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5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)
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5 Tips To Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue And Reduce Costs - May 2009 (Gomez & Forrester)

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Welcome to “Five Tips to Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue and Reduce Costs” a co-presentation by Forrester Research and Gomez. The current economic downturn has created a lot of uncertainty, …

Welcome to “Five Tips to Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue and Reduce Costs” a co-presentation by Forrester Research and Gomez. The current economic downturn has created a lot of uncertainty, one outcome of this is that companies are placing a greater emphasis on e-commerce as the cost-saving channel with the lowest overhead. Companies are trying to determine the best changes to make to improve their online channel to retain customers and improve sales. This webinar will focus on how to identify and fix issues impacting the usability and quality of your Internet channel.

Presenters include Megan Burns Senior Analyst at Forrester Research

and

Matt Poepsel, VP of Performance Strategies at Gomez

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  • Researchers can save time and money by recruiting usability test subjects — and conducting tests — electronically. TechSmith's UserVue service lets companies recruit users, observe their desktops, and listen to their comments as they interact with a site or application. According to one firm we talked to, this cuts the cost of testing from a few hundred dollars per participant to less than $50.
  • Technical issues erode trust in the Web channel, which can cause people to use the phone or other, costlier channels.
  • The Aberdeen Group recently released a report entitled “The Performance of Web Applications — Customers Are Won or Lost in One Second”. In the report, Aberdeen noted that for the 160+ organizations surveyed, the average organization claimed to deliver 97.8% availability for their business critical web applications. As far as pie charts go, this appears to be a relatively high percentage. But what does that “Not available” sliver really mean?
  • On a yearly basis, the missing 2.2% equates to 8 days of total downtime! Remember that 97.8% was the average for organizations surveyed, meaning half of these organizations experienced even more downtime than 8 total days per year.
  • For an ecommerce business bringing in $100,000 per day in online revenue, this could mean an annual loss of $803,000.
  • Application availability isn’t the only thing required to satisfy user expectations. The same Aberdeen report also found that users have a critical response time threshold of 3.9 to 5.1 seconds. A delay of even 1 additional second can lead to as much as a 7% reduction in conversions.
     
    For that same ecommerce business with $100,000 per day in revenue, this could mean up to $2,550,000 in lost annual revenue due to response time delays and frustrated customers!
  • Poor performance doesn’t just impact B2C applications. In a recent Tier 1 Research Analyst Brief (February 4, 2009) an analyst covered recent issues at the financial accounting software company Intuit, noting:
    “On Monday, the online version of its flagship product, QuickBooks, went offline for a period of several hours. Needless to say, this was a lengthy outage that left businesses without access to mission-critical data. The credit-card processing service was also affected, leaving businesses no choice but to handle things manually or even worse, not being able to process orders at all.
    Intuit did not comment on the cause of the outage, but after the problem was solved, confirmed that network issues brought services down for about six hours.“
    Technical challenges can happen to any company at any time, so proper web application monitoring is critical!
  • For their part, users expect to receive an excellent experience every time. Failure to deliver against these expectations hurts even a well-designed application’s usability and subsequent user satisfaction and behavior are impacted. Frustrated users won’t purchase your products, sign up for your promotions, use your low-cost self-service capabilities, or take whatever action you as site owner intended for them.
  • Unfortunately, delivering against user expectations is tougher than ever. Three recent trends have created a challenging environment that requires a renewed focus on the user’s entire journey, not just it’s idealized intent.
  • For many companies, the economic downturn has led to a series of budget and staffing cuts in an attempt to shore up a sagging bottom line. Infrastructure improvements are being delayed. IT and Quality Assurance teams are being reduced or outsourced. It’s nearly impossible to determine how much can be cut without disrupting quality and responsiveness to customer-impacting issues. Companies are playing a dangerous guessing game, hoping that the reductions don’t lead to quality issues and service disruptions that “give back” intended cost savings.
  • The technical landscape has continued to evolve and confound the ability to deliver adequate user experiences. Web users have more choice than ever in terms of which browsers to use. A lack of applied “standards” means that Firefox users – a growing population – may be receiving a very different experience than Internet Explorer users. Additionally, many companies have users who span the globe or who may connect from home or from corporate environments. New devices and more complex Rich Internet Applications increase access and functionality but also the likelihood that something may go wrong. A rapid increase in complexity has outpaced most companies’ ability to manage it effectively.
  • User expectations for web applications today are significantly higher than they were 10, 5, and even 2 years ago. Increasing computer processing ability, higher bandwidth Internet connections, feature-rich competitive applications, and even Google have all contributed to users expecting highly available and fast web experiences regardless of the web application itself. The web is a dynamic environment, and its rapid evolution has left many companies struggling to keep up with user expectations and demands.
  • In many organizations, Business and IT groups remain separate entities, each preferring to manage its own areas of ownership. This separation can cause major problems for end-users and an environment of “individual success, collective failure”. Even if business owners want to foster a stronger alignment with IT partners, it can be difficult to know where to begin. These teams often lack a common framework for communication. Four Key Questions presented here can facilitate cross-functional coordination and lead to end-user satisfaction and success.
  • This question requires defining the critical business processes that make up any web application. Doing this from a user’s perspective – and not just a technical one – is key. A response that emphasizes the architecture, code, or some technical perspective over that of the end-user makes too many assumptions about issues that may in fact be disrupting the application and frustrating users.
  • Problems that crop up late in the conversion process are extremely frustrating for end-users. A well-designed and delivered front end is of little consolation to a user who experiences technical issues with the shopping cart, sign-up form, or order entry section of the web application. While many companies measure both the technical characteristics of shopping cart systems, for example, as well as orders taken, too few companies “connect the dots” between these metrics. It’s important to directly measure and analyze the impact that technical experiences are having on conversion rates and patterns.
  • This question goes beyond the general functionality, availability, and performance of the application to explore the experiences being delivered to specific customer segments. Experiences and satisfaction may vary wildly depending on account/behavior profile or other differences. Making sure the differences can be detected and analyzed is critical in delivering an excellent experience to every user every time. A failure to do so – particularly for the most important segments - can prove to be very expensive in terms of opportunity cost, brand risk, and higher than necessary operational costs.
  • As IT staff and investments are cut, the likelihood of a customer impacting problem increases. Making matters worse, while outsourcing key web application functions or elements to partners has increased, there’s even less transparency into how these partners are coping with the economic downturn. A focus on transparency and ensuring the quality of end-user experiences is more important than ever. The current environment requires maximum visibility, communication, and coordination as any margin for error is now gone.
  • The current environmental challenges require leadership from business owners. We recommend that business stakeholders review, prioritize, and implement the insights shared by Megan Burns of Forrester Research. With the right metrics and site design in place, business owners need to ensure that proper communication and coordination with IT partners is in place. Retrieving detailed and appropriate answers to the 4 Key Questions presented in this presentation will help protect revenue and ensure quality. Maximum transparency and communication is essential for success in today’s challenging environment.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Five Tips to Improve Online Experience, Drive Revenue and Reduce Costs Megan Burns Senior Analyst Forrester Research March 4, 2009
    • 2. 3Entire contents © 2009 Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Most Web sites deliver a lackluster experience • 60% of sites lack essential function. • 63% of sites lack essential content. • 74% of sites have unclear menus. • 81% of sites make users take unnecessary steps.
    • 3. 4Entire contents © 2009 Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Bad Web experiences cost you money • Average benefit from a Web site re-design: – Retailers: $9M (low) to $39M (high) – Manufacturers: $2.6M (low) to $3.6M (high) – Financial Services*: $8M (low) to $25M (high) * Secure site only.
    • 4. 5Entire contents © 2009 Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Five ways to improve the online experience 1. Identify problems that stop users from completing their goals online. 2. Eliminate technical issues. 3. Fix usability problems with well-known solutions. 4. Help people find what they want using search. 5. Streamline the end of the purchase funnel.
    • 5. 6Entire contents © 2009 Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Five ways to improve the online experience 1. Identify problems that stop users from completing their goals online. 2. Eliminate technical issues. 3. Fix usability problems with well-known solutions. 4. Help people find what they want using search. 5. Streamline the end of the purchase funnel.
    • 6. 7Entire contents © 2009 Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Web Site Monitoring Identify annoyances like slow page load times, content display errors, and software glitches. Use the measurement tools you already have… Web Analytics Uncover problematic visitor behavior like pogo-sticking.
    • 7. 8Entire contents © 2009 Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Heuristic Evaluations Use trained experts to find known usability problems. Remote Usability Testing Find additional usability problems at lower cost. ...and layer in low cost qualitative techniques Web Site Monitoring Identify annoyances like slow page load times, content display errors, and software glitches. Web Analytics Uncover problematic visitor behavior like pogo-sticking.
    • 8. 9Entire contents © 2009 Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Five ways to improve the online experience 1. Identify the problems that stop users from completing their goals online. 2. Eliminate technical issues. 3. Fix usability problems with well-known solutions. 4. Help people find what they want using search. 5. Streamline the end of the purchase funnel.
    • 9. 10Entire contents © 2009 Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved.
    • 10. 11Entire contents © 2009 Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved.
    • 11. 12Entire contents © 2009 Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Errors erode trust in the Web channel • Average cost difference between Web and phone is $5.40 per transaction. • Even a small channel shift can have a big financial impact.
    • 12. 13Entire contents © 2009 Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Five ways to improve the online experience 1. Identify the problems that stop users from completing their goals online. 2. Eliminate technical issues. 3. Fix usability problems with well-known solutions. 4. Help people find what they want using search. 5. Streamline the end of the purchase funnel.
    • 13. 14Entire contents © 2009 Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Common problems with known solutions Does the site present privacy and security policies in context? Place clearly labeled links to privacy and security policies next to fields that ask for personal information. Describe both privacy and security safeguards in the policies. Best Practice: Include a summary of each policy with the links. Is text legible? Does the site help users recover from errors? Verdana should appear to be at least 9 pt., Arial at least 10 pt., and Times New Roman at least 11 pt. Best Practice: If contrast is low (e.g., gray text on a white background or any text on a colored background), use type that’s larger than minimum sizes. Design error messages into page templates, not pop-up windows. Tell users what went wrong and how to fix the problem. Use clear, polite language that doesn't imply that users are at fault. Best Practice: Adopt the habit of forcing errors by finding a form or high-function application, doing something you’re not supposed to do (like leaving fields blank), and observing the results. Source: “Beating The Three Web Design Challenges”
    • 14. 15Entire contents © 2009 Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Five ways to improve the online experience 1. Identify the problems that stop users from completing their goals online. 2. Eliminate technical issues. 3. Fix usability problems with well-known solutions. 4. Help people find what they want using search. 5. Streamline the end of the purchase funnel.
    • 15. 16Entire contents © 2009 Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Help people find what they want via search • Optimize copy, titles, and labels to help search engines match content to user search terms. • Eliminate unused content to: – Cut clutter in results – Save time and money in content management
    • 16. 17Entire contents © 2009 Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Five ways to improve the online experience 1. Identify the problems that stop users from completing their goals online. 2. Eliminate technical issues. 3. Fix usability problems with well-known solutions. 4. Help people find what they want using search. 5. Streamline the end of the purchase funnel.
    • 17. 18Entire contents © 2009 Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Don’t stop people who want to give you money • Make sure visitors have the information they need to complete the transaction. • Remove unnecessary fields and steps in the task flow. – Don’t require registration to make a purchase. • Provide clear feedback and error messages. • Tweak the location and appearance of key buttons to increase click through rates. • Make sure the order review page doesn’t look like a confirmation page.
    • 18. 19Entire contents © 2009 Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Five ways to improve the online experience 1. Identify the problems that stop users from completing their goals online. 2. Eliminate technical issues. 3. Fix usability problems with well-known solutions. 4. Help people find what they want using search. 5. Streamline the end of the purchase funnel.
    • 19. 20Entire contents © 2009 Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Recommendations • Do everything you can now to improve the customer experience so you’re well positioned to compete when things turns around. • Focus on low cost, high value fixes that stop customers from completing their goals online. • Keep detailed records of what you do and the benefits that come from it. – Use this data to make the case for more funding in the future.
    • 20. 21Entire contents © 2009 Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Read more about business case best practices • June 17, 2008 “ How To Get Funding For Web Site Improvements” • June 4, 2008 “ Top Decision Criteria For Execs Who Approve Customer E ”
    • 21. 22Entire contents © 2009 Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Thank you Megan Burns +1 617.613.6294 mburns@forrester.com www.forrester.com
    • 22. ▪First SaaS Web Experience Management Platform ▪Web Experience Delivery Assurance across the application lifecycle ▪ExperienceFirst (XF) Network ▪80,000+ internet experience measurement points ▪Over 2,000 Customers Worldwide ▪13 out of 20 most visited US Websites utilize Gomez ▪250+ Employees Gomez Profile ▪ Headquarters ▪ Lexington, MA ▪ Global Offices ▪ UK ▪ Germany ▪ Switzerland ▪ China Matt Poepsel VP, Performance Strategies
    • 23. Not available Available
    • 24. 8 Days per Year
    • 25. $803,000 in lost revenue
    • 26. $2,550,000 in lost revenue
    • 27. “went offline for a period of several hours” “lengthy outage that left businesses without access to mission-critical data” “network issues brought services down for about six hours”
    • 28. User Expectations Poor performance impacts usability, user satisfaction, conversions
    • 29. 1. Recession Realities
    • 30. 2. Web Complexity
    • 31. 3. Great Expectations
    • 32. Partnering for Lasting Success • Customer Experience is being shaped by the Recession, Web Complexity, User Expectations • Online revenues, cost containment and risk hang in the balance • Business and IT partners need to work together to meet end- user expectations • Success requires new types of communication and coordination • Four key questions can guide the collaborative process 1 2 3 4
    • 33. Keep the Doors Open Are we sure that our customers can browse, view, and search our site? KEY QUESTION #1
    • 34. Protect the Revenue What have we done to ensure all our customers can convert? KEY QUESTION #2
    • 35. Keep Them Satisfied Are all of our customers really having a good experience? KEY QUESTION #3
    • 36. Protect the Quality Are my IT team and partners succeeding with fewer resources? KEY QUESTION #4
    • 37. 1. Take advantage of usability improvement recommendations from Forrester 2. Get detailed answers to the 4 Key Questions ▪ Foster alignment and communication 1. Make sure all Business and IT counterparts have the information they need to succeed Recommendations Business stakeholders may not own the solutions, but they are responsible for ensuring that the problems are solved
    • 38. “Gomez has made spectacular progress in the last 18 months…to become the leader in web experience management.” Jean-Pierre Garbani, Vice President, Principal Analyst, Forrester Research Tech Horizons: Evaluating Gomez’s Web Experience Management Services, August 2008 Gomez Offers Full Lifecycle Solutions for Web Application Management
    • 39. Find Out How Gomez Can Help You Gomez is here to help http://www.gomez.com/instant-test-pro/index.php To receive a complimentary copy of the Aberdeen report entitled: “The Performance of Web Applications – Customers Are Won or Lost in One Second” please visit http://www.gomez.com Speak To A Gomez Solutions Expert Toll Free: 877.372.6732 Some of Our Customers

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