John Lincoln

Certona Review, Is It The Right Program For You?

Need a CRO that manages all your ecommerce needs?

Certona could be the tool for you. Read on for my full review.

How to Use Certona for Ecommerce CRO

The folks at eBags faced a challenge. How could they deliver a personalized experience to people who visit their website?

Although the online retailer of travel gear employed high-tech professionals who usually built solutions in-house, this time the company decided to outsource.

That’s how eBags ended up partnering with Certona, a personalization platform.

The two companies have worked together for more than 10 years. During that time, eBags has rolled out more than 100 different personalization strategies.

As a result, the company has seen higher conversion rates, increased average order values, and more units per transaction.

“We trust Certona with this very short amount of time we have to make a difference in customers’ lives as they prepare for journeys and adventures,” says Mike Frazzini, CTO at eBags.

You can trust Certona to boost your business as well.

What Is Certona?

Simply put, Certona is an omnichannel personalization solution. It’s specifically designed for ecommerce sites.

According to the website, Certona delivers the following improvements:

  • 111% average conversion rate increase
  • 37% average order value (AOV) increase
  • 79% average items per order increase

How does it do that? With a 1:1 personalization technology that combines visitor profiling with dynamic merchandising.

In other words, Certona adapts your website to the interests of visitors.

Let’s say you’re running a digital camera ecommerce site. Somebody visits the site and Certona detects that the person is more interested in Canon products than Sony products.

Certona is an omnichannel personalization solution. Image courtesy of Certona.
Certona is an omnichannel personalization solution. Image courtesy of Certona.

In that case, the tool will highlight the Canon brand throughout the customer journey on your website.

But remember, Certona is an omnichannel platform. That means it offers individualized content for mobile users, email recipients, and customer service agents as well as website visitors.

Next, let’s take a look at how each of the solutions in Certona deliver a personalized experience that helps your business grow.

Search & Discovery With Certona Ecommerce CRO

Certona helps your customers find what they’re looking for – quickly.

For starters, the platform enables you to deliver predictive landing pages.

As the name implies, predictive landing pages attempt to predict what a visitor is interested in and adjust the content accordingly.

Certona says that predictive landing pages can reduce your bounce rate by as much as 41%.

Beyond that, the tool offers a visual search solution. It uses predictive type-ahead suggestions and personalized visuals when visitors use your onsite search feature.

According to the company, you can increase your AOV by up to 51% with visual search.

Certona also offers visual navigation. It shows visitors pictures of relevant products while they’re interacting with your menu.

How does that work? To answer that, let’s go back to the example of the digital camera ecommerce site and the visitor who prefers Canon products. In that case, the visual navigation component will show images of Canon full-frame cameras in the menu drop-down when the customer is looking for full-frame cameras.

Yes, the thumbnails will appear in the drop-down.

Again, it’s all personalized. So people who prefer Sony products will see Sony cameras in the same drop-down.

According to Certona, you can expect to get as much as a 26% increase in your conversion rate with visual navigation.

Next, the platform offers auto discovery. It adapts your category and product listing pages to show products based on a visitor’s profile.

The tool also looks at the visitor’s real-time session behavior and uses that to determine which products he or she would like to see.

Certona says that you can expect as much as a 70% increase in click-through conversions with auto discovery.

Finally, the solution offers product finder and gift finder features.

They work by asking visitors a series of questions about the kind of product they’re searching for. Then, Certona offers recommendations based on the answers provided.

The platform also uses machine-learning algorithms to ensure that each recommendation resonates with individual shoppers.

According to Certona, your conversion rate could increase by as much as 100% with the product finder and gift finder features.

Personalized Content Targeting

Certona also enables you to maximize your return with an overall personalized website experience for each of your visitors.

There are several ways that the platform does that:

Certona offers personalized content targeting.
Certona offers personalized content targeting.
  • Personalized promotional offers – Visitors will see a banner ad offering a discount on a product that’s suited to their interests. It will often include a coupon code.
  • Hero shots – The platform will show images that are most likely to resonate with the person currently browsing the site.
  • Brands – Undoubtedly, you’ve visited more than one site that displayed brand logos somewhere on the front page. Certona will personalize that aspect of the user experience by showing brands that the visitor prefers.
  • Content – On the landing page, Certona will highlight articles, videos, how-tos, and other types of content that are most likely to appeal to the current visitor.
  • Categories – Some categories are more important to specific visitors than others. Certona’s personalized solution determines which categories are most relevant to the current visitor and highlights them.
  • Product badging – Certona’s algorithm determines which products the current visitor is most interested in and shows those product badges on the landing page.

Product Recommendations With Certona Ecommerce CRO

Certona shows the right products to individual visitors based on their profiles and same-session behaviors. That helps you increase conversions.

For starters, the platform uses predictive algorithms to determine which products a current visitor is most likely to buy. Then, it updates the website to showcase those products.

But Certona doesn’t just limit product recommendations to website visitors. Remember: it’s an omnichannel solution.

The tool also offers mobile product recommendations. It gleans info from mobile-specific shopping behaviors to determine product relevancy.

Certona also uses contextual behavior to gauge customer interests. For example, it will look at the mobile user’s current location, device type, and even the weather.

It doesn’t stop there. The platform also delivers with email marketing.

Use Certona to send personalized transactional emails, promotional emails, and abandoned cart emails to boost your conversion rates.

I’ll go over emails in a little more detail in the next section.

Perhaps best of all, you can even use the product to empower your call center reps to recommend products relevant to the customers they’re speaking with.

Certona provides those recommendations to agents based on a customer’s profile, purchase history, and shopping behavior.

It’s not just call center reps that benefit from the platform’s features, though. In-store employees can also offer individualized recommendations.

Personalized Email & Remarketing Solutions

Certona also offers an email solution that delivers tailor-fit marketing messages to customer inboxes.

Transactional emails, for example, enable you to take advantage of an almost 100% open rate. That’s because they confirm an order.

The platform customizes each transactional email so that it promotes cross-sells that are likely to get conversions.

It’s not just transactional emails that you can personalize with Certona, though. You can also personalize your standard email marketing messages.

That makes sense because no two customers are alike. So why should all their email messages be the same?

Personalized recommendations with Certona.
Personalized recommendations with Certona.

What They’re Saying About Certona Ecommerce CRO

Certona boasts a client list that includes high-profile brands such as Gamestop, Advance Auto Parts, Country Attire, Hot Topic, and Lenox.

Some members of its current user community have shared their thoughts online. They’ve said both positive and negative things about the platform.

Let’s take a look at what they had to say. First, the positive:

  • Platform is easy to use
  • Turn-key approach to personalization
  • Reliable vendor for long-term partnership
  • Gives customers the feeling that they’re savvy Internet shoppers
  • Excellent premium support
  • Outstanding testing capabilities

And now, the negative:

  • Implementation is tricky
  • User interface is a bit dated
  • Coding takes a while
  • Platform doesn’t use all its data very well
  • Standard support can be slow

Wrapping It Up

The quality of personalization you get with Certona doesn’t come cheap. You can expect to spend more than $2,000 per month, or about $25,000 per year, for it.

However, you should ask yourself: “If I increase my online sales, is it worth it?”

To answer that question, you’ll need to open a spreadsheet and play “what if” with the numbers. Find your breakeven point.

Then ask yourself if it’s probable you’ll do better than the breakeven point.

If so, then you should reach out to Certona for more info.

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John Lincoln is CEO of Ignite Visibility, one of the top digital marketing agencies in the nation. Ignite Visibility is a 4x  Inc. 5,000 company. Ignite Visibility offers a unique digital marketing program tied directly to ROI with a focus on using SEO, social media, paid media, CRO, email, Amazon and PR to achieve results. Outside of Ignite Visibility, Lincoln is a frequent speaker and author of the books “Digital Influencer” and “The Forecaster Method.” Lincoln is consistently named one of the top digital marketers in the industry and was the recipient of the coveted Search Engine Land “Search Marketer of The Year” award. Lincoln has taught digital marketing and Web Analytics at the University of California San Diego since 2010, has been named as one of San Diego’s most admired CEO’s and a top business leader under 40. Lincoln has also made “SEO: The Movie” and “Social Media Marketing: The Movie.” His business mission is to help others through digital marketing.

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