Be Brave & Experiment: Ecommerce South West Takeaway

01 November 2016

Posted in: Ecommerce Events

What does being brave mean to you? Stepping out of the norm and challenging the status quo is the key to create a successful company. Lee Grogan, Senior Enterprise Consultant at Optimizely, shared his insights into the power of experimentation for your company at Ecommerce South West. His message was a simple one: be brave, take risks, and be rewarded.

Taking Risks

It’s so important to take risks and be brave enough to try something new, even if you don’t know what the outcome may be. Grogan emphasised the fact that if you never try, then you will never know.

Similarly, Matty Curry, head of ecommerce at Lovehoney, touched on the idea of risk taking during his talk: It’s 9am, you’re at your desk. What do you do? You should always try and look to the core of your company, rather than simply looking at a mass of data. Focusing solely on a sea of data means you could be missing the small stuff, which if it were addressed, could have a huge positive effect on your website. The key is to optimise your website and make it user friendly – in turn increasing conversion rates and minimising bounce rates.


Interestingly, Grogan uses the example of Google’s business model, which has experimentation embedded at the heart of its strategy. Pure trial and error. This goes to show the power of experimentation and how well it can work for your company. By taking risks and experimenting, Google has become one of the most powerful search engines in the world.

Grogan shared another great example of how experimentation can be a powerful tool. During 2007, Obama wanted to build upon Google’s business model of experimenting during his campaign. The team took a huge risk on his campaign poster and were greatly rewarded with high interest and votes. The campaign chief said that “whenever we took a risk within the campaign, we were rewarded”.

Our Job Has Got Harder

There is a strong need to keep up with the pace of technological advancement, to continue providing high levels of user experience and customer satisfaction. It’s so important to meet the ever increasing demands of users and customers by giving them a user-friendly experience. The next exciting leap in technology is virtual reality and so it is crucial to think about how that could be incorporated into your own company in the future.

“94% of marketers agree that it’s important to deliver a winning customer experience – but only 4% believe they actually do. By 2017 89% of companies believe that customer experience will be their primary differentiator” – Gartner

So How Can You Meet Demand?

  • Keeping up with progress in technology
  • Incorporating new tech into your business and providing excellent user experience
  • Experiment to find out what works and what doesn’t

I think this is such a crucial lesson for any company. Experimentation and risk-taking is the only real way to push the boundaries of tried and tested procedures to see what else could work. Building upon Google’s core business model and taking note of other successful, albeit risky events, the takeaway message is that taking risks can reap great rewards in the future. Keeping up with the acceleration in technology, with a keen eye towards providing great user experience, will in turn breed success within your company.

“Be brave and experiment and have more confidence in your team.” – Lee Grogan



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