The Human Brain and Data

Brain-on-data

Paul Meehl dedicated his life to figuring out who was better at making decisions – human experts or data. After decades of research he concluded with finality that data-driven algorithms are consistently better at making decisions than humans. Meehl summarized his life work with this:

There is no controversy in social science which shows such a large body of qualitatively diverse studies coming out so uniformly in the same direction as this one. When you are pushing over 100 investigations, predicting everything from the outcome of football games to the diagnosis of liver disease, and when you can hardly come up with a half dozen studies showing even a weak tendency in favor of the clinician, it is time to draw a practical conclusion.

The “practical conclusion” was that data outperforms the human brain, every time. Which begs the question, if using data to make decisions leads to such superior results, why don’t we?

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Is That Conference Sponsorship Worth It?

This was the question our founders were asking themselves at the very first conference RJMetrics ever attended. Conferences are expensive and time consuming and, depending on what you’re selling, it can take months before you see a positive ROI.

What we learned at that first event continues to shape our conference strategy. We’re a business intelligence company so, unsurprisingly, we use data to evaluate how well we perform.

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How to Find Sustainable Ecommerce Growth

optimization

Always be testing should be the mantra of every ecommerce store. Incremental improvements on your homepage, product page, or click-through-rates have a snowball effect on your bottom line. Today’s guest post is from, Sean Ellis, CEO of Qualaroo and founder of GrowthHackers.com. Sean has held marketing leadership roles with companies including Dropbox, LogMeIn, Uproar, and Eventbrite. He literally wrote the guide to conversion rate optimization. Read on to hear what Sean has to teach you about optimizing conversion rates to find sustainable ecommerce growth.

Growing an ecommerce business is hard. But what if I told you that the answer to your growth challenges is right in front of you? Conversion rate optimization is critical for any business, but none more so than in ecommerce—where each conversion improvement results in immediate improvement in sales.

But CRO can also be a frustrating, fruitless practice, leading many ecommerce managers to abandon it in search of other opportunities for acquiring new visitors. In my experience, CRO is the most powerful lever you have to improve your ROI and overall site performance. It has the ability to turn unprofitable traffic into profit centers, and delivers sustainable growth that compounds itself over time.

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Two Strategies to Get More Repeat Customers

two-strategies-for-repeat-customers

We talk about repeat purchases a lot on this blog. We talk about it so much that today we’re thrilled to have Nima Patel from Lettuce on our blog to talk about it for us. From the company that makes order management fun, here are two strategies to get more repeat customers.

By now you’ve heard that repeat customers are an incredibly valuable segment for any ecommerce business and should not be ignored. Although that’s easy to understand at a high level, getting your customer base to buy more often isn’t so simple to implement. Monetary and points based rewards programs are standard, but what if we told you today that there were ways to earn deep customer loyalty without having to resort to generic financial incentives?

It’s definitely possible.

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The Facebook Opportunity

The Facebook Opportunity

If all you’re doing is reading headlines, you may have made the assumption that Facebook is over. Major brands are leaving, the millennials are leaving, and half the people you know are talking about quitting. While they get readers, these headlines don’t quite tell the whole story.

Facebook has become deeply embedded in the social fabric of millions of lives. At the same time, it has been building a powerful advertising platform that thrives in real-time. These combined forces are turning Facebook into one of the hottest new advertising opportunities available.

The “Everyone is leaving Facebook” myth

Facebook remains the social media powerhouse. Google defined search, Kleenex defined tissues, and Facebook defined social media. A massive 71% of adults use Facebook, three times more than the next social media runner up, LinkedIn.

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What Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube Know about Product Development

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Netflix, Instagram – companies that changed the habits of millions of people. How did they do it?

Last week Nir Eyal, author of Hooked: How to Build Habit Forming Products, joined us on a webinar to talk about his research and help us understand how these companies developed products that so effectively changed user behavior.

Nir started by outlining just how customer habits improve business performance:

  • Habits increase customer lifetime value
  • Habits provide greater pricing flexibility
  • Habits supercharge growth. “Hooked” users don’t churn
  • Habits improve a business’s defensibility. It’s hard to get someone to stop using a product that they use without thinking

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A Lean, Mean Customer Acquisition Machine

machine

Marketers (and their bosses) are obsessed with ROI. With good reason, of course. ROI is how you prove that what you’re doing is working, it’s how you make decisions, it’s the lifeblood of your marketing department. This focus on ROI isn’t bad, but it can have a tendency to obscure some of the more subtle nuances of customer acquisition.

It would make all of our lives easier if customers would simply conform to a funnel, a path, some kind of replicable pattern. Instead they interact with us whenever and however they please. One day a like means something, the next it’s nothing. One day they click an email and then never again. Interpreting these fuzzy behaviors is rough, far easier to just return to the hard and fast world of revenue. Not so fast.

All these little interactions, engagements, clicks, subscribes – while not much on their own – do add up. These little interactions are micro conversions and they form the foundation of your lean, mean, acquisition machine.

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Shopping Cart Abandonment? You’re Not Alone

shopping-cart-abandonment

Today’s guest blog is brought to you by UserTesting, a fast and easy usability testing platform. UserTesting has watched thousands of videos documenting the frustration customers go through while navigating online stores, a unique perspective that has given them an enormous amount of insight on some of the most common reasons for shopping cart abandonment. Even better, they’ve learned a few things about what ecommerce retailers can do to prevent it.

If you’re like most e-commerce merchants, you’ve suffered the heartbreak of watching a customer fill their cart with items, start to check out, and then… nothing. While it can be disheartening to think about all of those lost sales, you might be comforted to know that you’re not alone in your predicament. Baymard Institute cites 24 studies from 2006 to 2013 in determining that 67.89% is the average documented online shopping cart abandonment rate. That means the average store owner has better odds of correctly guessing a coin flip than converting a customer. What’s more, this statistic holds true for e-commerce giants as well as smaller online merchants.

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A Marketing Strategy to Grow Your Online Business

Soccer-Game

You may still be polishing off the last of the champagne and eggnog, but we’re already one week into the new year. It’s time to wake up from the food coma and get serious about growing your business in 2014.

Problem is, there are a million things you can do to grow your online business. You can write more content, better content, improve SEO, hire more employees, start an Instagram promotion, boost social sharing, do a publicity stunt, use PPC advertising, guest blogging, or get better at email marketing. There are so many things you can do, but what should you do? Where should you focus your energies in 2014 for maximum impact on the bottom line?

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