Celebrating the Women of Contentsquare

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we decided to spotlight a few of the inspiring women we have working at Contentsquare. We have such amazing women contributing to every area of the company, from product development to design, via customer success and marketing — women are represented in all departments. On this important day, we wanted to reflect on their careers and who or what they turned to for inspiration along the way.

 

How did you end up working in tech?

Having graduated with a business degree I never saw myself being able to break into the world of marketing technology without knowing how to code a page or make a website. I think this is the biggest roadblock- working in tech is more than coding, and everyone should know this!

Katie Wallshein – Customer Enablement Manager (New York)

I was always interested in technology, and because I’m very competitive I ended up spending 5 years in the army and getting a degree in Telecom Engineering. The path was not an easy one — from 130 in the first year (only 25 women) we finished 35, and we were only 2 women to graduate.

Switching from a very tech role as a Telecommunications Engineer to Digital Marketing made a lot of sense since I had always wanted to merge both passions: tech and marketing.

Cynthia Dubourd – Head of Digital Marketing (Paris)

 

Tell us about one mentor.

My grandmother was a great early example of the impact a working mother can have on those around her. She was active in shaping our family at home and in improving the world through work outside her home.

Aimee Stone Munsell – CMO (Global)

Out of college, I was lucky to begin my career working for an inspirational, empowering and empathetic female manager. I was even luckier to connect with her after many years that lead me to my current role at Contentsquare, working for her again.

Melissa Aronson – Customer Success Manager (New York)

When I was a design intern, the senior designer in my team would set up 1:1 sessions with me every morning before the start of the day. She would give me these simple but fun exercises to push my mind and creativity. I still find these exercises incredibly useful today and hope to pass them on to future mentees!

Laura Bourne – Design Lead (London)

One of the 4 founders of a company I previously worked at was an inspiring businessman (probably the best I’ve ever known!) who taught me big principles, which I like to live by every day, like “people buy from people” or “perception is reality.” He was key to my carrier path, believing in me even more than I did myself, and pushing me to raise my own expectations. He was never on time, maybe because he always had one foot in the future.  

Sonia Ouaksel – Customer Experience Director (Paris)

 

What is one piece of advice that has stuck with you?

You can have it all, you just can’t have it all at the same time. It is OK to prioritize different things at different times. It is even likely you’ll discover ways developing one area of positively impacts another. When you play the long game, it isn’t a zero-sum game.

Aimee Stone Munsell – CMO (Global)

You deserve to be where you are. I know so many people including myself who struggle with “imposter syndrome”. You always need to remember that there is no way you could have possibly got to this point without a ton of hard work.

Laura Bourne – Design Lead (London)

My dad used to tell me “Learn something new every day.”  That simple advice has kept me eager to learn and broaden my horizons, eventually leading me into a SaaS world I knew nothing about. Now that I’m here, I know I’ll always be learning new things.

Meredith Golden – Sales Director (New York)

Never care what other people say or how other people view you. But be kind to everyone. You can love and appreciate other people and yet not let their opinions of you affect how you see yourself.

Lexie Su – Data Analyst (New York)

*Don’t put your hands on the door: you might get your fingers pinched very hard.

Every kid raised in Paris has read this advice thousands of times! It might sound strange, but when I’m asked about the best advice I received, I can only think of things I was told not do. I guess the reason behind this is that I come from a very strict, patriarchal family, and I was taught through constraints rather than advice. The positive outcome of this is that I had to be creative to bend the rules and obtain what was not “for me.” And of course, like almost every person, I love to cross the line. So yes, definitely, one of my biggest motivators is to be told, “this is not for you”, “you cannot have/do that.”

Sonia Ouaksel – Customer Experience Director (Paris)

 

What have you learned from your past and current experiences?

My 5 years experience in the army actually gave me a lot of the work methodology that I use each day — rigor, attention to detail, and most of all, long-term planning. Also some of the core values I try to honor every day: team spirit and a real sense of responsibility for my actions.

Cynthia Dubourd – Head of Digital Marketing (Paris)

I’m very fortunate to work with a team that empowers women in tech — whether in marketing, customer success, r&d or sales, everyone has the same opportunity to be successful which is very encouraging.

Katie Wallshein – Customer Enablement Manager (New York)

 

What is one social organization to benefit women we should know about?

Good Shepherd Services because they enable economic empowerment for women and families around the world.

Aimee Stone Munsell – CMO (Global)

I’ve always been a fan of the Girl Scouts.  Growing up with such a great community that instills leadership and resourcefulness in young girls has really shaped me to be the confident woman I am today.  They’re always supporting women in new roles, and today they promote Girls in STEM as one of their main initiatives. It makes me proud to have been a scout.

Meredith Golden – Sales Director (New York)

World Pulse, Equality Now and Girls Not Brides are three incredible advocacy networks fighting for the rights of girls and women around the world.

Sarah Francoise – Content Writer (New York)

Why Work At Contentsquare: An Interview With Our Talent Acquisition Manager

We sat down with Ellen Binio, Contentsquare’s Talent Acquisition Manager, to find out how we ended up so lucky to have her and how she helps us build a first-rate team.

 

How did you come to work at Contentsquare?

I was recruited to work at Contentsquare by a very good friend, who isn’t actually a recruiter but kept encouraging me to look into the company. I wasn’t necessarily looking to switch companies at the time, but eventually decided it was time to transition into a new role, and I reached out. I interviewed, loved the product, loved the people, and haven’t looked back since.

 

What were you doing before you joined Contentsquare?

My background is in university sales recruiting — recruiting folks for masters programs etc. I eventually found myself wanting to move to New York City where I could work for an amazing company, and continue building my career.

I was referred to a staffing agency where I became a recruiter for startups. I loved helping people upgrade their careers, and saw this role as an ideal entrance into the big city. I helped build teams for early to late stage startups and nonprofits, focused mainly on finding prospective hires for finance teams.

 

What made you make the change to recruiting for just one company?

After working for up to 10 startups at a time for three years, I was ready to transition into internal recruiting. It was a whole new world. Going from recruiting for many companies to focusing on just one is exhilarating — you get to help build a company from the ground up.

The most tangible difference is the ability to work across all departments, building several teams out at the same time – rather than one or two roles. And with so many positions to fill, we are recruiting candidates with very different profiles, which makes each day different and fast-paced.

 

What are the challenges of recruiting during a period of fast growth?

The most challenging part, honestly, is scheduling so many interviews amongst busy schedules!  Despite its challenges, it’s fun for me because I’m confident in the product, and I know we have something special going on. It’s really important to know the product — I may not be certified yet but I would like to eventually. Just watching a product demo during my first week gave me a good sense of why our solution is different, and why people should come and work for us.

In today’s tight job market, candidates usually have other prospects. Potential hires want to know about the product, our culture and people — and, of course, what makes us different.

 

What sets Contentsquare apart from other NYC companies?

We were founded in France, but our CEO moved here to open the New York office. It’s enticing for candidates to know that senior employees from our Paris office have moved here to help scale the US. Prospective candidates love to hear that we also have offices in Paris, Munich, and London. Competition in NYC is tough, but there aren’t that many startups that can boast a truly global operation. We can.

 

What are the benefits of having an international team?

For one, we have an impressive 25 nationalities in our company. Plus, having a global operation encourages internal mobility between offices, and several employees have taken advantage of this.

Besides permanent moves, we also travel to other offices to collaborate. During our annual Hackathon, we fly our teams across offices to innovate together. We just recently had the entire global Marketing team meet in the NY office. Also, we host an annual World Wide Kick Off where the entire company joins together in a surprise location. Even though we’re a six year old company, we are still getting together as a whole. It’s also a great chance for me to spend time with my team in France, and meet coworkers who I’ve been Slacking with for the past few months.

 

You mentioned the tight job market earlier. How do you attract the right candidates in the current climate?

We want to be a competitive employer in New York City, and our HR team has made it a priority to diversify our benefit package, including adding a 401k plan. In addition to benefits, we’re making a group effort to build our company culture together #team spirit. At the end of the day, people stay at companies because of who they work with. As we continue to build culture with bake-offs, monthly office breakfasts, “Let’s Talk” town hall meetings, sports leagues, and other social occasions, I think it will all bring us even closer together.

 

What is a good fit for a company like Contentsquare?

We recruit candidates who enjoy collaborating with others to #create an amazing culture. We’re also looking for people who exude #ambition and #enthusiasm in all they do. If you like to celebrate #uniqueness and help the company become a market leader and thought leader in the world of UX, we want to talk to you!

 

So you’ve recruited the perfect candidate – what happens next?

Once the offer is “sign, sealed, and delivered,” the real fun begins! Not only do I want to help get you in the door with a good package and an understanding of what you’ll be doing, I want you to meet the right people. My job is to help set up who your buddy is and ensure a smooth transition and start to your career at Contentsquare!

 

Any last thoughts?

We’re hiring across all teams and offices! Check out our careers page here and we’ll see you soon!

ContentSquare Team Members Share Their Favorite Digital Experiences

With mobile traffic steadily overtaking desktop traffic, digital teams everywhere are coming up with ways to improve the User Experience (UX) on mobile, and reverse the switch-to-desktop trend still associated with many online conversions.

The behavior of mobile users indicates that many smartphone shoppers embark on a journey determined to complete a purchase, but are deterred along the way. In fact, data recently analyzed by ContentSquare showed that mobile users were almost 18% more likely to reach the checkout page than desktop shoppers, proving they do want to buy.

Friction in the mobile purchasing journey often rears its ugly head around checkout. Today, the likelihood of a mobile user exiting a site after having reached the checkout page is 83.6% higher than the odds on desktop.

Some retailers have capitalized on the mobile shopping demand, and devised seamless paths for their users. I asked my colleagues in the New York Office to share their favorite mobile experiences, and tell us which UX features they couldn’t do without.

Our Senior Enterprise Sales Manager Kristin is a big fan of the Warby Parker site. She recently took their homepage quiz to pick out a new pair of frames. Not only has the brand made buying prescription glasses hassle-free by letting you try frames at home at no cost, it has also developed a fast and engaging way to narrow down your selection.

After answering seven easy questions about fit and style, customers are offered a personalized assortment. Don’t know how to answer one of the questions? Simply skip it! The quiz cleverly integrates the benefits of in-store advice with the autonomy afforded by shopping online.

Katie, a Business Development Representative, singled out Nordstrom’s Touch ID sign-in. The department store chain has integrated fingerprint authentication to its app to remove any hurdle for customers. Allowing users to identify themselves when they open the app personalizes the journey from the get-go, completely removing the headache of checkout from the digital experience.

What if the UX was so seamless and so consumer-friendly, that it became more of an incentive for customer loyalty than the product itself? That’s what happened when Efrat, ContentSquare’s Chief Marketing Officer (and a committed coffee drinker) discovered the Starbucks app.

WHAT IF THE UX WAS SO SEAMLESS AND SO CONSUMER-FRIENDLY, THAT IT BECAME MORE OF AN INCENTIVE FOR CUSTOMER LOYALTY THAN THE PRODUCT ITSELF?

In an ideal world, Efrat’s preferred cup of coffee doesn’t come in a paper cup, and is made by the barista at the small coffee shop near her house. In reality, however, she often ends up ordering a grande almond cappuccino for pickup on her mobile as she leaves her house. Why? Because the coffee chain has made its app so extremely convenient that it is successfully turning coffee addicts like Efrat into UX addicts.

In fact, the reliance on digital for everyday purchases means UX often gets called the new sales assistant – helping consumers navigate decision-making and complete transactions quickly and painlessly. Brands with an online presence are often defined by the quality of their digital experience, and, as we’ve seen above, this can sometimes be a bigger loyalty factor than the product itself.

Businesses that can connect with the expectations and needs of their digital audience will be able to foster brand loyalty and carve out their space in the eCommerce arena. If you’d like to learn how next-gen behavior analytics can help you meet the expectations of your audience, watch our demo video.

DataSnack: Only 30% of users visiting a travel site on their mobile device log in – gb

So what exactly is stopping the remaining 70% of travel consumers from logging in during their visit? It could be that many users are unwilling to log in until they are ready to enter their credit card details. In fact, the login rate for converting visitors across devices is much higher, with 84% of buyers logging into their account.

It seems natural then that improving conversion on mobile should result in a higher number of logins. Many prospective travelers who browse for hotels and flights on mobile will switch to desktop when it comes to purchasing, which not only explains the low number of logins but supports the argument for a more intuitive, user-friendly mobile experience.

Simplifying the sign-up process and allowing members to unlock exclusive deals could also encourage more logins further up the funnel. A lengthy or off-putting password retrieval process on mobile could also be a factor – providing users with a simple password reset option won’t hurt!

DataSnack: Terms and Conditions pages are viewed 161% + after the holidays, looking for ways to exchange and return

You may think you know your nephew well, but he thinks that sweater you gave him is hideous. And let’s be real – no one needs three scented candles. As consumers rush to return or exchange unwanted items in the post-holiday season, terms and conditions pages see a huge spike in traffic. And don’t forget, traffic is traffic, whether they keep the sweater or not.

Here’s your chance to remove the hassle from a traditionally irksome holiday rite. Make sure your customers don’t have to go digging for key information, and guide them through the returns and exchange process with clear, visual prompts. And of course, while they’re on your platform, why not take the opportunity to unveil new items and entice them with seasonal discounts.

DataSnack: Cosmetics conversion rates increase by 288% on Black Friday and Cyber Monday – es

At the very top of the holiday gift list, you’ll find cosmetics and liquor. Data shows that the conversion rate for makeup, skincare and fragrance almost triples on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and, crucially, remains pretty high until mid-January. In fact, this is the only sector where retailers sell more during the post-holiday season than they do during the pre-holiday season – reflecting the fact that, once hooked, many consumers repeat-buy these products.

Another thing to keep in mind when promoting cosmetics on your platform is that shoppers favor gift sets over individual items – during the holiday season, gift boxes get double the recorded conversion rate than they do the rest of the year. When it comes to gift-giving, in general, buyers want to multiply their chances of getting it right!

DataSnack: Mobile conversion rates increase by 167% on Black Friday and Cyber Monday – es

Everyone knows the holiday shopping surge starts in November, but it’s not until Black Friday and Cyber Monday that conversion really peaks. And numbers suggest that thrifty (or frazzled) shoppers are purchasing a lot of their gifts on the go. In fact, the mobile conversion rate more than doubles in the lead-up to the holiday season – that’s almost twice the increase recorded on desktop.

Luckily, businesses can prepare for mobile spending sprees in advance, ensuring they keep mobile buyers sweet during crunch time. Capitalize on busy shopping periods by investing in the kind of seamless experience today’s shoppers have come to expect. One-click purchase and pre-filled forms are just two of the time-saving shortcuts that can make filling stockings less of a headache.

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]

UX Spotlight: Visualizing shopping progress – Leading customers through the browsing jungle

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.

Shopping fatigue. We’ve all had it, whether scrounging through bargain basement bins, hitting one more main street shop or clicking on page 17 of blue sweater search results, seemingly endless choices can be a tiring prospect even as it is a freeing one.

As increasingly savvy online shoppers’ tastes evolve, eCommerce merchants must expand their selections to meet every need. How can they also keep customers focused and help them not feel overwhelmed by the sea of options?

This week, I spotlight Ann Taylor for their simple but seamless, genius solution!

The UX element:

Once a category is selected on the Ann Taylor homepage and a customer is browsing products, a meter appears on the right side of the screen with a number of total items available for those search or category parameters and a circle shaded in with the portion of those items already viewed.

As a customer scrolls through the items, the circle fills more, easily giving customers a frame of reference for how many of the available products they’ve already seen.

 

The Impact:

Ann Taylor enables endless scroll while still giving customers a sense of their progress through the items. This knowledge also gives shoppers the feeling that they’re in control of their experience, rather than just blindly trying to get to the end.

Most commonly, online clothing retailers offer multiple pages of results (sometimes dozens or more), which users must load individually when they work through a page. This requires multiple reloads of the screen and can frustrate users, especially when they are on mobile, or when it is easy to forget what page they are on – and sadly, many retailers do not make a customer’s current page clear at all!

The Takeaway:

With endless scroll, new items load as soon as all the current items are viewed, and with a decent internet connection this can be seamless indeed. The dark side of the endless scroll is that typically, customers lose all sense of how far along they are in the search results. Sometimes, customers are even left wondering if their search could go on forever, or how many hours they’d have to keep going to see all the options. A progress indicator like this allows shoppers to enjoy the benefits of endless scroll while still safe in the knowledge that it will not, in fact, be endless. Customers are now in control of their own shopping experience, rather than feeling that they are being led along indefinitely.

 

SINCE JANUARY 2017, MOBILE TRAFFIC TO ECOMMERCE SITES HAS INCREASEDBY 11%,BUT SALES FROM MOBILE HAVE ONLY SEEN A 3% BOOST.

This could be especially important for mobile users, who already make up 50% of US digital commerce revenues, and who are twice as likely to scroll down an entire page than desktop users. Give these scrollers a road map! Since January 2017, mobile traffic to eCommerce sites has increased by 11%, but sales from mobile have only seen a 3% boost. This means there is enormous opportunity here to tap into this traffic by perfecting the mobile customer journey with UX elements that empower mobile shoppers to be more productive.

For many shoppers, there is a desire to see all the possibilities before honing in on a few promising finalists. Such a progress bar can ease shoppers like this through the customer journey by letting them know how far along they are, helping them rest at ease knowing that they’ve done a thorough survey of their choices first.

Besides, everybody loves that feeling of competitive achievement when you finish a progress bar, right? Give your shoppers a pat on the back for seeing all there is to see!

It’s amazing how something so small can have such an important impact on your customer journey. Have you found other ways of setting up signposts for your shoppers?

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]

UX Spotlight: Proactive Price matching – Winning a customer is about staying a few steps in front of the competition

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.

It used to be that technology was considered superior based on its level of “responsiveness.” But these days, it’s not enough to be responsive – you’ve got to be preemptive when it comes to your customers’ needs and their next moves. Staying one step ahead of your shoppers and providing the answers before they ask the questions is like taking them by the hand and leading them straight to conversion. This is especially true in competitive markets in which the best price is often the deciding factor for when shoppers will choose one retailer over another.

IT’S NOT ENOUGH TO BE RESPONSIVE – YOU’VE GOT TO BE PREEMPTIVE WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR CUSTOMERS’ NEEDS AND THEIR NEXT MOVES.

This week, we highlight the clever little ways online retailers Curry’s and AO.com anticipate the needs and actions of their customers and take preemptive measures to keep them satisfied and on-site.

The Impact:

British electronics superstore Curry’s knows that people looking for new major electronics like computers or appliances are usually hunting for the best deal. If a customer is on a Curry’s product page and highlights and copies text like the product name or model number in order to search for pricing elsewhere, a purple box pops up informing the shopper that Curry’s offers price matching and providing them with the link to their price matching procedures. They even mention specific competitors they suspect customers will turn to next.

Interestingly, AO.com, one of the competitors Curry’s lists in their popup, has a similar feature. AO is known for interesting UX features, as we’ve discussed in the past. In AO’s case, merely highlighting a model number (no copying required) prompts a green popup with a number to call and a link to their price matching policy.

The Takeaway:

Both Curry’s and AO demonstrate ways in which you can anticipate possible reasons a customer might exit your website and beckon them back in before they stray. They know that price comparison is a major factor in their industry, and aim to head customers off at that pass. The price comparison popups will either convince customers that they must be getting the best deal since the store features competitive pricing, or remind them to come back to that retailer if they happen to find a better price. This is win-win for the retailers. But more than that, the fact that Curry’s and AO read a model # highlight and understand what that means in terms of customer intention demonstrates an intuitive, and oddly charming, familiarity with their customers’ needs that is winsome to say the least.

What are your customers’ pain points? (Hint: Unexpected shipping costs lead to 28% cart abandonment, so transparency is a good place to start your UX tune ups!) Next gen analytics can show you exactly what’s holding them back or prompting their exits from your site. Once you know where they get caught up, you can plot your own guerilla digital experience “wow’ moment!

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]

UX Spotlight: Superior Checkout Experience – Conversion or bust

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.

Checkout is the moment of truth for eCommerce sites. Your customer journey has brought shoppers this far – can it bring them all the way to conversion?

MORE THAN HALF OF SHOPPERS ARE INTERESTED ENOUGH TO PUT AN ITEM ON THEIR CART, BUT THEN SOMETHING STOPS THEM FROM TAKING THAT ITEM HOME.

Statistics vary, but overall it seems the shopping cart abandonment rate is about 60%. More than half of shoppers are interested enough to put an item in their cart, but then something stops them from taking that item home. One of the most direct ways online stores can boost their bottom line is by improving their checkout process and getting interested customers to convert.

This week I look at several different companies improving their checkout process in three key ways: Fun, efficiency, and added value.

1) Fun

You know when waiters say “good choice” when you choose your lunch, and it affirms you and heightens your anticipation for your meal at the same time? Buying online should offer shoppers similar feedback when they pick out an item.

Threadless, a trendy t-shirt company that sells customer-designed, customer chosen apparel, is a great example of this tactic applied to eCommerce. When you add a shirt to your cart on Threadless, your cart thanks you in a quirky way.

The cart even winks or licks its lips!

It’s unique touches like these that make shopping memorable. And with a quirky product line like Threadless’s, it only makes sense. Every step in a digital experience should fit the tone of the brand, so even an add-to-cart popup should be part of the immersive customer journey. Besides, this kind of immediate feedback encourages customers to continue, because their actions produce an instant reaction, and they’ll want to see what happens next.

2) Efficient

In a survey of why customers abandoned their carts, 23% of them said it was because they were forced to create a customer account, and they preferred to jump ship than to go through account creation.1

A guest checkout option is imperative in today’s eCommerce environment, especially because 60% of shoppers are now browsing on mobile, and creating an account is beyond cumbersome with your thumbs on a touch screen. By forcing customers to register, you are pushing them away.

Many sites offer two options when entering checkout: to proceed as a guest, or to login to an existing account.

Threadless nails it again, with the rising trend of defaulting to guest checkout while giving the option to login:

Threadless’s entire checkout process is condensed onto just one screen, making the light at the end of the tunnel seem much closer and more attainable. If the checkout process is a sprint, then each step is a hurdle. Removing the login/guest choice and going straight to data entry is removing a hurdle and bringing your sprinting shopper one step closer to conversion.

Another brand pioneering simplicity and efficiency in customer journeys is eyewear retailer Warby Parker. When it comes to filling out that data, Warby Parker’s approach is notable due to its highly responsive auto-fill option, which can guess a complete address after just a few characters.

3) Added value

But check-outs can offer more than simply speed and convenience. In fact, British appliance retailer AO.com offers additional value during their checkout, helping shoppers achieve a more streamlined customer journey while potentially increasing their cart value.

For starters, when viewing the cart, AO offers checkboxes for additional features that could help that customer. When I tried to check out with a smart TV, for example, AO asked if I also wanted help with installation or old appliance removal, and made it easy for me to accept that assistance:

Offering extra services makes shoppers feel like everything is taken care of, and there’s nothing else to worry about.

OFFERING EXTRA SERVICES MAKES SHOPPERS FEEL LIKE EVERYTHINGIS TAKEN CARE OF, AND THERE’S NOTHING ELSE TO WORRY ABOUT.

This not only upsells, it also eases any concerns a customer might have about all the nitty-gritty details that might go with a major purchase like home electronics. Offering extra services makes shoppers feel like everything is taken care of, and there’s nothing else to worry about. Furthermore, AO uses friendly, accessible language throughout their checkout process. Instead of technical legalese, they speak to the shopper like a salesperson would in the store, which is exactly the role of a good digital experience.

AO also goes above and beyond when it comes to shipping, which is key, because unexpected shipping costs are another notorious checkout obstacle. They allow customers to choose a delivery date and time, transparently showing the prices for each.

AO also enables online order tracking to calm impatient purchasers while their item is on the way.

The Impact:

The proof is in the purchases.  Case study after case study illustrates how streamlining the checkout process increases conversion.

For example, in an A/B test, Electronic Path Software found that its conversions increased by 21% when it shifted from a multi-step to single page checkout process.2

Similarly, a Strangeloop test found that conversions declined by 60% when a page loaded 2 seconds slower. Speed is king when it comes to checkouts!3

And ASOS increased their conversions by 50% when they stopped forcing customers to register before they could complete their order.4

It’s clear that taking a few small steps towards a more helpful and less strenuous checkout process could mean major benefits when it comes to conversion.

The Takeaway:

What’s important to note about each of these examples is that they cater to the needs of their particular audience. By and large, shoppers on Threadless might be looking for a fun and simple shopping experience. Those looking for new glasses on Warby Parker are looking for function combined with design flare in both their eye-wear and their customer experience. And customers making a major appliance purchase on AO want to know they have all their bases covered when it comes to their major purchase, and that receiving it won’t be a hassle. Who is your customer? What are they looking for as they check out?

As web analytics become more sophisticated, we have the ability to understand that even the same customer might have different needs on different visits. The next step in the evolution of a superior checkout experience will cater the process further, to meet customers’ particular needs at the time of their purchase, and make conversion the obvious and simple choice!

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]

Resources:

1 – https://www.clickz.com/checkout-best-practice-101-guest-checkout/98289/
2 – http://blog.lemonstand.com/9-case-studies-for-optimising-your-checkout-conversion-rate/
3 – http://blog.lemonstand.com/9-case-studies-for-optimising-your-checkout-conversion-rate/
4 – http://blog.lemonstand.com/9-case-studies-for-optimising-your-checkout-conversion-rate/

UX Spotlight: Product Discovery Quizzes – Dermalogica and Clinique Personalize the Search (and Conversion) Process – tr

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.

Today’s online shoppers have more choice than ever, which means that there is truly something for everyone, but it also means customers are sometimes overwhelmed by choice paralysis.

Back in the brick-and-mortar days, in-person salespeople would help shoppers out by asking the right questions to get to the bottom of what a shopper truly needed and which products would best suit them. Online, with too many options and no personal guidance, the customer journey can slow down significantly – or come to a complete halt.

IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT DIGITAL EXPERIENCES STEP UP AND SERVE AS THE FRIENDLY, EXPERT SALES PERSON THROUGH EASY-TO-NAVIGATE, INFORMATIVE GUIDANCE FOR SHOPPERS.

That’s why it’s so imperative that digital experiences step up and serve as the friendly, expert sales person through easy-to-navigate, informative guidance for shoppers. One great approach to this process is product discovery quizzes.

This week I highlight Dermalogica and Clinique, two skin care companies who both nail the product discovery quiz in different ways.

The UX Element: Both Dermalogica and Clinique offer interactive quizzes to help customers pinpoint the right products for their skincare needs.

Dermalogica offers a short, quick, streamlined survey to narrow down the body of products that may suit a shopper. In their “speed mapping skin analysis,” which is easily found on their homepage, customers answer 4-6 questions about their age and skin concerns, and Dermalogica offers a “skin analysis,” including a video about the body of products that best suits the shopper, and different skin regimens and products that match the customer’s answers.

Clinique offers a longer, more in-depth quiz, with a variety of different questions and answer mechanisms, such as slide bars and color gradients, which keep the survey engaging and fun. From the homepage, shoppers can click “skincare” and then “customized solutions for every skin.”
Several questions later, Clinique offers a specific set of products that address a pinpointed problem.

The Impact: In the Dermalogica quiz, customers are quickly directed to the right product category for them. In less than one minute, customers can go from not even knowing where to click, to honing in on a personalized category page.

IN LESS THAN ONE MINUTE, CUSTOMERS CAN GO FROM NOT EVEN KNOWING WHERE TO CLICK, TO HONING IN ON A PERSONALIZED CATEGORY PAGE.

In the Clinique quiz, customers take their time answering progressively personalized questions, resulting in a small number of very precise products being offered to them based on their answers. With a little more time investment, customers have their shopping baskets offered up on a silver platter. They just have to add to cart.

Both quizzes offer their results in bundles, which is a great opportunity for brands to upsell. Now that customers are invested in their needs and had those needs verified and validated, it’s the perfect time to offer them the complete solution to their quest.

The Takeaway: First, let’s talk about the fact that people love online quizzes. Even those consumers who come to an eCommerce site purely to browse can be drawn in by the lure of getting to be a little introspective and find out something new about themselves. Being asked questions about yourself is fun, especially aspects of yourself you might not normally think about, which both of these quizzes tap into.

WE AUTOMATICALLY PLACE HIGHER VALUE ON ITEMS IN OUR POSSESSION, OR ITEMS WE DON’T OWN YET BUT WE ASSUME WILL IMPROVE OUR LIVES IF WE DID.

Second, individuals love things that they own or that are assigned to them. We automatically place higher value on items in our possession, or items we don’t own yet but we assume will improve our lives if we did. By designating these items as specifically selected for a customer based on their unique traits or feelings, the items are instantly more valuable in the eyes of the consumer.

Although both of these examples are for skincare, this strategy could be adopted for nearly any field, from travel sites looking to help customers find the right destinations to car dealerships looking to suggest the perfect vehicle for a unique consumer – and help them schedule a test drive for it.

It’s important, of course, that any quiz mechanism is optimized for mobile. With 60% of visitors to eCommerce sites on mobile these days, any process that could speed and simplify the customer journey is a great boon for mobile users, and should be designed with them in mind.

This is the job that salespeople used to do, smiling at a customer across the department store makeup counter and making it easy, pleasant, and even fun for shoppers to narrow their search and hone in on the right product for them. Now, through tools like product discovery quizzes, UX can carry that torch.

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]