This blog was inspired by a presentation delivered by Monetate’s Sr. Director of Digital Experience Consulting Paul Knutton at the Monetate Personalisation Client Summit in London.
We get it, you’re busy. In the words of Stephen R. Covey, “Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.”
You’ve got a ton of things to do that came out of Monday’s trading meeting and need to deliver a 25% off site-wide promotions (exclusions apply of course) in time for Thursday. Luckily you have Monetate Personalization and you can fix those little problems around the website whilst they make their way through the IT backlog.
To add to your issues, the word is out within your organisation; the Monetate Personalization Engine is so easy to use, that your colleagues walk over to you and ask you to test some website functionality they have seen on another website. It will make it better, they say. We all use the internet, so everyone is an expert – right?
We also need to fight the hippo. This acronym describes the tendency for lower-paid employees to defer to higher-paid employees when a decision must be made. This term can also describe an organisation’s reliance on gut feel rather than data in the decision-making process. You have too much to do, no time to do it, and an ever-increasing to-do list. You have little control of what you know that you should be doing instead, which is building personalised experiences based on real data insights throughout your main sales funnel.
The result is that you end up running experiences that don’t have any meaningful learnings.
At Monetate we see that only 37% of tests that our clients run reach significance in any metric, and it takes an average of 86 days to reach significance. Although we are learning we are not maximising performance. But we can devise a win-win solution, and that solution is personalisation.
Although not personalising your digital channels is a crime against profitability, it is still disappointing to see how many brands do not personalise the customer journey at all.
Personalisation Matters: Maximise Experiences for Peak
We know that personalisation matters when building an effective customer journey, as it’s quite effective in driving behaviour.
To begin, let’s delve a little deeper into just one aspect of behavioural science that we use in our experience ideas at Kibo: Dr. Robert Cialdini’s 6 Principles of Persuasion.
Robert Cialdini is an American psychologist and academic. He is best known for his 1984 book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. This book is based on his experience working at car dealerships, fund-raising organizations, and telemarketing firms to observe real-life situations of persuasion.
He concluded that influence is based on six key principles:
Reciprocity: Personalise the offer – make sure they know it’s from you. For example, why not consider offering customers something first, allowing them to feel indebted to you? An example of this would be offering a free trial of a product or a service. You can also offer something exclusive that makes customers feel special and valued.
Commitment or Consistency: Getting your foot in the door. For example, your profile is 20% complete. Ask your customers to start with small actions, so they’ll have to stick to them. Here’s an example of a pop-up from a website that illustrates this concept:
Social Proof: Social proof, at its core, leverages content from current and past users of products and services in the form of user ratings, reviews, and testimonials. Monetate Personalization has several social proof experiences that can be leveraged around product scarcity and popularity.
Social Proof is also one area where our CX Alliance partner Bazaarvoice excels. Bazaarvoice’s software specialises in user-generated content and product ratings and reviews. Together these experiences leveraging the words and influence of other customers are powerful in encouraging future customers to make purchases or sign-up for services.
Authority: We follow and listen to people who look like they know what they’re doing. This hold is especially true in fields where we aren’t experts. Most headlines utilize this principle by including phrases like, “Scientists say,” “Experts say,” “Research shows,” etc.
Liking: The notion of likeability is important. We like people who are like us, pay us compliments, and cooperate with us toward mutual goals. The more you like someone, the more you’ll be persuaded by them. Therefore, consider making sure that your website and/or app is well-designed to suit what you’re selling and to present products in the best light that appeals to your customers and touches on the notion of likeability.
Scarcity: Scarcity speaks to the perception that a product is more attractive to customers when it has limited availability. We are drawn to things that are exclusive and hard to come by. This means that customers will be more likely to purchase something if they believe that it’s the “last one” available or that a “special deal” will expire soon that they might miss out on if not taking immediate action.
Now that we are familiar with the impact of Cialdini’s 6 Principles of Persuasion and the impact on behaviour, let’s dive into how Monetate can help you leverage these principles in your personalisation initiatives. Let’s start with exploring social proof.
Social Proof: Influencing Behaviour with Scarcity and Popularity Messaging
At Monetate, our team has defined a handful of key Social Proof tools that you can use out of the box that are easily customizable. You can use the same experience types using the front-end tag end Engine API, and server-side integrations.
Here are a few examples:
Views: The number of times customers viewed a specific product detail page.
Added to Cart: The number of times customers placed a specific product in their carts.
Purchased: The number of times customers bought a specific product.
Quantity Remaining: This is linked to your product inventory to show messaging on products with only a few left in stock.
We are also super excited about our new dynamic features making social proof even more personal and successful for you as an experience.
Social proof will help you move your visitors along the sales funnel – particularly from your product listing pages (PLPs) to product detail pages (PDPs) as well as your product detail page to cart.
Social Proof in Action: Toolstation
Here’s a great example of how social proof can make a big impact right out of the box.
UK hardware brand, Toolstation wanted to see if they could add social proof messaging on their product detail pages, among a variety of other initiatives including segmentation and personalisation using Monetate Personalization.
Here were the results:
- 30x return on investment from this one experience
- 2% increase in conversions
- 2% uplift in revenue per session
Product Recommendations: Influence Purchasing Behaviour
Next, let’s turn to product recommendations. You can create persuasive product recommendations using Monetate Personalization by altering both the title of your product recommendations container and the recommendation strategy you employ to show those personal product recommendations.
Don’t forget to consider the title, the recommendation strategy, and the audience. Use machine learning experiences to scale personalisation by ensuring that you show both to the right person at the right time.
Other Tips to Maximise Personalisation During Peak
And it’s not just social proof actions and product recommendations that can help you maximise your personalisation during peak.
Consider inserting content or moving content that you may already have on the page up into the viewport for your segments.
If possible, you can also work on optimising the look, feel, placement, and prominence of your Bazaarvoice ratings, reviews, and user-generated content.
Use data tools such as Contentsquare to help you prioritise where you need to add these subtle nudges throughout the user journey. You’ll find that some principles of persuasion will be more effective for different segments.
You can also enrich the data used to power your personalisation using your Customer Data Platform, including platforms like Tealium’s Audience Stream.
Remember that once your visitors have made that first purchase, capturing their details using Monetate Personalization Engine’s native data and your own data, will enable you to be more successful when customers return. Use personalisation, manual segmentation, and machine learning to personalise to these visitors when they return.
During peak, remember that you need to be very clear when communicating the delivery cut-off dates and times for customers. Countdown timers that are placed under your add-to-cart button on PDPs may work well.
During Cyber Week, you can exploit scarcity messaging and FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) by altering your ‘In stock’ messages to say, ‘Currently in stock.’
Be aware that your visitors behave differently during peak. A/B test results collected outside of peak may differ from those gathered during peak. Test again during peak or use the machine-learning capabilities of the platform which will quickly adapt to your visitor’s changing behavior during this time.
Putting a Plan in Place for Personalisation for Peak
Peak is quickly approaching, so you have a matter of weeks to get your ducks in a row in terms of experiences you want to run. It’s important to capitalise on the increased traffic and turn first-time visitors into long-term customers.
There are some proven low-effort experiences that you can run on your website to help you maximise performance using proven scientific techniques. You’ll find that even simple changes to your approach can drive real value.
Machine learning will adapt to your visitors’ differing behaviour during peak; it allows you to scale your personalisation program.
But you will need to devise a plan for action and our Services team at Monetate can help you be successful with personalisation.
The Monetate Success Plan is a framework and methodology to make you successful with personalisation. It sets objectives and initiatives with effective ideas that will achieve real results. It will ensure that you are not only doing things right but that you are also doing the right things.
And it works. For Monetate’s clients using the success plan, the proportion of tests that reach significance in any metric jumps from 37% to 58%.
Once we are all clear on your business priorities and objectives, our Digital Experience Consultants can help you come up with some tried and tested ideas to help you build your roadmap.
Our consultancy team is in the platform all day every day gaining a unique insight into what works and what doesn’t. We will help you build an effective tactical roadmap deploying segmented and AI experiences at all stages of the funnel to improve performance and get the most from personalisation.
And remember that your Monetate Services Team is here to help with ideation and execution to ensure you are successful with the Monetate Personalization Engine.
If you want to learn more about working with the Monetate Services Team, then please reach out to your Customer Success Manager.