Weekly Roundup #25 – eCommerce Psychology, Monetate and Product Listing UK

Last week we brought you Facebook Ads, Ransomware and Mobile Audiences. But this week we’ve got an interesting selection for you here at Spot Studio. We’re gonna chat with you about why your loyalty programmes might be failing, Monetate, product listing UX and more. Brace yourselves, facts are coming.

Loyalty Programs: The Psychology of eCommerce

Loyalty programs are a staple of eCommerce. The most basic forms of loyalty building come in the form of free items earned through points or discounts given out to frequent customers. But what if you don’t need all that to keep customers coming?

First let’s consider why your loyalty program might not be working:


So, let’s take coffee shops for example. The fancy ones. It’s about a fiver for a big loaded coffee and as a thank you they offer you a card that allows you to receive a free coffee after you’ve bought 10. But when you really consider it, you often think “why even bother?”. For every £5 you give them, they give you £0.50 back. No one is going to turn down a free coffee, but people feel more valued if they’re feeling appreciated, not rewarded with a fraction of the price they paid you in the first place.

Proof in Numbers

In a recent study, hotel guests were told to rate how appreciated they felt upon receiving acknowledgement from the hotel. Part of them received a sincere thank you note while the others were given $0.05 (cringe). Those that were given a sweet, verbal thank you ranked their appreciation at 5.6 while the $0.05 customers rated it at 4.4. The smaller the monetary gift – the more trivial it appears.

In that case, how much is enough for monetary value in rewards to be taken seriously? The study continues with the monetary customers being split into groups. Some got 10% of the purchase price and some got 15%. Those who received a verbal thank you felt more appreciated than those who got 10% of their purchase back. But, once the reward tipped into 15% and higher, the appreciation went upwards.

So what now?

Does this mean you’ll have to shell out just to say thanks to your customers? No. What we think you should be doing is finding a nice balance between appreciation and social responsibility instead. The Noble Edge Effect revolves around the notion that consumers spend more with socially responsible companies. Another study shows that customers who are allowed to give their small financial reward to charity feel just as appreciated as the people who got a verbal thank you. It’s quite ironic that they’d want to give their perks to someone else than you give it to them, but consider it.



Monetate: 18% Uplift in Conversions for JD Williams


Source: Myvouchercodes.com


JD Williams is a leading fashion retailer with 140 years of experience. They’d previously been using an optimisation solution, but after the rewards became slim, they turned to personalisation platform provider Monetate, who solved a number of their business challenges.

Like every other Tom, Dick and Harry online, JD Williams witnessed an overwhelming shift of traffic from mobile across their brands. In response to this they were able to build, test and implement a bespoke mobile experience which created an increase of 18% in new visitor conversion – and fast. It only took two weeks.

It doesn’t stop there. They achieved:


  • – An overall conversion increase of 8%
  • – A revenue per session uplift of 12%
  • – AOV increase of 5%
  • – Add to basket uplift of 4%.


The next steps on the path to personalisation are for JD Williams to integrate its CRM data containing vast amounts of valuable customer info into the Monetate Platform – giving even greater scope for personalisation. Ann Steer, Director of Marketing at N. Brown Group adds: “Personalisation and the ability to deliver, individual relevant experiences are the single most important thing that will help us deliver business success.”



Google Websites Paid Clicks Increase by 38%


Source: Mashable.com


Internet Retailer recently reported that Google Inc.’s paid for clicks across its advertising networks has increased by 38% in Q1 of 2016, compared to the same period a year ago – although unfortunately they don’t disclose the exact amount. The average cost per click on a Google ad has decreased by 9% since last year and on Google sites alone, the CPC fell by 12%.

That’s not all that’s going on:


  • – Google owned sites such as Youtube generated $20.26 billion in revenue – an increase of 17.4%
  • – Their traffic acquisition costs rose to $3.79 billion, up 13.1% from $3.35 billion
  • – Advertising revenue of $18.02 billion has increased from $15.51 billion last year


Vineet Buch, Director of Product Management for Shopping Search said that Google is continuing to make changes to its Product Listing Ads based on consumer behaviour on mobile. Google is headed in good directions and appears to be adapting well to the massive increase in mobile traffic. And if costs per click are going down – we can’t complain!

White Backgrounds – Try Something Different


It’s a well known fact that eCommerce owners just love the white background. According to Pixels, 92% of eCommerce images have the background removed. But we think there’s room for creativity in category and product shots. Let’s take a look at the retailers paving the way for colour:




Zara like to mix solid coloured backgrounds on their category pages as well neutral and white backgrounds. They avoid colour confusions by using coloured backgrounds on black and white garments which we definitely recommend doing if you want to explore colour – remember that displaying an accurate product is paramount. 





Revolve use a “shop the look” strategy by using images from their look books with textured backgrounds to display their products, but they do use them alongside the traditional black and white images also. It first comes up as a textured background but when you click the image, a new image with a white background appears. Clever! 

Product Listing UX



Source: Baymard.com


Baymard conducted a large-scale usability study of product lists and category navigation. They found that when items a user has already added to their cart weren’t highlighted in any product lists they subsequently navigated, their ability to recognise and review previous items was made needlessly difficult. This is a massive issue with 96% of eCommerce sites failing to do this. They offer a few solutions on how you can improve on this though:

Alter the View in the Product List

When a product is already in a user’s cart, it’s helpful to highlight that in the product list as some customers use their cart as a comparison tool. By tweaking the visibility of the list item you can make it easier for them to recognise which out of the list they already have and navigation becomes a whole lot easier.

Include Other Features

For a slightly more advanced version of the above, consider also including other features for products that are already in the user’s cart. So, if users added a particular item to the cart, it’s safe to assume they deem it highly relevant. It makes sense in this case to provide them with direct access to extra content and features for that particular item. Normally these additional features would clutter or overcomplicate the interface if done for all the product on the list, but just doing it for the one they chose is helpful to the user in all the right ways.

Previously Visited Products

Usability testing revealed that customers find it difficult to distinguish between products they have and haven’t seen – especially when the products all look very similar. This issue is easily solved by simply indicating previously visited pages with a different colour. The easiest way to implement this is by relying on the browsers ‘:visited’ CSS selector. If you highlight visited products, it saves the customers time on items they already rejected before.

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Sebastian Paszek

Marketing manager

Controlling the chaos of the digital landscape, Sebastian is a multiplatform executive, project manager and photographer.