It's Not You, It's Your Competitors
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It's Not You, It's Your Competitors

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Don't copy competitors, learn from them. Your site lives in the world, and your prospect's mind, with many other sites. Expectations, and best practices, come from lots of time spent on your......

Don't copy competitors, learn from them. Your site lives in the world, and your prospect's mind, with many other sites. Expectations, and best practices, come from lots of time spent on your competitor's sites. Competitive tools, tips, and the five patterns for competitive study: anchor, landmark, decoy, telescope, and journey.

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  • 1. It’s not YOU It’s your COMPETITORS
  • 2. “Don’t reinvent the wheel, just copy Hulu. - M, GenX, Influencer Source: Change Sciences
  • 3. Pamela Pavliscak (don’t even try) @paminthelab Change Sciences
  • 4. I’m cool with hybrids
  • 5. I’m kind of competitive
  • 6. data deep dive reality WTF experiments hope Today’s journey
  • 7. Why Competitive? BIG QUESTION
  • 8. Left to their own devices We aren’t copy cats
  • 9. LOGO copied category 1 copied category 2 copied category 3 <insert stolen content here> Upgrade Not original programming
  • 10. It never makes sense to COPY
  • 11. But competitors are your ecosystem
  • 12. upstream downstream companion direct the dream hidden threat YOU
  • 13. Life (online) is ELSEWHERE
  • 14. Source: Nielsen People visit 100 or more sites a month
  • 15. 72% use the web to compare, 30% research on Amazon first. Source: Forrester
  • 16. Source: eMarketer Source: WebLoyalty 40% of shoppers compare on 3 channels before purchase
  • 17. You can learn good (and bad) PATTERNS
  • 18. “It takes a certain amount of Pavlovian conditioning to learn where to look. - M, GenX, Wired Source: Change Sciences
  • 19. We learn on OTHER SITES
  • 20. Still not sure The Hamburger
  • 21. “I’ve been noticing that little doodad on sites but thought it was just the design. -M, Millennial, Wired Source: Change Sciences
  • 22. Q1 2013 Source: Change Sciences Hamburger awareness is on the rise Q2 2013 Q3 2013 Q4 2013 Q1 2014
  • 23. Fails can show what not to do
  • 24. 56% click on whatever is immediately below the carousel (or hero), if it fills the top of the page. 18% wait for more than one featured item or use arrows to cycle through. Source: Change Sciences
  • 25. How to start? BIG QUESTION
  • 26. Experience is complicated
  • 27. <something> They came They left
  • 28. They saw stuff (page views) They hung out (time) They did stuff (clicks)
  • 29. What was their goal? How did that work out for them? How did they feel about it? What did they takeaway? How did your site fit into the big picture? Still so many questions
  • 30. You have data about your site or app, competitors are the CONTROL GROUP
  • 31. Nope. Ask HIPPO Checklist Report
  • 32. Good, but not today. Share of search Share of branded phrases Share of visits by industry Share of social Analysis of reviews VoC studies
  • 33. WARNING: Expert reviews without data may actually be opinion
  • 34. You have to go HYBRID
  • 35. Start with COMPETITIVE TOOLS
  • 36. Learn about Competitors (duh) Demographics Topics Mentions Popular pages
  • 37. MEASURE, or you’re just guessing
  • 38. Metrics to Use How easy is it? USABILITY How much do people do? ENGAGEMENT What is their takeaway? CONVERSION
  • 39. SUBJECTIVE what people say OBJECTIVE what people do Balance it out to get the full picture
  • 40. Hard to automate SUCCESS RATE
  • 41. Success rate ≠ Conversion rate (well, not always)
  • 42. To improve conversion, don’t compare conversion
  • 43. Oh, the irony
  • 44. Then, the Deep Dive
  • 45. Add QUALITATIVE insights in the mix
  • 46. Learn about Usability Engagement Common Scenarios Feature-Level Insights Perceptions Chemistry
  • 47. Five Patterns YOUR COMPETITORS
  • 48. 1. The Anchor 2. The Landmark 3. The Decoy 4. The Telescope 5. The Journey
  • 49. Uncover EXPECTATIONS using competitors
  • 50. Competitor #1: The AnchorThe Anchor
  • 51. 82% will compare your site to the competitor they used most recently Source: Change Sciences
  • 52. We learned this TESTING DIRTY (not drunk)
  • 53. DIRTY CLEAN Let people draw comparisons Rotate A-B-C C-A-B B-C-A So B-A-D it’s good? Lab or online 1 person / 1 site Same tasks Same metrics Online with more people
  • 54. We usually opt for a CLEAN READ
  • 55. Go UPSTREAM
  • 56. First, where people were just before (on Alexa)
  • 57. Observations showed engagement here
  • 58. “If there are no related videos, I’m just going to search or move on. -F, Millennial, Influencer Source: Change Sciences
  • 59. This is how it used to look (thanks Wayback Machine)
  • 60. Achievement unlocked, now they will stay
  • 61. TAKEAWAY Anchors set priorities, especially for features and functionality.
  • 62. Yes, of course DIRECT
  • 63. People typically look at 3-5 direct competitors Source: Change Sciences
  • 64. Source: Change Sciences About half missed the nav and got off track
  • 65. Let’s see what direct competitors do (Compete)
  • 66. Well, there is a product list here
  • 67. Now for some common themes (Similar Web)
  • 68. Online study shows this may be a new anchor
  • 69. TAKEAWAY Anchors reveal best practices for navigation and nomenclature.
  • 70. CONTEXT can be an anchor
  • 71. One site, two contexts
  • 72. Learn how this site or service can help you to manage your personal finances. Context ONE
  • 73. Yeah, it’s Amazon The highest of the set Source: Change Sciences
  • 74. Find an account that would be right for your typical banking needs. Context TWO
  • 75. Different context Source: Change Sciences
  • 76. TAKEAWAY Competitive testing can pinpoint issues for different scenarios.
  • 77. Competitors leave an IMPRINT
  • 78. Competitor #1: The AnchorThe Landmark
  • 79. Get a sense of direct competitors (Similar Sites)
  • 80. Turns out, prospects did use those sites
  • 81. But this was really the frame of reference
  • 82. A blend improved the experience
  • 83. TAKEAWAY Landmarks set the tone in their vertical and beyond.
  • 84. People make UNEXPECTED comparisons
  • 85. The Decoy
  • 86. “It’s a big decision, like a mortgage. I’d want to compare rates and play around with a lot of options. -F, Boomer, Pragmatist Source: Change Sciences
  • 87. Mortgages and healthcare, maybe not so crazy?
  • 88. Top sites made it easy to explore pricing
  • 89. Yes, calculators can be engaging
  • 90. 100 40 60 80 100 Success Rate LikelihoodtoRecommend 80 60 40 (Nov) Aetna (Oct) Wells Fargo Kaiser Permanente eHealth PNC Home Lending Chase The more successful finding a good fit, the more likely to recommend Source: Change Sciences
  • 91. TAKEAWAY Decoys inform the experience across verticals.
  • 92. You may not need to BUILD
  • 93. a. Look at the top competitor, and (ahem) borrow b. Create a mash-up of several sites c. Do whatever top dog says d. Measure and learn e. Build a prototype and test it How do you create a new e-commerce site?
  • 94. Competitor #1: The Anchor The Telescope
  • 95. Lowest success rate, but people felt happy.
  • 96. “I love the pictures and the white space, but I need more details to purchase. -M, Millennial, Wired Source: Change Sciences
  • 97. OK, not perfect but it’s a landmark
  • 98. TAKEAWAY Before prototyping, look at similar concepts on competitor sites.
  • 99. It is many sites, but ONE EXPERIENCE
  • 100. The Journey
  • 101. People visit 15 different sites to plan their trip, only 5 are travel sites Source: Compete For Example
  • 102. Context is complexon the go boredprices questioning relaxed curious urgent happy socialreviews repetitive reclining lost questioning decidingcomparing
  • 103. Pretty, but more effort to find details. People searched first, missing the other stuff
  • 104. Hipmunk seemed like the site to watch
  • 105. Priceline Hipmunk Expedia Kayak But in the end, this is how it stood Source: Change Sciences
  • 106. Oops, people have a hard time with charts
  • 107. Playing around with search was easier here
  • 108. And 68% explored things to do, after they got a handle on pricing Source: Change Sciences
  • 109. TAKEAWAY Competitive can follow the journey, and show the gaps. @paminthelab #convconf
  • 110. YES, yes you should go competitive
  • 111. It can help you break out of the little box You are HERE @paminthelab #convconf
  • 112. But wait, should you copy HULU?
  • 113. 32% success rate for finding a recent episode of a favorite show Source: Change Sciences
  • 114. 100 40 60 80 100 Usability Conversion 80 60 40 ABC PBS CBS NBC Hulu Engagement For finding a show, this is how it looked Source: Change Sciences
  • 115. Ah, but the player
  • 116. Ease of use Hulu Network Sites Happiness Ad memory Ease of useHappiness Ad memory @paminthelab #convconf
  • 117. So, maybe…
  • 118. Get Super Competitive stats, testing tips, experiments @paminthelab
  • 119. How do you stand out?And be careful, it’s a jungle out there