How do Pakistani E-commerce suffer from not having a CRO expert?

Ecommerce in Pakistan has been continuously growing over the last few years and shows a promising growth. With the 190 population in Pakistan, ecommerce players have a big opportunity to create billion dollar businesses.  In India, Flipkart and Amazon raised 1B+ dollar investments for their expansions.

Since Pakistan is an emerging country in terms of Digital advertisement and digital customer adoption, higher management should focus on building digital capabilities to catch up with the competition. Whoever is able to move faster with the technology can move ahead of the competition.


Fast Tempo Pakistan ecommerce

Since higher management has dealt with marketing for decades, their mindset should be adjusted according the technology advancement in digital marketing. But most of the time, we see higher management trying to mimic offline advertisement in digital marketing. They are especially falling in love with social shares and social likes. Since Pakistan is an emerging country and most customers are new to ecommerce, the success of a business can be defined in an equation as follows:


Business Growth = Adoption + Retentions


It is quite challenging to drive adoption from people who never experienced an online transaction, so you should have a strategic campaign to convert new users. Most of the time, it is difficult to acquire a customer profitably using digital time, unless it is a high-value product. As a solution for that, higher management should keep eye on the retention, and if you have a good business plan to retain the customer, then you can absorb the higher acquisition cost.


RealLife Fact: If you search for a hotel, Agoda will appear in the search result as a paid ad. Agoda is spending a lot of money acquiring new customers, because they know that if they can acquire a customer, they can retain him for a long time. In this case, individual hotels are struggling to compete with Agoda because of their strong retention.

If you need to win, become an Agoda for ecommerce. Kayamu is slowly moving towards that, as they have global expertise.

To achieve business growth in ecommerce, you need to have a wise campaign plan and a website that converts visitors to customers. Today, the object is to discuss common mistakes on the Pakistani E-commerce websites. These mistakes could occur due to lack of optimization expertise, usage of readymade templates, or the highest paid person’s opinion (Hippo). Let’s discuss two common mistakes out of 100s:

  • Automatic image sliders or carousels
  • All caps in navigation

Automatic image sliders or carousels

Hippos and creative directors are attached to sliders or carousels, so you can see most of the Pakistani ecommerce websites have a slider. All the ecommerce templates support sliders, so they can just switch it on.

A slider or carousal can take the visitor’s attention quickly and load into their working memory. Because of this, visitors may forget the initial intention and leave the website, without taking an action. Also, providing more choices to the visitor can create paradox of choices. Paradox of choice shows people leave the website if they are overloaded with choices.


All caps in navigation

Many ecommerce websites in Pakistan use all caps in their websites. Probably, all the templates come with capital letters in the navigation. Visitors tend see words in the navigation as boxes if the navigation uses all caps. Also, words in all caps increases the cognitive load of a reader. According to research conducted by Breland, text in all capital letters reduces reading speed by up to 20%. Poulton suggests, in his research, reading speed is optimal when uppercase and lowercase letters are used.


If you are using a template or a website without testing, these two suggestions can give you a way to start with website optimization. Whenever you have doubt about the suggestions, simply conduct a test to see the real result.

Agency’s Biggest Lie Revealed About Conversion Optimizer

conversion optimizer


Biggest Lie : Conversion optimizer is working well for lead gen campaign.

Conversion Optimizer (Target CPA bidding) is a cool feature, which uses machine learning to automatically target visitors who are more likely to convert. This is a good opportunity to leverage Google’s engine to drive more conversions for lower cost.

Target CPA bidding optimizes CPC, based on the probability to convert. Based on your campaign’s history of conversions, Target CPA bidding automatically finds the optimal CPC to maximize conversion.

But right now, Ad agencies blindly use this option and lose most of their budget unprofitably, not knowing the science and logic behind this. Machine learning algorithm analyze historical data and predicts the probability of conversion for each impression.

If an agency is using conversion optimizer for lead gen campaign, without using Google analytics offline tracking, I would say you are working with the wrong agency. Either you should stop the campaign or fire the agency.

The lead gen campaign’s main concern is the quality of the leads, because cheaper leads don’t guarantee the quality. Based on experience, it is highly probable that cheaper leads come with low quality. If the campaign receives low-quality leads for low cost, conversion optimizer automatically adjusts and provides low-quality leads. If your agency doesn’t link actual customers to campaign performance, your budget will be wasted, even without knowing it.

To overcome this issue, you need to use Google Analytics offline tracking feature and upload all the successful customers to GA as a Goal. Once you have successfully linked the campaign to the customer, you can use the attribution model to understand the actual performance of each campaign, ad group, keywords, ad etc. Finally, you can understand the campaign that provides low-quality leads and the campaign that provides high-quality leads and allocate your budget accordingly.

Web analysts FAIL not knowing this tactic to derive insights

The value of a web analyst has increased exponentially, since digital businesses are emerging all over the world and every business needs digital campaigns. Businesses can depend on a web analyst if he is doing the right job to add value to the business. He can add value to marketing efforts, product development, budgeting, and financial aspects.

But most of the time, we see that web analysts are stuck in a cave, not knowing how to advance their career/expertise after a certain level.  Two categories can be seen below.

Implementation Geeks

  • Know how to set-up and implement tracking for every element within the website and always thinking to capture new data points.

Web Reporters (Data Pukes)

  • Use Google Analytics only to create reports with minimal insights.


I came across two methodologies to get out of the cave and improve skills to provide more insights and recommendations. Segmentation and Commonalities are the best friends of any web analyst in any industry. Avinash (Google Evangelist) stressed these two methodologies in most of his articles to help people advance in their web analyst career.  Segmentation helps to start the web analyst’s career, while commonalities help to get out of the cave I mentioned earlier. This article will discuss commonalities, while separate articles will focus on segmentation.


Find insights by understanding commonalities

You always find good and bad with your campaigns, landing pages, or any part of digital marketing. Commonalities are the understanding of what went good and what went wrong. Web analysts should divide anything into two categories, good performers and bad performers. Then he should be able to understand commonalities or common characters of both segments. This helps to improve the good and reduce the bad. This is all in summary for commonalities. Let’s discuss real life examples to get more understanding.


Hubspot Sidekick

Hubspot’s sidekick product had an issue with customer retention, they wanted insights to improve retention. So they divided users into two groups, retained users and churned users, and looked for commonalities.  They found that if a user signs up with a company email address, they are more likely to retain for a long time. This is a heartbreaking insight for a web analyst and good opportunity to improve the bottom line for the business. Sidekick guys continuously pushed their customers to change their free email address to a company email.



Airbnb wanted to improve number of nights per customer. So they divided properties with short stays and long stays to get an insight. They found the properties with good images have longer stays and properties with low-quality images have shorter stays. Great, they have hired 20 photographers and achieved exponential growth.


ReapDigital facts:

Sinhala vs English – We ran a campaign in Sri Lanka and found that Sinhala (Most used Language in Sri Lanka) ads are attractive and drive most visitors, compared to English ads, but the problems with Sinhala ads are the conversion rates were low. So we wanted to capitalize the attractiveness by improving conversion rates. All the landing pages were ranked based on conversion rate and looked for a commonality among good and bad pages. We found that landing pages in Sinhala drove low conversion rate, even though ads are in Sinhala, while English pages drove high conversion rate. This simple insight helped us to capitalize the most attractive Sinhala ads and increase the conversion rate. The reason behind this behavior is people are comfortable to engage with Sinhala ads, but they feel annoyed typing in Sinhala in a Sinhala landing page to complete a task.


Real Estate Industry – A real estate campaign is launched to target people looking for retirement homes and luxury houses across all GEOs. We wanted to improve the conversion rate, so we sorted GEOs, based on interest (Micro metrics), to see commonalities of people looking for retirement homes and luxury homes. When the distance from Sri Lanka increases, people looking for retirement homes engaged more, and when the distance from Sri Lanka reduces, people looking for luxury home engaged. Based on this insight, we could allocate a budget, based on keywords and Geos and improve the conversion rate.


SEO using Data – Customer wants to increase SEO effort for a blog, so we got a list of blog posts and number of backlinks to them. We looked at commonalities with the pages that attracted the most natural backlinks, and we found that tutorials attracted the most backlinks and social shares. The reason behind this is people consumed tutorials and linked back from their blogs and included their answers in stackoverflow. We recommended to the customer to write more tutorials to attract more backlinks and increase the SEO rankings.

I believe that these examples are good enough to understand commonalities and advance your career.

Happy Analysis! More Insights!


“Human Image” on a website can kill conversions – but how?

Human Faces have been used in every means of advertisement for the past centuries. Without a doubt, human faces in advertisements attract our attention before anything else, and it increases when it is a well-known face, such as a celebrity.

Faces are the most important visual stimuli we perceive, and the brain can identify a known face within a fraction of a second. Research studies suggest the brain has a separate area, called Fusiform Face Area (FFA), to recognize faces above all other objects. Fusiform regions respond more strongly to faces than to letter strings and textures (Puce et al. 1996), flowers (McCarthy et al. 1997a), and other stimuli, including mixed everyday objects, houses, and hands (Kanwisher et al. 1997).

In a website/advertisement, human faces grab the attention of visitors above anything else, like in the real life, so marketers need to utilize this human behavior wisely to maximize the desired outcome.

Eye Movement for

mango eye tracking

Human Faces for Brand Recognition

If you need to improve brand recognition, the human face is the best tool to use. The human brain can identify the brand ambassador (or model) and link it to the brand, even before recognizing the logo. If a human face is used consistently in advertisement with the brand, it can transfer it to the long-term memory of your audience, which is important to capitalize every cent you spend for advertising.


Real Life Case: Kelly Felder is a famous fashion brand in Sri Lanka, and people can recognize the model before anything else. When people surf Facebook, they will come across a few dozen images, brands, and videos, so the image of the model plays a vital role in getting the attention and triggering the emotion.

Kelly Felder Facebook Image

kelly felder


Human Faces as a Friction

Sometimes, the human face on a website may act as a friction to the visitor, as they scan faces before anything else. Because of this behavior, visitors’ cognitive load (the total amount of mental effort being used in the working memory) may increase, and they leave the website, without completing the desired outcome. User attention is a precious resource and should be allocated accordingly.

Hubspot ran a test with human face to improve their lead conversion rate but it didn’t. Probably it occurred due to the increase of cognitive load.

hubspot ab test


Human Faces as a Slider

Sometimes, human faces on a website may act positively and increase conversion rate. We had the same experience with our tech support brand.

24/7 Techies Website

247 techies

ReapDigital Fact: We did several tests with our tech support brand website to understand the influence of a human image for our customers. Multiple tests were conducted with male, female, young, and old human images, but all the variation won against a landing page, which had no human image. Based on multiple tests and data analysis effort, we could come to the following conclusion.

In the tech support industry, people fear being scammed. So, their conscious mind (conscious mind is your thinking mind or the logical part) actively participates in rationalizing the services. If the conscious mind is unable to rationalize our service as a legitimate business, they leave the website without taking further action. The conscious mind requires a lot more effort and evidence, so it can be easily overloaded. By having a human face on the website, initial attention goes to the human face, reducing the effectiveness of the conscious mind, while the subconscious mind (Participates in emotional decisions) comes into play. Also, human faces can have a close relationship with visitors’ subconscious mind and motivate him to take the decision, based on emotions, which is immediately to get support to fix their computer.

Bart Schutz (Psychologist) mentioned that “wish list” on an eCommerce site may not have a real value to the customer, but it may reduce the participation of the conscious mind thus increase the conversion rates.

@Jtrondeau presented the below AB test case study. Variation with the social share buttons won with a 5.7% improvement. Someone can think that large social buttons may act as a friction, but in this case, those buttons may reduce the participation of the conscious mind.

AB test

There is no correct or wrong answer for the use of human faces in a website, so you need to test and understand the customer’s mind and act accordingly.

Hope you enjoy the article and all the comments and criticisms are welcome 🙂



Marketing to the “Long Term Memory” – How to Not Waste Advertising Money

long term memory marketing 

Our brain contains two types of memories, which are short-term memory (or working memory) and long-term memory. Short-term memory is the short time we remember something before either dismissing it or transferring it to long-term memory. As marketers, we don’t want only to talk to short-term memory and waste our effort. Before everything, it is important to understand the memory type and its behavior.

Short term memory can be trained using “Maintenance rehearsal” which is a memory rehearsal that stores information into the short-term memory, but it is not an effective way store information into long-term memory. Long-term memory can be trained using Elaborative rehearsal, which is an effective way to transfer information into the long-term memory. Elaborative rehearsal involves thinking about the meaning of the information and connecting it to other information already stored in the memory. It goes much deeper than maintenance rehearsal.

A few important characteristics of long-term memory help marketers to pass their message to potential customers’ long-term memory

  • Related information and Storytelling – Elaborative rehearsal involves thinking about the meaning of the information and connecting it to other information already stored in the memory.
  • Visual long-term memory has a massive storage capacity for object details. (Standing, 1973)
  • Multi-channel and multi-device – Engaging with the material in more than one way encourage elaborative rehearsal.

Related information and Storytelling

Google has a very data-led culture. However, we care just as much about the storytelling and the brand, and how we tell the world about our mission. (Lorraine Twohill, Google’s senior vice president of global marketing). This indicates that Google understands the value of passing information to the long-term memory.

Emirates airlines’ cabin crew performed during a break in the game at Germany’s Volksparkstadion football stadium in Bahrenfeld, Hamburg, Germany to create the awareness of flight safety in front of 60,000 people. This is a very effective way to communicate the brand to the long-term memory with something already in the mind, which is football.


Elaborative rehearsal

Watch the video here: Link

 Visuals – “A picture is worth a thousand words”

Several campaigns proved that image ads are more effective than text ads in most cases. However, use images wisely. An image relevant to something in a mind could be a powerful way to communicate a message, rather than a generic image.

ReapDigital Facts: Personalized image ads based on designations/company provided above average return for the invested money. Personalization Case Study Here

Among the images, the human brain has a separate section to identify the faces above all other objects, so the face is a very powerful instrument to use in marketing activities. (Let’s discuss this in a separate article)

Multi-device and multi-channel campaigns

Marketers get access to customers’ long-term memory by reaching them using multi-channel and multi-devices. This is not a new concept, but doing it right is not common. A proper nurturing process can communicate the message to the long-term memory.

ReapDigital Facts: The team found that 90% of the conversion through (Thanks to Google Analytics Cross Device Tracking)  mobile campaigns happens using the desktop. People click the ads on mobiles but complete the transaction on a desktop. (Found across few clients.)

Don’t waste your money with short-term memory, hit the long-term memory with every cent you spend.



Multi-Property Attribution Model –Hotel Marketers Can’t Ignore It Anymore

Measuring campaign success across multiple channels is essential to gaining insight to invest on each channel. Nowadays, common buzz word is multi-channel attribution, even though marketers don’t practice it. Multi-channel attribution discusses profitability of each channel while considering the channel position in the customer’s journey. Channel positions vary from the first click, last click through to view through. Finding the right attribution model is quite challenging but once you have found it, doors will be opened to maximize the revenue while at the same time reducing the cost per acquisition. Apart from the multi-channel attribution, cross device attribution provides insight to allocate budgets across devices and to optimize campaigns to generate better returns.

Now it is time to introduce a new concept to measure the profitability across websites/properties. Modern customers go through multiple properties before they eventually make a purchase. Right now it is not possible to use multi-channel attribution modeling to solve this problem, as customers don’t click on a link to move from website to website. Let’s see an example in the travel vertical below.


The customer starts the journey with TripAdvisor and reads a review then goes to the hotel website to get the information. Finally, they close the deal with as he is a loyal customer. The conversion will be attributed to the last engaged website which is and you can’t see the impact of various websites beyond with the existing analytics tools. In this case, the hotel website supports in creating the awareness (assisting) while Agoda closes the sale (last click). Multi-property optimization allows users to identify the real contribution of each websites.

It is important to quantify the impact of each customer engagement so that marketers get the opportunity to allocate a budget to each campaign. Let’s consider the same customer journey with hypothetical numbers. Let’s assume a hotel room is priced at $100 and the hotel owner pays 15% commission to

Scenario 01: Without Driving Traffic to the hotel website

The Hotel Owner makes money entirely from with no investment on the website.

 Scenario 02: Customer Drive Traffic to the Hotel website

Hotel owners expect to keep the cost per acquisition below $30 with paid campaigns. However, hotel owners don’t have a way to figure the multi-property attribution with the existing tools. The owner might’ve spent $1,000 on paid campaigns and only received 10 conversions from the website. Based on the campaign statistics, the cost per acquisition (CPA) for the campaign is $100 which is not profitable, as he previously expected. A marketing consultant would recommend him to stop the campaign immediately.


 Quantifying the Multi-Website Attribution

If we have a mechanism to quantify the multi-website attribution then it allows us to identify the true impact of the campaign. Let’s consider the impact of the above campaign. drove an additional 30 conversions. Now, we have 40 conversions as a result of the paid campaign and it reduces the CPA to just $25. Yes, now the hotel owner has a profitable campaign and the hotel owner can expand it to maximize his revenue. This is the insight that we can extract from a multi-property attribution model.


Multi-channel and cross device attribution can be analyzed through Google Analytics and other similar analytics tools in the market. However, it is challenging to build a tool to find the attribution across websites for which we don’t have access. Good tagging framework won’t help us to solve this problem unless we have a mechanism to share a unique identifier across the customer. As a solution, we can use mathematical models such as regressions analysis to figure the revenue relationship between the hotel website and the (as in the example). Apart from that, there are websites that provide the complete user journey and they are able extract user data from their add-on users. Finally a multi-website attribution is a model that marketers can no longer ignore.

Read Google Analytics Client ID(CID) Using Google Tag Manager and Assign to a Custom Dimension

Google Universal Analytics has introduced client id as the cookie variable. Client id is a unique identifier for each user or a browser. If we are able to track the cid as a custom dimension in the universal analytics then we can find the individual action of each visitor such as pageview, events etc…

With the each customer behavior, we can introduce the predictive analysis or data analysis to make actionable insights. Market basket analysis(associate rule) helps us to determine the common pages of each visitor before they complete a goal and such information lead us to create insightful remarketing campaign to expedite the conversion process through the funnel. Without knowing the each customer path, it is difficult to identify the value of a each page or identify commonalities of each customer path.

Through Google Tag manager we can read the cookie id of visitors and assign it to a custom dimension. Use following code in a custom html tag to read the cid

function readCookie(name) {
var nameEQ = name + “=”, ca = document.cookie.split(‘;’), i = 0, c;
for(;i < ca.length;i++) {
c = ca[i];
while (c[0]==’ ‘) c = c.substring(1);
if (c.indexOf(nameEQ) == 0) return c.substring(nameEQ.length);
return null;
var user = readCookie(‘_ga’);
if (document.cookie.indexOf(“_ga”) >= 0) {
dataLayer.push({‘readCookie’: user});
dataLayer.push({‘event’: ‘Cookie Set’});

Afterward create a custom dimension as below

And create a rule as below to fire

Custom report can be used to read the report and to take insight

That is all for the cookie ID configuration and lets meet with another article to explain the user behavior analysis.



Google Analytics Smarter Remarekting Guide

Recently Google launched smarter remarketing with Google Analytics. Now we have three types of remarketing lists.

  1. General Remakreting
  2. Similar audience adwords
  3. Smarter remarekting Google Analytics


General remarekting

General remarekting lists can be built with Google Analytics or with Google Adwords. Advertisers are smart enough to leverage visitor data to target them timely with very relevant offers. In hotel industry we can capture searched date and target them until that date to reduce the unwanted cost and to maximize the ROI.

Similar Audiences

Once we create the audiences within Google Adwords, it automatically create the similar audience list based on visitor activities on other sites.

The “similar audiences” feature enables you to find people who share characteristics with your site visitors. By adding “similar audiences” to your ad group, you can show your ads to people whose interests are similar to those of your site visitors, which allows you to reach new and qualified potential customers.

AdWords looks at browsing activity on Display Network sites over the last 30 days, and uses this, along with our contextual engine, to understand the shared interests and characteristics of the people in your remarketing list.

Smarter Remarketing

Smarter remarekting use visitor engagement with other sites that allowed to share data anonymously. This is a good opportunity to target  visitors who visits competitor sites.

Smart Lists are built using machine learning across the millions of Google Analytics websites which have opted in to share anonymized conversion data, using dozens of signals like visit duration, page depth, location, device, referrer, and browser to predict which of your users are most likely to convert during a later visit.

Small smarter analytics guide will help you to built your first smarter remarketing campaign

Obama’s name and face photo can be used in Google ads

Google is to launch face photo option within the Google ads but funny thing is people can use fake photos to motivate users to buy their product. For an example they can use celebrity photo to review about beauty products.

I just created an image using Obama’s face to demonstrate the concept. Anyway I believe that they will create better ad solution as always.




Consider Attribution Model before Optimize for Offline Sales with Adwords

Google has introduced offline conversion tracking for Adwords. It is said to become a big influence in many businesses that deal with Adwords. We had a chance to measure offline conversions with universal analytics and import them to Adwords, but there were few difficulties to do so. Google Analytics records last click attribution on default reports so we need to look at multi-channel reports to identify the actual contribution from PPC.  Creating additional profiles and filters there are possibilities to identify PPC keywords without dealing with multi-channel reports but it isn’t a simple task to do.

This is great news for those who work with Adwords.  You will now be able to track offline conversions for Adwords without extra work being required with use of Google Analytics.  Click ID is a new element associated with offline conversion tracking. Click ID allows your website to assign a certain ID number to each lead that is received through your clicks, such as, sign ups and downloads. After your customer completed the conversion, your conversions can be directly uploaded by using the click ID so that Adwords can identify your conversion to show actual conversions and revenue. It is required that a primary key be used to “link” the offline sale to the online click and you may use email, passport id or phone number.

Benefits of offline conversion tracking are listed below:

  • Consider Actual sales value not leads
  • Understand the keywords that drive the most profitable sales
  • More accurate ROI picture
  • Manage bids and budget to drive actual sales

Here is an example of how it can work for you:

You own an online taxi service and you do your advertising using Adwords to help in generating your customer sales leads. A customer will request a quote from you first on your website; however, payment will not be received until you take the customer to their destination. In this situation, you must measure actual conversion with actual value. Up to now, you would be able to track all the leads with average order value not the actual sales. This is where this could be a big problem solver for you. Using offline tracking you could identify actual keywords that drove the sale.

How to use Adwords offline conversion tracking?

In the above example, the “Primary Key” can be the email address or phone number of each customer.

Don’t depend on Adwords Offline Tracking

Adwords offline tracking can be used to provide you with actual cost and actual income; however, this doesn’t always give you the final picture of what your total cost will be. If you have spent $100 on Adwords and that allows for $200.00 in sales and you also matched the sale using from Adwords offline conversion tracking. That shows you $100 in profit. But you would need to add all the cost that you spent on each channel to bring that sale.

When we analyze the multi-channel attribution with Google analytics, we can identify that there are other paid channels that helped to complete the conversion. This would show you that you don’t actually make $100 in profits from this even though Adwords said that you did. You must consider the cost of the other paid channels as well.

Above example shows that Social Media and Adwords are profitable when they consider as an individual channel but after plotting the sales path you will figure out the conversion isn’t profitable as you think.

Relying completely upon Adwords CPA is never recommended and it worths to look multi-channel attribution to understand the actual picture.

If you have any questions or suggestion please use comment box or contact me link.