Deliver Step Change Impact: Marketing & Analytics Obsessions

Some moments in time are perfect to reflect on where you are, what your priorities are, and then consider what you should start-stop-continue. In those moments, you are not thinking of delivering incremental change… You are driven by a desire to deliver a step change (a large or sudden discontinuous change, especially one that makes […]

The post Deliver Step Change Impact: Marketing & Analytics Obsessions appeared first on Occam’s Razor by Avinash Kaushik.

Some moments in time are perfect to reflect on where you are, what your priorities are, and then consider what you should start-stop-continue. In those moments, you are not thinking of delivering incremental change… You are driven by a desire to deliver a step change (a large or sudden discontinuous change, especially one that makes things better – I’m borrowing the concept from mathematics and technology, from “step function”).

In those moments – common around new years or new annual planning cycles – the difference between delivering an incremental change vs. a step change is the quality of ideas you are considering. In this post, my hope is to both enrich your consideration set and encourage the breadth of your goals.

My professional areas of interest cover Customer Service, User Experience and Finance, though here on Occam’s Razor my focus is on influencing incredible Marketing through the use of innovative Analytics. To help kick-start your 2019 step change, I’ve written two “Top 10” lists, one for Marketing and one for Analytics – consisting of things I recommend you obsess about.

Each chosen obsession is very much in the spirit of my beloved principle of the aggregation of marginal gains. My recommendation is that you deeply reflect on the impact of the 10 x 2 obsessions in your unique circumstance, and then distill the ten you’ll focus on in the next twelve months. Regardless of the then you choose, I’m confident you’ll end up working on challenging things that will push your professional growth forward and bring new joy from the work you do for your employer.

Ready?

First… The Analytics top ten things to focus on to elevate your game this year…

The Step Change Analytics Obsessions List.

A1. Improve the Bounce Rate of your top 10 landing pages by 50%.

(Improving Bounce Rate results in reducing it. :))

You'll be surprised by the steep drop in Cost per Acquisition.

Google Optimize will be one of your BFFs in this quest. You’ll know you’ve moved beyond basic improvements when you start setting Custom Objectives – they require deeper thinking, which is a good sign.

A2. Eliminate 40% of the numbers from your dashboard.

Take the newly-created white space to explain what to do based on performance of 60% of the numbers that remain.

What your boss wants most this year, more than love, is to be told what the data wants her to do. Don't leave her guessing.

(Bonus, with actionable ideas: Smart Dashboard Modules.)

A3. Take your first steps towards unlocking smart algorithms.

Learn what Session Quality is in Google Analytics, then learn how to use it in your campaigns to improve conversions. In the Audiences section, go to the Behavior folder.

Learn what Smart Bidding is in Google Ads, then learn how to use it in your campaigns to improve outcomes.

Machine Learning algorithms will make our data smarter in unparalleled ways; Session Quality and Smart Bidding offer early clues about the scale and type of intellect. In both instances, it is immensely valuable to really understand how a smart algorithm uses billions of data signals to calculate likelihood of a conversion.

Across all your analytics data, algorithms will take you places humans simply can't. This should be the year you invest in an expansion in skills and practice to take advantage of these possibilities.

A4. Take a class in data visualization. It will save your life.

Anyone can make a complicated visual, it takes someone very special (you!) to draw out the essence of the story data is trying to tell.

My recommendations:

Free Courses: Data Visualization and D3.js and Data Analysis and Visualization at Udacity.
Affordable: Data Analysis and Presentation Skills at Coursera.
Occam’s Razor: Start with this one: Closing Data's Last-Mile Gap: Visualizing For Impact. And, there are five more linked to here.
 

Through all these courses remember the most important thing about data visualization: It’s not the ink, it’s the think. Obsess about improving the think, just as much as I’m encouraging you to improve the ink.

A5. Obsess about what happens after campaigns end.

In our analytics practice we tend to celebrate victory too early (at the end of the campaign) or with insufficient breadth (the full scope of impact).

Did you get customers with high lifetime value? How long did the brand lift – say Awareness – last? What was the average order value of the second purchase by people you acquire via Search, compared to those via Retail?

Is there a difference in behavior between people who signed up for email over the last year vs those who did not? What the cost of getting a retail customer to make subsequent purchases over mobile apps lower?

A6. Understand your personal impact, obsess about improving it.

Grab the revenue number for the company. Now work out how much of it is influenced by you directly. Make a note of what it is (likely to be a couple percentage max).

Double that number this year.

What are the first five things on your list?

None of them will be easy, but converting insights into action via influence rarely is. But, you don't have to stretch too far to see how amazing it would be for you (and data too!) if you double your impact.

A7. Run one super-large controlled experiment.

To prove what your Executives believe purely from their gut. Or, to disprove it.

Does Facebook advertising really work better than TV? Can you create premiumness for your brand using digital? Is a 15% coupon now better than 20% off the next purchase? Does swapping out male model posters for cute animals triple sales?

Does sponsoring a fashion show lead to an increase in brand equity? Does free pickup in store result in higher attach rates?

A8. Identify four relevant micro-outcomes to focus on in 2019

(In addition to the macro-outcome of revenue).

Businesses win when you optimize for a portfolio, because at any given time only a tiny fraction of people want to buy. Solving for micro and macro-outcomes is directly connected to the holy grail of solving for short-term AND long-term success.

Employees also become smarter when they have to optimize for more than one thing. :)

A9. Throw away your custom attribution model. Embrace data-driven attribution.

For some things, humans are already less smart than machines. Trying to guess what might be happening across millions of touchpoints on and off site, on and offline, is one of those things.

Skip the first five steps of attribution’s ladder of awesomeness, jump to DDA. From the tens of hours saved per week, figure out how to feed offline data into your data driven attribution model.

With an obsession with data-driven attribution, you are also solving for a portfolio rather than a silo. Super cool, super profitable.

A10. Hire an experienced statistician to be a part of your analytics team.

There is too much goodness in modeling that you are not taking advantage of. From segmentation models to identifying incrementality to predictive modeling to survival analysis to clustering to time series to… I could keep going on and on.

2019's the year you get serious about serious analytics.

A11. Bonus: Reporting kills, analysis thrills.

If that is true, and it is, :), then what % of time are you personally spending between Data Capture – Data Reporting – Data Analysis?

data_capture_data_reporting_data_analysis

Outsource or eliminate half of your data capture and data reporting responsibilities, and allocate it to data analysis and driving action.

You'll be surprised at the increase in your salary and bonus (oh, and the company will benefit too!).

In context of Analytics are you aiming for something special in 2019 that I've not covered above? Will you please share that with me by adding a comment? Thank you.


Switching gears, here are ten things to obsess about to collectively deliver a step change via your Marketing game this year…

The Step Change Marketing Obsessions List.

M1. Improve the Bounce Rate of your top 10 landing pages by 50%.

(Improving Bounce Rate results in reducing it. :))

Same as the #1 on the Analytics list. :) Far too many Marketers ignore this simple strategy to make lots more money. You work so very hard to earn attention, why then let your ads write checks your website can’t cash?

An additional delightful benefit: I find that getting Marketers to obsess about landing pages forces them to audit the user experience, something worth its weight in gold.

M2. Put up or shut up time for your social media strategy.

99.999% of corporate social media participation yields nothing.

Your CMO wants people to love your brand and organically amplify its goodness. It genuinely is a good thought. Except, a cursory glance at your social contributions show nothing of that sort over the last three years.

So, why are you spending all that money?

I recommend using that money to buying your team iPhones every Friday, I assure you that'll have a positive ROI.

Or. Focus on social media primarily as a paid media strategy. Bring the same discipline to the application of accountability to social media ads that you bring to your Display or Video ads anywhere on the web.

Here are five brand and five performance metrics that'll be your BFFs in 2019, as you social strategy lives up to that now famous mantra: Show me the money!

M3. Keep control of creativity, give up control of the creative.

Machines are much better at optimizing the latter for short or long term.

(For now) You are still better at the former – do lots of it, then hand it over to smart algorithms.

It is hard, especially for creative types who confuse creativity with creative. But, with every passing day you are harming your bottom-line more if you don’t follow the formula above.

Also consider the Machine Learning opportunities for Marketing beyond creative.

Aim to shift 25% of your marketing budgets in 2019 to opportunities that are powered by ML algorithms and rejoice at the boost in profits that results.

M4. TV works, solve for each factor that drives success.

Most TV campaigns are sold and bought based on reach (GRPs FTW!).

In my experience you should optimize for reach AND one overarching story AND creative consistency AND ensure each successfully tested creative has enough frequency to wear-in.

And, if you can't solve for three ANDs… Shift money to max out the Performance Digital opportunity, then with the left over money buy every person in your team – and at your agency – a new car. Your TV budget is big enough , and trust me when I say that giving out a new car will have very high motivational and bottom-line ROI.

M5. Seek to understand the customer journey.

What drives the first purchase? What drives the second? What drives the support calls in between? What does using the product really, really feel like? What drives advocacy?

All advertising that fails does so because the Marketer behind it understands only one sliver of the experience, then solves for that sliver with heart-breaking short-term focus.

When the Marketer understands the answers to the above questions, it influences the creative, it influences targeting, it influences retail store displays, it influences frequency, it influences product design, it influences…. it changes everything. Including profits.

Journeys are better than tinder dates.

6. Solve for intent. It is more possible and more critical with every passing day.

See-Think-Do-Care is a great intent-centric business framework, if I may say so myself, for challenging your current marketing strategy.

What intent is your current marketing content (tv, digital, ads, emails) targeting? What happens once your ads meet that intent? What meaningful content are you publishing, on and offline, to engage audiences before and after the BUY NOW (!) moment? Is your measurement aligned with the intent your marketing is targeting, or are you judging a fish by its ability to climb a tree? How do you know?

Shifting to See-Think-Do-Care is the single biggest force multiplier when it comes to your marketing. Help shift your organizational thinking to the current century in 2019.

M7. Your marketing budget allocation can be improved anywhere from 50% to 50,000%.

Allocating budgets is the hardest decision a Senior Marketer will make. Most will use strategies like Digital had 27% of budget last year, this year we should do between 28 and 30%. History, gut-feel, inter-company-politics, etc. are primary reasons why this silly mindset is pervasive across companies.

A better way? Profitable opportunity size.

I don't think you can argue with the first part: Invest where you make more profit. The second part takes a bit more work. It comes from plotting diminishing margin curves with confidence intervals. In English: How high can the investment goes before every $1 you invest returns less?

You are a Marketer, so it's unlikely that you'll plot these curves. Make it a priority for your Analytics team to do so; without them massive chunks of your budget is being flushed.

(Also, see obsession #10 on the Analytics list.)

M8. A grandmother's Marketing strategy for grandmothers only.

A bit provocative, but I want to challenge how most Marketers just make little tweaks to their strategy. The bigger the company, the more that this pernicious problem exists. Don't let that be you, and allow me to share two views that'll challenge your reality.

Here's the average time spent per day by US adults with media devices…

average_time_spent_media_devices_age

My humble description of a "grandmother's marketing strategy" is the bar on the right (65+).

It is eminently sensible for our marketing for our fellow 65+ aged Earthlings to be reflective of the implications of that right-most bar.

The problem arises when our entire marketing strategy is an extension of that right-most bar. For our entire marketing strategy to be structured on that 6:55 you see above, when our products and services are not 65+ centric is… A bit silly. Perhaps even reflective of failing our fiduciary duty.

Note the difference in total media consumption (time, place, device, more). Note the products and services your company currently offers. Reflect on this: How misaligned is your current marketing strategy?

I get really excited about something super-cool, but subtle, in the data above: The implication of the difference between active vs. passive consumption!

The difference between leaning-back and letting content wash over us vs. leaning-in and pulling content you desire is huge. It dramatically changes what your marketing should be solving for (beyond the obvious investment alignment by platforms issue).

One more reality-check for your 2019 Marketing strategy: Here's a helpful deep drive into the shifts in consumption of TV across US adults – in just six years (!!)…

us_time_spent_watching_tv

This possibly explains why Toyota's entire Marketing strategy seems to be TV-centric (with the incredible frequency of 48 per day per person here in the bay area!). It seems Toyota is only trying to sell cars to 65+ (whose TV watching has actually increased).

In 2019, resolve to align your marketing strategy with your 1. products 2. goals 3. audience, and 4. amount of expressed intent on the platform.

Credits: Originally created by Sara Fischer of Axios, the first graph is via my buddy Thomas Baekdal's newsletter. 100% of you need to sign up for it. The second chart is from the lovely team at The Economist.

M9. Suck less more.

Every campaign you are currently executing can be made to suck less – especially if you think end-to-end experience.

Ex: Expedia's emails are so long they always trigger "[Message clipped] View entire message." Suck less and maybe use my past behavior to send shorter emails so I know you care about me?

Ex: Nordstrom sends me one email a day with exclusive deals – how many clothes do they think I need? Suck less and maybe send me one a month? Or, base it on shopping patterns in store to deliver delight and not just a deal?

Ex: Macy's email I just received (titled "Resolution #1: get an extra 20% off before it ends") has promotions for Women, Men, Shoes, Bed & Bath, Kids, Juniors, Jewelry, Plus Sizes, Handbags, Home, Kitchen, Beauty. All above the fold. Below the fold: Large pictures with promotions for White Bedding, Biggest Underwear, Biggest Mattress (yes again), Best Face Forward, 25% off Adidas, Macy's presents the Edit, Fresh Pastels (the image does not make clear what this is), Free, Fast Pickup. PHEW! This can be unsucked at so many levels, with just a little bit of love and focus.

Ex: Even really good programs can use sucking less. Companies like Google and Microsoft have so many divisions. Each team/department optimizes for itself, emails are pretty good, hence each thinks they are doing really well. But, if you flip the lens to me – the recipient – I get a lot of email from each company. I wish someone at G/M would track Emails Sent/Humans Sent To, and reflect on the sad reality. It would create a culture of Marketing with me at the center instead of a company department – you can imagine the benefits.

I'm using email marketing as an example of activating the power of suck less because I love email marketing. It is an effective and profitable strategy. It has loads of behavioral data available. It needs a comparatively small team to execute well. Yet see how much opportunity there is to suck less at even the largest companies.

Substantially bigger opportunities to suck less exist in all other Marketing you are doing. TV. Print. Radio. Display (omg, sooooo much opportunity!). Video. Website. Mobile app. Everything else.

All you need to do is take a quick peek under the covers.

Your 10x goal for 2019: For every $1 invested in chasing a shiny object (VR ads! Influencer marketing!!!), invest $10 in sucking less in existing large clusters of your Marketing.

Profits that follow will also be that lopsided.

One last bit, culture eats strategy for breakfast. Create a quarterly Most Unsucked Team award, and celebrate this dimension of success. Incentives matter.

M10. Bring your great taste and expectations to work.

You can easily recognize when something is mediocre – even when others put lipstick on the pig and run it around the organization as the greatest success of the month.

You know what exceptional looks and feels like – you are not just a Marketer, you are an intelligent customer.

Yet, my experience is that most Marketers stay in their lane. Often, company cultures encourage that non-beneficial behavior.

In 2019, speak up.

You have great taste. Don't leave it at home when you leave for work.

Speak up.

When you see low quality work being pushed out by your Marketing organization… Create alternative mocks. Push for your version of the brand's tag line (not the generic MBA buzzword puke-fest). Ask for a better balance between Earned-Owned-Paid marketing. Politely challenge your Leader's assertion that creative x is better because he feels like it will be. Recommend experimenting with reckless ideas, instead of directly putting 30% of the budget on them. If you see lipsticked pigs being paraded around as exceptional examples, humbly, privately, flag the corrosive implication on culture to the most senior leader who'll listen to you.

Speak up.

You deserve to be heard.

When you speak, it'll give others around you the courage to speak up as well. Smart people tend to run in packs.

That’s it. :)

A slight repetition: Reflect deeply on the impact of the 10 x 2 obsessions in your unique business environment. Then, distill down to a total of ten you’ll focus on in the next twelve months. Finally, put a start and expected end date for each item. If you get through the list, you would have contributed a step change to your company’s bottom-line, and discovered unexpected personal joy.

As always, it is your turn now.

If you had already identified obsessions for Analytics and/or Marketing for the next twelve months for yourself, what obsessions did you choose? I’m super curious. Are there a couple in my lists above that would be particularly impactful in your company? Some of my recommendations are quite straight-forward, what do you think get’s in the way of focusing on them?

Please share your obsessions, tips, culture-shifting strategies, and critique via comments below.

Thank you.

The post Deliver Step Change Impact: Marketing & Analytics Obsessions appeared first on Occam's Razor by Avinash Kaushik.

Six Nudges: Creating A Sense Of Urgency For Higher Conversion Rates!

By every indicator available, ecommerce is continuing to grow at an insane speed. Although it may seem impossible to imagine with ecommerce already totaling up to 5% of overall commerce, there’s astronomical growth still to come. Still, I’m heartbroken that some the simplest elements of ecommerce stink so much. It is 2018—why are there still […]

The post Six Nudges: Creating A Sense Of Urgency For Higher Conversion Rates! appeared first on Occam’s Razor by Avinash Kaushik.

By every indicator available, ecommerce is continuing to grow at an insane speed. Although it may seem impossible to imagine with ecommerce already totaling up to 5% of overall commerce, there’s astronomical growth still to come.

Still, I’m heartbroken that some the simplest elements of ecommerce stink so much.

It is 2018—why are there still light gray below-the-fold add to cart buttons?

#youarekillingme

There are numerous subtle issues as well. One strategic issue is illustrated by Timbuk2.


timbuk2_closer

Timbuk2 pays a huge margin to its resellers to sell their messenger bags. These resellers, in turn, give a bigger cut to Amazon, who then sells the Timbuk2 bag for 30% off. Yet, when I want to pay full price on www.timbuk2.com, I have to buy a minimum of $99 to get free shipping!

I understand channel conflict, Timbuk2, but this is just plain not being hungry. You could win bigger by cultivating higher more profitable direct relationships, especially when the old world order of commerce is collapsing all around you.

And I’m ignoring the extremely light gray font reviews…on a shade grayer background!

timbuk2_reviews

Painful.

(I really want to buy the Closer Laptop bag. The small one in Jet Black looks cool. I refused to buy it because I don’t want to reward a lack of ecommerce imagination. I am one person, I know it is not going to really hurt them, but I don’t know how else to protest a brand I love.)

Pause. Deep breath.

I do get excited about this stuff. My heart bleeds digital.

There is an ocean of opportunities when it comes to elevating ecommerce. In this post, I want to focus my passion and zero in on something that is difficult to solve for, yet immensely profitable: Inserting a sense of urgency into the shopping process.

I don’t mean: BUY IT NOW OR ELSE!

I mean developing and inserting a subtle collection of gentle nudges that can help increase the conversion rate by a statistically significant amount.

Sizing the Opportunity.

In order to have the same passion to take advantage of this magical opportunity (nudge, nudge) you’ll first want to understand how inefficient your current shopping process is.

Do two things, they’ll bring you to your knees:

1. Go look at your ecommerce conversion rate. It shows you how often you win. :) Your overall conversion rate is likely to be around 2%. You don’t need an advanced degree in math to compute that 2% winning is 98% not winning!

Do something simple. Increase current conversion rate by 25%, quantify how much increased revenue there will be. Yes, that additional $6 mil is not as hard to accomplished for an imaginative focused team – in fact you can get that from implementing half of the recommendations in this blog post.

Bonus: The best computation of conversion rate is orders divided by users (the default in your analytics tool is sessions). This will bring your conversion rate up (yea!!). Still. Big opportunity. And, yes, I did say a decade ago that you should look at the opportunity size within all your website visitors. You should. Still. The conversion headroom is massive.

Google Analytics Ecommerce Reports

2. Go to the Multi-Channel Funnels folder in Google analytics and look at two other yummy reports: Time Lag and Path Length.

They report two dimensions of speed: How long does it take for a human to convert? How many visits does it take for a human to convert?

My preferred choice is Path Length; it is rich and actionable.

This data you’ll see, the analysis you’ll do, will scare you. It will also create a sense of urgency to do something about it!

These two recommendations will help you compute the opportunity size for your management team.

Aim for quintupling revenue, obviously, but calculating just 25% improvement will give you all the budget you need from your management to insert urgency into the shopping process. Present a yummy spreadsheet that quantifies the cost of inaction, how much money you’ll lose by not delivering a 25% improvement every week. It will be heartbreaking, and now you are ready for progress!

Welcome to Nudging.

Nudging has plenty of different definitions. Mine is simple:

A gentle incentive that creates a shift in behavior.

Another insistence of mine that you’ll note below: Nudges are based on a deep understanding of user experience. They solve for the user first, and all of the hard work is done by the company (you!).

In the long run that’ll also create a positive revenue outcome for you. Win-Win.

Below is a collection of nudges, curated from my global experiences, influenced by research and data I’ve access to.

My goal with these recommendations is to have a big impact on your ecommerce existence, and to spark your creativity as you go out and change the world.

Let’s go have some fun nudging people.

1. In-stock status.

It mildly irritates me when sites don’t use this nudge.

How many hotel rooms, cameras, seats in a theater, are left?

Only 15 left in stock. Have that right under the price.

How about: Last run! Be one of the last 9 people to own this credenza design.

OMG! Click, click, click!

Or, 1 in-stock in the REI store next to your office.

Nudge. Nudge.

target_in_stock_status

I’ll admit that you need to have a well-integrated logistics platform to make these ideas work. But given the decade we are in, if you have not already done that, you are facing an existential crisis. Please stop reading this post, pull in your agency and internal teams urgently to figure out how to dig your company out of this deep hole.

If you have a well-integrated logistics platform already, then all I’m asking for is this: lock your online and offline IT folks in a nice Four Seasons suite for 72 hours with your User Researchers, and BAM! Money will start falling from the sky.

Speaking of the Four Seasons, consider how sad their nudging strategy is vs. the one that booking.com has on display:

four_seasons_vs_booking_nudges

All the data you need for this nudge… You already have. That’s what makes the Four Seasons strategy, and that of most sites, so heartbreaking.

Convert the inventory status into a conversion boosting nudge.

2. Life of current price.

It physically pains me how rarely this nudge is used.

Dynamic pricing is everywhere. Why not share that information with the shopper?

This price is guaranteed for the next 18 hours.

This price reflects the highest discount in the past 24 weeks.

Limited-time offer applied to the price you see.

Seasonal promotion! Expires Friday.

Reflects special pricing for our highest-tier Frequent Flyers.

Price has reduced by 14% since your last visit.

I’m sure you’ll find language and phrasing that works perfectly for you (see PS at the end of this post). There is a nugget tied to a unique dimension for your dynamic pricing strategy. Please find it, please use it.

Here’s an example from The Golf Warehouse:

the_golf_warehouse_limited_time_pricing

Here’s another one from Overstock that shows two time based nudges…

overstock_time_bound_sale_time_to_ship

You can take advantage of other dimensions related to pricing that are unique to your digital strategy.

This one comes from YouTube TV: Lock-in this monthly rate for life.

YouTube TV’s price just went up from $35 to $40 (they added more channels). Everyone who’d signed up at $35 was grandfathered at that price – until they cancel!

Yet, this incredible benefit was not a part of YouTube TV’s merchandizing strategy from day one. You can imagine that a whole bunch of additional people (me!) would have jumped on board. Instead not only do I not have YouTube TV, I am sad/upset. Double loss.

You have an entire staff of economists, financial analysts, directors and VPs spending so much time on finding the perfect price to charge an individual. Why not convert that immense hard work into a nudge that creates a sense of urgency?

3. Direct competitor comparisons.

38% cheaper than Nordstrom.

Sometimes, by using one of the multitude of price aggregators, you can have an understanding of where your pricing is at an item level. Where the match is in your favor, why not use that as a nudge?

You can have the comparison for as long as it is valid. You don’t even need to specify a time—people are familiar with FOMO.

Only at B&H, this item comes with a free LG Watch!

First, who does not like free stuff?

Second, who does not like believing they are getting a special deal?

Three, who does not freak out that if they don’t buy it right away, this “insane deal” will disappear?

Me. I did that. At B&H. :)

Again, your merchandizing team is working hard to procure these amazing bundles for your customers, so why are they not a core part of your nudge strategy?

Costco Special: Get an extra year of warranty!

Our average delivery times to California are 50% faster than Amazon.

Save $150 on installation compared to Best Buy!

Our return rates are 40% lower than Wayfair.

You catch my drift.

Here’s just one example from SugarCRM:

sugar_crm_comparison

Here’s a comparison on Honda’s site…

toyota_honda

No, actually it is from Toyota’s site.

They know that if their car is more expensive, with worse mileage etc., better to be upfront as the customers are looking for that information…

You can also go deeper when it comes to implementing the spirit of this nudge. Kendrick Astro Instruments has the normal table based competitor comparison, additionally they also have a detailed comparison with images to give you more detail…

kendrick_astro

This shows hunger and desire to win… Their text:

This image displays the quality of Kendrick's cabling that we use on all Premier and FireFly heaters. Our cabling remains flexible in cold weather (down to -40° C), are all labeled for easy identification and all have metal RCA connectors..

This is the text next to their competitor's image (which you can view in higher resolution):

This image displays a competitor's cabling. It is a PVC coated RCA patch cord. PVC gets very stiff in the cold and as a result, makes it an awkward component to use at the telescope. As well, due to the lack of flexibility and give in the cold, it can defocus camera lenses.

Not all that hard to see how this nudge drives higher conversion rates.

Your employees stand up at 11:00 AM each day and sing the company song. There is a line in there about your company’s unique value proposition. Something so special, it stands out against everyone you compete with.

Why let that be your little secret? Why don’t you convert that into a nudge?

Consider how much louder your 11:00 AM company sing-a-long will be when your employees see you laying it out there and going head to head with your competitors.

4. Delivery times based on geo/IP/mobile phone location.

Amazon does this really well.

Each item’s estimated delivery time to you depends on the closest warehouse to your home address. So that Timbuk2 bag might be delivered to me the next day, but it would take two days to get to Carissa in Alabama.

Amazon shows this best delivery time for me right next to the price.

More often than not, I see that Prime One-Day or Prime Same-Day and, as if by magic, I find my mouse glide toward the Order Now button!

amazon_nespresso

The closeness of the customer to your delivery environments remains an infrequently used strategy in creating an urgency nudge.

Another dimension of the delivery time nudge is order in the next 4 hours and get it tomorrow with fast shipping!

In our instant gratification culture, who can resist that?

You are $39 away from overnight shipping has been done to death. (If you are in this category, know that the last “secret” of ecommerce is that figuring out how to weaponize shipping – and free returns – is a powerful conversion increasing engine. Not easy, but your business model has to change to survive.)

But. If you are still in that world—don’t worry, I still love you—know that a behavioral shift from an emphasis on cost to an emphasis on the benefit will make a huge difference.

Add another $39 to your order and get your order 48 hours faster!

This takes advantage of the person’s location, your warehouse location, and your shipping policy, and frames it all as a positive nudge.

A couple more examples to inspire you.

Love these delicious sandals on Express. My wife thinks I’ll look prettier in the red, I think the Mustard really looks like my color. :)

I love the nudge they have built-in showing how many in my size are in stock (only one!)…

express_sandal_one_in_stock

Not wanting to risk it, I click on the Find in Store link you see at the bottom of the page.

I get a interstitial that shows me availability of the sandal by geographic location…

express_sandal_location

Here’s the lovely part… I did not have to do anything. Express did a reverse lookup based on my IP Address, matched that with their stores, then checked their ERP system for inventory and got me the answer. All inside one second.

Nudge, nudge!

One more.

Dominos will now deliver a pizza to you wherever you are. Literally wherever. In a park, in the dark woods, under a bridge. They look up your mobile location (with your permission), and they’ll come find you.

Assuming you want pizza that bad.

There are still websites that ask you to choose your country when you land. In this day and age, for the sake of Zeus, I hope that is not you.  But, how inventively are you using the location nudge?

Significantly higher revenue awaits.

5. Social cues to the rescue.

The last couple of months have not been great for social networks. I’m sure something beneficial will come to the entire digital ecosystem from all this.

A minority might believe that the whole social media thing is going to die. It is not. Community and sharing are core to who we are as humans. It is not going to change. (And, you still need a place for guilty pleasures: indulging in the latest Kardashian-West clan developments!)

Stretch your imagination and it is not hard to come up with some super-clever nudges that incorporate aggregate non-PII information that is public.

People have shared this blouse 18 times in the last hour on Instagram.

80 people in California have booked this destination in the last 30 days.

1,846 Pins for this closet on Pinterest.

Our most tweeted style of underwear!

800 plusses on Google+.

Ok, so maybe not Google+ (I was genuinely excited about it, I am sad it died). But you get the idea.

Social cues (/proof) can help create a sense of urgency for a whole host of companies. Yet, I bet you’ve rarely seen the use of this aggregated information to deliver nudges.

Here’s a simple example of aggregated non-PII based social cue, from, a site you’ve seen me express adoration for in the past, ModCloth. Every product has a little heart sign, visitors to the site vote their love which helps me make more confident decisions…

modcloth_midi_skirt

ModCloth also allows their customers to contribute something you might consider PII, their photos. These make perhaps the ultimate social proof as I can see the skirt I want (mustard again FTW!) on different body sizes…

modcloth_midi_skirt_user_pictures

ModCloth has a whole lot of social proof strategies. They have a Style Gallery, #ModClothSquad, #MarriedinModCloth etc.

Think expansively about social proof.

Naked Wines has a lovely widget next to each of their wines that shows the would buy again rate…

naked_wines

And, they show you historical sales and would buy it again rates.

Checkout the Kimbao Sauvignon Blanc you can see sales and would buy it again rates since 2011. At 91%, the rate is highest this year. Sweet. Add to Basket!

Another team thinking expansively about leveraging social proof are the excellent folks at Basecamp. If you scroll to the bottom of their web pages you’ll see…

basecamp_customers_trend

Completely non-PII based social proof, a simple cumulative trend of the number of customers. What better way to convince you to use them than this lovely up and to the right trend?

One final, massively underutilized, social proof nudge for you to consider.

Every smart ecommerce strategy has an individual-level referral program bolted on from the very start. Your current customers refer your products and services to their friends, family, and complete strangers—in exchange for a little benefit for themselves.

It is rare, however, to see the use of that referral information as a nudge.

Your friend Alex will receive $5 if you order in the next 24 hours.

The site is keeping track of the referral (to pay your friend Alex his bounty). They have all the information they need to create the above line of text. Why not use it?

Read Diana’s review of this product.

Diana, of course, referred the product to you, and that insight is in the URL you used to get to the site. The site is simply going the extra mile to surface Diana’s review, as it will likely be more meaningful to you than the other 29.

I love Patagonia; I value the brand’s ethos so deeply. And, when I say love, I mean LOVE. Two of the three pieces of clothing I’m wearing right now are from Patagonia. Yet there does not seem to be any strategy at Patagonia to help me (and you and other brand lovers) to create social cue nudges.

Humans inherently want to share, they want to show off, and they want to pass on recommendations/deals to their community. Got social nudges?

6. Personalization. Yes, from 1995!

Do you remember what I did during the last visit to your website?

No PII, just off the anonymous first-party permission-based cookie. Did you use that to change the site’s home page?

And, if you have a GDPR compliant login mechanism…Does your machine learning-powered ecommerce platform leverage the lifetime of my site experience, complaints, purchases, etc., to anticipate my activity?

Do the pages on your site wrap around my objectives, rather than your static and pimpy ones?

Is your entire sales strategy obsessed with the Do, or does it also obsess about the See, Think and Care bits of the complete human experience?

Personalization is the ultimate nudge—to create ecommerce-related urgency and to bring your brand closer to the customer over the lifetime of their experience with you.

That’s because personalization means truly caring. Personalization requires a huge investment in understanding. Personalization is translating that individual human-level understanding into anticipation. Personalization means helping. And when you do it right, personalization means you pimp with relevance—the best kind.

The desire to personalize across the complete human experiences kicks off the processes that fundamentally alter how you treat every human. The reason it works, when done right, is that deep down, we want people to care about us. And yes, we will end up doing more business with people who show that they care for us. Really care. The ultimate nudge.

So. If you own www.canada.ca or www.sainsbury.co.uk using PII or non-PII information… Does your site actively learn and then change? If not, why not?

One huge challenge we had to overcome in delivering personalization was employee capabilities. Employees are terrible at being able to imagine the expanse of possibilities when it comes being able to understand each human and being able to react to each human. Mercifully, Machine Learning (/Artificial Intelligence) will help us solve this challenge with incredible results.

Bottom-line.

You can pray that your conversion rates increase.

Alternatively, you can take advantage of the data you have access to, the permissions your users have given you, and the competitive advantages you’ve worked so hard to create and use them to create nudges that solve for delivering delight to your customers and more revenue to your company.

Your choice?

Nudging FTW!

As always, it is your turn now.

If you’ve tried one of the above six strategies to create a nudge, what was the outcome for your company? If you’ve seen a strategy for creating urgency that you love, will you please share it? What challenges have you run into in trying to personalize experiences? Nudging also works in our personal lives—have you tried it? :)

Please share your critiques, brilliant ideas and experience scars via the comments below.

PS: My doctor reminds me during every annual visit that I need to take more walks outside in the sun to make up for a vitamin deficiency. Turns out I spend too much time in my office or auditoriums. The sun is right there. I just need to take a walk. I still do it less than I should. Such is the case with A/B testing. The tools are free and abundant. You know they are the best way to win arguments with your HiPPOs or your cubicle mates. Yet, you don’t use them. I’m off to take a walk in the beautiful California sun, you go implement my recommendations for nudges as A/B tests—it is the only way to unlock the kind of imagination required to create profitable happy customer experiences.

The post Six Nudges: Creating A Sense Of Urgency For Higher Conversion Rates! appeared first on Occam's Razor by Avinash Kaushik.