Translating behavioural thinking to online consumer experiences

The experience optimization of an e-commerce platform for an iconic brand like Miele is a major challenge, especially across over 50 countries globally. Miele X was established as the global digital hub for Miele, based in Amsterdam, responsible for shaping and driving the digital future for the brand.

We talked to Stefania De Filippis, Senior Conversion Optimization Manager at Miele X, about her role and how she applies behavioural science principles to the consumer experience optimization at Miele X.  Stefania is an expert in psychology and behavioural sciences with over 9 years of experience in the conversion optimization industry. Before joining Miele X, she worked for a digital marketing agency and has worked with brands including Vodafone, ING and T-Mobile.

Enabling a brand to learn

Like many joining Miele X, Stefania is excited to be a part of a very strong and diverse team that she feels drives innovation and transformation. She gives an insight into aspects of her role as part of the Miele X team of digital experts. “I'm responsible for driving experimentation at Miele. It’s all about setting the foundation to build a methodology that enables the brand to learn what works for their customers, and for their business. We experiment through the digital platforms Miele has globally and to create an experiment we start with a hypothesis and a KPI. We then create a second variation, a new version of the website based on this hypothesis. We run this variation of the website next to each other and measure the success according to the KPI and share the learnings across the business, so other markets can learn from it.”

Learning across a complex digital landscape

With operations in over 50 countries and different web platforms in use, there is certainly no ‘one solution fits all’ approach to experimentation. Stefania explains what this means for her role. “Miele has a very complex technical landscape, both from a strategic standpoint as well as from an operational standpoint. For example, it's not only about finding one learning that works in one country, and scaling it up to the whole world. You need to find these learnings for our three different platforms. And you want to keep consistency on brand as well, across these platforms, while keeping the uniqueness of the local market in mind.”

Applying behavioural science principles to the web experience

So, how does a psychology background help with website optimization and how does that improve the user experience for our customers? As Stefania explains, there are a number of ways. “As an economic psychologist, my main interest is to understand consumer behaviour. With conversion optimization and experimentation, it’s about being aware of how these techniques can ‘nudge’ or change consumer behaviour in a certain direction. However, you always want to use this for the benefit of the customer. It has to result in a good experience, or the business isn’t going to benefit either. So, when we look at improving their experience, we use consumer research. This could be surveys, analytics, usability or neuro-usability research to really tap into not only the functional needs of the visitor, but also their emotional needs too. It’s where you connect both the conscious and the unconscious behaviour.”

Standing out as a brand

Stefania is keen to emphasise that the behavioural science approach is an opportunity to really stand out as a brand. It’s about researching a challenge, where you can really add value to the customer experience on the website. Stefania gives an example of how this works in practice. “For Black Friday in the US, we had products that were in discount, but the user couldn’t find the discounted price until they arrived at the checkout. Ideally you would have had the discounted price upfront as a default. So, we essentially included a tag next to the price saying, "Now it is this price," putting the promoted price next to it. That resulted in an important uplift in performance and it's something very simple. Simple is good as it brings clarity for the customer. The other behavioural science principle here is called anchoring - where you're showing first the non-discounted price, and then the discounted price. And that is just a way you can frame price so that it is clear for the customer. And it can be done in many other ways, but this one is a very, very powerful one.”

Experimentation supports decision making

Miele is a premium brand with a premium look and feel to reflect this. Tests like the Black Friday price promotion only come as a result of some discussion and experimentation. Stefania explains that the results give user insight, and that’s highly valuable. “It’s essentially telling you what's the preference for the user, what is driving the highest impact. And then with this information, for example, product managers or eCommerce managers can make the decision of what to implement on their website and what is applicable to scale globally. So, this supports decision making because it shows clearly what the impact is. And the company can decide what action should be taken with this insight.”

Personalisation is the future

Stefania is excited about the future of experience optimization at Miele X and her ultimate take on conversion optimization is a very human one. “It's not about conversions. It's about people. Miele X is still early within its experimentation journey, and the future is about really knowing and understanding our customer, like being their perfect butler. You know what they like, you know what they don't like. So, you can give personalised advice, based on the individual customer’s behaviour. I truly believe in personalisation as the future of improving the experience of the visitors coming to our digital store”.

Why not join Stefania and her team, as we create a new digital heritage for one of the world’s most trusted brands? Check out our latest opportunities.

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