Omni-Channeling & Coffee

Omni-Channeling & Coffee - Takeaways from POPAI Professional Development breakfast seminar

On Tuesday (4th March), the Objective Digital team woke up early to attended POPAI’s latest seminar in its Professional Development series. Nick Salem – the ANZ Retail and Commerce Leader for IBM – revealed the high-level findings and insights from the IBM Institute for Business Value Global Consumer Study. While Zita Watkins (Marketing Manager at Active Display Group) told of her German adventures to the 2014 Euro-shop trade fair in Dusseldorf, and visits to other innovative retail stores around Berlin.

 IBM Global consumer study

The latest IBM Global consumer study – Greater Expectations – Consumers are asking for tomorrow, today – looked at consumer trends around the world and the new retail era. Advances in technology are changing the way customers shop for and purchase products, in turn, setting omni-channel expectations by digital-savvy shoppers. The survey identified the 5 key capabilities that shoppers expect from today’s retailers:

  • Price consistency across shopping channels
  • Ability to ship items that are out of stock in the store directly to the home
  • Option to track the status of an order
  • Consistent product assortment across channels
  • Ability to return online purchases in the store

These findings have been in par with previous research conducted by Objective Digital. The Objective Digital Mobile Grocery App review found consumers wanting product information, price and availability to be made available on mobile grocery apps to allow them to make equivalent informed decisions, as if they were shopping in-store. Ultimately, the ability of retailers to meet the needs (including the digital needs) of their customers becomes the deciding factor for where consumer’s want to shop.

 Euro-shop trade fair & other innovative retail experiences

The remainder of the seminar was dedicated to the latest industry insights direct from Euro-shop trade fair 2014 and other innovative retail experiences around Berlin. One trend that resonated through many innovative retail stores was the blending of retail and cafes. It seems many European grocery and non-grocery retails are starting to appreciate the benefits of setting up full-size coffee shops in their stores, adding a new dimension to the retail experience. The result is a mix of shopping and social interaction; encourage more traffic and longer visits. 

Microsoft’s “Digital Eatery” in Berlin, for example, is a café-showroom, which offers customers the chance to test out Microsoft gadgets while getting a taste of locally sourced food. Customers can’t purchase any products, but rather test Microsoft hardware and software onsite, in one of their themed areas – “at home”, “en route”, “in the office”, and “music lounge”. It’s a way for Microsoft to begin exchanging dialogue with their customers and understand how customers use their products within the context of their environment. 

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The idea of blending two different experiences, with a focus that extends beyond retail products is starting to take hold in Australian retail stores. The Woolworths concept store in Woolloomooloo incorporates a café area with bookshleves in the middle of the grocery store. Other new initiatives also includes a beauty bar and full time professional beauty consultants in its Town Hall Store. 

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Cultural Kings provides another example of adding an innovative dimension to the retail experience. World famous for its street wear and apparel, it also claims to offer its customers the “freshest shopping experience”. Retail stores regularly have DJs playing live music in-store and offer an in-store barbershop. The store doesn’t take appointments, but encourages customers to grab a ticket and wait for their turn. With a whole room of the latest fashion covering each wall of the store, it’s a clever way to get customers to browse whilst they wait. 

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In today’s competitive markets, it is imperative that retailers shift their strategic focus and harness new opportunities to serve their customers in ways that go beyond the traditional exchange of goods.

 How can Objective Digital help design your customer’s experience?

 

Eye Tracker Sales, Rental, Training and Consulting in South East Asia

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Multi-platform testing – the answer to omni-channel CX

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The omni-channel experience

Omni-channel” is the new buzzword being tossed around. But what does it actually mean? And how do you begin to develop an omni-channel strategy?

With the rise of Near Field Communication (NFC) and mobile phone usage in-store, consumers are increasingly embracing digital technologies and devices in all stages of their buying journey. This integration of digital into off-line shopping behaviour means customers experience a brand, rather than a channel within a brand. In response, companies are designing omni-channel strategies to deliver a seamless approach to the customer experience across multiple touch points. It’s about true continuity of the customer experience.

An article published in The Wall Street Journal (Jan, 2014) says “retailers are still struggling with omni-channel strategies” – and Australian companies are no different. If a company wants to start thinking about the omni-channel experience, they need to be open and involved in making their customers’ experience continuous and universal. To do this, you need to start understanding why and how your customers integrate different customer touch points into their buying journey.

To meet the demands of our clients, Objective Digital has deployed a multi-platform testing methodology. Conducting usability testing with eye-tracking on multiple devices, rather than individually, can create more knowledgeable insights into your customer’s omni-channel experience. A move to multi-platform testing with users allows our clients to better understand how their consumers experience their brand rather than the interaction with a single channel.

Objective Digital was recently commissioned by a one of Australia’s leading Internet betting and entertainment website. As an online organisation, one of their research objectives was to understand how their multiple platforms integrated together, and what type of omni-channel customer experience they were creating. In response, we deployed our multi-platform testing methodology to investigate which device – desktop, mobile, or tablet – was producing a more efficient customer experience at different points of the online betting journey.

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Multi-platform testing set-up

Participants were tested and eye-tracked on two devices (desktop, mobile, or tablet) across four key tasks. Each task was scored against a set of quantitative measures. This was followed by qualitative questions to understand the user’s experience with the different devices. At the completion of the project, we had compiled qualitative, quantitative, and eye-tracking data on each of the four tasks across the three devices. This painted a clear picture of how customers where engaging with the Online Betting agency across its different channels.  From here, we made recommendations on how our client could improve certain channels and leverage others depending on their customers’ expectations and needs.

The philosophy of omni-channel is simple, however the execution of omni-channel strategies has been mediocre at best. In order to accomplish this migration to being omni-channel, companies must have complete visibility of how their users mitigate their multiple touch points and channels. Part of what we are doing as customer experience consultants is filling that omni-channel gap for our clients.

Combining Contextual Inquiry with Eye Tracking

With technology becoming more and more complex, it is key to understand how actual users interact with challenging applications. Observing users work with these systems while at work or home is bound to yield rich qualitative data.

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Objective Digital’s article, “Combining Contextual Inquiry with Eye Tracking” in UX Magazine describes how eye tracking call center operators revealed some pretty amazing insights. It revealed how a stressful environment coupled with an ineffective interface can result in bigger issues, like poor customer satisfaction and high staff turnover.

Needless to say, the findings from the eye tracking analysis put a lot of arguments to rest and were the basis for the design decisions for the systems improvement.

“I finally get it!” – Eye Tracking

Next Bank Sydney 13 brought banking experts from around the World to a wonderful venue in The Rocks, Simmer by the Bay.  As a speaker, I was set a challenge by Rob Findlay, Next Bank Founder, “Shake it up”. So I did. Next Bank Sydney Logo

Instead of my run-of-the-mill presentation, I fearfully told a story about the things that piss me off in banking and the broader enterprise marketing realm and how eye tracking can dramatically improve the situation. I really want to help people discover that:

  • Data from poor market research methods add no value to business decisions and are ignored by senior execs
  • Understanding human unconscious is critical in marketing and no, you don’t know much about what really drives your customers. Certainly nothing about how or why they do what they do.
  • Marketing budgets are simply wasted if no-one looks at your stuff and this is avoidable.
  • A shit ad is a shit ad, no matter where you stick it.

My presentation was a resounding success and at the end a client of 6 years approached me and said, “You know I have worked with you for more than 6 years and only now do I really understand eye tracking!”

Here’s my presentation, enjoy and let me know what you think?

Here’s the slides with text for your reading pleasure.

Objective Measures of our Subconscious

The brain processes 400 billion bits of information a second. BUT, we are ONLY aware of 2,000 of those.” (Dr. Joseph Dispenza)

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At any given moment, our brain is receiving a great deal of visual information from our surrounding environment – changes in visual space, colours, shapes, and movement of objects. We take in so much visual information that our brain selectively filters out unimportant visual data and stores it in our subconscious memory.

Not to be dismissed, the subconscious mind has a great impact on our decision-making, thoughts, and behavior. Whether its browsing a website, glancing at an advertisement, or navigating a shopping aisle, visual information filtered into our subconscious memory influences how we react in these environments.

If the subconscious mind affects a person’s behavior with, or perceptions of, an environment (either physical or virtual), then it makes sense to understand it. In this instance, traditional research methods, such as focus groups, depth interviews, surveys, digital analytics, accompanied shops and intercepts, are limited in helping us understand subconscious reactions and behaviors. So, how do we measure the subconscious?

Our eyes process approximately 300 frames per second – processing visual information at every point. By measuring where someone is looking at each frame, allows us to detect elements in the environment that people visually perceive but may not be able to recall or remember – this is what our brain has processed into subconscious memory.

Eye tracking, as a research technique, enables us to measure each individual point at which our brain processes a piece of visual information. Replaying people’s eye movements back to them (a research method known as Retrospective Think Aloud) assists people to become consciously aware of these elements – that is, bringing these elements back into consciousness.

Shopping, for example, is largely a subconscious process, where behavior unfolds as a result of perception of visuals and other cues in the environment. By using eye tracking, we are able to objectively measure how customers respond to these cues, which our brain often filters into the unconscious mind. In such instances, eye tracking has enabled us to capture both the conscious and unconscious response to visual stimuli and provide deeper customer insights and understanding.

Incorporating eye tracking into research studies involving human interactions with systems or environments has allowed us greater insight into people’s subconscious. More importantly, eye-tracking data has provided an objective and more detailed view of actual behavior.

Objective Digital are leaders in using eye tracking technology to uncover unconscious insights which can be decoded to improve the customer experience. Having worked with large financial institutions, telco’s, retailers, travel companies, government bodies and universities, our team is equipped with a wealth of knowledge across all aspects of customer experience.

What’s in a name?

“Is there anything more important than your name?”

Paul Cave, AM – Founder and Chairman of Sydney BridgeClimb.

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Sydney Harbour Bridge by John Armytage.

Today, I heard an awesome story of perseverance, creativity, history, politics, measurement, customer experience and passion! The Sydney BridgeClimb is a truly customer centric organisation, driven from the top.

Paul, who has been an avid collector of Sydney Harbour Bridge memorabilia for decades, still reviews customer satisfaction scores for his business daily. He responds personally to all customer complaints and mandates that his staff learn and address all their clients with their first name.  That’s more than 3 million first names since inception in 1998.

Do you address your customers personally?

Thinking like a designer for 90 minutes

This week I had the fantastic opportunity to think like a designer in the Stanford d.school Virtual Crash Course at Objective Digital. Our consultants, Dave Hayes and Nirish Shakya had recently finished teaching the 12-week UX Design course at General Assembly’s Sydney campus. We hosted the recent graduates of the course help them to put what they learned into practice in 90 minutes! Being the curious psychology student that I am, I decided to pop my head in to see what was happening. Coming from a psychology background and having spent my entire degree practicing scientific principles of experimentation, I was pleasantly surprised by this experience.

What was it all about?

The D-School Virtual Crash Course provided a fun, energetic and fast paced guide to thinking like a designer. The course had a simple objective – to re-design the experience of your partner giving a gift to someone else (your partner being the person sitting next to you).

You get 8 minutes to interview them and find out about their past experience of giving someone a gift, their motivations, desires, likes, dislikes and anything else you could think of that influenced why and how they bought that gift.

“So tell me about the last time you bought someone a gift.”

“So tell me about the last time you bought someone a gift.”

We conducted 2 quick interviews each, the second one to dig deeper to answer more ‘why?’ questions. Then came the chance to think out of the box and think of as many radical solutions we could for their gift giving dilemmas. We then tested our initial concepts by showing them to the user. Based on their feedback, we picked one concept to prototype.

Quickly getting feedback on our prototypes but also having fun

Quickly getting feedback on our prototypes but also having fun

We made real life arts and crafts versions of those prototypes. Did I mention that we only had 4 minutes to do each of these activities? Maybe I didn’t stress it enough, this was FAST!

Rushing to find the appropriate materials. “How do I bring my concept to life??"

Rushing to find the appropriate materials. “How do I bring my concept to life??”

What did I like about it?

I particularly liked how similar designing is to being a psychologist. One of the most important parts of designing for someone is to understand their needs. This means you have to empathise with your user. All of those skills I learned about probing and asking the right questions to get to the core of someone’s problem – the same goes for designing.

I also really enjoyed how the fast pace nature of the course meant that no one in the group was judgmental, knowing that someone only had 4 minutes to re-create your gift giving experience means that your user is not expecting a Picasso masterpiece.

What made it challenging?

I found the very limited time given for the activities difficult. It was really challenging to find out enough information in a 4-minute interview. Also, I am terrible at arts and crafts! Trying to make a model of a prototype within a few minutes was very challenging. However, the limited time forced us to focus on just the critical things and not on every detail.

What did I learn?

I learned how important it is to understand the customer’s needs. It seems that many companies fall into the trap of assuming what their customer wants and what they need. Designers then make solutions for the wrong problem or problems that probably don’t even need to be solved! If only all the stakeholders could do this crash course, they would have first hand experience of why it is important to understand the root cause of customer’s needs and behaviours. Excel spreadsheets and funky charts can only tell you so much. To really understand people and their problems, you need to go talk to them.

Summing it all up

Overall, this was a very rewarding experience. I feel that even though I’m not specifically a designer, learning to understand my user / client is a essential skill for any job I go into. In fact, I think this is something anyone and everyone should try to do. It’s not just about being a designer for 90 minutes; it’s about learning to emphathise with the needs of the people you’re solving problems for. I would encourage anyone from any background to try  the d.school virtual crash course, even if you don’t think you’re creative or know much about designing. I’m not and I don’t, but I can promise it was heaps of fun!

“See the beer represents how food is an essential part of life and giving!"

“See the beer represents how food is an essential part of life and giving!”

Amanda Krulis

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 Amanda is a student at UNSW studying a Masters of Organisational Psychology. She is a new intern at Objective Digital and is striving to learn as much as she can about user experience. Amanda also loves spending time outdoors and skiing around the world. 

Takeaway from POPAI Professional Development Breakfast Seminar

On Tuesday (29th November) Objective Digital team had an early start to attend the POPAI Professional Development Breakfast Seminar at Hilton Hotel. Professor Richard Silberstein (CEO Neuro-Insight) captivated the audience in his 30mins presentation about Neural Pathways and the Path to Purchase. While, Yu Dan Shi (APAC Industry Strategy Director, Adobe Marketing Cloud) presented great insights on how to simplify complex marketing touch points.

“Neural Pathways and the Path to Purchase”

Prof Richard shared interesting case studies on how brain-imaging technology is used to measure how our brain responds to advertising. The methodology measured four key areas in brain activity; attention, emotional response, memory encoding and engagement. As people watch an ad, their brain activity shows whether they are drawn to certain images or withdraw and whether certain image are more memorable than others. He also explored the idea of an “iconic trigger” principle which is probably the most relevant principle to marketers. An iconic trigger is selected by measuring implicit memory encoding (i.e. most memorable) and also engagement (i.e. most engaging). A good example of effectively using this principle was by a large insurance company to determine which scenes from their TV ad should be used for their below the line campaign for maximum effect.

As an eye tracking researcher, I can relate to how technology can be a great help to generate consumer insights. Our eye tracking methods are commonly used for usability studies and shopper research to evaluate how users and consumers experience and perceive different media and communication messages. Both eye tracking and brain imaging technology are able to explore unconscious reactions (implicit memories) which reveal insights that traditional research method couldn’t do.

Online dating eye tracking study reveals that men look, women read

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Men used up to 65% more of their time viewing the profile’s photo when assessing a match

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Women spent nearly 50% more time than men in assessing if someone’s profile is a match

“Simplified the Complexity”

Yu Dan Shi spoke about the latest trends that will impact how marketers should be focusing their approach. These trends are:

  1. Personalized Engagement
  2. Digital Accelerated Evolution
  3. More Complex Customer lifecycle

As the world we live in is getting more and more complex, marketers have less predictability and clarity when it comes to understanding consumer behavior. Traditional marketers need to embrace the digital space while digital savvy marketers need to take a step back and embrace human sciences. Key performance indicators should not be measured between traditional marketing channels vs. digital, as these are no longer relevant if you want to get a holistic view of how your company is performing. Both need to come together and work in a collaborative environment, not compete against one another.

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I couldn’t agree more about holistic approach, here in Objective Digital we often work on and recommend omni-channel studies when it comes to marketing campaigns. Our methodology provides a one-stop-shop to measure the online, mobile, and in-store effectiveness. This approach provides rich insights which can uncover the answers to key business questions and help to refine a company’s offering.

Please contact us on info@objectivedigital to learn more.

Eye Tracking – An Emerging Technique

Marketers rated Eye Tracking as one of the top 10 emerging techniques currently used to uncover consumer insights based on GreenBook Research Industry Trends Report (Winter 2013)

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In today’s world, market research is no longer just about big transactional data or traditional qualitative studies. Technology keeps evolving to provide us with new techniques and approaches to uncover consumer insights. Eye Tracking is one of the top ten techniques that is here to stay and is poised for growth in the coming years.

‘The eyes are the window to the soul’

Let’s connect this to the main purpose of consumer insight which is to understand how the consumer connects with brand as well as their underlying mindsets and motivation that trigger their behaviour and actions. Eye Tracking is the only technology that allows you to see ‘things’ through your consumer eyes.

It provides both qualitative and quantitative data on how your consumer view and interpret visual stimuli (e.g. which POS material and promotions are most effective in driving purchase, how an ideal shelf layout and flow should be, what aspects of a product’s packaging attract attention). It helps us to better measure a consumer’s preference, as the verbal response given to the question; “Do you like this product?” may not always be the true answer due to cognitive bias.  We conduct 4 types of shopper studies:

  1. Shop Along, in-store shopper journey
  2. Shelf Testing
  3. Pack Clinic
  4. Media and Advertising

And yes, I know some of you (the 30% – No interest to date) probably feel a bit sceptical and ask “so what happens after we know where they’re looking or how long they looking at something?” At Objective Digital, we’re a bunch of eye tracking experts that turn eye tracking data into insights that matters for your business. We have conducted well over 100 Eye Tracking studies since 2008, delivering insights that help business to grow.

Contact us on info@objectivedigital.com if you want to know more on how Eye Tracking can help connected you to your consumers and understand what matters.