There’s more to CRO than CTA buttons and conversion metrics. Here, I explain why a fundamental aspect to modern CRO is optimising for human experiences.
Good afternoon, everyone. I’m going to tell you something surprising today and that is: conversion rate optimisation isn’t about conversion rate optimisation. Boom!
What it is about, is optimising human experiences with your brand. That’s because, today, we live in an experience economy. A good experience can make you an advocate for a brand, whereas a bad one can leave you a bloody nose and an overwhelming sense of having the moral high ground.
So, let me tell you a little bit more about what I mean by an experience economy. Back in the day, I used to have products…you’d just buy products. Like a car; you’d have a rubbish car and a less rubbish car. These weren’t very reliable cars, and if you could you’d buy the less rubbish car. And then that changed, because all cars became good. You could buy a cheap car and get a really long warranty and they’re all reliable.
So how can you differentiate yourself from your competitors? Well you add on perks, but then all your competitors add on perks, so how do you go to the next level?
Well, you’ve got to turn that into an experience. Mercedes have done this. So, when with Mercedes, if you want your car serviced, they come and pick up your car no matter where you are and they give you another car – perhaps – which is better than your car, while they get it serviced. They take that car away and they service it. That’s just good customer service.
But where the experience comes in is they then get the mechanic to put it on a GoPro camera, and they walk around the car, underneath the car and they show you the whole of the car – like the brakes, the tyres, and what condition it is – and they package that up and they e-mail it to you. So that you are then experiencing what the mechanic sees and it’s becoming an experience. Then they valet the car, they wash it, they drive it all the way back to you, and all together you’ve got an experience. And the key to that is the digital landscape, because that allows you to create this experience.
I’ll give you another example. Let’s talk about mustard. This is Me-Lay, May-Lay Mustard? Does anyone..?
Okay, thanks very much. They wanted to increase e-mail sign-ups in store. So, they used to have a little piece of paper and you’d sign up. And the obvious thing to do there would maybe be to improve that sign-up form, maybe put it onto an iPad and make it look a bit more modern.
But they partnered up with an agency called Mr. President and they came up with an experience, a whole new thing. They laid out all 45 of their mustards in store, so when customers came in they could taste them using one of their WiFi connected spoons. When they found a mustard that they like the flavour of, they could tuck it on a little sensor – positioned in front of the mustard – and store that under a guest account.
When they’d finished their tasting session, they then walked over to this like typewriter machine, which is a very tactile thing, and they could put in their details and then their personally selected mustards would be e-mailed to them, along with notes and suggestions on how best to use the mustard. Now that’s an experience. That’s changing something as mundane as an e-mail sign-up into an experience that created a lot more sign-ups.
In the digital landscape, we have all this data available and we’re transfixed by these numbers. And in CRO, specifically, we’re transfixed with this conversion rate metric. And we tend to forget that behind the numbers are real people doing real actions, like clicking on buttons or filling in their card details, and they’re all having experiences.
So, CRO isn’t just about this metric, it is also about understanding people and optimising their experience. CRO isn’t just about testing buttons and changing banner images, it’s also about understanding people’s motivations.
Instead, this data, we need to use this data to build a picture. And there’s many research tools out there, such as analytics, and click maps, and user testing, and eye tracking, and user recordings, and polls, and surveys, and together this helps us put flesh on the numbers.
And then we need to test this, we need to test our ideas. And it’s important to test because it either proves or disproves our hypothesis, but above all it helps us to learn, and it helps us to safeguard the user experience so that what we’re doing is informed and not detrimental. In other words, we’ve got to bring it back to the people and make sure the changes that we are doing help improve the customer experience.
And the thing is, our experiences or how we experience things are changing all the time, technology and the way we consume media is moving so fast. And if we don’t keep up with this, you’re in danger of having this. This is where you invest heavily at the beginning, you see some growth, and then trends and technology change, and then you need to reinvest again. What we want is continuous growth. This is a process of continually iterating to try and get as close to a continual growth as possible.
So, what am I trying to say here? What’s the moral? We need to be optimising for people, not just metrics. We need to be giving people experiences that make them advocates of brands. And we need to constantly be iterating, so that we can stay ahead of the curve.
Thank you very much.