It is common sense that humans react differently according to their situation or the circumstances. They are also more or less susceptible for shopping different products or listening to marketing messages depending on their current situation. We all know this from ourselves.
It is, for example, more likely that someone buys beach clothing on a sunny day in July close to his summer vacations. On hot days customers may want to shop beach wear, on cold days in contrast they might need gloves to keep their hands warm. Displaying the newest gloves on the first page in the accessories category wouldn’t make too much sense on a hot day in Juli, would it?
Our shopping behavior depends on the situation. Or would you buy gloves on the beach?
In this article, we demonstrate that using this power of situations in the sorting of your company’s online shop products or media content can give you a huge competitive advantage in today’s information economy. At odoscope we call the optimization of web elements according to these situational factors for each individual user situationalization.
But what exactly is a situation?
We all use the word situation numerous times every day, but just to make sure we are on the same page here let’s define what a situation is. A situation is defined as a “set of circumstances in which one finds oneself” or a state of affairs. In the e-commerce context this basically means your online shopping situation differs by factors like location (country and region), the used device, the current hour or season as well as the weather. There are many more factors that have a statistically significant influence. But why should your company consider to think about situationalization?
Challenges in the information economy
People are exposed daily to a lot of information. So, being relevant is extremely important. Today’s common practice is it to collect a lot of data about users when they visit a website and retarget them elsewhere to make them buy in an online-shop. But targeting and retargeting has become more difficult due to higher privacy standards and ever-increasing customer sensitivity regarding their data. This is very important for professional marketing to customers in the European Union, since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has taken full effect in May 2018.
The huge public debate in Europe over privacy in the weeks before the GDPR has made users much more aware of data privacy and those features that companies implemented. Investing in integrating retargeting or personalization solutions in a GDPR compliant manner became more complicated, expensive and challenging.
With odoscope you are 100% GDPR conform. odoscope does not collect data nor do we use third party data.
Therefore, collecting data in your own shop without a users’ consent to let a regular personalization tool calculate product suggestions is problematic in the EU. But – there is a way out of this: Companies can use situational data, that is available for every user, to tailor their offerings to every individual user. This makes offerings like product lists, category pages and product recommendations more useful and relevant, even for anonymus users. In our information economy, the customer’s attention is a scarce resource, which has to be earned by displaying relevant information.
A study from Microsoft shows that the average attention span decreased by one quarter in just 13 years. In 2000 the average human attention span was 12 seconds. In 2013 it was at only 8 seconds. To give you a reference of how challenging this is for companies: a goldfish’s attention span is at 9 seconds! Quoting nobel-prize winning economist Herbert Simon uniquely sums up the status quo of our information economy:
“A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.”
In times of shorter attention spans, relevance is king.
Consumers hardly browse through the thousands of products in a single category. Most people change the search query or the shop, when they don’t find something they like on the first page. This is a behavior that we, in part, learned through our usage of search engines. Only a few percent of visitors reach the second or even third page of a shop. You can most likely relate to this from your own usage of online shops.
This is especially true if you access a shop with a smartphone. On mobile devices there is less space to display fewer products, thus relevance is key. According to an Accenture survey 64% percent of online consumers expect the website being optimized by device. Don’t let your customers down!
An individual shop for every individual user and situation. The situationalization solution of odoscope makes it possible.
To satisfy your customers need for relevant information, you can “situationalize” the information being displayed whether products, services or news articles. The information used to make this possible is included in the session data: IP address, location, device, time, date etc. This information can be enriched by weather data. All these situational factors can be used without any data privacy concerns. The odoscope situationalization platform can also combine this data with CRM, ERP or PIM data amongst others.
Taking into account the situation in your communication and product presentation efforts, has a huge impact on the perceived relevance or irrelevance for the customer. Businesses can use this blind spot to their strategic advantage. Read on to learn how business are already using odoscope to situationalize their e-commerce businesses and increase their revenue.
Examples: Situationalization of online-shops
After reading about the challenges you might ask yourself: how can I overcome these in my e-commerce business? Let’s take a look at some of the project achievements of our odoscope customers. They used our automated situationalization solution to boost their business success and individualize the customer experience in their shops.
Urban fashion for every situation
The first example comes from Defshop, one of Europe’s largest online shops for urban fashion. DefShop was looking for a solution to optimize the customer experience in order to meet the constantly growing needs of shop visitors. A great opportunity for this is offered by the product lists, which have primarily been sorted according to the current status of the products (e.g. new or topseller).
From the very beginning DefShop has continously generated above-average conversion uplifts using odoscope. Through our situationalization solution combined with their historic tracking and CRM data, DefShop is now able to use an infinite number of situational and customer specific attribute combinations such as geolocation, time, device, age of the product, stock, buying history etc. to determine the individual product relevance. In coordination with DefShop, the shop-specific business needs, were also taken into account by individual fine adjustments.
The fully automated processes of the odoscope situationalization platform not only offer a better, individually tailored customer experience for each user, but also relieve the team of manual settings for product lists. This saves the team a lot of time, so they can use their productive time more efficiently.
Situationalizing sporting goods
Tennis-Point.de is one of the leading online suppliers of tennis products. Tennis-Point offers over 12,000 sports and tennis articles in 19 online shops to users from 25 European countries. The strong international orientation of the company required a deeper individualization of the shop, which adapts to regional preferences as well as to the current shopping situation of each individual user.
odoscope was implemented by Tennis-Point quickly and easily on the server side. Our situationalization tool can use its full potential and also rearrange the search result lists of Elasticsearch according to individual relevance. In addition to a lower bounce rate, the sporting goods retailer recorded a significant increase in page views per visit and the conversion rate. The result was double-digit sales growth.
Users of mobile devices can enjoy a comfortable shopping experience with increased customer experience, as odoscope shows them the most relevant products right away. This advantage is shown by an impressive sales uplift for mobile sales of up to 65% on a monthly basis.
With odoscope Tennis-Point achieved sales uplifts for mobile sales of up to 65% on a monthly basis.
Are you convinced by the power of situations? Do you need more information on how you can use our unique situationalization solution for your business?
Contact our sales team or schedule your individual live demo appointment now.