The Top 10 Testing, Targeting & Optimization Best Practices
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The Top 10 Testing, Targeting & Optimization Best Practices

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One of the most effective ways to segment website traffic is to distinguish between ...

One of the most effective ways to segment website traffic is to distinguish between
new and returning visitors. While this distinction is both familiar and valuable to
those who measure website traffic acquisition efforts, it continues to be overlooked
as a proven method to increase conversion rates and other key metrics.

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The Top 10 Testing, Targeting & Optimization Best Practices The Top 10 Testing, Targeting & Optimization Best Practices Presentation Transcript

  • The Top 10 Testing, Targeting and Optimization Best PracticesINTRODUCTIONDeliver the right message, to the right person, at the right time.A simple statement, but for many companies, the ability to create a relevant onlinecustomer experience remains a challenge.After thousands of people downloaded the original “Top 10 Testing, Targeting andPersonalization Best Practices” eBook, we were convinced that updating this valuableresource with new ways for you to optimize your website and create engagingcustomer experiences would further enhance its usefulness.Like its predecessor, we created this edition from the countless number of websitetesting and optimization campaigns that have impacted ecommerce businesses likeyours. Quite frankly, these strategies are proven winners.So, if you want to create online customer relevance, drive revenue, and increaseconversions and average order value, turn the page to discover 10 successful websitetesting and optimization strategies implemented by some of the best-knownbrands in the world. Calling attention to selected items within a group of items is one of the oldest selling strategies in the world and with good reason: it works. Badging brings this venerable technique online, where you can test it, tune it, and employ it more effectively than ever. a monetate ebook | 1 a publication from a publication
  • The Top 10 Testing, Targeting and Optimization Best PracticesTHE TOP 10 TESTING, TARGETING AND OPTIMIZATION BEST PRACTICES 1. New Versus Returning: Basic Segments, Big Implications 2. Location-based Targeting: Know Where Your Customers Are 3. Product Badging: Highlight Products with Ease and Simplicity 4. Inbound Message Consistency: Don’t Interrupt the Scent Trail 5. Promotion Testing: Find the Right Offer for Each Visitor 6. Shopping Cart Recovery: Revive the Purchase Process 7. Time-Triggers: Remind and Retain Existing Customers 8. Navigation Optimization: Avoid the IT Queue 9. Threshold Messages: Make Your Offers More Powerful10. Tablets: Audit and Optimize to Boost Conversions a monetate ebook | 2
  • The Top 10 Testing, Targeting and Optimization Best PracticesINTRODUCTIONDeliver the right message, to the right person, at the right time.A simple statement, but for many companies, the ability to create a relevant onlinecustomer experience remains a challenge.After thousands of people downloaded the original “Top 10 Testing, Targeting andPersonalization Best Practices” eBook, we were convinced that updating this valuableresource with new ways for you to optimize your website and create engagingcustomer experiences would further enhance its usefulness.Like its predecessor, we created this edition from the countless number of websitetesting and optimization campaigns that have impacted ecommerce businesses likeyours. Quite frankly, these strategies are proven winners.So, if you want to create online customer relevance, drive revenue, and increaseconversions and average order value, turn the page to discover 10 successful websitetesting and optimization strategies implemented by some of the best-knownbrands in the world. a monetate ebook | 3
  • The Top 10 Testing, Targeting and Optimization Best PracticesABOUT MONETATEExtreme relevance creates extreme revenue.Monetate delivers a completely new class of online customer experience solutions.By providing companies with a cloud-based suite of marketing optimizationproducts and conversion expertise, you can quickly customize content, creative, andfunctionality for innovative testing, merchandising, targeting, and cross-channelconsistency that drives online relevance and revenue.Major enterprise companies, including Best Buy, QVC, Urban Outfitters, Aeropostale,The Sports Authority, and PETCO, rely on Monetate to achieve a new level of speedand control that allows them to run 16 times more website optimization campaignscompared to industry averages.By unlocking the full capabilities of the Monetate Agility Suite, you gain the power totest and deliver targeted content—changing anything, anywhere, on any web page,based on what you know about your website visitors. a monetate ebook | 4
  • The Top 10 Testing, Targeting and Optimization Best Practices1. NEW VERSUS RETURNING:Basic Segments, Big ImplicationsOne of the most effective ways to segment website traffic is to distinguish betweennew and returning visitors. While this distinction is both familiar and valuable tothose who measure website traffic acquisition efforts, it continues to be overlookedas a proven method to increase conversion rates and other key metrics.While a first-time visitor may need to know the forms of payment you accept, howyour items are shipped, or your return policy, conveying this and other informationtakes up valuable page real estate that returning visitors and frequent shopperslikely don’t need or want to see. NewShow new customers unique content and callouts, while alerting return customersto what has been updated on the website since their last visit. You can evenpersonalize return visits for customers based on their average shopping cart valueor their lifetime purchase value.Merchandisers can take advantage of this important customer segment by showingdifferent product recommendations, such as the most popular products to newvisitors and brand-new products to returning visitors.Segmenting new versus returning visitors is not only a more efficient use of pagereal estate, but can convert more first-time browsers into buyers and increase theorder size of a returning visitor. Returning Treat new customers to unique content and callouts, while alerting returning customers to what has been updated on your website since their last visit. a monetate ebook | 5
  • The Top 10 Testing, Targeting and Optimization Best Practices2. LOCATION-BASED TARGETING:Know Where Your Customers AreBy using technology that determines the physical location of website visitors, you Cloudy in Chicago? Sunny in Los Angeles? Snowing in Vermont?can display location-specific messages and offers that help increase conversion.Two location-based best practices are geotargeting and weather-based targeting. While brick-and-mortar retailers can respond rapidly to changing weather conditions, online merchants have typically been shut out of these sales opportunities. UseGeotargeting works exceptionally well to highlight synergies between your online weather-based targeting to overlay the location of the user with real-time weatherand physical retail locations. Call out the closest location of a store so the customer data and leverage this insight to deliver a more relevant message.can take advantage of free in-store pickup, or learn about in-store events nearby. For example, an outdoor clothing retailer can use weather-based targeting toYou also can use geotargeting to indicate tax-free shipping offers. Remember not promote rainwear to visitors located in a city where it’s currently raining by displayingto promise the visitor a tax-free sale because geotargeting points to the current a banner that offers a price discount, badging to draw attention to products withlocation of the shopper’s computer or mobile device—not the shipping/billing waterproof features, or showing a weather-targeted hero image that reflects theaddress or even their residence. However, you can easily handle these qualifications visitor’s physical environment to strengthen the connection to the message.with a “Click for details” link to more definitive information.The value of tax-free shipping to your business depends on whether or not yourcustomers are motivated by the extra savings. Fortunately, you can answer thisquestion fairly quickly by doing a simple A/B test at the outset.Another way geotargeting can pay dividends in conversion rate lift, higher averageorder value, and customer loyalty is to segment international traffic. Start by checkingyour website analytics to see how many visitors come from different countries andhow well they convert.Your international customers will be happy to know that you ship to their respectivecountry, so tell them with banners, callouts or lightbox treatments. Country-specifictargeting also can be extended to changing website navigation to the nativelanguage of a visitor, as well as converting prices into a different currency. Highlight synergies between your online and retail locations. Call out closest location, ship to store, easy returns, store events, or even hiring opportunities! a monetate ebook | 6
  • The Top 10 Testing, Targeting and Optimization Best Practices3. PRODUCT BADGING:Highlight Products with Ease and SimplicityYou’re likely familiar with the merchandising tactic known as product badging andperhaps have already implemented this strategy on your website’s search resultspages, category pages, home page, or product detail pages. Highlighting specificitems with a product badge can increases sales of that item—as well as the overallconversion rate—even if you are not discounting the product.Calling attention to specific products within a group—such as items that are onsale, newly arrived, or popular with other shoppers—with product badges can bemuch simpler and easier to do once you realize that you don’t need creative or ITresources. Overlay images or use dynamic text on top of existing product imagesand free your graphic designer or website developer to focus on other projects.The specific business rules that you create determine where a badge should beshown, who should see it, when someone should see it, and the length of time thatthe badge should accompany a product image. Calling attention to selected items within a group of products is one of the oldest selling strategies in the world-and with good reason, it works. Badging brings this venerable technique online, where you can test it, tune it, and employ it more effectively than ever. a monetate ebook | 7
  • The Top 10 Testing, Targeting and Optimization Best Practices4. INBOUND MESSAGE CONSISTENCY:Don’t Interrupt the Scent TrailHow much time, effort, and money do you spend on generating website traffic onlyto settle on single-digit conversion rates? Your inbound marketing channels—forinstance, paid search, display advertising, affiliates, email, and social media—arehuge parts of your business. But once visitors get to your website, you shouldn’tinterrupt the “scent trail” and leave them stranded.One example of retaining the scent trail is when you synchronize your emailmessage with the landing page. We call this “Email Echo. “The continuity of your inbound marketing efforts is a great way to increaseconversion rates. Suppose the offer in your email is for free shipping on orders over$100. If you use a blue serif font inside a big yellow button to promote the offerin your email, make sure that offer using similar or the same creative appears onthe landing page.Once you start asking your graphic designer for website creative that matcheseach email offer, you can display the images without ever again creating a speciallanding page for your email campaigns.As mentioned earlier, retaining inbound message consistency—the “scent trail”—is critical to increasing conversion. Maintaining scent and avoiding the “bait and This “email echo” campaign carries the same creative theme and message fromswitch” isn’t just a matter of having the same messages, or product, in your email email to landing page and throughout the website visit, to keep the offer thatand on your website. It’s also about using the same colors, themes, and fonts. They prompted the click front and center while customers shop.all must come through to the landing page and, ideally, to the entire website. a monetate ebook | 8
  • The Top 10 Testing, Targeting and Optimization Best Practices5. PROMOTION TESTING:Find the Right Offer for Each VisitorYou hopefully now understand the importance of maintaining message consistencyfor your different customer segments. Whether from an inbound channel like paidsearch or email, or new visitors and returning visitors, there is a different cost to 49 FREE49convert each website visitor to a customer. 59 FREE59Because your return on investment is different for each customer segment,you shouldn’t settle for the same special discounts or promotions for all of 79 FREE79your website traffic. Change your promotional offer depending on your cost toobtain each customer. Visitors who come from paid search could require a higherorder size before receiving free shipping compared to a visitor who arrived froman organic search. You can set a smaller sample size for your promotion campaign to mitigateYour affiliate partner gets a specific percentage of every sale, you have a set exposure risk.AdWords budget, and your contract with your email service provider is prettystraightforward. Use this knowledge to your advantage and convert a moreprofitable website visitor using effective promotion testing. a monetate ebook | 9
  • The Top 10 Testing, Targeting and Optimization Best Practices6. SHOPPING CART RECOVERY:Revive the Purchase ProcessOnline shoppers are easily distracted. They are typically convenience-oriented,actively comparison-shopping, inundated with options, and frequently multitasking.Because of these and other factors, shopping cart abandonment remains a majorecommerce concern with about 75% of online cart purchases never getting to anorder confirmation page.There are numerous best practices around reducing shopping cart abandonment,including the display of clear reminders that there are items in the cart as theshopper explores your website, and mouse-over views of cart contents from anypage so shoppers don’t need to go to the cart page to remember what they plan topurchase. But you will still experience cart abandonment.Remind returning visitors about the items left in their carts and get them back intothe sales funnel quickly. Try using a lightbox that greets them with a reminder oftheir cart items, encouraging them to place their order while supplies last. It mightpay off to add an additional incentive, such as free shipping, to complete the order. Some of the best personalization strategies offer immediate and practical benefits to the customer. What could be more helpful than a reminder of items left in the cart? Plus, a strong hint to complete the purchase before the items are sold out. a monetate ebook | 10
  • The Top 10 Testing, Targeting and Optimization Best Practices7 TIME-TRIGGERS: .Remind and Retain Existing CustomersRetaining an existing customer is far more profitable than acquiring a new customer.Remind returning visitors when it is time to reorder a product that frequentlyneeds to be replenished.When a returning visitor comes to your website—for example, 90 days after thepurchase of a product that typically lasts three to four months—and your datasupports that the item typically is reordered, re-engage the customer with messagesabout buying that same product again. By targeting this dynamic customer segment,you not only can impact key performance metrics, but will provide a customerexperience often not found online.Other examples of time-triggered messages include upselling warranty expirationsor other pertinent product messages, such as when a previously desired out-of-stock item is back in inventory. You also can send valuable post-purchase triggeredmessages requesting that frequent shoppers leave a product review or asking themto provide valuable feedback via a website survey. Don’t forget to re-order! Remind returning visitors to buy replenishment items at common usage intervals (e.g., 90 days post purchase). a monetate ebook | 11
  • The Top 10 Testing, Targeting and Optimization Best Practices8. NAVIGATION OPTIMIZATION:Avoid the IT QueueMaking a change to your website’s primary navigation would seem like amonumental task. Besides convincing others to move forward with even thesimplest change, the time it typically takes to get such a change through thedevelopment queue means you’ve likely moved on to another challenge. There aredefinitely risks involved when you alter how visitors interact with your website. Andthat’s why testing changes to your navigation before deploying them site-wide hasquickly become a best practice. on-saleChange the text color of a “Sales Items” link to better stand out, or move the“Clearance” or “Close-out” links to the top of the navigation for shoppers who havea lower average order value.Try swapping categories or brands—even hide them altogether—or highlightspecific navigational items based on known customer segments, such as gender,location, and most-popular categories or brands. You can even try disablingnavigation hovers to see how they impact the clickstream of your visitors. Test different messaging in your website navigation before deploying a potential risky change site-wide. Highlight a specific navigation element to known customer segments such as gender, location, or most-popular categories. a monetate ebook | 12
  • The Top 10 Testing, Targeting and Optimization Best Practices9. THRESHOLD MESSAGES:Make Your Offers More PowerfulFree shipping, in most cases, proves to be a silver bullet with consumers. But foryour business, offering free shipping can be a slippery slope. That’s where freeshipping thresholds come in. By requiring customers to meet a defined minimumdollar total to qualify for free shipping, you can attract sales without hurting profit.Test a threshold slightly above your website’s average order value (AOV). If you haveproducts with disparate price ranges, the overall site AOV might be biased high orlow. In this case, consider using multiple shipping thresholds attainable by bothcustomer segments.To make free shipping threshold offers more powerful, present real-time calculationson how close shoppers are to qualifying for the deal. Also consider adding productrecommendations in the target price range (or higher) to these messages. Use real-time calculations to show visitors how close they are to free shipping thresholds and other special offers. Test these messages with banners using dynamic text throughout your website or within the checkout process. a monetate ebook | 13
  • The Top 10 Testing, Targeting and Optimization Best Practices10. TABLETS:Audit and Optimize to Boost ConversionsAs more consumers replace their computers with devices such as an iPad Larger Navigation Store Locator Weather Targetedor Kindle Fire, they expect a website that takes advantages of the products’ Hero Imagefeatures and functionality.Look at your analytics for the top activities visitors are doing on mobile and tabletdevices. You may find that site search, store locators, account log-in, or certaincategories are browsed more on tablets. Use this insight to drive easy modificationsto your tablet experience that call out and move customers more quicklyto these popular areas.Besides taking a deep dive into your analytics, do a qualitative audit of how yourwebsite performs on the most popular devices to determine whether it’s deliveringthe features and functionalities those users need. Optimize your website featuresthat don’t function the way you want them to on a tablet—think Flash and theiPad—and serve up static content instead.Navigation is also important. On a touchscreen, drop-down features will either takethe visitor to the main top category or won’t stay open, which means visitors arestuck and can’t navigate properly. Supporting flyout navigation for “touch click” willallow your navigation to work as intended on these devices. TabletMake it easier for visitors to navigate your website on a tablet with bigger buttons Accessoriesto help optimize tablet browsing. Don’t stop there. Try implementing features like Geotargeting Overlay Finger-Friendlypredictive search, because fewer keypad strokes result in a better user experiencefor tablet browsers. Waterproof Badging SwipingClean, streamlined product pages also are critical to improving tablet conversions. Although tablet shoppers may still drive a small percentage of overall ecommerce,One way to take advantage of this is to think about what you already show in your they can convert at rates higher than consumers shopping via desktop computers.product “Quick Views” and use a similar approach for tablet browsers. Allow visitors Quantitative and qualitative analyses of your website on tablet devices can provideto pick a size and color, add the product to the basket, and then head to checkout. ways to improve the customer experience and increase conversion rates. a monetate ebook | 14
  • The Top 10 Testing, Targeting and Optimization Best PracticesGoing FurtherAre you eager to put these best practices to the test against your business challenges?And maybe more than a little curious to see just how much potential conversion ratelift you’ve been missing? We can relate! At Monetate, we live to move the needle, to blow away KPIs and liftevery metric that matters. That’s why we made it quick and easy to get Monetateonto your website so you can start implementing these best practices immediately.As marketers the world over are beginning to see the tremendous value relevancehas in acquiring and retaining customers while increasing share of wallet, there’snever been a better time to ramp up your testing, targeting and optimization efforts.As you may have noticed, most of the illustrations of the best practices you just readare from existing Monetate clients, companies that are leading the way in buildinga better online customer experience... and driving record online revenue in theprocess. Why not join them?GET STARTED TESTING, TARGETINGAND OPTIMIZING YOUR WEBSITE TODAY!Learn more:www.monetate.com1-877-Monetate a monetate ebook | 15
  • Expert Optimization ResourcesValuable case studies, eBooks, white papers, webinars & infographicsmonetate.com/resourcesRequest a DemoCall 877-MONETATE (US) l 484-323-6313 (around the world)demo.monetate.com1-877-MONETATE | 484-323-6313 | www.monetate.com©2012 Monetate Inc. All Rights Reserved