Over the past few years, we’ve experienced a revolution in the technology world. We’ve seen terms like mass customization, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality leave the realm of Hollywood and enter everyday life. On the product side of things we’ve seen companies like Sketch and InVision revolutionize the way our digital and mobile products are built. To quote Anne Lamott, “It’s a great time to be alive.”
Yet despite these amazing strides, we are still not seeing truly revolutionary experiences. Sure, tools like Jaco can make learning about your customers a lot easier. We can tell you all about your existing customer experience, but understanding is only the first step. What do you do with this information? Is the solution some small UI tweaks, or is it deeper, more significant changes?
Let’s start with a change in the way we look at tools like Jaco. Instead of an analytics platform, let’s think of the multitudes of analytical tools as predictors of future behavior. You’ll notice that this is a strategic shift in thinking. We are no longer looking at what customers have done in the past, but we are tracking usage trends to identify what customers will do in the future.
What is the impact of analytics as a predictive tool?
Think of predictive analytics as the crystal ball of your product. This isn’t any ordinary crystal ball, this is the ultimate crystal ball. The amount of data coming through your analytics platform on any given day would require an army of data scientists to dissect.
Take Jaco, for example. Thousands of session replays are created every single day. It would take more than a week to go through a few hours of data. However, once the aggregated data comes in we see that trends begin to form. We notice that there is a drop-off at a certain point in the funnel. Perhaps there is a usage pattern that the product team hadn’t foreseen that is starting to bubble up.
How does predictive analytics make an impact on the customer experience?
Customer experience or CX is an evolution over the course of a product’s lifetime. The ways that your customers are going to interact with your product is going to change as your product evolves. Your analytics will find the usage patterns your customers are dictating — that is the magic of the crystal ball.
Let’s take a look at a company many of you have never heard of. In 2009, a mobile shopping app called Tote, was launched with the goal of helping users window shop on their phone. Now Tote had quite a few features — it supported location tracking, price comparison, and save items to be viewed later.
However, in 2009, the mobile shopping world was still quite small and the company could not sustain itself based off the low margin payments of its few purchases. They took a look at the data which informed them that most used feature on their app was the ability to save items for later. So this little mobile shopping company pivoted — they scraped Tote and built a new platform based around saving items to view later. Eight years later they are valued at $11 billion and are looking at $500 million in revenue. Thanks to predictive analytics, Tote became the social giant we know as Pinterest.
Pinterest was born because its founders followed the numbers. They looked at the crystal ball of their customers’ usage patterns and optimized the customer experience to focus on saving items for later. This particular prediction led to a platform that has revolutionized the way weddings are planned, they way houses are designed, the way food is cooked, and even the way we raise our kids.
So what is the power of predictive analytics to you? Follow the numbers yourself and find out!