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Enhancing your audience’s experience by looking to legends of the past

Sometimes we need to look back in order to progress forward!

In today’s eCommerce driven world where you have one-click checkouts, automated recommended products and free shipping reminders, what more can you do? 

The truth is there is plenty more you can do in the order of personalisation and behavioural psychology of your users. Most of these are now Shopify add-ons or Magento apps, but behavioural experiments need proper A/B testing (which comes at a cost), not to mention time to implement – so where can you find some quick wins?

Recently I’ve been reading Confessions of an Advertising Man, which in the ‘60s was considered the “little black book” for every advertiser, especially those on Madison Avenue. 

One of the key takeaways from reading, was that our brains are now tuned to forgetting the basics of advertising; and instead focusing on the next new app or “shiny” new piece of technology. But sometimes we need to take a step back and look to the core of what we are trying to do. We need to consider some of the tried and true principles that underpin the marketing and advertising industry that we are a part of.

We recently had an eCommerce client in this very situation. We took a step back and took a look at what the audience experience actually was of our key demographics. 

One of the key methods I use time and time again for any problem-solving is the Toyota “5 Whys” – it’s a method delivered as part of the Toyota Production System, the architect being Taiichi Ohno. The approach involves repeating why five times, until the nature or root cause of the problem, as well as its solution, becomes clear.

Here are the 5 “whys” that came up during our brainstorming session:

Why is our audience not converting as well as we expect?

To answer this question, we looked at Google Analytics. We chose to segment by audience and look at where our users were originating from, and what devices they were using to access the store. 

There are a number of different segments you could look at, for example, you could consider what platforms they were coming from (e.g. Facebook, Google Ads, organic search, etc.), but for our analysis we used: Audience > Browser/OS and looked at Audience > Mobile Devices. 

Why are our most popular devices some of the lowest converting?

Once looking at the above data, we identified that 62% of traffic came from iOS devices, and it also accounted for 70% of overall revenue. Despite these promising figures, however, we also noticed that these same devices still had some of the lowest conversion rates! This was particularly telling information. 

Why are these user experiences not converting as well as we would like them to be?

Our next step was to test the real-time experience of the eCommerce store on a device that was experiencing this low conversion rate. Straight away we could see for ourselves when replicating the experience on an iOS device why only the most persistent of shoppers completed a purchase! Put simply, the iOS version of the store was being cut off, which meant many shoppers were unable to access the “Continue Shopping” or “View Cart” section of the site. 

Why are other audience segments converting well?

It’s always good to compare, which is why we also tested the shop experience on an Android device to confirm there were no issues. Google Analytics data suggested that the Android devices had 6x the conversion rate than that of iOS devices! These learnings were valuable to help us understand what our next step was. 

Why don’t we focus on improving these experiences?

That’s exactly what we’ll do! And the client agreed as well. Our next step was to fix the UI on iOS in order to improve the conversion rate.

In summary, sometimes we need to take a reality check and really consider the experience our customers are having. While all the flashy new technology can open new doors and pioneer new experiences, we can’t overlook the fundamentals. After all, you can’t build a house without the foundation!


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