CRO Insights Series: Spotlight on Nosto
The idea of eCommerce is constantly evolving. From the idea of online marketplaces where products can be bought internationally, the focus now is on hyper-localisation and empowering local businesses. For brands, this also means a greater focus on hyper-personalisation.
A 2018 Epsilon report revealed that 86% of consumers are more likely to buy from eCommerce brands that offer personalised experiences. According to Juliana Pereira, vice president of global marketing for Smartling, hyper-personalised shopping experiences are becoming the norm. It’s an evolution eCommerce brands cannot ignore.
In this fifth post of our CRO Insights series, Jake Chatt, Head of Brand Marketing at the world’s first Commerce Experience Platform Nosto, speaks about winning optimisation strategies and the need for hyper-localisation, personalised shopping experiences, and continuous optimisation.
What new trends have you observed in the last year in optimisation?
With most retailers relying on eCommerce in 2020 as a means of generating revenue, the focus for many has been creating an even more convenient online experience to retain customers and fill the brick-and-mortar gap.
We’ve seen many brands adopt strategies that range from complete homepage optimisation, category page merchandising, FOMO marketing, and product bundling to make it as easy as possible for customers to make it past checkout.
For example, we worked with Skinnydip London to optimise their onsite experience, eliminate manual merchandising processes, and take advantage of the growing digital demand during the pandemic. The brand saw an 8x ROI after implementing our Category Merchandising feature, as well as a 15% increase in conversion rate storewide and a 16% increase in average visit value storewide.
FOMO marketing strategies are also an effective way of leveraging the consumer’s love of social proof—and the power of urgency—to build product desirability and drive conversion rates. These strategies range from countdown timers to stock level notifications and limited time/free shipping messaging.
What do you forecast are going to be key for eCommerce in the next 12 months when it comes to optimisation?
Personalisation will continue to grow to mean communalisation when it comes to eCommerce experiences. Brands who focus on and leverage community will become the clear leaders in their spaces. For example:
- Social shopping will continue to grow to mean more than social media. Brands who leverage the opinions and connections of other consumers and relatable personalities (like celebrities and influencers) throughout their customer experience will become more and more common in 2021 and beyond.
At the same time, brands that find innovative, organic new ways to produce word-of-mouth buzz for their product through user-generated content will pull ahead of their competitors. FOMO messaging will also play a role in steering consumer decisions.
- Brands will lean more into their values as a differentiator. People are becoming more socially conscious than ever before. Sustainability, representation, and community are key subjects at the forefront of a shopper’s considerations when they are deciding whether they trust a brand or not.
Brands building social responsibility into the way they operate, based on their mission or brand story that is inherently socially conscious, will be key to differentiating as the eCommerce space continues to grow and saturate.
- Localisation will be used as a tool for community building. One of the most apparent forms of hyper-communalisation will be brands creating geographically local communities within their larger, global communities. While some have already started to do this, the trend will become more and more common over the next year and eCommerce brands will “re-localise” in a way that makes shopping with them feels like supporting a local small business.
In terms of customer communities, brands will begin segmenting their communities to create sub-communities based on nuances like the channel a customer primarily interacts with the brand on, or purchase intent.
What common mistakes have you seen companies make or challenges you’ve seen them face in the field of optimisation?
While most retailers today deploy some form of on-site personalisation, many of them lose revenue opportunities by not testing and optimising different personalisation strategies—whether it’s testing the impact of a specific CTA or the placement of a product on any given page.
There’s a certain fear among many retailers around A/B testing and the negative impact it might have on revenue; but it’s actually the opposite.
At Nosto, we tackle this misconception by baking automated optimisation into our A/B testing capabilities. Our Continuous Optimisation feature enables brands to automatically allocate more traffic to the highest performing variation of a test in real time.
For example, if you have four different versions of a hero banner on the home page, and one of those four variations is wildly different from the rest of your site from a visual perspective, Continuous Optimisation ensures that traffic will not be allocated to the “risky” variation (if it’s concluded early on that it isn’t performing well).
How is Nosto preparing to stay ahead of the game in the optimisation landscape?
We understand that eCommerce is an ever-evolving industry, and our platform reflects that evolution. We’ve introduced a number of features and improvements over the last year that make commerce experiences (and optimisation of these experiences) easier, more convenient, and more effective. These include:
- Category Merchandising, which allows brands to automatically change product order and selection according to shopper behaviour and affinity in order to increase product discovery, engagement, and revenue.
- Scheduling, which saves merchants time and effort by automating the launch of their promotions and marketing campaigns, freeing up more time to focus on other activities that impact business goals.
- Automated Segment Export, which enables brands to streamline the way they manage data across their tech stack and launch more impactful experiences faster.
- Catalog Explorer, which works with real-time product performance data to provide a comprehensive view of product and catalogue performance and better inform purchasing, marketing, and discounting-related decisions.
This is the fifth of a series of posts where we speak with leading customer experience optimisation brands on trends and the future of digital growth. Check out the previous conversations with SessionCam, Fresh Relevance, VWO, and Webtrends Optimize.
Stay tuned for the next one!