Value Proposition: The One Thing That Really Matters
In this session, you will learn why value proposition is the single most important thing to test for huge conversion uplifts.
Rui Matos, Global Head of Conversion Optimization at Kaspersky, emphasizes the critical importance of value proposition in conversion rate optimization (CRO) testing. He explains that a value proposition is not just a promise of value to customers but also how well customers understand and perceive this value. Using examples like Fred Perry and Bellroy wallets, Matos illustrates how effective value propositions transform features into meaningful benefits for the user.
He conducts an exercise to demonstrate that without a clear value proposition, other marketing strategies like discounts, incentives, or redesigns are ineffective. Matos then outlines the six components of a strong value proposition: what the product is, its appearance, functionality, usage, comparison with other products, and the benefits it offers. He stresses that these components should be clearly communicated on product pages, category pages, and other relevant website sections, whether for products or services.
- Without a clear value proposition, other marketing efforts like discounts, incentives, or website redesigns are largely ineffective.
- A well-articulated value proposition significantly influences customer decision-making, increasing the likelihood of purchase.
- The principles of a strong value proposition apply not just to product pages but to all types of content on a website, enhancing overall user experience and conversion potential.
Sid: Hello! Welcome to ConvEx where we are celebrating experiment-driven marketing. I am Siddhartha and I’m a product marketer at VWO. If you want to know how your visitors are interacting with your website, where they are dropping off, and want them to come back to your website, do check out VWO. Today, we have Rui Matos who is the Global Head of Conversion Optimization at Kaspersky. Kaspersky is a multi-national cyber security company which protects over 400 million users globally from all kinds of cyber threats. I’m so excited to have you with us Rui.
Rui: Thank you. A pleasure to be here as well.
Sid: So before we start Rui’s presentation, I want to inform you that you can join ConvEx’s official networking group on LinkedIn and ask your questions from this presentation. With that Rui, the stage is all yours.
Rui: Thank you for the introduction. So as mentioned my name is Rui Matos and I am the Global Head of Conversion Optimization at Kaspersky. And today I’m here to speak to you guys about Value Proposition, which is one thing that I really value more than anything else when it comes to CRO testing, and I do think you should be doing the same as well and hopefully my presentation will explain to you why that’s the case. But, before I jump into that, just a quick iteration on what was already mentioned regarding Kaspersky.
So, Kaspersky has been on the market for 22 years and it’s a multi-national cyber security company with 4,000 employees across thirty seven offices worldwide. And from a customer point of view, we are virtually available anywhere in the world so, anywhere from Southeast Asia to North America, we are literally everywhere. And with that we protect over 400 million users globally with our B2C and B2B products. And we have a very clear mission, which is to save the world from any kind of cyberthreats whether it’s […], viruses, ransomware and anything like that – that’s essentially our goal. From a […] point of view, working at Kaspersky and working in the cyber security industry is also very interesting because the mindset of the customers, having certain needs or necessities, especially when they are being targeted by virus or by any kind of strength allows us to really play with those aspects and work with the psychology aspects to really provide better experiences and better conversion rate oriented pages towards their particular needs. So, today on my topic about value proposition I’m going to be covering six points and then add some extra add-ons in the middle. And one of the points will be an introduction to value proposition – just a very short brief intro to it for those who don’t know about it or for those who just want a quick reminder. I’m going to discuss why you should be focusing on value proposition, what components of value propositions actually are, and how to actually bring those together, as well as the potential of value proposition testing results.
So, this is normally what people are mostly interested in – how much conversion rate increase can actually get from this type of testing. And, finally, just to cover up and to finalize I will be touching on the importance of actually testing it as opposed to just going ahead and doing it. So, as an introduction point I’m going to be talking about the value proposition definition.
So for most parts, if you Google it, if you find a description of it on Wikipedia or anything like this, or infopedia or wherever you go, you will find these very standard style statement of what it actually is. And it’s a promise of value that the customers will experience should they choose to buy your product or your service. So customers need it, this is what they will expect to get. Now, I will add something extra to it, and that is ‘the promise is only as good as your customers’ understanding of it.’
The higher the understanding, the higher the value the higher the perceived value of your product or your service will be. And that’s always said, where do we where do we find the tipping point between what’s bad value proposition and good value proposition. And I have some examples here of the Fred Perry wallet, and I would like you guys to focus on the on the left hand side where we talk about the description of this wallet. And it was something around these lines – ‘Designed in hard-wearing, textured PU, our wallet has space for your notes and cards with sealed coin pocket. Embossed with our Laurel Wreath on the front,’ and that’s pretty much it. There’s some extra points which only talks about this feature, this feature, this feature. Now, we do a comparison from Fred Perry to the Bellroy wallet in which they turned those features into something more meaningful for the user, and in my opinion, the value proposition is a lot better because of the facts. So, you start reading it holds four to twelve cards – it gives you a quantifiable element, exactly what to expect when you get, it gives you an exact size, and the comparison tool that allows you to compare with different materials, different sized objects.
It tells you if have a slim profile, you could use wallet book. And if that’s your problem and if you have identified that as your problem on the user research, and so that it can become something valuable, it answers your needs. It mentions two quick access card slots and things like that. They just add more value to the product than Fred Perry can. So this is a very quick example of how you can generally see and differentiate different value propositions.
And then on that I would like to start showing you guys a little exercise, and the exercise is very simple. I have a box in my hand and I would like to sell this box to you and I would like you to buy it for $1,000. Will you take it?
Now, on this type of exercise when we actually ran it in person in front of an audience, the majority of the people will say ‘of course not, why would I pay $1,000 for something I don’t know?’ So at this point, we go with the basics that any website out there, any e-commerce website, any retail website would normally do – so, we start by offering any incentives. Certainly, I can tell you – you buy the thousand dollars box, but I will send it to your address for free. So you’re going to get the free shipping. And the user is going – yeah, but I still don’t know what I’m getting for this $1,000.
Okay, let’s try the second best thing, let’s try some discounts. What about if I give you 20% on top and the box is now $800? You simply go ahead and say No. And if you try to 30%, if you try far 50%, the principle is the same; the value just isn’t there, you still don’t know what that box contains, and it could be something more expensive, but it could also be something really cheap and you could be genuinely just losing money.
I’m going to add another twist into it and I’m going to tell you that inside there, there is a product from Samsung. And now you start thinking about it, and there’s always some gamblers out there that decides okay, this makes sense to me, I could actually make some money out of this, let’s go ahead and do it. But the majority of people still won’t do it.
So one extra value to it, let’s add some urgency to it.
Same thing again – limited time offer, $500 dollars, it’s free shipping and you get something from Samsung inside the box, would you buy it? The answer would still be No. So, I will go back and do what every single company out there try to focus on. I will redesign the box.
And redesigning the box, I’ll make it yellow in this case to be something else, I could make a different CTA or whatever, it doesn’t matter. Point being that 99% of the people still won’t want the box. No matter how much incentives, discounts, redesigns you do with them it just doesn’t matter because without value proposition, everything else is irrelevant.
And if you don’t get click-through, even knowing it was a Samsung object in the box, it could have well been a Samsung-S10 costing $1000 and you could have made some money when it was in discount. But what if it was a wireless charger for $30 and you would’ve lost a lot of money? And those kinds of questions would go through your customers’ mind and they simply wouldn’t make the decision. And that’s one of the main reasons why or rather, the main reason why value proposition is so important. Without it, it doesn’t matter if you are reducing friction with your design, it doesn’t matter if you are reducing anxiety with your awards, it doesn’t matter if you’re adding extra incentives to it. You need the important bit, value proposition aspect of it.
So, now let’s take it to twist and bring it a step further. What if you knew that the product for the Samsung-S10 phone device and you would have a full list of features available to you. You would also have pictures of the product itself and pictures of the product in use, which I couldn’t add to this presentation for the sheer amount of quantity we could add here, the product can do phone calls, messaging, allows you to browse the internet, listen to music, take high quality photos.
You can use the product in many ways. From a security point of view, you can open it with your fingerprints and other biometric technologies out there, you can also use voice commands to make calls, you can connect to your friends and family through Facebook, Instagram and other social networks.
It compares fairly well to iPhone and the Huawei devices, and there is some explanations of why it compares and why it’s better or why it’s worse, which features it has and which features it doesn’t. But if we have that information […], you can know about it a lot better and start thinking of ‘should I make this decision or not?’ And likewise internally, very important for product differentiation and positioning within a website, you could compare the Samsung S10e or the S10+ against this normal S10. Again, different metrics of comparison. Or you could think about the benefit having it: you are able to stay connected to the day to everyone, you are able to easily take stunning photos and other days you have this cool feature that you can just upload the photos you take directly to Instagram with the single click. If you have a double SIM phone, you can use your personal and work SIM, the benefit there is that you don’t actually have to carry two phones with you all the time. And getting all of these on the page, does it change your mentality? Does it make you more likely to buy the $500 product after that free shipping and all the incentives?
And now he says ‘of course it does.’ It’s like he would say ‘Now We’re Talking’ because now we actually know what the product is, we actually know what the product does and that’s important. And those items I introduced at the start, those six items is what I consider to be the 6 components of value proposition. And just to reiterate and mention them again: what the product is, what the product looks like, what the product does, how you can use the product, how does the product compare, and how you actually benefit from having it.
So, focus on those. Design part in turn really allow you to optimize your product page, category pages, on page, about us page, any kind of page on your website has relevance towards this. All of them have this. And even to mention product, you know, obviously the same applies to services. It’s exactly the same thing. So I’ll touch on each of those one by one just so you guys get a bit more of an idea of what it actually means. And I will start with what the product actually is.
What the product actually is? The best way to explain this is using the Wolf of Wall Street famous quote “Sell me this pen.” And not just from The Wolf of Wall Street, you had this before that and it’s a very much standard sales tactic for the salesman to actually learn how to sell product.
And most people will start this with ‘it allows you to write, blah blah blah…’ Cool, it’s a benefit but they don’t go beyond that because they can’t think it through. On the ‘what the product is?’, the key is to actually explain in detail what the product is really, add value to it. Let’s take an example here. I have this pen on the screen right now which costs a $173.96 and you think about it and you go like ‘why would I on this earth buy a pen for that amount?’
You generally ask that unless you’re obviously a very rich and you think ‘I need the most expensive pen in the world.’ But then I started adding some value proposition to it. I tell you that this is a Sonnet Matte Lacquered Black Parker Pen. Now if you know what a Parker Pen is and if you recognize the brand you suddenly start thinking it’s okay, maybe it could be worth it. And then I start adding elements to it. I tell you that it has a finish which, we have covered on the name of the pen Sonnet Matte Lacquer Black GT, it has a gold trim on the metal. So suddenly is not any random material anymore, it’s actually gold rather than a plastic material or anything that’s […].
It has an Epoxy Resin Powder cover on the material. Now, most of us don’t actually know what it is and that’s fair enough. But, all this information was valid, at the very least, to the people who actually the people who actually care which on the Parker Pen website case, most people probably will know. Otherwise, they wouldn’t even want it and they’ll just buy a pen on your normal store.
You want to know the ink; maybe it’s important, maybe it’s not. But, maybe on your company, you need to sign your contract in black or blue ink. Maybe that’s critical. Who knows!
You want to know the writing type? It’s a fine nib and the nib is in stainless steel with the gold finish. Again, I’ll be done here with describing this pen.
And this taken directly from the Parker Pen website. So, there is nothing special here, but without it we are trying to sell a pen for a silly amount of money and people didn’t know but since there were those gold elements, those fine nibs, those tweaks that really had the value to it. And the key is that a good value proposition allows you to increase prices by changing the user price perception.
When we started, that pen was no way worth under 30 pound because, you talked about it ‘I could get this time from supermarket for $10.’
By adding that description of what it is, what it does, or what material is used your price perception has changed. It might not be enough or it might be but, it changed, and it went up. So, again, little tweaks that really allows to go further. The second point is ‘what the product looks?’ Or the second component of the value proposition.
On a new tone, I will start buying a very well-known sentence which started even roughly early 90s and the world became addicted to it, and which is one picture is worth a thousand words. And the image on the left says – one look is worth a thousand words and it fits one of the very origins of it. One of the two or three origins that eventually led to what we know today is one picture is worth a thousand words. The reality is this is still the case, and knowing what your product looks like really adds that extra element of reality, of credibility to your prospect. And if you think about it, brands like Flickr, Pinterest, Instagram, or even Amazon or any other kind of stores that rely heavily on the imagery, that had been successful for the past years, it just shows a point and Instagram’s particularly, even Pinterest are crazy examples of this. Picture, images are essential. And some of the examples of how we use them: This is the sound project, some of you guys might be familiar with it. With the sound product, you might be getting this sound box and you think about it like – Mmm, where does it actually fit in my bedroom? Does it actually fit in my living room? Where do I have space for it? By adding this picture, it will allow, for example, to understand the actual size of the physical products – how does it compare, how do you actually benchmark it to a cup of tea or a cup of coffee?
And that’s again, critical. And for software devices, similar thing. You buy a software. I’ll tell you you’re buying, in this case, on the screen you can see Slack but, let’s say you’re buying VWO for testing. One of the very critical points you want to know is how does its interface look like? What are the Technologies? What are the examples of how to actually get to your tests so you get to your test results? Where do you, especially for the optimization plan platform, how do you actually see your hypotheses, your test ideas, the progress of your test strategy. All of those are pictures that add value to you because you can see stuff, you are not buying something that you don’t know what it is. But you are understanding it.
Now, pictures can go wrong as well and I’ll touch on this in a bit. They also can be leveraged to another level and I’m actually going back because Slack does this very well. Slack does this is very well and you can see the little caption, ‘channels are where teams share ideas and make decisions.’ On the bigger picture of the screenshot, I do recommend you to have a look at the Slack website just for the sake of understanding the strategy they’re using around images. But, that’s what I call a contextual image. And I’ll give you another example of it from automatic hoover that you can buy anywhere on Amazon and or anything like that. And this particular image again, adds context to it. I could have shown hoover running over the carpet and running over hard floor, and if it didn’t mention hard floor and carpet, and it didn’t mention optimized cleaning, I wouldn’t understand it actually meant it can go over different surfaces. I would just see a hoover cleaning the floor and scroll.
But adding the contest, it has extra value to it and adding extra values is very important and I will show you how in a second. But, the important bit is, it allows you to fully convey the intended message of the image.
And Airbnb, same thing, if we for a second ignore that part on the left, which I have already highlighted as well, we are looking at the image of canals in the mountains and you think cool, that’s nice! But if you don’t have the context to it, you’re just looking at a picture of a forest, of a mountain, of something you could do for an activity. But then, you read the copy connected to it, you read the context of the image and it says ‘book unique places to stay’ and I think okay that explains that it’s a unique place to stay. It’s not a common place that you would normally go to, or your traditional hotel, or anything like that. And in both of those cases, and in testifying in front of Kaspersky and before that, I think there’s context to images and there are better ways of doing it and worse ways of doing it, but I don’t have time to cover this today.
We’ve seen increases on image improvement alone of 5 to 10% increase in conversion rate and in some cases revenue as well. From goal to conversion, the average order value increased. But, massive massive. Please review your image on your website, have a look at them, see do they actually add any value, do they make any sense, can you make it better, can you add some context to them, can you explain them, and you will see an uplift from that, I guarantee you. But then, on the negative, you can also see stuff like these where you think ‘does this really add value?’ So I looked to Chanty, which is a competitor of Slack, and “Learn how your business can benefit from Chanty on a demo call with our team. Bring your colleagues. Zero technical experience required”, and I guess someone smart in their in their team thought that adding a matrix picture showing the blue pill or the red pill type thing could be a good decision. But how does it have any value to you? Why are you wasting your space with this? Add something useful, add something that you could, if it’s a technically experience required, show that. Show something where you can easily interact with, you press the button and it’s this or that. Add value. Don’t add cartoons, don’t add imagery that has no value, that there’s no reason to be there simply for the sake someone thought it looks nice. So please don’t do it.
Otherwise you might as well just be taking both of the pills and I would be asking what the hell is wrong with you?
And third component: what the product does? And an important one. Some of the components obviously overlapping, they connect together. That’s good for you because it allows you to essentially on your copy, on your images to kind of plug it together. You will understand a bit more of it when we actually get to the bottom of this presentation. But what the product does is that, is essentially providing some context to it . So you can order the Amazon Echo for example, it’s a speaker. I mean it says Amazon Echo Second Generation Smart Speaker with Alexa, blah blah blah.
If you don’t know what it is, and obviously Amazon is a different story because people will know what it is, but If you get here and you don’t understand what the speaker is, you think, I just have my sound system in my house. But Alexa is much more than that. So why don’t you mention the rest of the stuff?
And Amazon really does, to be fair to them so, if you scroll back down you can see that (a lot of companies don’t) so, in Amazon’s case, they actually go and mention “Echo connects to the Alexa Voice Service to play music, answers questions, make calls, send and receive messages, provide information, news, sports scores, weather tomorrow. All you have to do is ask.” Now, if it wasn’t here no one would know what Alexa does. They would always think it’s just a smart speaker, it just allows you to play music. Suddenly, it can do so much more than that. So again, go beyond the features listing that you described on the first component of what it is, and really describe the world use. It’s important. Fourth point: How can you use the product? And depending on the industry that you work on, you can have these in multiple different manners, and I have a couple of examples to really illustrate what I mean. So this example is from Bodybuilding Supplements Website and ‘how to use?’ really allows you to understand how those products work in your little life, if they are suitable for your lifestyle, for your business schedule, etc. So it was critical to provide that information to the user again.
Another example today is if you are ordering flowers, and if you’re ordering flowers for your wife, girlfriend, it doesn’t really matter, knowing the date that it arrives, knowing that it arrived on the date is essential. So again showcasing that makes total sense yet, it’s surprising how many of the services and products don’t actually do this. And then I started looking at something that I actually do myself a lot, which is, takeaways. And in the UK we have let’s say three-four main takeaway providers but, I picked only two first ones which were Just Eat and Deliveroo. And to my surprise, genuinely, they don’t actually have any proper explanation on the website of how the users should use their services. You can find the information, which is in two snippets I found on the FAQ and the help pages, but there is no mention of it on page which is surprising given it’s a product that relies on people actually being able to order their takeaway from their phone.
So surely explaining it to people would help because, people, younger people, younger generations are okay with it and they are all self-taught and they will go ahead and do it. But what about everyone else? What about people that don’t know what it is or how it works? Wouldn’t it be helpful for them to have a diagram explaining ‘look, you don’t know the […], you select the restaurant you want, you select the food you want, you click for delivery and then do your payment, and it will be with you in less than an hour’? Suddenly, you think this is really cool – I don’t need to go to the supermarket anymore. But this is not there. They focus on the quality of the food, which is for the people that already know how to use their app. But, what about the ones who don’t?
Again, they are missing out on something. And as mentioned here, those two just, they had the component, but the placement and quality leave a lot to wish for and they could do so much better with this.
Fifth Point: how does the product compare? This is again another key point just like […] before that but when we talk about comparing products, users have always two or three things in mind. You always compare the products you are buying to the different competitive products, and in some cases, some of the products are some services you even compare to the market leading products, and that’s an external comparison. Internally, within your product, as you are comparing things like the cheaper product, the most expensive products, what are the extra features you have […] very important, and you have to compare it to references. And this even goes back to what I mentioned on what the product looks like, and now, the sound box is comparing to the mug of coffee there’s just no comparison. So again, you connect the dots you can make a point but, all it shows is that every buying decision is at the very degree of comparison, and if you aren’t covering it, if you’re in catering for it, you’re missing out again.
And clearly the success of those comparison has been really showcased by what we have seen in the past few years, and the UK has been a perfect example of that where we have so many companies, where we have many supermarkets, uSwitch, confused.com, all of those comparison websites. And then, you go deeper into affiliate marketing which has a lot of background. And the comparison website at the affiliate level, same thing again, there is so much need for comparison, for understanding if you’re making the right choice, for […]. This is the right approach because the users have an inherent need to do that. So again, please answer that.
A few examples of how this is being done. So, on Amazon if you are going to buy a laptop or any kind of device, if you scroll down a little bit, you’ll find a section called compared with similar devices. And Amazon knows that customers won’t buy a laptop for $700 or for $600 out of nothing. People want to compare, they want to check – am I getting the Asus, am I getting the HP, am I getting this, this and this – let them. And let them know your site because that stops them from going to compare elsewhere; that’s important, too.
With VWO – same thing again. So, I’m using VWO, all of you guys out here, most of you hopefully are using VWO, and the internal comparison is done here very well as well. What you need to understand to what each of the package actually have: the Growth Package, Pro Package, etc. What you actually add to it and it allows you to differentiate a product internally, which is important. And on top of that internal comparison allows you to start playing with decoying as well, nudging of the products. So things will lead you to a higher average order value on top of the value proposition. So extremely extremely extremely important, even more so than external I would think. If you have multiple products and these products are calculatively comparable, focus on differentiating your product range, on really positioning those products, explaining the users why you should take these or why you should take that. Otherwise if they go to your page and they don’t know want to decide between the three options of the four options, whatever you have in your pricing table, then how can they buy your product if they don’t understand it? So bear that in mind.
Then point number six and the point number six is the benefits to you. And really this is all about what’s in it for me, and this is what users ask themselves. You explain them a product, you sell them the product, you cover all the fact points before, and the users still were like, okay so cool it does this and this but, how do I benefit from it? And it should answer what everyone asks. Consciously or unconsciously, everyone is going to be asking you this and you really need to answer that.
Some of the examples that are following actually do that. This is taken from the Samsung website, from a TV blog that they have on the page from a Quantum processor 4K, relax with the TV that adapts to your very best 4K pictures, etc. The point being, on the next sentence they actually connect features with the benefits, and they do that by saying save time searching with intuitive voice assistants. Now if they just said this smart TV has Intuitive Voice Assistant, as a user you’d be like – yeah, whatever what is in it for me. But, if you actually provide them with the benefit of having that feature, which is in this case save time searching by grabbing your remote and just saying order ‘Samsung whatever TV, switch to a sports channel, I want to watch football’ and they will do it. And you see the benefit, you start thinking about it, and you can expand it further, which some do very well. But again bring that across, transform things, and you still want to cover the features, very important that you have the features plus the benefits of associated with it. Another example again from Samsung, because Samsung was actually the best example I found the of doing this very well. Here’s the Ultra-wide camera and the features can even go a bit more technical, and you can mention it has four cameras in the rear, two cameras in the front blah blah blah.
It’s irrelevant to this point. The fact that you mentioned that feature you can then drag it across and transform that into benefits, capture life as you see it. And that sentence alone is already powerful but then you added to the component, as I mentioned before, of what it looks like, and you shoot and get a picture of a guy on a beach, and you can see this massively wide picture which gives you – so this is what they actually mean, I see how I could benefit from it when I go for holidays and there I really want to take pictures of all the things. So, very important, benefits. That wraps up the components. And just a very quick summary, as I mentioned earlier, value proposition is only as good as your customers’ understanding of it.
When you were working through your pages to enhance those components, you are actually increasing your user understanding of your offer and ultimately that will lead you to stunning conversion uplifts. And when I say stunning conversion uplifts, I’ll mention those a bit later, but we have seen generally stunning increases with Kaspersky before where you are increasing things like conversion rate, average order value, trial download, simultaneously higher than that perceived value. So please do focus on your testing. How do you actually bring everything together? So how do you actually bring those all those components together? The answer to that is storytelling, and I have a little image here you guys can get through it.
So, I found it online and I found it very useful. But, the point being that, with all those components of value proposition, storytelling is critical. You want the users to start at the beginning of your page, to position them, to really understand where they are at, and then use a narrative, a story to tell them all those components that I mentioned. That will allow you to be emotional and allow you to engage with your customers, and eventually, that will lead to better results. And as mentioned earlier on one of the examples I mentioned – Slack does a fantastic job at storytelling their products. So if you guys want an example, please go to the Slack.com website and we’ll look at it, compare how they do things. They explain what the product is, that is how it works, how it looks – all of it is very very clear; you can see everything. And if you switch to different pages, you can see how each of the page has a story to tell and that’s quite brilliant.
Another point that Content is King, it has always been. And obviously, if you guys are into SEO or if you were closer to the SEO team in your company or anything like that, your content came from an SEO point of view. From SEO point of view, it is actually the same because value proposition is all about providing the users with information they need to have. And the way to do that content is you put content with images and there is a cool sentence here. It does not matter called book design is. All you care about is the content in it. You don’t buy a book just because the cover looks nice unless if you wanted for the decoration sake, but it’s what’s inside that counts.
And I have a cool advert here which is from the very first time the orange juice came about. It never existed before this, and it started in the US and it kind of progressed from it. And I’m gonna zoom in on it and I’m going to read it to you guys just because the readability might not be the best. But it says “Orange juice – a delicious beverage – in healthfulness itself. California orange juice is rich in flavor and bouquet.” Have you a tendency to overeat? It provides aid to digestion that counteracts the ill effects of every meal” and so on, so on.
This is the very first time that orange juice was created. Nowadays, you go like I want an orange juice, and that’s it. But you were trying create something new, something that the market didn’t know existed. People used to eat fruits, they used to eat oranges, but drinking it, that’s a different story. And the only way they could do it is by showcasing the benefits of doing it, by writing about it, by explaining exactly what you would get – you would get a nice flavor, you would have these benefits to help you with overeating, to aid with digestion, health for the family, regulate and etcetera.
They used content for it and then tried to sell a product that didn’t exist. However, when we talk about CRO, people are still coming up with stuff like this, people are coming up with this oh! you shouldn’t have red buttons because green is better and red is negative, red has a negative connotation to it. And I’m going like ‘really? Are you sure?’ What about your page contrast? Does it have an effect? If your page is red and you are putting that red button, if your page is green and putting a green button to ensure the contrast is the best at it should really be doing it.
Most importantly, do you really think that’s what drives the user to make a decision or is it the content on the page that you are working on? So, when you are comparing working with friction, working with the design aspect of the website versus adding the value proposition, it’s not even comparable. Sure, you can do your CTAs later on or you can leave it to your decorators, designers. It doesn’t really matter.
What matters is the content, it’s what you are trying to sell, it’s what drives the needle, what makes you the 20/30/40 percent revenue increase that you can shout about. And that’s what leads me to the next point: value proposition is KPI agnostic. And what does it actually mean? It means that you can as well I touched on earlier really, it’s you can actually lead to improvements in all the primary KPIs simultaneously, which on top of all the benefits we’ve already touched on, it makes it even extra powerful.
And to make it simple, you are adding more value to your products, the perceived value is increasing. And, therefore, the users will see it is the better product, and are more likely to take an action, they are more likely to perform work, more likely to go for more devices, more quantities, and they are more likely to try the product if you offer a free trial or you have a premium or a freemium service model.
But they’re more likely to actually buy a lot of quantities because you are increasing the perception of value of your product. And when you really reach that sweet spot where you find what your right value proposition is, and obviously you can go in more in-depth here, and you can look at different audiences and personalizing for different audience segments, etc, etc – which you definitely should and depending on the more complex your businesses is the more complex and more audiences you have, the more this evolves.
But, if you do that, you are going to be looking at 10-100% uplifts as norm. You could even go higher than that.
And if you think back to your test results, have you seen a lot of uplifts that led to completely doubling the number of conversions, or doubling the revenue? Perhaps not, because you are focusing on many of things like CTAs, and I mentioned earlier, design, redesign, everyone does a redesign of their pages and then they see the conversion dipping because they’re just changing friction and they are not playing with what actually makes sense and what actually drives the needle. But, remember with great power comes great responsibilities, as you would know from Spider-Man, and I genuinely can’t say this enough. You always always always need to test. The value proposition, it will give you results and insights which is critical as well. On top of the results, you’ll get insights because as you are doing it you’ll understand what the users want to know about your product, what they want to see. So you are gaining insights that you can then pass across to your media channels, affiliate channel, etc.
But don’t jump to conclusions and never jump to conclusions really. Verify everything no matter how obvious it might seem, just please test, please verify your hypothesis, what you believe is needed based on your user research, your user tests, analytics, whatever; make sure you test it, make sure you verify it because you could be completely going in a different manner to what your users are. Normally you shouldn’t, but you could be testing something that just doesn’t affect them. And then you change your product mix, you actually decrease conversions because you didn’t fully understand, which happens. We are all about testing, about learning so, experimentation testing is essential; make sure you do it.
And to wrap up, I would like to mention that if you want to learn a bit more about value proposition there is one place that I generally recommend you look at. So you can go there, it’s optimizationacademy.com.
You can go there and cover some of the points I touched on but also different points. It’s very less to mainstream than most of the courses or Universities you go to it really is a lot of in-depth knowledge around value proposition. If you if you want to further your knowledge on this, this is something I would really recommend you to look at. Finally, that’s it from me. You guys can reach out to me on LinkedIn, and Kaspersky is actually, I’m actually directly recruiting a bunch of people for CRO roles so, you can even reach out to me about that. But any questions that you might have over this presentation over anything else, please feel free to reach out. And that’s it for me. Do you guys have any questions?
Sid: Thank you so much Rui, that was a very interesting, well-structured presentation. I’ve been to so many websites where I’ve just not understood what their offering is and I’ve bounced immediately. And the best, it was such a pleasant surprise to see the VWO plan comparison page taking a spot in your presentation. We’ve put in a lot of thought and effort into getting that right and I think it being present on your slide deck, it’s a compliment in itself. I have a couple of questions that I would like to ask at this point. So like you said, there are six components to the value proposition that needs to be offered, but time and bandwidth is always a constraint and making changes and movements on all six aspects may be practically impossible almost always. So, if you had to tell us one component that we must always try to pick up first, which one would that be? It is applicable to any project, in fact.
Rui: Sure. So I guess it’s a standard answer, and a very well-known CRO type methodology, I guess, the above the fold part of the page is essential. So then normally where you would literally explain what your product is. So the number one value proposition component because that would be essentially your focus, you really want to position your product so when the user lands on the page, obviously depending on the methodologies that you are following, you also want to grab their attention, you want to make sure the information is there etc. But, focusing on what the product is right away above the fold allows you to position the product which will then allow you to essentially structure the story afterwards with all the other components when you have more bandwidth or more time for it to test etc. But essentially what it is would be the number one thing.
Sid: Have you ever seen a UX or design test that has had a bigger impact than a value proposition test?
Rui: Not as much. I have seen them connected. So, if you’re doing value proposition testing and you include UX and design on it, you would see that as impactful if you are doing the UI changes based on your value proposition. But, for the most part, one versus another you would always find more impact in increasing the perceived value of your product to the customer against actually reducing the friction with the new redesign. And the ratio I would think of that would be 4:1. I would really value proposition 4 times higher than friction changes in terms of the actual results you get at the end of the day.
Sid: Makes sense. So tell me, Rui, if I feel that the existing value proposition on my website is a little too weak, should I just go ahead and make a change on it without testing?
Rui: I mentioned it before and the general answer to that is I don’t think you should. I think, for the most part, I mean if there is a case that your site literally doesn’t have any value proposition and it’s just a matter of finding it, perhaps that’s fine. But, whenever you can, whenever it’s possible, testing is essential and at the very least understanding or having a background of data to make those changes is essential. But testing is, if you can, do it because you could always take the risk of actually be lowering your conversion rates without knowing because you add the wrong value proposition or things like that. So testing is essential.
Sid: And VWO helps you do that. One thing that I was thinking during your presentation, which I think I would like to add as my thought on this is that whatever you said definitely it holds true. It’s not just that it is applicable only for websites. I think these six value proposition components are applicable to any kind of communication that you design, applicable for presentations, product pitches, product decks, sales collateral and everything. So, yeah, it’s a very good takeaway not just for optimizers, website optimizers but for everyone who’s trying to sell a product out there.
Rui: Yeah completely agree with that statement. I mean we at Kaspersky, we do that with all kinds of stuff. We have mobile applications, we have B2B products that sometimes are sold, or for the most part are sold face-to-face or with a salesperson connecting directly with the client, and it’s valuable everywhere. Obviously, for us in the digital world, and with all the testing platforms it’s easier. So, digital marketing teams feel like they can test in an easier manner to actually be able to test experience, what works and what doesn’t, and that’s brilliant. But for sure it’s applicable everywhere: offline, online mobile apps, anywhere. If you want the value […] you’ll benefit from it.
Sid: So tell me, Rui are there any books that you’re currently reading?
Rui: The honest answer to that question. I have a two-year-old boy so the real, honest answer is that I would be reading him, what I have been reading most likely be like bedtime stories for him to fall asleep. But other than that, for the most part, I like to read a lot when I’m doing business travel, so Kaspersky has offices everywhere, I do tend to go around Europe mostly to travel. So whenever I am on a plane, I try to read. And recently I’ve been reading ‘Webs Of Influence: The Psychology Of Online Persuasion’ by Nathalie Nahai. And Psychology is something that I’ve been reading a lot more and more on because it kind of connects to everything that we do. So that’s the book I’m reading right now whenever I can. But it’s something that I that I’m pushing more and more to do with psychology books in general on top of that one.
Sid: I know you’ve already mentioned in your presentation on how people can connect with you. Would you mind sharing that once again?
Rui: Yeah, it’s on my LinkedIn: that’s ruimmatos or just look for my name on it, the picture is the same as you guys have on the slide. So, find it there – Global Head of Conversion Optimization at Kaspersky, you can find me there. Just get in touch, connect with me there and I can get back to your messages.
Sid: All right, great! I hope to connect with you myself, and I’m sure you’ll have a lot of people coming up to you and asking a lot of interesting questions, engaging in conversations with you. Thank you so much, Rui. It’s been an absolute pleasure listening to you and having a conversation with you around conversion optimization and making your website messaging better. Thank you so much.
Rui: Pleasure. Thank you so much.