L’OCCITANE Increases Agility for Reacting to Anomalies with use of AI-based Digital Experience Alerts

Contentsquare, an AI-powered digital experience insights solution, announced today that L’OCCITANE en Provence, a leading natural cosmetics manufacturer and retailer, is using its AI Alerts to detect and react to digital experience anomalies faster, thereby reducing the manual effort required to improve conversions and drive revenue.

“When people walk into a L’OCCITANE store, we aim to provide an experience that connects the customer to our brand and promotes engagement. At our flagship stores in New YorkLondon and Melbourne, for example, we offer hand massages, product customization, gift engraving and the chance to enjoy a special a Provençal treat,” said Laura Sayag, Ecommerce Coordinator for the L’OCCITANE Group. “It’s critical to provide the same high level of experience in our brick and mortar store as we do for our online customers. That’s why we’re using Contentsquare’s AI Alerts. Whenever an anomaly on the website arises, if the alert has been created, our team can now spring into action more quickly.”

Proactive monitoring of the site from a business perspective means teams receive timely notifications of any performance deviation, enabling fast, focused reactions. The AI Alerts feature identifies, for example, technical and usability anomalies, including if there is unusually high visitor frustration on page controls, which may prevent customers from completing transactions. It works on both critical pages that deliver a substantial portion of overall conversions and revenue, and pages that are less trafficked day-to-day, but can be important when specific events occur.

It ensures the optimal customer experience and ease of conversion without manual monitoring, which takes too much time on a large website and is subject to human error. And Contentsquare’s granular-level data means alerts can be triggered by changes on individual page elements, including the level of engagement or hesitation with merchandise images, FAQs, form fields, call-to-actions, buttons, etc.

The alerts also monitor for unforeseen changes in demand e.g. content pages and elements seeing a spike or downturn in engagement based on related trends elsewhere on the Internet, allowing teams to react and address the market opportunity with, for example, a social media campaign.

“The machine learning model understands how behaviors and business metrics are trending and is able to detect anomalies and unusual deviations from the norms to trigger timely notifications,” said Jonathan Cherki, CEO and Founder of Contentsquare. “Unlike manual alerts, users don’t have to set up thresholds, avoiding the ‘Alerts-fatigue’ that comes with being overloaded with meaningless notifications whenever a metric fluctuates normally e.g. during weekly campaign days or on weekends vs. weekdays. We’re excited to see L’OCCITANE continue to lead the industry in user experience with our new solution.”

For more information about Contentsquare’s AI Alerts, visit https://www.contentsquare.com/ai-insights-and-smart-alerts/.

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.

Jarir Bookstore partners with ContentSquare to optimize its eCommerce platform

As part of its digitalization roadmap, Saudi Arabia’s leading retailer brand Jarir Bookstore will be using the ContentSquare analytics solution to study specific visitor segments and optimize the user experience on their online platforms.

Considered to be one of the largest retailers in the Arab World, Jarir Bookstore has opened more than 47 physical stores in GCC region since the 1970s. Jarir Bookstore offers a unique range of high-quality products ranging from office/school supplies, books, arts and crafts, to electronics and smart devices. Jarir Bookstore has recognized the importance of digitally transforming its offerings and services over the past few years – first by introducing digital books and launching an e-reader app (Jarir Reader) in 2013, followed by the launch of their official eCommerce site in 2016.

 

Jarir and ContentSquare

Using big data and artificial intelligence, ContentSquare precisely measures the web behavior of online visitors and makes it accessible to Jarir via its digital insights platform. “Through the use of our zoning technology, our solution breaks down each webpage and identifies problem areas. We measure everything from failed clicks to frustration points and hesitation time of online users. From experience, we know that addressing these problem areas leads to higher conversion rates. That’s what ContentSquare is about – offering a full-picture UX Analysis that helps people understand the reasons behind the behavior of online visitors, and why are they converting or not,” explains Disney Yapa, ContentSquare’s Sales Director MENA.

As one of the prominent members of the French tech startup scene, ContentSquare has helped more than 200 clients to optimize their digital channels, including Trolley in the UAE, Clarks, Harvey Nichols, BNP Paribas, Carrefour, L’Occitane and many others. In 2018, the company received an additional $42M in funding allowing it to invest further in developing its technology and offering its services to new markets – including the Middle East.

Since the partnership was finalized in the first quarter of the year, ContentSquare has worked closely with Jarir’s eCommerce team, training them extensively on the tool’s features.

 

That’s what ContentSquare is about – offering a full-picture UX Analysis that helps people understand the reasons behind the behavior of online visitors, and why are they converting or not.

Disney Yapa, ContentSquare

Q&A: Taking Rum21 to the next UX level

“We can’t be inside our customers’ brain, but ContentSquare is as close as we get.”

Andrea Ryberg, Rum21

 

Rum 21 has gone through a number of changes since its early days. Acquired by furniture e-commerce giant RoyalDesign in 2014, what used to be a family-owned enterprise now has access to large-scale resources. In 2018, it partnered with UX Analytics company ContentSquare to really deep-dive into getting to know their customers and improving their online journey,

ContentSquare Marketing Manager Camila Florez sat down with Rum 21 e-Commerce Manager Andrea Ryberg to discuss these changes and how the site seeks to ‘balance information with inspiration’.

 

How would you define Rum 21 and how is it different from other companies?

We aspire to be a more personal company that has a high level of trust with customers. Being owned by RoyalDesign, we do have the advantages of having the larger supply chain, the sizeable warehouse, and other resources. But we want our site to feel straightforward and trustworthy. We try to be very transparent and give a full picture of the product and who we are. Furthermore, we believe customer service is one of the main pillars of our business.

 

Who is the primary customer of Rum21 and how would you distinguish them from Royal Design customers?

With segmentation analysis, we can see that our customer is primarily a woman, relatively young, and we also see that our average order values are higher. We need to dig more into that, but there’s definitely a perceived difference between our two brands and we work on maintaining that. Rum21 is a bit more premium in terms of product offering.

 

How do you identify these customers and how do you cater to them differently?

We have customers in various stages of the funnel on our site, so we really need to accommodate all types of customers. To do that, we strive to offer a mix of inspiration and information. As we’ve seen with ContentSquare, we have the largest number of visitors coming straight to the product page. These customers generally come from Google or through paid click, indicating they already know what they are looking for and therefore are quite far down in the funnel. So, in that stage, inspiration is still important, but we need to focus on the information part.
On the other hand, if a customer is landing on the homepage and hasn’t fully decided yet what they want, the inspirational part needs to be more emphasized.

 

So you began using the ContentSquare tool in 2018. How do you find the solution so far and how does it compare to the tools you were using prior? 

Well, we know what sells and what doesn’t, and we wanted to know why. We were using Google Analytics for a long time, and we still do, but it’s more useful for looking at traffic and straight sales figures. Yes, you can see the clicks on the pages, or how popular different pages are, but you can’t really see the navigation paths and what the customers look at and for how long. Our marketing department uses it much more than I do now.

The difference is that ContentSquare brings you the behavior part. We can really learn why a customer clicks on something or why they don’t. That was something that I could only make assumptions about before. We can’t be inside our customers’ brain, but the insights we get from ContentSquare are as close as we can get. It’s really been interesting for us.

 

How do you use or interact with the solution on a regular basis?

It depends on what I’m looking for. Usually, I go on the dashboard and have a quick overview. I also merchandise the site and the homepage, so I love looking at how the different elements on it are performing, that’s really interesting. Also, I look at the Customer Journey Analytics to get a better understanding of the actual customer journey. I use the solution in different ways. Our IT and Content Managers also use it.

 

How has the tool changed the way you carry out your job?

Well, it’s a lot easier now to understand what must be prioritized, because I can see for example what a certain pain point does to the actual conversion rate. I work a lot with the developers, so this is really handy. Before I would come to them with suggestions or let them know what my personal preferences are. Now I come to them with data, I know that this is what we need to do. This is a massive advantage!

 

What would you say is the biggest insight that you gained from ContentSquare that you couldn’t have before?

Lots of things, actually. For us, it was good to realize that the locations on the homepage where we put our prime offers weren’t even visible to many of our customers and visitors. Now we changed the whole layout of the homepage and we’re still looking at how that has affected our customers’ behavior.
We also know now that our search function is really one of the most used functions and most clicked elements. We identified that the float time is quite high on the search bar, so we changed and clarified the CTA. We could also see that we had customers starting to type on the search bar, and when the actual search pop up would appear, it covers it. So you couldn’t really see what you were typing. We changed that because obviously, we saw that we lost customers through this frustration point.
We have also identified pain points on our product and cart pages… we have so much work to do still!

 

How do you see the partnership between ContentSquare and Rum21 moving forward?

I feel from our collaboration that ContentSquare – especially with Lovisa, the Nordics Customer Success Manager with whom we work very closely – encourages and pushes us to examine the elements on our website more in detail. And ContentSquare as a tool always has a new update or feature coming out. I feel like they’re really on their toes when it comes to developing the tool. As for Rum 21, we will never stop evolving either. We always need to adapt to the customer. There are so many new features and technologies that are emerging every day; working with ContentSquare is definitely going to help us to be able to keep up with that. It makes it a lot more effortless to deal with data and analysis. We can get the answers so much quicker. Whether we’re doing a complete redesign work or simply small adjustments, we will always find room for continued growth together.

 

What are your next steps in terms of optimization?

First of all, we’re going to develop the search function a bit more and make it faster. And we’re looking at that now. It would be interesting to look at the Cart page and follow up on the insights that we have. We discovered for example that we have a lot of exit points in the Cart that we want to keep to a strict minimum.
There are also features in the solution that we haven’t maximized yet, like the AI notifications. I also think there’s room for improvement in terms of having even more of our teams use the tool. For now, people have a lot on their plates, but it would be very helpful to really buckle down and have our Category and Content teams spend more time to gather insights from the tool as well and determine what to do with those insights. Those are the things we are working on.

 

If there’s one sentence that you would use to describe ContentSquare and the work it has done for Rum21, what would it be?

Well, it would be difficult to put it in just one line. But all we ever strive to do in this business is to understand the customer. We might know what we want to sell, but it’s so important to understand what the customer actually wants and how they want to interact. To sum it up, this is the only solution that primarily gives us that data. We simply couldn’t do that with the tools that we used before ContentSquare.

What Surprised Us Most About Fashion Week 2018: Quick Takeaways On User Behavior

ContentSquare data experts analyzed more than 11 million user sessions during the course of a month, across 6 global luxury fashion sites. They examined sessions captured between 09/01 and 09/24 — coinciding with New York, London, and Milan fashion weeks, and the week leading up to the shows.

Here are some of their findings:

1. Homepage traffic increases by almost 20% during fashion week.

Our data analysts found that the number of visitors entering luxury fashion sites through the homepage increased from 26.03% to 31.22% at the start of fashion week. And while the majority of users are still coming in through the digital side door (product pages, category pages, etc), numbers show that many consumers are primed for an introductory brand experience. Also noteworthy was a 42% spike in the number of visitors entering a site through a page dedicated to showcasing inspirational content.

Our analysts also noticed that more than 1 in 2 inspirational pages get updated at the start of September, confirming the expectation that more visitors will be reaching these pages around this time. So, is this seasonal content push working as a strategy to boost consumer loyalty?

2. Users who consumed inspirational content returned to a website on average 233% more times on desktop than the average visitor, and 160% more on mobile.

And it’s not just inspirational content that is getting users coming back for more. Our analysts found that users who viewed ‘new arrivals’ content returned to a site on average 227% more often on desktop and 163% more often on mobile — suggesting the buzz around new collections and campaigns does indeed foster ongoing interest in a brand.

Read the full mini-report to find out what other user behavior trends we learned about when we analyzed millions of fashion lovers’ browsing sessions.

 

Helping Brands Measure the Value of their Digital Experience Investments

ContentSquare CEO Jonathan Cherki answers burning questions about digital experience and customer journey optimization. Follow this series.

Last week, ContentSquare was at Adobe Summit in Las Vegas, meeting digital leaders and digital experience teams from all over the world. One of the questions I got asked a lot during the event was, “How do I know which type of content to invest in?”

A change to the User Experience (UX) only becomes an improvement once it evidences a positive impact. That’s why having the ability to measure the performance of digital investments is invaluable to brands wishing to see a healthy ROI for their digital assets. Brands need strong data attribution models so they can react fast and confidently to their customers’ needs and usage patterns.

A change to the User Experience (UX) only becomes an improvement once it evidences a positive impact. That’s why having the ability to measure the performance of digital investments is invaluable to brands wishing to see a healthy ROI for their digital assets. Brands need strong data attribution models so they can react fast and confidently to their customers’ needs and usage patterns.

REVEALING HIDDEN DIGITAL EXPERIENCE OPPORTUNITIES

One of the motivators for starting ContentSquare in 2012 was the realization that many companies developing sites had no idea what was happening online. Their website was like a black box that no one could open, full of information about the digital behavior of customers and prospects.

This challenge is one of the things that got me interested in analytics in the first place—making obvious what was hidden until now to help brands distribute time and resources in the most productive way.

In the luxury industry, for example, brands have vast budgets to develop inspirational content with extremely high production values. But how do they know whether this content or campaign is working for them and driving business?

Being able to attribute revenue to content at an elemental level – seeing not just which page, but which individual pieces of in-page content encourage conversion, and which are obstacles in the navigation – is key to identifying where your UX budget is best spent. Whether that’s a menu item, CTA button, thumbnail image, video, etc. – getting an accurate measure of content value allows teams to focus on prioritizing and validating optimizations, and invest in the areas of highest impact.

DEMOCRATIZING THE REVENUE ATTRIBUTION PROCESS

Furthermore, a clear, shareable attribution model has the power to change brands’ digital marketing culture by empowering even non-analysts to measure their contribution to a company’s digital revenue goals. The ability to pinpoint where and why you lost visitors helps you determine where you should invest efforts and resources to get the highest ROI. It’s also more efficient to A/B test when you can tell not just which test but what element, in a variant, led to better results.

A CLEAR, SHAREABLE ATTRIBUTION MODEL HAS THE POWER TO CHANGE BRANDS’ DIGITAL MARKETING CULTURE.

Analytics have come a long way in recent years, and today, marketers know that understanding the expectations and behavior of digital consumers is the backbone of a good online experience. In the same way, understanding the needs and challenges of brands with online assets is vital to developing a good digital insights platform.

Certainly for us, improving our product would not be possible without listening to the people who use it day-to-day. We want the solution to keep growing with your goals, which is why we put brands at the heart of our research and development strategy. When we develop new features and capabilities for our product, it’s in direct response to the feedback and questions of those who want to leverage big data into a better connection with their customers.

So – keep those questions coming—email us at [email protected]—keep talking to us, and we will listen and work to solve the issues most important to you.

Helping Brands Measure the Value of their Digital Experience Investments – es

ContentSquare CEO Jonathan Cherki answers burning questions about digital experience and customer journey optimization. Follow this series.

Last week, ContentSquare was at Adobe Summit in Las Vegas, meeting digital leaders and digital experience teams from all over the world. One of the questions I got asked a lot during the event was, “How do I know which type of content to invest in?”

A change to the User Experience (UX) only becomes an improvement once it evidences a positive impact. That’s why having the ability to measure the performance of digital investments is invaluable to brands wishing to see a healthy ROI for their digital assets. Brands need strong data attribution models so they can react fast and confidently to their customers’ needs and usage patterns.

A change to the User Experience (UX) only becomes an improvement once it evidences a positive impact. That’s why having the ability to measure the performance of digital investments is invaluable to brands wishing to see a healthy ROI for their digital assets. Brands need strong data attribution models so they can react fast and confidently to their customers’ needs and usage patterns.

REVEALING HIDDEN DIGITAL EXPERIENCE OPPORTUNITIES

One of the motivators for starting ContentSquare in 2012 was the realization that many companies developing sites had no idea what was happening online. Their website was like a black box that no one could open, full of information about the digital behavior of customers and prospects.

This challenge is one of the things that got me interested in analytics in the first place—making obvious what was hidden until now to help brands distribute time and resources in the most productive way.

In the luxury industry, for example, brands have vast budgets to develop inspirational content with extremely high production values. But how do they know whether this content or campaign is working for them and driving business?

Being able to attribute revenue to content at an elemental level – seeing not just which page, but which individual pieces of in-page content encourage conversion, and which are obstacles in the navigation – is key to identifying where your UX budget is best spent. Whether that’s a menu item, CTA button, thumbnail image, video, etc. – getting an accurate measure of content value allows teams to focus on prioritizing and validating optimizations, and invest in the areas of highest impact.

DEMOCRATIZING THE REVENUE ATTRIBUTION PROCESS

Furthermore, a clear, shareable attribution model has the power to change brands’ digital marketing culture by empowering even non-analysts to measure their contribution to a company’s digital revenue goals. The ability to pinpoint where and why you lost visitors helps you determine where you should invest efforts and resources to get the highest ROI. It’s also more efficient to A/B test when you can tell not just which test but what element, in a variant, led to better results.

A CLEAR, SHAREABLE ATTRIBUTION MODEL HAS THE POWER TO CHANGE BRANDS’ DIGITAL MARKETING CULTURE.

Analytics have come a long way in recent years, and today, marketers know that understanding the expectations and behavior of digital consumers is the backbone of a good online experience. In the same way, understanding the needs and challenges of brands with online assets is vital to developing a good digital insights platform.

Certainly for us, improving our product would not be possible without listening to the people who use it day-to-day. We want the solution to keep growing with your goals, which is why we put brands at the heart of our research and development strategy. When we develop new features and capabilities for our product, it’s in direct response to the feedback and questions of those who want to leverage big data into a better connection with their customers.

So – keep those questions coming—email us at [email protected]—keep talking to us, and we will listen and work to solve the issues most important to you.

Why Digital Personas Are No Longer Enough – gb

Brands today are constantly on the lookout for the perfect user experience (UX) formula that will keep their digital audience engaged all the way to conversion. But connection is a two-way street, and to be successful, requires a sophisticated understanding of who it is you’re trying to connect with.

For that, brands have personas – ideal archetypes of the people who might come to them for goods and services. And while personas are helpful, what they lack are the layers of complexity that define everyday interactions – including browsing for stuff online.

A cosmetics brand, for example, might direct its collection and messaging at a specific demographic. A typical persona might be Coachella Chloe, a 19-year-old college freshman and fashion enthusiast who never turns her phone off. Based on the variables used to define Chloe, our cosmetics brand will make a number of assumptions about the digital behavior of their target audience.

But while some things about Chloe will remain constant, many things won’t. Her behavior online, for one, is subject to any number of influences depending on where she finds herself, what device she’s using, and of course, what she’s trying to achieve.

Making Chloe a happy digital customer requires more than simply taking into account her persona. Only the combining of persona with intent and context can lead to an in-depth understanding of Chloe’s mindset – the emotional foundation that will impact her navigation.

Become a mindset reader with behavioral analytics

We analyzed millions of user sessions to better understand the digital patterns of behavior associated with different and recurring consumer mindsets.

We investigated three distinct combinations of persona, intent and context, looking at what happened when one of the variables – persona, intent, or context – was different.

To understand the impact of context on mindset, for example, we examined the difference in behavior of a converting group of users on laptop versus non-converting users on mobile. From our research, we were able to extract two distinct mindsets – distracted and determined.

We found that determined users were quick to make up their minds about the products they were drawn to, browsing fewer items and heading straight to the pages that interested them.

They were twice as likely to land on the cart page, for example, than the other group.

Distracted users were 23% more likely to land on a product page than determined users and saw these pages 22.3% more than their determined counterparts. They also displayed an 18.8% higher chance of reaching the homepage during their navigation, indicating longer, more chaotic sessions.

Distracted users on mobile were 17.6% more likely to reach the checkout than determined users on desktop, suggesting a real intention to buy. Despite this, determined users had 59% more chance of reaching the checkout confirmation page than when distracted, presumably encountering enough friction at checkout to defeat their initial purchasing objective.

Determined users also saw the cart page 82% more times during their navigation, spending 1.7 times longer there than when distracted.

Why think beyond digital personas

 

Putting consumer mindset at the heart of their strategy helps digital teams adapt interfaces to changing environments and fluctuating user moods. It allows them to move beyond the composite sketch of persona to address real-life situations and the feelings they trigger.

Because digital behavior and digital journeys are anything but static. Coachella Chloe, for example, will browse differently depending on whether she is determined or distracted. By developing experiences that can adapt to her changing mood, our cosmetics company is that much closer to delivering a consistently satisfying experience to its valued audience.

Next-gen, mindset-based analytics can help brands move beyond a persona-only marketing strategy to unlock a whole new level of consumer understanding. Read the complete report to find out how digital businesses can define their most profitable mindsets and really put user reaction at the heart of experience development.

 


Embracing Mindset Segmentation for a Better Digital Experience – gb

With more and more brands embracing the idea that customer journeys are fundamentally emotional, I am often asked how analytics can be leveraged into experiences that address the needs of different consumer mindsets.

It’s a great question. With such a huge market for online retail, how do you create seamless digital journeys that meet the needs and expectations of every consumer? And how do you do this knowing that one consumer does not equal one consumer journey, and that visitors will navigate your site differently depending on their circumstances?

The emotional side of the digital experience

Digital marketing teams today have the tools to understand the nuances of visitor behavior, and have started to embrace the emotional side of data. Where they once segmented their audience according to personas, they are now adding a layer of insight to their workflow by adding consumer mindsets to the equation – i.e. the feelings that go hand in hand with digital behavior.

WHERE THEY ONCE SEGMENTED THEIR AUDIENCE ACCORDING TO PERSONAS, THEY ARE NOW ADDING A LAYER OF INSIGHT TO THEIR WORKFLOW BY ADDING CONSUMER MINDSETS TO THE EQUATION.

Think of it this way – digital journeys are influenced by more than just demographics and content. Factors like device, time of day, and quality of service all impact navigation. So do variables like traffic source, customer intent, etc.

For example, when ContentSquare’s office manager is trying to book six flights to Las Vegas on a desktop, she has a different experience than when she is on the subway platform, looking up last-minute package trips to Tulum on a mobile with a spotty connection. She might be focused in the first instance, and frustrated in the second.

Connecting with profitable mindsets

The challenge for brands today is to develop navigation paths that adapt to the potential mindsets of their most profitable audiences – answering the needs of focused users and those who, for a variety of reasons, are more distracted in their navigation.

And since e-Commerce disruptors like Amazon or Airbnb have accustomed today’s consumers to a near-faultless user experience (UX), and raised the bar for digital convenience even higher, it can seem like a daunting challenge.

The first step to answering all these different needs is to understand them. Really getting to know the ways in which visitors navigate your site will help you refine segments according to behavioral criteria. It is this level of understanding that will help you tailor optimizations to specific mindsets, removing another layer of guesswork and truly putting consumer experience at the heart of your marketing strategy.

Knowing where that productive mindset drops off, or which field is a field too many for the distracted mindset will help teams focus improvements, and create journeys that can withstand the influence of all those factors brands can’t control.

Because while you may be unable to control your users’ mindset, you can anticipate it, and make sure that your UX caters to it.

Driving Online Conversions In The Automotive Industry

A business school professor of mine once referenced “buying a car from a dealership” as one of Americans’ top ten fears. And while the nation’s anxieties have evolved since my MBA years, shopping for a vehicle remains a significant pain for many consumers today.

Pushy sales tactics, a lack of transparency, hidden costs and add-ons that don’t add up – the automotive industry has long had an unfortunate reputation in the collective unconscious. And even if you’re not swayed by pop culture stereotypes of car dealers, the amount of confusing information that gets thrown at you when shopping for a vehicle is overwhelming at the best of times.

Like many parents, I spend a significant amount of time driving my kids from one after-school activity to another. But while I may be a veteran carpooler, a Formula 1 driver I am not.

I’m not particularly interested in acceleration stats, high-fangled engine specs or rustproofing. Nor do I want to spend forever negotiating on special features I don’t need or get into lengthy discussions about warranties. When it comes to picking out a car, my checklist is fairly simple: I’m looking for good mileage, reliable safety ratings and comfort on the road.

MY MAIN PRIORITIES: AN EASY BUYING EXPERIENCE AND SIMPLE, FAST DELIVERY.

So when it was finally time for me to get a new car, I decided to go online in order to bypass those long, confusing showroom conversations I’ve grown to dread. I made a shortlist of my top three car manufacturers, and checked out each of their sites. My main priorities: an easy buying experience and simple, fast delivery.

In the end, my online experience was far from seamless, and I had to request assistance from a customer service representative. I did end up buying a vehicle online, but the process was complex enough that it did make me wonder, “Do car manufacturers actually design their sites with the intention of selling online..?”

THE DIGITAL SHIFT IN THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY

While buying a car online might seem daunting to a lot of people, more and more big purchases and transactions are shifting to the digital sphere. There is a tremendous opportunity for the automotive industry to build up their digital audience by investing in successful online experiences that remove the friction associated with showroom visits. But creating successful journeys online means more than transposing the dealership sales model to digital platforms.

CREATING SUCCESSFUL JOURNEYS ONLINE MEANS MORE THAN TRANSPOSING THE DEALERSHIP MODEL TO DIGITAL PLATFORMS.

Disruptors like Airbnb and Amazon have understood that today’s consumers want seamless digital experiences that strike the right balance of giving you the facts upfront and at the same time not overloading you with information.

A brand like Tesla (I did not buy a Tesla) delivers on these points, keeping the process of buying a vehicle as simple and transparent as possible, with a manageable amount of choice for the consumer. Their car configurator is user friendly, pre-selecting standard models and clearly labeling the value of each added feature for a quick and painless overview of upgrades.

CULTIVATING BRAND LOYALTY THANKS TO A SUPERIOR DIGITAL EXPERIENCE

Understanding what consumers are looking for in a digital experience is the first step towards creating journeys that speak to their expectations and are convenient from start to finish. This becomes particularly important when it comes to major transactions like acquiring a vehicle, which is slightly more involved than many of the “one-click purchases” we complete from day to day.

Developing these seamless journeys means knowing which steps and elements cause users to stall or hesitate, or become frustrated. Thanks to AI, analytics today can pinpoint where these obstacles lie so you can focus on fixing the User Experience (UX) elements that still make consumers reluctant to convert online when it comes to cars.

Automotive brands that can turn their digital platforms into the ideal showroom will be able to keep up with the digital appetite of today’s consumers, and shift more and more of their vehicle sales to the online space.

To find out more, read our special report on the digital challenges facing the automotive industry.