work best for them in their own lives.

UX can play a central role in helping automakers understand the user journeys related to different models of shared mobility. For example, understanding a rider’s journey, from booking a ride to leaving the car, can fuel innovation at different steps along the way. With shared mobility, there’s a clear need for innovative experiences that cater to a growing demographic of people who are less interested in owning and driving a car.

 

Looking to the future & implications for UX

If we assume that technology continues to progress in these four areas—as many automakers and experts believe today—then before we know it, the world may begin to look very different.

RethinkX, an independent think tank, predicts that by 2030, “95% of U.S. passenger miles traveled will be served by on-demand autonomous electric vehicles owned by fleets, not individuals, in a new business model called ‘transport-as-a-service’ (TaaS).”

This seems to reflect what many in the automotive industry are bracing for—conversion to an electric autonomous future. In this future scenario, it may be more practical to be driven than to drive yourself.

RethinkX analysis based on U.S. Department of Transportation data; Source: RethinkX

 

If these assumptions play out, then UX will play a key role in helping companies provide enjoyable, meaningful, and personalized experiences that merge the digital and physical.

Design Council, an independent charity and advisor to the UK government on design, predicts:

“There will be far more use-appropriate products as we go into the future. You will have less of the kind of car that does everything for everyone, and you’ll have more specific-use vehicles out there. Your day-to-day commute may be answered by the hire car in the city, which isn’t yours; it’s cleaned regularly, it’s there when you need it and it’s just functional. Which means that the car I choose to buy is the car that suits my other needs, whether that’s for family, recreation or holidays.”

The further we look into the future, the more difficult it is to predict user needs. However, it’s clear that UX will become increasingly important for the auto industry moving forward.

If you want to learn more about building future-proof digital experiences for the auto sector, click here.

Royal Design aims to meet Online Consumer Needs with UX Analysis

As the Nordics’ leading eCommerce company in design, furniture and home furnishings, Royal Designcontinuously strives to create the best online shopping experience for its global customers. The company has recently embarked on a digital reorganization, and has partnered with UX Analytics company, ContentSquare, to ensure every change is a strategic step to meet the dynamic needs and expectations of its online consumers.

Contentsquare Marketing Manager, Camila Florez, sat down with Royal Design Head of eCommerce and Omnichannel, Martin Magnusson, to further discuss the company’s drivers and objectives, and the importance of UX Analytics in its journey.

 

What do you think sets Royal Design apart from other companies in the same field?

History is definitely a big part of the company. Royal Design has been online since 1999. It has been almost 20 years, which none of our competitors can live up to.

 

Describe your target market and the typical customer of Royal Design. What are their online customer journey needs? How does your website address those needs?

Royal design operates on 13 country markets, mainly in the Nordics— Sweden and Norway being our strongest markets.

Since we have more than 80 000 products online, the site structure and navigation are the most important user-needs that we need to address. Our users expect to find what they are looking for quickly; as well as having a fast and easy checkout experience. Accessibility across devices, particularly the shift to mobile, is extremely important too. We need to deliver a solid and speedy user experience.

Unfortunately, our website— which had the same online look and feel for the past 10 years— does not live up to the high expectations of a modern online customer.

“ We realized that the business had outgrown the website, and a big change was needed. “

Hence, we’ve launched a brand new omnichannel platform site. It is a best in breed solution with a great platform that takes care of each part of the application. The front-end application is a custom built react application focused on:

 

Why did Royal Design choose to work with ContentSquare?

Before we launched the redesigned website, we wanted to have a powerful tool to analyze the behavior of the current site to avoid making the same mistakes on the new one.

Martin Magnusson, Head of eCommerce and  Omnichannel

We needed to take that deep dive into the customer journeys, understand the pain points and take action which we never fully understood before.

ContentSquare can provide all of these. It is a great tool for several different teams of the organization; such as, Tech, eCommerce, Purchasing and Marketing. It also gives us a better way to understand differences between traffic sources and setting up KPIs.

Questions such as, “Why does social convert better than search?” can now be answered with quantitative data generated through ContentSquare. It gives us more visual details compared to other tools (such as Google Analytics) and provides us the means to build custom site mappings and customer segments.

ContentSquare also helps with managing key partners such as NOSTO.

 

What was your primary expectation from the ContentSquare tool?

We expected that the ContentSquare tools will help us understand the pain points, visualize the customer journey and compare different user segments and behaviors. We expect it to be a powerful tool that will make us capable of optimizing conversions, understanding our customers, and improving Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) awareness in the company.

These numbers and insights have never been done in the company before. It’s like a blank page for us so this is a great tool for us to start exploring more.

 

What was the most urgent need that you wanted ContentSquare to address?

We needed ContentSquare to analyze the current website so as to optimize the new one. It is also necessary to establish this CRO mindset and UX analysis practice throughout the company, not just the eCommerce Team and Developers.

 

How many people are being trained in the use of UXA and from which teams?

We have about 10-12 employees being trained from the following departments: eCommerce, Marketing and Purchasing. It is crucial for everyone to start having the mindset of how to optimize online sales into each team.

 

Where do you see Royal Design evolving in the following years? Where do you see the partnership with ContentSquare fit with this evolution?

ContentSquare is very important in all steps. They are crucial to help us understand

 

Personal note

 I would like to see more people in Royal Design using the ContentSquare tools— start coming with their own CRO ideas, talking about customer journeys and conversion, etc.

We at Royal Design are really happy about the close partnership with ContentSquare. We really appreciate the proactive approach of the company and our dedicated Customer Success Manager, Lovisa Dahlbacka.

 

The future

The new website was just launched last October 2018, we will continue growing in our key markets, but also start expanding new markets. The plan is to have dedicated eCommerce resources for every market to ensure better quality, better awareness and better customer experience.

We hope we can offer a great shopping experience on more channels, such as in local apps, in store screens, voice, and so on. Royal Design is also looking into the exciting development of AI and how we can apply it in different parts of the company.

Why Inclusive Design Should Be at the Heart of Your UX Strategy

How many people with severely impaired vision do you have on your design team? What about hearing impaired? How about color blind? Limited motor function? Or maybe someone with a complex neurobehavioral condition? You might see where this is headed.

According to the CDC, 1 in 4 U.S. Adults, or 61 million Americans, have a disability that impacts major life activities. That is a pretty large chunk of the population that most likely do not have representation on the digital teams creating user experiences.

If you have been reading articles or blogs on UX recently, then you have probably read or scanned at least a couple about inclusive design. There is an excellent reason for this, one that  entails more active reading instead of scanning. It’s fortunate that there are now an assortment of articles praising the benefits of inclusive design, because everyone should read at least one.

Designing for everyone doesn’t just help the people you are designing for, it has a beneficial impact on the product as well. So even if inclusivity isn’t your main goal, then sit down, relax, and let’s go over why designing for accessibility and improving your website’s performance are deeply entwined.

AN INTRODUCTION TO INCLUSIVE DESIGN

First things first, let’s define inclusive design. The Inclusive Design Research Centre at OCAD University defines it as such: “design that considers the full range of human diversity with respect to ability, language, culture, gender, age, and other forms of human difference”. So basically it means designing something that is accessible to everyone. Pretty simple.

inclusive design example

Now let’s define disability to get a full understanding of the elements involved. The World Health Organization pre-2001 followed a pretty narrow medical interpretation of disability, updating their definition in 2001 to, “a complex phenomenon, reflecting the interaction between features of a person’s body and features of the society in which he or she lives.”

The CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, recently predicted that inclusive design going mainstream will be a dominant trend for 2019 and beyond. He mentioned the growing awareness of accessibility and how important it is to keep designing for disabilities at the forefront of your design strategy. Making it possible for the millions living with disabilities to fully participate in our societies and our economies. “We used to call it assistive technologies and it used to be a checklist of things you did after the product was built,” he said. He pointed out that now it’s “about taking this to way upstream into the design process, where you start up front by thinking about inclusive design.” If the CEO of one of the largest companies in the world is advocating for the importance of inclusive design and how it can benefit everyone, it might be time to listen.

INCLUSIVITY IN THE PHYSICAL SPACES

By now we have all run into books, podcasts, and blogs decrying the inaccessibility of doors to anyone who doesn’t have a hand free. So why is the door knob design still so heavily used? Custom, convention, established practice, force of habit, whatever reason floats your boat. We ARE creatures of habit, and once we design something that works for a large chunk of the population, it sticks. It tends to take a long time to upgrade a mechanism so prevalent in society when a better alternative is finally discovered that works better for the public as a whole. It’s time to start designing with everyone in mind from the beginning. Inclusive design if you will.

Imagine this. You have been seated in front of a pristine white porcelain plate with a single cherry tomato left in the middle. You are given a single fork. Your dominant arm is in a sling after a freak accident involving pizza and a table too far from your couch. How well do you think this is going to go? Even with two working hands, a slippery whole tomato on a plate with dressing can be a battle of wills.

inclusive design slippery single tomato example

Now imagine that this place is near a VA hospital, so they receive a lot of veteran patrons who have lost limbs. They are able to provide one-handed dining aids. Do you feel that relief? How that potential embarrassing struggle with the tomato is no longer a concern? All because of a design created with inclusivity in mind.

This also happens to be an example of functional limitation. With the human lifespan growing to numbers not previously seen in history, everyone at some point is likely going to experience disability in some way. Whether it’s breaking an arm for a few months, or losing hearing with age.

Disability is essentially context-dependent. It can be a permanent state of being, such as being born deaf. It can also be a temporary position like suffering from an ear infection. Or it can be situational, such as attending a loud concert where hearing anything but the music is nearly impossible. Sometimes designs that were initially prescribed for the specific needs of a specific group end up benefiting many others when least expected.

Let’s take a look a real world example of a design intended to benefit a specific subsect, but ended up assisting everyone. Have you ever traveled down a sidewalk while pushing a baby carriage and ended up stymied by a high curb? What about while pulling a heavy suitcase on wheels? Why isn’t there a curb cut here, you’ve probably asked yourself.

Today, curb cuts are almost everywhere and a convenience that most of us just walk by on a daily basis without noticing. Yet only 50 years ago, these mini ramps were few and far between. Curbs were designed with typical bipedal people in mind. If your mode of transportation involved wheels, like a wheelchair, than your area of convenient mobility has shrunk to one square block.

inclusive design curb cut

Only after a movement in Berkeley started by students with disabilities who called themselves the “Rolling Quads” did the issue of high curbs and wheelchair-bound people come to the forefront of neglected disability rights. There is a truly amazing 99% Invisible podcast episode that goes into the history of this movement in detail. It is definitely worth a listen.   

What started out as an edge case design transformed into an unintended benefit for everyone. If it isn’t obvious from context, edge case design is the practice of making products accessible to people who fall outside the bell curve of user majority. The people that fall at the edges, if you will.

The advent of closed captioning is an excellent example of technology being leveraged for inclusivity. Julia Child’s television show French Chef was actually the first on TV to be broadcast with captioning. The TV station tasked with bringing Chef Child’s show to the small screen was WGBH, a public broadcasting station out of Boston. Due to the ‘public’ denomination their essential goal was to increase access to the content they were producing.

In strolled the idea of helping the viewers who were hard of hearing or deaf by adding captioning. In 1972 the written words made their debut alongside Julia as she endeavored to teach Americans how to cook. They received A LOT of positive feedback. There were a few hiccups that needed to be ironed out, but in the end it proved to be a success. Now anyone with a hearing disability, or those watching a late-night TV show next to a sleeping partner or enjoying a subtitled foreign film, can enjoy the benefits of captions.

TAKING A TOUR IN ANOTHER PERSON’S SHOES

Can we talk about the New York subway system for a moment? It’s a source of pride for many New Yorkers to be able to tell you which lines to take to get the fastest and most reliable route. This has taken many of them years of haphazard study and constant use to accrue the knowledge necessary.

Now bring a tourist in. Already at a disadvantage due to a lack of knowledge, they often fall victim to irritation from locals, as they loiter in the wrong place trying to read a subway map. Now let’s say that tourist is visually impaired. And in the Times Square Station. There is just no coming back from that.

inclusive design subway example

It is not designed following the concept of usability. Trying to navigate the underground catacomb with very little signage, and no clear path to freedom or your destination, makes traversing the enormous station a nightmare for the uninitiated. The subway system was not exactly built with user experience in mind. It is practically impossible to navigate for a person with little to no experience with this kind of public transportation system, let alone for those unable to see the map.

Let’s take it to the other coast by way of the Golden Gate Bridge. San Francisco is not a city known for its efficient public transportation. Instead of a large underground system, it relies on a mixture of a few subway lines, trolleys, and a large fleet of buses. The trolleys may be world-famous, but their reach is limited and relegated to mainly tourist use. The subway is also limited in scope and the buses are notoriously unreliable.

After living there for six years, I can confidently say that there is no comparison when it comes to New York’s MTA in terms of reach and consistency, but that is not the comparison being made here. There is one SF bus driver in particular that is going to be mentioned from one remarkable trip that stands out in my mind.

Most of the drivers call out the current stop when they arrive and announce the final destination as they welcome new riders aboard. This aforementioned operator treated his job a little differently. He not only announced every stop, but gave a continuous tour of the route as the bus was in motion.

The peculiarity of the event caught the attention of the normally apathetic commuters. You could see other public transportation riders slowly remove their ear buds to find out what was going on. I almost never take off my headphones when traveling on public transportation, but followed suit when it was clear something unusual was going on. I’m so glad I did.

In between jokes and restaurant recommendations, this man was giving a full on tour to the entire bus full of people, most of whom were just on their daily commute. It turned out that there was a visually impaired traveler at the front of the bus who had requested that the driver let the person know when they had reached their destination. Instead, the driver decided to give the passenger a little overview of the entire section of the city as it passed through the window.

inclusive design bus example

His running commentary provided an in-depth knowledge of the route and the city as a whole: where to get the best coffee, how to reach other parts of the city from particular stops, which direction to walk in if you wanted to hit historical landmarks, delivered with a little bit a humor. The entire bus was smiling by the time they disembarked. It was not a normal bus ride, to say the least.

That ride was undoubtedly remembered by every passenger that day. It provided a service that the majority of those people didn’t even know they needed. I even got a coffee at one of the recommended cafes. It was a pretty decent cup of joe.

Originally a benefit freely given to the person who requested simple assistance, it had became an eye-opening experience for all. I never got the name of the driver and have never experienced a ride quite like that again, but three years later it still sticks out in my mind. That is saying something.

So what do these transportation examples have to do with inclusive design? Good question. Obviously every bus, train, or trolley cannot provide this kind of service on every ride. But it’s not out of the question that the experience could be amended to be better for people with disabilities, and it isn’t out of the question it could benefit everyone.

TAKING IT BACK TO DIGITAL DESIGN

Let’s move out of the physical world and back into digital experience, where accessibility is just as important. Let’s take the example of someone who is colorblind browsing an eCommerce site. They have decided on something to purchase but can’t find the checkout button. It happens to be on the side of page, but the customer can’t see it because it is low contrast and blends into the background. The shopper gets so frustrated that they decide to abandon the purchase and move on. Not ideal right?

Now say a woman is on the identical site on her mobile phone while in a rush. She wants to make the purchase quickly and easily, but can’t find the checkout button while on the move so she puts the shopping on the back burner, never to return.

inclusive design cell phone while mobile example

Making that button more prominent and ensuring a high contrast could have helped both of those potential consumers. As Rory Sutherland, the Vice Chairman of Oglivy, said, “things designed specifically for people with disabilities often end up being valuable to many more people than originally planned.”

When we talk about inclusivity, we are not exclusively referring to the inclusion of people with physical disabilities. There are MANY other differences to keep in mind, such as people who suffer from cognitive disorders like anxiety or depression. If your site has a lengthy sign-up process or a complicated form with unclear labels, people suffering from these disorders are not likely to take the time to stay and work it out. Simplifying the process and providing a clear and easy path makes it more accessible and feasible, not just for people struggling with these disorders, but for anyone in a position where their full attention is not on the task at hand.

IN SUMMARY

Stop thinking of people with disabilities as a niche group that can be relegated to an afterthought. Design for your future selves, the ones who will continually put on and take off glasses in order to get the best view of the menu, the ones who will turn the volume up all the way only to still be unable to differentiate between the background noise and the phone, the ones who will ask their grandchildren to show how to use the new Hologram feature because the small buttons are too hard to press for your shaking fingers.

As disability rights lawyer, Elise Roy, recently said, “when we design for disability first, you often stumble upon solutions that are better than those when we design for the norm.” If we design products with inclusivity in mind, they could last well into the future.

So let’s throw out those traditional personas that have been ingrained in design strategy. Looking past standardized presumptions about your users will be profitable for everyone. To find out how to dive deeper into the mindset of your users check out our Mindset Manifesto.

8 Personal Touches You Can Add to Your Online Store That Customers Will Love

A guest post by Jake Rheude, Director of Marketing for Red Stag Fulfillment.

It’s a well-known fact that, when it comes to online shopping and advertising in general, people love to see who is behind a brand. We want to know that we’re interacting with and responding to real people, not just some ad machine or algorithm.

That’s even more important when it comes to spending our money in the mobile era, where we’ve got more people, apps, and ads fighting for our attention every second of the day.

You need to maximize the user experience and establish the connection that boosts sales. Thankfully, it is relatively easy to create familiarity and score some major points with a few simple efforts that include using the data you have, sharing photos of your staff, telling stories about your company and community, and many more customer service efforts.

We’ve got eight tips that you can start following right now, with items that focus on customers, customer service, and your company. A mix of elements and approaches is recommended to not only establish the relationship, but also to capitalize on it in a way that’s not overbearing or creepy.

1. Remember your customers’ names and preferences

This one is going to feel a little obvious but always start with customer names and information that you know. If you have accounts or rewards programs, give users the option to stay logged in for as long as possible.

A nice little greeting that says “Hi” and their name at the top of each page is the perfect way to strengthen your connection. It also makes customer service processes much easier because the user will be able to tell exactly where to click to get access to account information or support channels.

This practice is also useful for improving your email marketing. Remember, the user experience involves every touch point, not just your store’s websites.

It makes sense for Yelp to target a location, but its emails also rely on data about the places we’ve eaten at, left reviews for, or ordered from now that it also has a hand in GrubHub. This email was definitely speaking our language but didn’t feel overly promotional or intrusive because it’s the thing we want from them.

An interesting note about this for eCommerce stores is that Yelp based the email content on relevant information, without asking us beforehand. It timed this BBQ email with summer and recent eating habits that it collected, but never asked us to check off a BBQ box.

You likely are collecting a variety of data about your customers and their habits. Test multiple emails and campaigns to see how much of this information you can use to increase your connection and sales.

2. Ask about special occasions

Most eCommerce companies trade coupons and deals for a newsletter or account signup. While you want to limit the number of things you ask for right away (you don’t need an address or a phone number before someone places an order), consider asking for a customer’s birthday month and day.

This gives you a quick and easy chance to automate a coupon or special deal with a personal touch. It’s their special day, and you’re helping them celebrate — especially useful for that new product launch or big sale you’re planning.

If your products are associated with specific events, like weddings or anniversary gifts, you can ask about these too. You should also use the latest data to see how much outreach should be done via mobile for every customer, even luxury buyers.

One note about these options is that they shouldn’t be a mandatory part of the signup.

3. Consider omnichannel support

Personalization and personal connections mean reaching out to people in multiple ways.

You call your friends on the phone, share events on Facebook, like their photos on Instagram, and meet up in the real world for a variety of activities. Treat your company the same way.

Omnichannel support really means combining multiple avenues to deliver customer service, from social and chatbots to enabling email and telephone options. This means you’re always around and available, ready to help. You’re also providing customers with a way to reach you however they feel most comfortable with at that given moment.

4. Integrate your social channels

Social channels are amazing for eCommerce. They allow you to share your content and new products as well as provide direct customer service. Many now also support plugins and native eCommerce tools so you can sell directly from your social page or feed. Use these to target where your customers are.

Add social feeds to your website. Display tweets and Facebook posts to add credibility and give you an extra little boost when a new customer is looking at your site. They’ll get to see people praising you, coupon codes, or announcements about what’s new.

The more you facilitate and encourage interaction on your social channels, the more customers will feel like they’re interacting with a person, building that connection. Even in these social efforts, be sure your keywords match your goals.

5. Reach out if they need help

Sometimes people give up on a website when they’re confused, overwhelmed, or just uncertain. You know they arrived and were thinking about a purchase. Now, it’s time to find out why.

Re-targeting ads can help by showing these customers the same goods they were looking at to tip them over the edge into buying. However, there are much more active measures you can take as well.

One of our favorite examples for creating a personal experience when it comes to cart abandonment is Strolleria. The company gives customers a call if they leave something in the cart and don’t buy. They make about a dozen calls a day and most end in a voicemail, but they’ve told us that nearly one-third return to the cart and complete the purchase.

This might not work if you have large volumes of sales and carts — Strolleria focuses on high-cost goods — but it can be smart if you’re dealing with big ticket items or something that can confuse people.

Plus, customer service that goes above and beyond is a terrific way to land stellar reviews.

6. Showcase your brand and values

Another key part of creating a personal connection is to have content that features your company and your people. Customers want to connect with individuals more than with a faceless company. You get a stronger connection when you’re sharing your brand values if they align with your customers’.

Share the things you care about and consider framing them as items that your customers care about too.

Highlighting your values also allows you to showcase how you’re different, and the top services you offer. For us at Red Stag Fulfillment, it’s a terrific way to remind potential customers that we offer same-day order fulfillment for a majority of the country.

Sometimes, the right value statement on a product makes the difference for you securing a new sale or being the place people come back to on big events like Cyber Monday. Sharing your values is a best practice all year long, because you never know when people are going to think about what you offer. Birthdays, anniversaries, and other events happen every day. The holiday season makes it easy to remember these kinds of efforts, and we suggest you use that reminder to create a plan for every season.

7. Celebrate your people and events

What’s one of the biggest things that charity bike rides, music festivals, local raffles, and every major sporting event in the U.S. have in common? Sponsors. Companies know that if you see their name associated with something you love, then you’re more likely to associate them with that same loving feeling.

Prepping the warehouse for new products? Planning a pizza party or big lunch for the whole crew? Bringing in new staff or celebrating a birthday? Snap a few photos and put them up on your blog and Facebook page. Hosting a networking event? Highlight your employees who are there as well as members of the community. Or, showcase a talent that one of your staff has in a way that celebrates it.

Again, these are all actions designed to remind customers that you are real people with real hobbies and passions.

And, don’t forget to be a little silly about things:

8. Ask questions

People like other people who ask questions.

We all want to be interesting and want others to be interested in us. One of the best ways to get that feeling is to have someone ask us relevant questions that we want to answer. The key is asking questions in a way that engages customers and gets them talking about themselves, not your company.

So, this isn’t your “how many stars would you give us?” type of question.

Ask about what they need help with, where they’d like to go next, and what more they want. It’s such a successful tactic that even science backs it up as a great way to get someone to agree to a second date. Social science says we all just want to be liked. Make your customers feel liked, and you’re halfway to that repeat sale.

And remember, always make it look good on mobile.

Contentsquare Unveils Immersive Analytics Plugin For CX Insights

As part of its mission to revolutionize digital team workflow with easy-to-read, easy-to-leverage insights into digital user behavior, ContentSquare has launched CS Live — a new browser plugin that gives clients immediate access to all the performance metrics they need to create engaging and gainful experiences.


In just one click, ContentSquare clients can now display CX KPIs such as revenue per click, hesitation time or click rate directly onto their own site, mobile site or app. “It’s a bit like having a real-time performance review with your website,” says Jonathan Cherki, CEO and Founder of ContentSquare.

“It’s a bit like having a real-time performance review with your website.”

The game-changer here is that CS Live allows you to measure the performance of your platform without ever having to leave your site. No need to close one window in order to log into a dashboard — simply activating the plugin overlays engagement and attractiveness metrics directly onto each content element of a site.

 

Transforming the Way People Work


Removing the need for a dashboard brings brands closer than ever to the reality of customers, allowing them to both visualize and measure their UX in the same browser window. With CS Live, digital teams can be in direct conversation with their website to find out about their users’ end goals, preferences and struggles.


By visualizing the experience they think users are having side by side with the reality of digital journeys, teams are better equipped to bridge the experience gap fast and effectively. In the same way, they can immediately visualize ROI hotspots and locate the main drivers of engagement on their platforms.


In short, the plugin makes an easy-to-use digital experience insights platform even simpler. Some ContentSquare clients are already enjoying the speed and efficiency of one-click analytics, and have reported a positive impact on their workflow.


“CS Live helps GoPro immediately identify engagement metrics without having to load and sift through reporting data – this reduces time required for analysis and accelerates our decision making process,” said Eumir Nicasio, Head of Product, Digital & eCommerce of GoPro.

“CS Live helps GoPro immediately identify engagement metrics without having to load and sift through reporting data – this reduces time required for analysis and accelerates our decision making process.”


“When you’re in the middle of a meeting and the CEO asks you what is the content that generates the most revenue or across different markets or potentially the highest-performing filters, you’re able to answer that question in a manner of a few clicks,” says Niya Noneva, Digital Analytics Manager at Feelunique, Europe’s largest only beauty retailer.


And because it’s so intuitive, CS Live can be used by anyone on the team, without the need for training. And with zero barriers to use, brands will see daily adoption in no time. One of the key pillars of the ContentSquare solution is to put the data directly into the hands of those who need it. With this new plugin, digital teams can enjoy the same standards of convenience as the consumers they develop experiences for.

 

How It Works


CS Live uses ContentSquare’s Auto-Zone technology to automatically scan a site, isolating each element of content — including non-clickable elements — and removing the need for customized tagging. The Zone Based-Analytics functionality flags which in-page elements are driving conversion, and which are are causing friction along the customer journey.


The new plugin lets teams query data for specific segments, over a specific time period, and on any device — a real time-saver when it comes to side-by-side comparison of customer engagement drivers. It also adds an invaluable layer of insight to a brand’s testing strategy. And because ContentSquare captures all the data, all the time, teams can go back in time and quiz their site about past performance.


CS Live is available now to ContentSquare clients, and can be downloaded from the Chrome Web Store. Get in touch with us if you’d like to see it in action on your site!

 

ContentSquare Launches Augmented Reality Tool for Brands Seeking Instant Digital Customer Analytics

CS Live Allows Companies to Glean Instant Best Practices Insights in the Time it Takes to Browse Their Site

New York, N.Y. (September 26, 2018) – Continuing to provide marketers and brands with deeper analytics and insights into how and why online users do what they do, ContentSquare, a digital experience insights platform, today announced a new solution – CS Live – that delivers customer experience (CX) information in real-time with one click.

“Because digital is a mission critical channel today, we want to make sure that, for companies we support, key stakeholders can access customer experience insights as easily as they can walk into their brick and mortar stores, and observe where customers are going, which display they are looking at, where they hesitate, where they might experience frustration, etc. In particular, we believe senior executives needs to access this data directly, without needing to rely exclusively on expert analysts,” said Jonathan Cherki, CEO and Founder of ContentSquare. “Relying on a handful of experts is neither efficient nor scalable. Enterprises — many of which are overwhelmed with data — need to make their website optimization decisions based on insightful experience data that drives conversions instead of on their gut feeling.”

Now, by simply downloading ContentSquare’s CS Live browser plugin from the Chrome Web Store, users can browse their respective sites for instant CX analytics. With CS Live, entire teams can easily access customer experience insights, get answers to their CX and visitor engagement questions as quickly as it takes to browse their website, and complement their existing website testing strategies. From CEOs to analysts, internal teams can now benefit from advanced CX and visitor engagement analytics with no training required.

“CS Live helps GoPro immediately identify engagement metrics without having to load and sift through reporting data – this reduces time required for analysis and accelerates our decision making process,” said Eumir Nicasio, Head of Product, Digital & eCommerce of GoPro.

“Universally, web users have grown to have zero tolerance when it comes to searching for and receiving information online,” added Jonathan Cherki, CEO of ContentSquare. “CS Live is a practical solution for brands seeking immediate feedback – like Amazon one click buying or Uber one click taxi – on how customers are utilizing their sites. We refer to it as AR analytics because it augments your site with actionable behavioral metrics that can be understood and shared across teams, enabling a true democratization of data. It’s a bit like having a real-time performance review with your website. CS Live has an array of use cases, from a conversion manager needing answers as to how her visitors are engaging with a new checkout process to an ecommerce manager inquiring about which piece of content has generated the most revenue on his company’s site, even in a particular region like France, that month.”

CS Live can be used to perform side-by-side site comparisons and discover how a brand’s A/B test strategy drives customer engagement. It can also be used to analyze dynamic content and influence content marketing strategies. Allowing for deeper insights, CS Live can also easily attribute customer experience KPIs from engagement to return on investment (ROI) for all active content elements. Further, it does not require a tagging plan, and is compatible with ContentSquare’s zone-based heat maps to compare and contrast content performance regardless of where the content is placed on the site or what device was used to view or access it.

ContentSquare is a digital experience insights platform that helps businesses understand how and why users are interacting with their app, mobile and web sites. They compute billions of touch and mouse movements and transform this knowledge into profitable actions that increase engagement, reduce operational costs and maximize conversion rates. Using behavioral data, artificial intelligence and big data to provide automatic recommendations, ContentSquare empowers every member of the digital team to easily measure the impact of their actions and make fast and productive data-driven decisions to optimize the customer journey. ContentSquare offers its services to a range of companies including Walmart, L’Oréal, Tiffany’s, Clarks and Unilever.

For more information about ContentSquare, please visit: contentsquare.com

About ContentSquare
ContentSquare is a digital experience insights platform that helps businesses understand how and why users are interacting with their app, mobile and web sites. We compute billions of touch and mouse movements, and transform this knowledge into profitable actions that increase engagement, reduce operational costs and maximize conversion rates.

Using behavioral data, artificial intelligence and big data to provide automatic recommendations to marketers, ContentSquare empowers every member of the digital team to easily measure the impact of their actions, and make fast and productive data-driven decisions to optimize the customer journey.
Learn more at contentsquare.com.

Contact
Jason Heller
(212) 584-4278
[email protected]

Good UX Is Always In Fashion: Two Influencers Share Their Pet Digital Peeve – gb
With fashion week upon us once again, brands are focused on pushing the latest trends, and keeping their digital audience engaged around the season’s must-have looks and accessories.

And it’s not only styles that are changing fast and furiously — throughout the past decade, the fashion sector has experienced a great deal of transformation. Digital innovation, the rise of social media, and the emergence of new standards for customer experience have all impacted digital buying behavior.

We reached out to two experts in all things fashion to hear their thoughts on how brands can make their mark and stay ahead in this rapidly-changing industry.

Foto 02.09.18, 09 12 03    Foto 01.08.18, 14 18 49

Photo: Gitta Banko, Blondwalk

GOOD UX VERSUS BAD UX

In this age of instant choice, where consumers have access to hundreds of competing stores right at their fingertips, digital convenience and hassle-free shopping have become a key factor of brand loyalty. If you have a winning product but a terrible digital experience, you’ll still lose customers.

Gitta Banko, a stylist, fashion blogger and digital influencer who showcases the latest styles on her sartorial diary Blondwalk, agrees that the customer experience is make or break. “The worst online shopping experience, even if I love the clothing, is when the site is not working properly,” says Gitta.

Long load times, broken links, lack of information — today’s consumers have a very low tolerance for any friction along the digital journey. If even one part of the digital journey seems confusing or difficult, it only takes a few seconds to switch to a competing brand.

Today’s consumers have a very low tolerance for any friction along the digital journey.

For Gitta, navigation turns problematic when “the images load too slowly, or it (the site) keeps showing errors.” Frustrating delays in-site will not endear you to customers – particularly when shoppers are flicking through multiple product images or viewing inspirational content. In fact, ContentSquare data shows that digital shoppers make their minds up very quickly, with 40% of e-Commerce buyers converting on the first visit.

An intuitive path through the site is also a must-have. “What I feel is also annoying is when the page navigation is not well done, meaning it redirects me to the landing page when I have already clicked my way through product page 16,” explains Gitta. Imagine walking through a museum — you want to walk from one section to another seamlessly without having to go back to the main lobby to ask for directions. The same goes for shopping online.

Shipping is also a key component of the customer experience. Like many fashion fanatics, blogger Jessica Windle, who shares style pics and stories on Jeans & a Teacup, is always on the market for a good deal on delivery and some sort of promotion.

“If shipping is too expensive or the return process is difficult, I won’t go through with a purchase,” says Jessica. “I like a deal, too, so sometimes I won’t go through with a purchase if an item isn’t on sale or I can’t find a discount code.” Indeed, ContentSquare found that 28% of shoppers abandon their carts due to unexpected shipping costs. Making shipping costs and discount codes known at the start of the customer journey can make all the difference between a conversion and a bounce.

Everlane-Polka-Dot-Shirtdress-Everlane-Suede-Heels-683x1024      Beachy-Waves-Hair-T3-Micro-683x1024

Photo: Jessica Windle, Jeans & a Teacup

MOBILE FIRST — A TREND THAT’S HERE TO STAY

As more and more retail traffic shifts to smartphone (49.1% versus 38.2% desktop), fashion brands are allocating a bigger chunk of their marketing budget to connecting with their mobile customers. “A smartphone is great if you need to make an emergency purchase while you’re out,” says Jessica.

But while today’s fashionistas may be glued to their phones, ContentSquare data shows that a majority still switch to desktop to go through with purchases — 2.33% CVR on desktop versus 1.16% on mobile. “I like to browse on my smartphone but I usually end up purchasing from my laptop at home”, confirms Jessica, citing poor internet connection as one of the hurdles to mobile conversion. She also flags sites that “mobile-friendly” as a major frustration.

Gitta confirms the need for a mobile-first design when shopping on her smartphone. “If I use my mobile device I prefer using apps if the shops offer them, as they are better to handle than desktop versions on mobile devices.” She describes her pet mobile UX peeve as “pop-ups that are hard to close.”

Confirming that mobile users have little patience for anything less than a seamless journey are the higher bounce rate and cart abandonment rate on handheld devices. ContentSquare data shows that for fashion e-Commerce sites, the mobile bounce rate is 41.4%, compared to 33% on desktop. “I usually use my laptop for online shopping as I can see everything better on there,” notes Gitta.

ContentSquare data shows that for fashion e-Commerce sites, the mobile bounce rate is 41.4%, compared to 33% on desktop.

Brands that can crack the formula of inspiring on a small screen will be able to tap into this eager audience. And fashion lovers have very specific needs when it comes to information. For Jessica, that’s “great photos of the product and a detailed sizing chart so I know exactly how an item will fit.” Gitta says “the entire design” as well as the site’s “pictoral language” are crucial to her experience.

Understanding what matters to users is key to delivering the experiences that can help them meet their digital goals. AI-driven analytics can help brands decipher consumer expectations and needs, and keep pace in the world of fast fashion, ensuring all those runway looks get the digital attention they deserve.

See you in the front row!

Read our Little Black Book of Luxury

Good UX Is Always In Fashion: Two Influencers Share Their Pet Digital Peeve
With fashion week upon us once again, brands are focused on pushing the latest trends, and keeping their digital audience engaged around the season’s must-have looks and accessories.

And it’s not only styles that are changing fast and furiously — throughout the past decade, the fashion sector has experienced a great deal of transformation. Digital innovation, the rise of social media, and the emergence of new standards for customer experience have all impacted digital buying behavior.

We reached out to two experts in all things fashion to hear their thoughts on how brands can make their mark and stay ahead in this rapidly-changing industry.

Foto 02.09.18, 09 12 03    Foto 01.08.18, 14 18 49

Photo: Gitta Banko, Blondwalk

GOOD UX VERSUS BAD UX

In this age of instant choice, where consumers have access to hundreds of competing stores right at their fingertips, digital convenience and hassle-free shopping have become a key factor of brand loyalty. If you have a winning product but a terrible digital experience, you’ll still lose customers.

Gitta Banko, a stylist, fashion blogger and digital influencer who showcases the latest styles on her sartorial diary Blondwalk, agrees that the customer experience is make or break. “The worst online shopping experience, even if I love the clothing, is when the site is not working properly,” says Gitta.

Long load times, broken links, lack of information — today’s consumers have a very low tolerance for any friction along the digital journey. If even one part of the digital journey seems confusing or difficult, it only takes a few seconds to switch to a competing brand.

Today’s consumers have a very low tolerance for any friction along the digital journey.

For Gitta, navigation turns problematic when “the images load too slowly, or it (the site) keeps showing errors.” Frustrating delays in-site will not endear you to customers – particularly when shoppers are flicking through multiple product images or viewing inspirational content. In fact, ContentSquare data shows that digital shoppers make their minds up very quickly, with 40% of e-Commerce buyers converting on the first visit.

An intuitive path through the site is also a must-have. “What I feel is also annoying is when the page navigation is not well done, meaning it redirects me to the landing page when I have already clicked my way through product page 16,” explains Gitta. Imagine walking through a museum — you want to walk from one section to another seamlessly without having to go back to the main lobby to ask for directions. The same goes for shopping online.

Shipping is also a key component of the customer experience. Like many fashion fanatics, blogger Jessica Windle, who shares style pics and stories on Jeans & a Teacup, is always on the market for a good deal on delivery and some sort of promotion.

“If shipping is too expensive or the return process is difficult, I won’t go through with a purchase,” says Jessica. “I like a deal, too, so sometimes I won’t go through with a purchase if an item isn’t on sale or I can’t find a discount code.” Indeed, ContentSquare found that 28% of shoppers abandon their carts due to unexpected shipping costs. Making shipping costs and discount codes known at the start of the customer journey can make all the difference between a conversion and a bounce.

Everlane-Polka-Dot-Shirtdress-Everlane-Suede-Heels-683x1024      Beachy-Waves-Hair-T3-Micro-683x1024

Photo: Jessica Windle, Jeans & a Teacup

MOBILE FIRST — A TREND THAT’S HERE TO STAY

As more and more retail traffic shifts to smartphone (49.1% versus 38.2% desktop), fashion brands are allocating a bigger chunk of their marketing budget to connecting with their mobile customers. “A smartphone is great if you need to make an emergency purchase while you’re out,” says Jessica.

But while today’s fashionistas may be glued to their phones, ContentSquare data shows that a majority still switch to desktop to go through with purchases — 2.33% CVR on desktop versus 1.16% on mobile. “I like to browse on my smartphone but I usually end up purchasing from my laptop at home”, confirms Jessica, citing poor internet connection as one of the hurdles to mobile conversion. She also flags sites that “mobile-friendly” as a major frustration.

Gitta confirms the need for a mobile-first design when shopping on her smartphone. “If I use my mobile device I prefer using apps if the shops offer them, as they are better to handle than desktop versions on mobile devices.” She describes her pet mobile UX peeve as “pop-ups that are hard to close.”

Confirming that mobile users have little patience for anything less than a seamless journey are the higher bounce rate and cart abandonment rate on handheld devices. ContentSquare data shows that for fashion e-Commerce sites, the mobile bounce rate is 41.4%, compared to 33% on desktop. “I usually use my laptop for online shopping as I can see everything better on there,” notes Gitta.

ContentSquare data shows that for fashion e-Commerce sites, the mobile bounce rate is 41.4%, compared to 33% on desktop.

Brands that can crack the formula of inspiring on a small screen will be able to tap into this eager audience. And fashion lovers have very specific needs when it comes to information. For Jessica, that’s “great photos of the product and a detailed sizing chart so I know exactly how an item will fit.” Gitta says “the entire design” as well as the site’s “pictoral language” are crucial to her experience.

Understanding what matters to users is key to delivering the experiences that can help them meet their digital goals. AI-driven analytics can help brands decipher consumer expectations and needs, and keep pace in the world of fast fashion, ensuring all those runway looks get the digital attention they deserve.

See you in the front row!

Read our Little Black Book of Luxury

All the Traffic But No Sales – 5 Things You Might Be Doing Wrong

Your website looks great. Traffic is on the rise. You’re running a few Facebook ads, and you’re sending out newsletters. Things are going pretty well – except that pesky sales column is still stuck at $0. What gives?

Your demographics are off

You’re clearly targeting well enough to increase your traffic, but something is going wrong if none of those visitors are biting. In this case, you might want to look at your demographics.

If you’re using fairly vague customer profiles, try zeroing in on a smaller, focused, and hopefully more engaged audience. Take a look at your CTR to see who is actually engaging with your posts on social media, and try targeting different niche demographics instead of a wide swath.

Doing this could help you find a more narrow and exact customer profile that has intention to buy.

IF YOU’RE USING FAIRLY VAGUE CUSTOMER PROFILES, TRY ZEROING IN ON A SMALLER, FOCUSED, AND HOPEFULLY MORE ENGAGED AUDIENCE. 

Your keywords don’t match your goals

Take a look at what keywords are driving your traffic – there are a couple things that can go wrong here.

First, are your visitors just seeking out information? You may have an active keyword that’s drawing people in that have no intention to buy — “best laptop processors” vs. “cost-effective laptops.” If people are going to your site to find out more about a product they’re interested in, they are extremely unlikely to convert. Try ramping up the keywords that are more sales-focused.

Second: are you “tricking” people into visiting your website? Check the popular keywords to see if they’re directing your visitors to relevant pages for what they want. If they’re looking for a comparison list and being directed to a product page, they’re going to leave your site immediately, and that means you’ve found a successful keyword…but not for you.

You aren’t telling them what to do

This is a huge problem with social media campaigns in particular, but can be a problem with websites as well.

Take a second look at those social media ads you’re running. What is your viewer supposed to do? Visit your site? Sign up for a free trial? Download this whitepaper? Make sure you’re telling them to do that, clearly and immediately. Try experimenting with different copy for your call to action to see what works best.

If your CTR is high, meaning that people are engaging with your ad (either by liking, commenting, or clicking the link), they may like the ad but just not know what you want them to do from there.

On your website, make sure your call to action button isn’t too hard to find, and is as concise as possible.

Your website is not actually that nice

We know, your website is your pride and joy. But you’ve been working on it for too long, you’re too close to it, and you have no idea what a first-time user is experiencing. Things that seem obvious to you will not be obvious to your user.

If you’re getting visitors but no sales, it’s time to experiment with some A/B testing, and potentially invest in some site testers. You need to find out what they don’t like or don’t understand so you can fix it. Whether that means upgrading your checkout experience to involve less clicks or creating a smarter dynamic search feature that anticipates what customers are looking for, it’s a task that requires some elbow grease if you’re to improve sales.

But how do you figure all that out?

Well, that’s where the data comes in. You need to invest in a tool that can give you relevant and accurate data about where your visitors are bouncing or converting, how much time they’re spending on each area of your site, and how they’re navigating to different areas. All this data will help you see everything through the eyes of your user, so that you can make necessary changes to make their experience a positive one.

YOU NEED TO INVEST IN A TOOL THAT CAN GIVE YOU RELEVANT AND ACCURATE DATA ABOUT WHERE YOUR VISITORS ARE BOUNCING OR CONVERTING.

You don’t look good on mobile

As you know, mobile is the name of the game — clearly, because of those social media campaigns you’re running. But there is no faster way to alienate a mobile user than to not make your website optimized for mobile users.

Is it formatted correctly? Is there a clear way to get to the menu and navigate around the page? Are the buttons visible and not hidden behind weirdly-misplaced text? Is the clickable area of a button too small or too large?

All that increased traffic without the payoff could be because your mobile visitors love your ads but are bouncing because of poor design for tablets and phones.

Getting your website up and running and starting some ad campaigns is a great start, but there’s a lot more work to do. Getting an increase in traffic is the first step; the next one is to make more sales! Hopefully these tips helped you think about where you might be making missteps, and how to steer yourself back in the right direction.

Jake Rheude is the Director of Marketing for Red Stag Fulfillment, an ecommerce fulfillment warehouse that was born out of ecommerce. He has years of experience in ecommerce and business development. In his free time, Jake enjoys reading about business and sharing his own experience with others.

ContentSquare Raises $42 Million Series B Led by U.S. VC Canaan and Highland Europe

France-Based SaaS Digital Experience Insights Platform Secures Funding to Continue its Rapid Growth in Americas and Europe

PARIS (Jan. 29, 2018) — ContentSquare, a SaaS digital experience insights platform, has raised a $42 million Series B funding round led by Canaan, a U.S. VC firm that has previously invested in LendingClub, Ebates and Match.com. Highland Europe, a global investor in companies including Matchesfashion.com, WeTransfer and Photobox and a previous investor in the company also participated in the round, as did Eurazeo and H14. The funding will be used to continue to grow ContentSquare’s business in the U.S. and globally.

 

ContentSquare computes billions of touch and mouse movements every day in 191 countries, and transforms this knowledge into profitable actions that increase engagement, reduce operational costs and maximize conversion rates. Used by content, eCommerce, analytics, acquisition, IT and UX teams, ContentSquare’s roadmap positions it to become the first fully automated, Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven digital experience platform.

 

“Since our founding, we have been dedicated to understanding how and why consumers interact with their favorite brands’ website, mobile and apps – and to use that data to improve our customers’ digital experiences, measure content efficiency and, ultimately, increase sales,” said ContentSquare’s CEO Jonathan Cherki, who is based in NYC. “By improving and automating digital experience analytics, our innovative technology has become a secret weapon for some of the best brands all around the world. This round is a testament to the value we bring to our customers, and we’re very excited about our growth ahead.”

 

ContentSquare believes in people transformation more than digital transformation — changing the way digital teams work by empowering them to measure their impact and pinpoint the best ways to increase their revenue.

 

The company previously raised a $20 million Series A fundraising closed in the fall of 2016 led by Highland Europe and supported by business angels from Seed4soft. Since then the company has expanded globally, with offices in Paris, Munich, London and New York, and has grown to over 200 employees. In that time, ContentSquare also saw more than 150 percent revenue growth and added 120 customers worldwide, including Orange, Rakuten, Carrefour, Walmart, Tiffany’s, Clarks, Goldman Sachs, Abbott, SNCF, AccorHotels, L’Occitane and more.

 

Since the launch of the company, ContentSquare has rolled out a series of innovations and groundbreaking technology. Recent developments include the creation of an AI engine to analyze behavioral data and offer automatic insights, as well as its Auto-Zone feature launched earlier this month. Auto-Zone redefines online data collection by replacing content tagging and tag configuration with automatic element identification and revenue attribution for each area and element of a website.

 

“The ability for any brand to sell any good and deliver it to the consumer quickly means that the key differentiator for brand loyalty is customer experience,” said Michael Gilroy, Principal at Canaan, who spearheaded the firm’s investment and has joined the ContentSquare board. “This is where ContentSquare’s digital experience insights come into play – they help enterprises really understand their users and create the ultimate experience.”

 

“We are proud to participate in another rounding of funding for ContentSquare,” said Tony Zappala, Partner at Highland Europe. “The talented team, led by Jonathan Cherki, has a strong vision with ambitious goals in a huge market. As an early investor, it’s exciting to see they ContentSquare continue to innovate and grow.”

 

For more information about ContentSquare, please visit: contentsquare.com

 

About ContentSquare:

ContentSquare is a digital experience insights platform that helps businesses understand how and why users are interacting with their app, mobile and web sites. The company computes billions of touch and mouse movements, and transforms this knowledge into profitable actions that increase engagement, reduce operational costs and maximize conversion rates. Using behavioral data, artificial intelligence and big data to provide automatic recommendations, ContentSquare empowers every member of the digital team to easily measure the impact of their actions, and make fast and productive data-driven decisions to optimize the customer journey. Learn more at contentsquare.com.

 

About Canaan:
Canaan is an early stage venture capital firm that invests in entrepreneurs with visionary ideas. With $5 billion under management, a diversified fund and 190 exits to date, Canaan has invested in some of the world’s leading technology and health care companies over the past 30 years. Canaan’s focus areas include fintech, enterprise/SaaS, marketplace, e-commerce, biopharma, digital health and medtech. To learn more about our people and our portfolio, please visit canaan.com.

 

About Highland Europe:
Highland Europe is exclusively focused on Growth Stage internet, mobile and software businesses. Launched in 2012 and with over €580m ($640m) in capital raised across two funds, the firm’s origins were as the European operations of Highland Capital Partners, a US venture capital firm. Highland Europe is based in London and Geneva and its current portfolio includes MatchesFashion.com, GetYourGuide, WeTransfer, Nexthink, and Malwarebytes among many others.

www.highlandeurope.com

 

Media Contact:

Austin Rotter

[email protected]

UX Spotlight: Sizing up your customers – Be a virtual dressing room attendant for your shoppers

In the UX Spotlight series, I post weekly on UX features that impressed me online, and are great examples and inspiration for anyone looking to enhance their digital user experience.

Successful online retail depends on the confidence of your shoppers. Customers need to feel sure that they’re making the right purchase, even though they can’t physically feel or inspect the merchandise. When it comes to clothing, this can be a major obstacle for some shoppers, who hesitate to purchase without the opportunity to try on items.

This week, we spotlight online clothing retailer ASOS and the clever way they put customers at ease, both boosting sales and lowering returns.

The UX Element:

The product pages on ASOS have a rather typical layout overall, with a variety of photos, a video, and basic shipping information. However, what makes ASOS unique is that above the green “add to cart” button is a link inviting new shoppers to “find out what size people like you bought.”

When clicked, a simple popup appears inviting customers to fill out their particular measurements, including height, weight, and preferences regarding if they like clothing to fit more tightly or more loosely.

Next, to get an even more accurate fit, shoppers can enter their dress sizes in other common brands, or they can skip that step.

ASOS then offers a reading based on the data entered: what the most commonly ordered size was for shoppers with similar measurements of this particular dress which resulted in the fewest returns.

If a shopper is satisfied with that information, they can continue shopping. However, if they want to be extra sure they are choosing the right size, there is yet further opportunity to specialize the sizing estimate by selecting the “make your results more accurate” option, which then prompts a series of other, more specialized popups:

After shoppers add as much detail as they wish, they can view a revised summary of their size estimation.

From then on, customers who are logged in or in the same shopping session will view a size recommendation on each product page based on their responses:

The Impact:

Because of ASOS’s clever customer journey design, customers can have unparalleled confidence in their purchase. This sizing estimation has some benefits:

Social proof: It’s not just that ASOS suggests a size based on measurements – they suggest a size based on previous customers’ experience and satisfaction. This subtly builds customer trust in the brand by showing them how many other shoppers with their precise needs were happy with their item of interest.

Brand confidence: By asking shoppers their sizes in other common brands, ASOS projects confidence in the face of competition, and even uses that competition to their advantage by deducing from which competitors a shopper enjoys the best products to recommend them.

Customer loyalty: Once customers have their size saved in the ASOS system, it increases their likelihood of returning to the site to shop because every product page takes their personal needs into account, whereas competitors now lack this customized information and edge. Furthermore, it will motivate returning customers to log in so they can use their previously entered stats, and on average, logged in customers have a 25% conversion rate!

Reduce returns:  Customers receiving a correct sizing information means they will be more likely to be satisfied with their purchase, and less likely to return items.

Valuable data gathering: Of course, don’t forget that every bit of data from your customers helps you further tailor your digital experience to better meet shoppers’ needs and, in doing so, ramp up conversions and repeat business.

The Takeaway:

 

A SUPERIOR CUSTOMER JOURNEY CAN TAKE THE PLACE OF THE FRIENDLY FITTING ROOM ATTENDANT, AND INSPIRE THE SAME CONFIDENCE AND JOY IN THE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE.

Gone are the days of puzzling sizing charts and guesswork in mail-order catalogs. Through UX features like this one, online retailers have the opportunity to provide unprecedented assistance and guidance to customers. A superior customer journey can take the place of the friendly fitting room attendant, and inspire the same confidence and joy in the shopping experience.

It’s that confidence that leads customers to conversion and keeps them coming back for more.

I am always on the lookout for UX innovation. If you come across a digital experience that stands out, please send it over to [email protected]