April 5, 2015 · User Experience Website Engagement Website Personalization

Increasing user actions by personalising websites

The UX Problem

For websites, making specific elements salient to different users with right timing is a critical task. Given the vast heterogeneity in users' needs and context, having a big static website serves no better than a Walmart Store would, to a housewife looking for a threading needle, were there no sales staff on the floor. To a user with dwindling attention span, finding the right product/information on the website might seem as complex as the income tax system - with no automatic filing in place to make the whole thing easy. Walmart solves the UX problem by deploying sales staff to guide customers when they need assistance and this, in no small part, helps sell more. For websites selling evolved products like online courses, insurance policies, real estate, health care and of course consumer goods - where purchase funnel becomes all the more significant due to reduced cost of window shopping - having just an interactive online product catalogue with a payment gateway can’t cut it. Businesses need to start from the beginning by getting along with the user first and then, in the process of helping her - making her aware, getting her interested and hopefully desirous of products - gently nudge with a relevant call to action at a specific point. These points are called MOMOs or moments of maximum opportunity. And this nudge like way of letting users do whatever they want with the right non-intrusive nudges coupled with intelligent user segmentation can produce unprecedented increase in time spent and actions on websites.

Making it Easy

Most users need help with getting what they want out of websites. However, they’re often met right in their face either by intrusive marketing with too many CTAs and Gated Content or with classy branding websites offering no more than charming high resolution images and catchy one liners. Sellers tend to leave a lot of money on the table by not understanding that users have a lot more power at their fingertips today than when they had to drive to a store without knowing if it had what they wanted and then come home with a compromised substitute to justify the time and effort of going all the way. In the online marketplace there is virtually no geographical separation between users and commodities and, thanks to search engines, negligible cost to browse other stores with a couple of more clicks. While committing users to particular calls to actions is a good way to manoeuvre their focus and increase odds of success and while it could be easy if you’re selling vitals like groceries or travel tickets, it can be difficult if you’re selling augmented products like online courses or insurance. As a friendly marketing strategy websites should first help users by making it easy to smoothly browse through available stuff. Many users want to make actions but they want to be reflective about their choices. Their automatic system just doesn’t get around to buying right away but if marketers can make the right thing salient and bring users' focus to it they’d eventually (and speedily) convert. Intelligently mapping their automatic system has much to do with timing. It’s about When they need a nudge in the right direction. One of the leading online education sellers - Meritnation does this brilliantly with their practising widget on the home page - a great example of combining small & bigger nudges and asking users things at right time.
Making it easier is a time tested way to build momentum in an activity. Effect of credit cards on consumer spending is an example of this. If you can facilitate an easier structure to what you want your users to do, they’ll do it more than they wanted to. Ease is a big, big factor in consumption.
Even internally, if you can facilitate infrastructure to create better marketing campaigns, your marketing/product teams will invest themselves much more in creating better, inclusive strategies fetching better ROI. We built Connecto with this premise - making it easier for marketers to segment and educate users, and then nudge them at right times to influence favourable responses.

How tools like Connecto help

They make it easier to put marketing strategies into action - setting experiments live in no time and analysing user data to arrive at the best marketing on their website. By extensively modelling use cases into pre-designed customisable templates, laying down the easiest framework to set up smart segmentation/targeting rules and intuitively laying data in easily understandable form (or integrating with CRMs) - simple tools like Connecto save a minimum of 100 man hours of designing, coding and data crunching effort to businesses. Plus clients save on maintenance costs and can cancel anytime. Without a doubt, the biggest advantage of tools like Connecto is the ease they bring to experiments, making them sustainable sidekicks to marketing teams in creating automatic, non-intrusive widgets that assist in completing their marketing objectives.

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