Get a jump on the biggest online shopping season EVER!

This 2020 holiday shopping season will be like no other. Global online shopping trends have dramatically accelerated due to increased consumer demand fueled by changing needs in this pandemic. Whether for safety or convenience, the shift from face-to-face transactions to online experiences is profound. This shift is placing more pressure on companies to quickly improve and expand their online experience, to provide a better customer experience–or risk losing customers to competitors providing a better digital experience. 

Here’s a must-have digital experience shopping list to help prepare for the holiday push.

Consider the broader picture 

When we talk about digital experience optimization, we’re not just focused on better design aesthetics, button placement, or content choices. We’re talking about the cumulative human experience a website or app provides. The design is absolutely a big part of that experience, but more critical, is evaluating how intuitive it is for a user to navigate, what roadblocks or errors they encounter, and how informative, helpful, and inspiring the experience is. Implementing positive changes to continually improve these aspects of the experience will have the biggest positive impact on sales.

While there are a number of different tactics you can use to implement these experience improvements, we refer to the process as Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). Let’s further examine this iterative test-and-optimize process and how to approach it. 

Identity and fix revenue leaks ahead of the holiday season

Our analysts dig in the data to identify underperforming areas and then share those with our strategic designers to review the design/customer experience and form a hypothesis for why the performance is less than desirable. Conversely, we also have the strategic designers evaluate the experience, forming hypotheses for weak areas that are then shared with our analysts to confirm these are indeed problem areas. This two-pronged approach is an effective way to identify trouble areas from a heuristic standpoint (often benchmarking our reviews from an ideal customer journey or persona). Once these pain points are identified, we then come up with a design fix or A/B test to validate the best improvement option. We recommend continually conducting these evaluations.

Any weak areas of your digital experience will be amplified with the increases in traffic and holiday demands. In order to make improvements, you first have to have an idea of how your site is currently performing and identify areas that can be improved. When looking for optimization opportunities, we always examine both the data and design perspective.

Enlist the help of insightful analytics platforms 

 To get analytics data, you need an analytics tool installed on your site or application. Much of the primary data we look for upfront can be surfaced using a tool like Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, or in some cases, an e-commerce platform like Marketo, WooCommerce, Shopify, etc that provide native options for capturing and analyzing user behavior. What’s great about most of these data tools, is the set up is easy and initial implementation can be as simple as installing a small snippet of code on your site.

Once you’ve installed an analytics platform, it’s important to make sure it’s properly collecting data for the behaviors you want to capture. With data flowing properly, you may still need to do some customization. For example, you may need to configure a tool like Google Analytics to collect information about pricing, so that you can see Average Order Value, and even calculate potential lost revenue from users who left without converting.

Beyond basic analytics, tools like session replay, click maps, heatmaps, and funnel visualization found on platforms like FullStory, Heap, and Hotjar are really powerful ways to analyze not just what users are doing on your site, but also how they are navigating and where they are finding success and frustration.

The sooner you can get these technologies in place before the busy season, the better position you’ll be in to not only capture more data but also document a solid baseline to measure success and identify those seasonally unique behaviors.

Keep up with the Joneses 

Congrats! Data is flowing, you’ve made a few improvements and sales are flowing in. But how do you know you’ve done enough? Are there areas that can still be improved? How does your site stack up?

While your analytics platform is the home for analyzing current and past performance as well as a tool for validating how well site optimizations are performing it doesn’t provide all the answers. Particularly when it comes to performance expectations and industry benchmarks. 

There’s actually plenty of industry-specific information available on “what’s a good conversion rate” or “what’s a typical average order value” for many different types of retailers. These are helpful starting points, but just because you hit or exceed an industry-standard does not mean your optimization opportunities are over. We focus on building cultures of continuous improvement. Just because an industry-standard conversion rate might be 2%, doesn’t mean that we want to hit 2% and then call it quits on optimization.

Start at the point of purchase 

If you’re not sure where to look first, the steps in your checkout flow is a great starting point. Customers who make it this far have already picked out the item(s) they want, added them to their cart, and are likely ready to hand over their credit card. By evaluating what, when, and why they are bouncing, we can introduce fixes that address these issues and keep them from jumping out. Often we find there is a lack of clarity/context around add-on services or policies that cause users to pause or leave the page to do more research.

You can use your analytics, session playback, and heatmap tools to identify errors or pages that are too long or slow loading. These tools will also identify confusion around shipping options or billing details.

Once your check-out is triaged, you can then look to optimizing experiences that drive more purchases through your higher-performing check-out flow. 

Don’t forget to test

A/B testing is a powerful way to improve your website. It removes subjectivity and allows you to test new ideas before fully implementing them. It’s a perfect way to evaluate the effectiveness of holiday campaigns and enhancements before the busy times when capturing holiday revenue is critical. Start small with basic copy, styling, and CTA tests focused on one key area of your site. Remember, not every test will be a winner, but you will always learn something valuable that will share future design and optimization decisions. 

We hope these insights help you prepare for what is certain to be a very busy online buying season. Keep in mind the changes you make now will pay off big during the busy season when customers are even more demanding and have even more choices of where to shop. May the best sites win!

Interview with FullStory Solutions Partner Manager, Harrison White

We sat down with Harrison White to get his perspective on establishing and optimizing an effective partner program from the ground up. How does he do it?! Read on for his insights, tips, and tricks.

What is your role at FullStory all about? 

On a day to day basis, I focus on developing an ecosystem of digital agencies and consulting firms that help ensure our customers are wildly successful with FullStory so that they can achieve their goals. My role is all about building and managing relationships that ultimately drive joint success for our mutual customers and to leverage the market opportunity in front of us in the digital experience space. At FullStory, we are proud to view partnerships through the lens of ensuring that we create bi-directional value for both parties.  It’s not a one way road for us. We love when our partners are successful and I strive to be seen not as a technology vendor partner manager, but more as a business consultant for our partners. I am always thinking about new ways to unlock new revenue through value-added services across both new sales accounts and existing customers. Part of the fun is that there is no roadmap for cutting-edge digital experience services so I get to be pretty creative with my partners to unlock new opportunities. 

From your perspective, what qualities make up a good agency partner? 

There are many qualities that we look for in a prospective partner and we set the bar pretty high because we have a high growth market and we need partners who are 100% dedicated to the journey. 

Some qualities that I look for are:

  • A proven track record of success with clients (doesn’t have to be in our space)
  • Reliability and trustworthiness with both our internal team and customers 
  • Open and transparent in how they communicate 
  • Agile and willing to build new processes, services, and go-to-market strategies as we learn together

I could keep going but these are at the top of my list. The most important attribute would be… can we work together and genuinely enjoy it. We are moving fast and want to work with folks that are excited to go on this adventure together. 

What advantage does FullStory see in leveraging partners alongside its internal team to support customers? 

FullStory is a product-led company which means we invest tremendous energy into making the best product possible for our users. Having a strong partner ecosystem with innovative and industry-leading perspectives on digital experience is the right thing for our customers and helps us scale as a business. Whatever we learn from any internally-led services is utilized to train and enable our partner network on what digital experience-focused brands need to build a better customer experience.

What has been one of your most proud moments while working on the FS Partnerships team? 

I have been fortunate to be with FullStory for a little over 2 years now. This experience has been tremendous because it is rare to have the combination of strong product-market fit, a fantastic company culture, and the right timing from a market opportunity perspective. I am surrounded by a lot of really intelligent folks and I am thrilled to represent our technology. We are building our partner program on top of this strong foundation. This has allowed us to put considerable energy into training the partner network and learning what types of digital experience services might resonate with the market. To see these partners now winning service business in such a new industry means we are doing something right, and I couldn’t be more proud.

What has been something that has surprised you about working with partners that you didn’t expect? 

I’ve been so excited about the amount of effort our partners are putting into building the service packages that will really help businesses deliver a more perfect digital experience. Being at the leading edge of a new technology category – provide expertise around data & insights that companies have never had before – means there is no roadmap and long hours have to be put in. To create a successful partnership, like the one we have with Roboboogie, we must be in lock-step with one another on strategy, on planning and on execution. Our partners become an essential extension of our company. There is tremendous trust and mutual respect needed to be successful. Seeing our agency partners lean into this opportunity and be willing to run through brick walls with us has meant the world to us.

FullStory is clearly a rad place to work: freedom, creativity, celebration and a good dose of not taking yourself too seriously. We love how that energy is brought to partnerships as well. Where does the origin of that culture come from? 

It comes from our founding team. They really champion these values and always have. For most of my time at FullStory we’ve had these three guiding watchwords: empathy, clarity and bionics. Those permeate everything we do from why we are building FullStory to how we are expected to work and interact with one another and our leadership embodies these more than anyone. When I came to FullStory in 2017 the founders were still interviewing every single candidate because hiring people who uphold our values was such a high priority. Now as we’ve continued to grow, we’ve codified what we look for in candidates to keep the bar high. Note we are actively hiring right now for the next generation of FullStory rockstars so please reach out if you or someone you know might be a good fit! I’ll share a bit more about our Watchwords to learn more about this culture we’ve built at FullStory.  

Where do you hope to see the FullStory Partnership program in 1 year? How about 5 years? 

In this past year we’ve been working hard to develop the framework that sets both our Solution Partners and our customers up for success in managing their digital experience. Now that we have a strong foundation on this front, thanks to partners like Roboboogie, we will continue going deeper on what kinds of services unlock unique customer insights and help businesses scale FullStory across all the relevant parts of the business.

In five years our partnerships vision is that any company who sees digital experience as core to their competitive differentiation looks to FullStory and finds a global partner network ready to be their guide to building a world class digital experience.

If you could have any one super power, what would it be? 

Definitely Fly. I am always on the go and travel quite a bit for both work and pleasure. So having the ability to fly would get me where I need to go a lot quicker. I know it’s not the most intriguing answer but it’s the truth. 

Thanks for sharing your process and thinking with us, Harrison! Curious about what customer experience optimization looks like in action? We harnessed FullStory as part of our optimization stack for Wacom Technologies. Read on!

Roboboogie Through the Years

Woohoo 2020! New Year, new us. For the Roboboogie website, that’s certainly the case. After 8 years of brand evolution and refinement, we’ve arrived, and the latest iteration of our website feels like home. We’re proud to launch a totally new site that feels true to who we are, and is here to stay. 

So, in the spirit of New Year’s reflections, let’s hop on the Wayback Machine to see where we’ve been and how we got here. What a long, strange (and wonderful) trip it’s been.

Marketing Agency

It was 2012 when we launched our first-generation website into the web-er-sphere. The global debut of the Roboboogie namesake and our digital storefront @ www.teamroboboogie.com changed the internet forever. This fledgling website is a time capsule of our roots in user-centric design. We did what all the cool kids were doing at the time, opting for a single page, scrolling website, complete with anchor link navigation (ooooh…fancy, right?). The design was unique and full of personality but lacked some design polish (look at all those different type treatments). It also wasn’t particularly mobile-friendly, but that’s really more a sign of the times.

The design incorporated a retro-futuristic background illustration we felt spoke to our forward-thinking creative offerings. Copy and visuals were fun and playful, but maybe a bit over the top in places, with a few too many dad jokes and some really literal talking robot illustrations. The site put us on the map and captured the smart, approachable, and fun-loving spirit that’s still a part of our brand today, but we eventually outgrew it, and moved on to something a bit more refined.

Design Forward 

Version 2.0 was a photo-rich, design-forward expression of the Roboboogie brand. Redesign goals addressed a desire to more effectively showcase our design skills, and the critical role of design excellence in our work. We also set out to celebrate the amazing brands we work with. We designed a more iconic version of our logo with the encircled lower case ‘r’ and a simplified color pallet to allow the rich photography and tastefully treated images to be the hero. 

Positioning messages were also refined and shifted from ‘UX/UI Design Agency’ to ‘Strategic Design Agency.’ We achieved our design goals, but in the process forgot to practice what we preach around balancing form and function; we neglected the transactional aspects of the site and a need to drive sales lead conversions. Robo 2.0 was much more mobile-friendly, and dabbled with some pretty nifty parallax scrolling transitions. In the end, the site clearly communicated our passion for design and differentiated Roboboogie in the CRO space, but it failed to speak to our unique approach and the incredible results we were getting for our clients. We needed something much more transactional and explanatory.

Productized Services

Enter teamroboboogie.com version 3.0, ‘The Return of a Services-Forward Approach.’ We traded stunning photography for straight-shooting copy and infographics, and put more focus on driving sales and conversions. 

We also streamlined and productized our service offerings with the introduction of a new interpretation to the Roboboogie namesake; shifting from what had been the marriage of technology (robo) + creativity (boogie) to a nod to our methodology, the combination of data (robo) + design (boogie). This site worked harder for us, but ultimately it felt a bit soulless, so it was back to the drawing board (I mean Photoshop). 

Consultancy

This site had the longest shelf life of any so far, and endured a significant refresh and some page additions and evolutions. We moved away from the DATAwhatever product names and opted back into a more straightforward naming and merchandising strategy for our services. We added a WordPress-managed blog and events page, helping keep our content current and search-relevant. 

The site served us well for a few years, but as our team grew and our brand evolved and matured from the inside out, it was time for a new experience that would more authentically represent who we are and what makes us unique. 

The New Roboboogie

Well, here it is. The latest iteration of our website and expression of the Roboboogie brand. In some ways, it’s a best of compilation of all we’ve learned through the other designs, but in other significant ways, it’s a complete re-birth of the Roboboogie brand. 

We finally drank our own Kool-Aid and took a big step back to really look at our target audience and the true essence of our brand. We set out to include the entire team and create an experience that authentically expresses who we are, what makes us unique, and to paint a clear picture of what its like to work with us and what you can expect the results of an engagement to be. You can read all about what this site means to us and what it took to create this design here.

We’ve already got a list of enhancements and test ideas a mile long, but we think we nailed it. To us, it’s all a part of the never-ending cycle of evolution and optimization. We hope you dig it.

Written by John Gentle, Roboboogie Founder and CXO