The original goal wasn’t to develop an optimization framework. But after running 300+ experiments it became clear some ideas were consistently doing better.
So we went through our entire back catalog and started organizing ideas into buckets. Those buckets were sliced and diced dozens of times. The goal was to organize ideas into well-defined tactics. We’d get really excited when we felt close to a break-through. And then an inconsistency would appear and we’d have to start all over again.
There were times when it felt hopeless.
Finally, on May 20, 2019 the model was complete.
It took 6 months to finalize the model. Without further ado, here is the magic behind what we do at Frictionless Commerce:
Let’s say at some point you say, “you know what, I like the way these Frictionless Commerce people think” and decide to discuss things further. During the call we discover we share a birth date. That fact should have no say on your final decision (it’s a trivial coincidence), but, statistically speaking, it will.
Backcountry.com knows this.
There are two types of holiday shoppers: those who get their shopping out of the way a month before the big day and those who procrastinate until 11:59pm on Christmas Eve.
For that second group of shoppers, Backcountry.com added this to their homepage:
For these last-minute shoppers, Backcountry.com has recommended an email gift certificate. No wrapping and no mailing. Just what a last-minute shopper needs.
A last-minute shopper who visits this page will feel as if the site predicted something about them and they will be more likely to convert.
Narrative Control is simply the process of making positive something that is or will be perceived as a negative. Why does this matter?
Shoppers hate paying shipping. If you A/B test a $100 item with free shipping versus the same item at $90 with $10 shipping, the free shipping option will win every time even though the effective total price is the same.
A client didn’t want to offer free shipping. His reasoning was “we pay for shipping, so we’ll charge for it”. So, instead of offering free shipping (which we knew the shopper would respond to) we explained the truth about free shipping, and conversions increased 7%. You don’t have to always do what the shopper wants. Well reasoned explanations are incredibly persuasive.
Many shoppers instinctively close popups before reading their content. How can we solve this? Narrative Control is one option.
Take a look at this Overstock.com popup:
We had an idea to make sure shoppers stuck around to see what Overstock.com had to offer. When shoppers click on the ‘close’ button, instead of immediately closing the popup we show this:
We’re using Narrative Control by letting shoppers know that if they close this popup, they won’t be able to receive the discount offer again. Now shoppers have a choice to make: close the popup and never see the offer again or take the offer. What do you think they will choose?
People remember …
- … 11% of what they hear
- … 20% of what they read
- … 80% of what they see
Visuals are processed 58,000x faster than text.
And this is why Visualization works so well.
Here’s a conventional example of Visualization to help you… uh… visualize the tactic:
The above image shows an image of two journals. The first is one of BooQool’s journals and the second is their competitor’s journal. BooQool is illustrating how ink doesn’t bleed through the paper of their journals while it does with their competitor’s journals. This makes it easier for the shopper to visualize the value BooQool’s journal offers.
Oh, and Visualization isn’t just about showing visuals. Words can activate Visualization too ( example ).