Jeff Bezos had famously said “Our success at Amazon is a function of how many experiments we do per year, per month, per week, per day…”
“If you already know it’s going to work, it’s not an experiment. Only through experimentation can you get real invention.” We all know the leaps and bounds by which Amazon has grown to become a global behemoth and will continue to grow. Undoubtedly, one of the key ingredients for this journey has been Experimentation.
To create an impact on the top and bottom-lines, and to differentiate from competitors, organizations are constantly looking to innovate. All these goals can potentially be achieved through Experimentation, which gives you the power to take rapid decisions based on empirical evidence rather than intuition.
Experimentation is no longer limited to select industries. According to a KPMG report, professionals are seeing experimentation uptake in industries including but not limited to banking, insurance, telecommunications, healthcare, manufacturing, technology, travel etc. Examples of experiments from multiple industries are available to be studied in public domain.
According to Marketing Tech, 62% of travel companies attribute 1% – 10% of their commerce growth to their investments in testing and experimentation. An employee at technology giant Microsoft had suggested to change the way the searched headlines are displayed. The idea languished somewhere for months before a controlled experiment was conducted. The potential (revenue generation) of this idea was realized only due to experimentation and it was a leap of 12%.
Banks are experimenting with Artificial Intelligence and aspire to build innovative branch experiences. HSBC recently started using an army of four-foot sized humanoids at its flagship branches on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. The humanoid, known by the name ‘Pepper’ has a tablet strapped to its chest. It will greet customers and offer a wide range of services like information on ATMs, the HSBC app, self-service options, customer support etc. It aims to deliver a better customer experience, streamline branch operations and most importantly helps HSBC to build a bank branch of the future.
One of the leading retailers, Nordstrom, is experimenting on smaller inventory free stores. The size of the stores has been reduced from 140000 to 3000 square feet. These smaller units will not store any merchandise for sale. They will only be for shoppers to examine a limited selection of merchandise and place orders for products to be delivered or collected later. The focus is on enhanced customer experience. Other ideas that Nordstrom is implementing include a stylist who can guide the customer on the trends, pickup from curbside, fast and easy returns, refreshments and gift-wrapping services etc.
In hospitality, Hilton has been continuously experimenting at its new innovation gallery. This includes a variety of experiments like controlling room temperature with mobile apps, translators tucked inside earpieces to enable communication between staff and guests where they speak different languages, a device which when worn by the users can send the wearers on naps etc. Competitors such as Marriott, Hyatt and InterContinental Hotels Group are also experimenting with systems that allow direct entry to rooms using a smartphone app, rather than a physical key. Customers can simply walk into their rooms without the need to wait at receptions. The focus is on customer convenience and personalization which eventually translates into enhanced customer experience.
AT&T, a telecom giant intends to open pop-up stores across various locations, apart from traditional stores. As per Digiday, pop-up stores allow telecom companies to test the traffic and accordingly take informed decisions on how it is helping them to expand their geographic presence. In addition, pop-up stores act as a great avenue to test out new products as well.
The Aviation industry is not far behind. KLM, the Dutch airline, plans to test its Care-E robot at JFK and San Francisco airports. Care-E is a self-driving trolley which will carry passenger’s luggage to the destination based on the information captured from a passenger’s boarding pass. It will also be able to access real time data, such as a change in the boarding gates so it can then redirect the passenger.
With an abundance of innovative ideas in every industry, there is a never before seen need for rapid, accurate experimentation which can promote a culture of growth and innovation. If done correctly, this will end up separating the winners from losers across industries.
About Trial Run: Trial Run is a cloud-based product that lets companies conduct business experiments on sites, markets and individuals BEFORE they implement. It helps companies scale their experimentation capability efficiently and affordably by providing insight into which decisions will work and which will not.