Meet Sandeep Shah: Experimentation Expert and Personalisation Pioneer
Say hello to the latest addition to our Ecommerce Unlocked speaker line-up … it’s Product Director, developer, blogger and event speaker, Sandeep Shah!
After starting out as a Junior Developer building experiments for clients, Sandeep moved from coding to consultation, stepping into a more educational role in which he trained brands across the world on how to experiment.
Today, he’s the Product Director at Webtrends Optimize, an innovative, enterprise-grade experimentation platform, rich with features to help increase online conversions and maximise return on investment from your website and other digital assets. The powerful suite of tools includes A/B testing, multivariate testing, personalisation and social proof - all proven to support commercial and business growth. Sandeep drives the product roadmap at Webtrends Optimize, working out what they should build and why, whilst running a lot of the business’ research, development and innovation streams - “the fun stuff”, as Sandeep called it in our recent interview.
He’s worked alongside hundreds of big-name brands from a real plethora of industries, including retailers such as Marks & Spencer, Primark and Virgin Wines, travel companies like GWR and Virgin Trains, and banks including the likes of Lloyds, Barclays and HSBC.
A vocal member of the CRO space and pioneer of local personalisation practices, Sandeep regularly publishes blogs on his topics of expertise. He’s also the founder and host of Optimize Live Lab, a recurring, platform-agnostic live-coding session on YouTube Live.
We’re delighted to welcome Sandeep to the Ecommerce Unlocked stage in September to talk all things CRO. Offering insights and advice from nearly a decade in the field, he’ll be talking through how to identify friction points on your ecommerce site and how to resolve them using experimentation and personalisation.
We caught up with Sandeep to find out more about his upcoming main stage session, uncover which ecommerce trends we should be watching, and get his advice for the new ecommerce retailers out there ...
Webtrends Optimize provides retailers with access to a full suite of innovative CRO tools and solutions. What's your favourite optimisation tool that the platform offers and why?
Our Social Proofing microservice is my favourite, because it was born out of the principles I absolutely love:
It uses modern tech, and was a rapidly-built innovation (it was built in less than two weeks, and now can be built in less than an hour!).
It’s cost-effective - it costs very little to run.
It’s disruptive - it has the potential to disrupt a multi-million pound industry with something we can offer for almost free.
It was a better replacement - the code was small and concise, and the technology was real-time and loaded quickly.
These are all great things to achieve, especially when you're coming from a product/developer background like me.
What's the most important bit of advice you'd give to an entrepreneur just starting out with an ecommerce store?
Use data! So many people either run from data because they don't come from a maths background, or don't listen to it because there's too much of it to make sense of.
But when you understand things at a micro level - who's coming to the store, what are they seeing, what's generating interest, where specifically are they struggling - you then get to build better experiences for your users. That might come in the shape of more relevant product offerings, or as better web experiences (the latter will naturally come as companies grow anyway).
We've seen a huge acceleration in the growth of ecommerce as a result of the Covid pandemic. What can retailers do to try and differentiate their brand from the competition in today's market?
Experimentation is the best tool I've seen for how brands can grow properly. Sure, you can run great viral social campaigns, but if people come to a poor website, not many will buy.
When you have a strong mindset, you adapt a way of thinking which says "show me the data to support why things should be a particular way", and that alone primes you to look for growth and things you can prove work.
Despite being a booming industry, countless companies that should still don't experiment, and so their onsite experience lags where others shoot forward.
Are there any ecommerce trends you think we should watch out for during the rest of 2021?
The last couple of years seems to have boosted online shopping, and with large volumes comes things like AI-led experiences. We see loads of these with "filters" for trying products on yourself for example, but similar technology facilitates things like dynamic merchandising and recommendations.
We’re excited to meet you and the rest of the Webtrends Optimize team at Ecommerce Unlocked in September! What are you most looking forward to about the event?
Seeing actual people! There's no substitute for talking to people face-to-face about what their challenges are, and them leaving having found solutions or new ideas that foster innovation on their side. Hopefully we can help be the catalyst for some of that.
You're delivering a speaker session at Ecommerce Unlocked, titled "Why Aren't My Visitors Buying? Using CRO as Your Next Growth Source". What will people learn in your session?
We'll walk through CRO as a broad collection of techniques (analytics, heatmaps, experimentation, personalisation), but also hone in on the process of discovery people go through and what sort of results they see. You should leave feeling motivated to run experiments or add personalisation into your journeys, and feel you have the tools to actually achieve it too.
Come to Sandeep’s main stage talk at Ecommerce Unlocked!
Want to hear more from CRO connoisseur Sandeep? He’ll be sharing his expertise on experimentation and personalisation at September’s Ecommerce Unlocked event - sign up now before tickets sell out!