Study: Information-based personalization outperforms cosmetic optimization
- Qubit released data assured by PwC on more than two billion e-commerce user journeys and 120 million purchases looking into the impact of website optimization and personalization strategies and found e-commerce businesses could add as much as 6% to their revenue by using the most effective tactics, per a press release and report made available to Marketing Dive.
- The top performing techniques from the report include: scarcity, which means highlighting items low in stock and provides a mean uplift of 2.9%; social proof, which leverages user behavior to highlight trending and popular products and delivers a 2.3% lift, and urgency, referring to providing a time limit to complete an action and delivering a 1.5% increase. Less successful techniques include page redesigns with a lift of only 0.2%, and two tactics that actually produced negative “lift” including button changes and navigation changes both at -0.2%
- The research also found programmatic and personalization experiences tapping into customer, product or business data add 2x to 14x more incremental revenue per visitor compared to traditional optimization tactics such as cosmetic changes. And popups or buttons that took visitors back to the top of a webpage were found to have negative effects.
Marketers are interested in creating personalized website experiences because of tech providers promises that this can drive engagements, loyalty and revenue. In fact, Qubit's survey of nearly 250 U.S. and U.K. marketers found that 26% spend more than $51,000 on website testing and optimization tactics and 8% spend more than $100,000 annually. Qubit states its study is one of the most comprehensive ever reflecting which personalization strategies do and don't work. The company also had PwC verify the findings to ensure their accuracy.
Traditionally website optimization has been centered around the website itself — how visitors navigate the site, design elements and other cosmetic choices. With more data at hand on visitors, e-commerce marketers can engage in more personalization. As Qubit found, internal data such as inventory and user behavior drove two of the highest performing tactics in scarcity and social proof respectively, and the third highest performing tactic — urgency — is just an arbitrary construct that can be utilized at any time, data or no data.
The report also highlighted the value of effective optimization and personalization with a number of data points such as 73% of online consumers make most purchases on only one to five websites, 75% think it’s important for e-commerce sites to recommend products based on past purchases, 49% are willing to share preferences for a better shopping experience, and 81% want promotions targeted to their product preferences.
The data points around consumer behavior provided by Qubit support the importance of personalization, and the results of its research on what optimization tactics are most effective illustrate how to get the most value out of personalization efforts.
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