We’re back from this year’s SearchLove London, where our heads (and bellies) were filled with lots of wonderful goodies. Now our fingers are itching to put some of those useful tips and insights into action. Take a look at our favourite topics and speakers.
Culturability and Persuasive Web Design
Web psychologist Natalie Nahai’s session on culturability was certainly a memorable one and made a lasting impression. In her talk she explored the role of culture online and the relationship between culture and web design.
The core of her session focussed on how behaviour of users is variable from country to country and from region to region. Or, in other words, how different cultural groups employ different usage strategies when using the same interface.
Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions
A country’s culture could be identified by 6 cultural dimensions, which are:
- Power Distance
- Individualism vs Collectivism
- Masculinity vs Femininity
- Uncertainty Avoidance
- Long- vs Short-Term Orientation
- Indulgence vs Restraint
If your business is thinking of expanding to other countries, you may want to take the country’s psych profile into consideration before creating or localising your website.
If the country has a high short-term orientation, such as Spain or the UK, your site’s user experience could include the following:
- Instant gratification and immediate access
- Customer ratings
- Facts, evidence and certainty
- Reflect relevant social trends
- Rapid customer service
For indulgent countries, such as Mexico or (again) the UK, your website should ideally
- Make interactions fun
- Give away entertaining freebies
- Provide honest discussion
- Use and encourage user-generated content
- Keep gender roles loose
These examples may give you an idea of what persuasive web design can look like. See the full presentation of this powerful talk on slideshare.
Irrelevant Ecommerce Traffic?
Another impressive session that gave us lots to think about came from Craig Bradford, who uncovered an entire world of misconceptions about irrelevant ecommerce traffic.
At the root are Google Analytics and multi-platform users, where a simple scenario goes like this: User A – Bernard – uses his mobile phone during his lunch hour to look up a product on your online shop, and Analytics tracks this as 1 session, equalling 1 visit. After a mighty lunch Bernard returns to his desk and, after a few hours, decides to look up the product again. Only this time, he’s using his work desktop, and GA tracks this as another session. Once back home, Bernard finally decides he is going to make a purchase, but now he is on his laptop in his living room, resulting in a third session.
Google Analytics will track and show these as 3 visits, 3 unique visitors, but only 1 transaction. The conversion rate will be 33%. Now, that doesn’t seem quite right, does it? However, Bernard’s purchase path is more likely for the majority of your customers than not. Users will often take a multi-device path until they decide to convert, in fact 90% of people nowadays use sequential screens to complete a task.
So wouldn’t it be infinitely more useful to track users instead of sessions? Yes. Yes, it would. And that is exactly what Universal Analytics lets you do. UA tags each user with a unique user ID, which they will keep, regardless of the device or time passed in between sessions, resulting in a much more precise representation of reality.
Don’t Ignore Those Who Don’t Buy
All good and well, so you’re tracking individual users instead of sessions, but this is not the end of the story. The antiquated mindset that any user who comes to your site and doesn’t make a purchase can be ignored, is simply very wrong. Don’t ignore those who don’t buy, but may very well be sharing and recommending your site. Additionally, don’t ignore those traffic channels that aren’t converting. A user’s journey will be complicated and often leading through many channels where they will come across and interact with your brand. Attributing an entire conversion to only the last channel does not do this journey justice, or the people who have brought them there.
At this point, Craig brought in some fantastic football analogies, which I won’t dare attempt to reconstruct here. Better to head over to his presentation here and check it out yourself.
All in all, we had a fantastic time at SearchLove, learned heaps and heaps and simply can’t wait for next year!