By Patrick Romich
May 22, 2017
Optimizing the customer experience to drive revenue, with the goal of connecting the back end to the front end, is not new. McKinsey wrote as much back in October of 2016, with some specific actions that digital leaders are taking to drive five times more revenue than their peers. Most marketers know what they need to do, and they know why they need to do it. The question is how to get it done, quickly, for maximum ROI?
There are many places to start, but I’ve chosen here to recommend three easy-to-execute, yet powerful strategies that will increase revenue and maximize the customer opportunity.
1. Search is an area where you should take a hard look at your current capabilities. Most people just A/B test the experience itself – whether results appear in a list or grid format, what filters should show up and in what order, or any other improvement.
We find that many customers see incremental improvements in conversions based on A/B testing the visual experience. In reality, you can and should take it one step further, and it’s not hard to do. We’ve advised many of our customers to look more closely at various search algorithms, and A/B test which ones deliver the most relevant results – and they have seen exponentially better results. It’s even more powerful if you’re using a solution that is an integrated platform, so that the data from your results can be shared across your systems for better decision-making.
2. Shipping is another area that can deliver big wins. For example, A/B testing for free shipping thresholds, for example, can lead to a better customer experience. We recommend that e-commerce teams A/B test “always-on,” free shipping, specific cart total dollar amounts, and even loyalty program statuses.
The key is to strike the right balance – too high a threshold and customers won’t buy. Too low, and they may not be incented to add to their cart. Maximizing the value of the shopping cart is critical because so many companies now are adding their own shipping and fulfillment costs as well as product margins into the ROI equation for their entire site.
3. Optimizing the flow, whether it’s the checkout process or obtaining an insurance quote, is a great way to get a big ROI fast. Any missteps or gaps means risking that the customer won’t get to the end of the process quickly, if at all. In the case of the insurance example, the challenge would be balancing the amount of information needed for quote accuracy against having a more detailed process that could be too convoluted with too many steps.
For that to work, you need to have an A/B testing platform that seamlessly connects with back-end systems for different flows. That way the system can present correct information that’s highly personalized, delivering what’s critical to get the accuracy level that is needed for the customer to complete the transaction.
These are just three ways you can deliver maximum impact, fast, and I know they work. We’ve provided expert advice to our customers, and when they have implemented these strategies, the results have been measurable and undeniable.
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