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How to transform digital experiences through experimentation
Author: Eric Izazaga, webstacks | First published on contentful blog
Do you remember your first science fair project? We were introduced to the scientific method at a tender age, channeling our inner Einstein by running experiment after experiment. It probably didn’t occur to you that the basic principles of the scientific method would later influence the internet. This blog post explains why brands need to experiment when developing digital experiences.
What is digital experimentation?
Digital experimentation is similar, if not identical, to the scientific method. Businesses attempt to answer a question by establishing a hypothesis, testing the hypothesis through experimentation, and analyzing the results. By Optimizely’s definition, experimentation is “the reliable process of delivering winning digital experiences without guesswork or risk” to keep customers from dropping their loyalty.
Improving customer experience with experimentation
Why do you need to update your digital experience continuously? Think about it this way: updates to apps and operating systems aim to provide new features, performance improvements and fix bugs to make users feel happy and secure. These factors are essential to ensure user frequency does not decline and, better yet, users remain loyal.
When you Google “What is website transformation?” you’ll see articles highlighting detailed processes for a website redesign. However, the only similarity between a website redesign and digital experimentation is the desire for an improved state.
The difference is that a website redesign is a complete overhaul of the entire site, while digital experimentation is carefully changing small parts of the site. There are many aspects of digital experimentation that drive website transformation, such as brand and product updates, meeting accessibility requirements, or simply keeping up with competitors. The idea here is to be as fresh as possible and to remain flexible and agile. Here’s how.
Discovery: An exploratory phase to gather information
The ultimate goal in this phase is to break down silos and uncover friction points along the customer journey. Think about the time you made a dinner reservation for six o’clock. You arrived 5-10 minutes early but ended up being seated thirty minutes after the time of your reservation. This describes customer friction.
The same friction can be experienced by online visitors and customers, impeding them from moving down the marketing and sales funnels to demo, purchase, or research your product or service.
Before acting, it’s essential to explore all customer touchpoints. Customer touchpoints in CX are anywhere that visitors and customers are coming into contact with your brand. This phase involves exploring your business context, conducting public research, breaking down your digital analytics, and analyzing user behavior.
Validate: The implementation of an experiment
After the discovery phase, you can analyze what you discovered to craft a plan. By definition, the validation phase is an iterative process that proves which of the ideas from the discovery phase are achievable. Every business will encounter different circumstances based on their findings, but the following testing frameworks can help you move closer to transforming digital experiences.
The PIE Framework is a well-known strategy composed of three criteria to help businesses prioritize which website pages will be tested. The framework follows a chronological order: potential, importance, and ease. First, you find the potential improvement of a website page, you determine the value of traffic to the page, and you finally consider the degree of difficulty to test. This framework is commonly used for CRO cases, which is why it is so popular and crucial to businesses. Below is an example of how Widerfunnel uses this testing framework.
Continuity: Setting up for future experimentation
So, you’re no longer new to experimentation. You’ve followed the first two phases (Discovery and Validate) and completed your first tests. Now what? Well, the process should not end there. It’s not a one-and-done situation like many music artists who are labeled one-hit wonders (sorry, not sorry). An optimized website is not the final stage — website Nirvana does not exist — and that shouldn’t scare you. The most advanced organizations view digital experimentation as an ongoing strategy. Qualtrics XM Institute reported that organizations that focus on improving customer experience have an increase of up to 25% in annual revenue. These organizations treat their website as a product, deploying test after test to ensure their customer experience is always improving. If you follow the phases, then you will end up with a testing process that sets you up for future experimentation.
Discovery, validation and continuity: these are the three phases that will help you optimize your digital experiences and treat them as an ongoing process. Customer experience will always be at the top of the list of most critical aspects of any organization. As the saying goes, the customer is always right. And in this case, the customer has the right to replace a brand with another that offers a fresh, modern, unforgettable digital experience.
About contentful and webstacks
contentful is a headless CMS system that provides content infrastructure for digital teams to power websites, apps, and devices. Unlike a traditional Content Management System (CMS), content infrastructure is purpose-built to integrate with the modern, cloud-based software stack. Find out more about contentful here.
webstacks a full-stack growth marketing agency that accelerates growth for businesses with tailored strategy, rooted in technology, backed by unrivaled creative. Find out more about webstacks here.
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