Monday, October 18, 2010

Path Based Segmentation as an Input to Test Design

The way analytics is used today in organization is to test new designs. Rarely is analytics used as an input to test design. Path based segmentation can be an effective way to come up with a design that is not only a combination of drawing room designs & user testing but also from best analytics practices.

1. Path Identification
Identify the main purchase paths on your site. Let us take the example of a popular e-commerce site as an example. There are several paths to buy:
a. Deals path: Discounted offers on these pages, usually a link from the home page exists, some marcom vehicles land folks here .....
b. Default Path: Traditional path.
E.g: While buying on ebay I would start with the home page, go to a category page,
subcategory page, product details page and then add to cart and buy
c. Some specific navigation mechanisms: e.g Assisted Navigation on the left

d. Menu path: A set of menu options on top that can be used to navigate

Some examples of these paths on the ebay site are in the above buckets.
Haven't provided examples for a. and b. as these are known

2. Data Gathering & Representation
For each path, identify the visits, purchase_visits and revenue for each path.
Calculate RPV (=revenue/visits), conversion (Purchase_visits/visits) & Visit_Mix
(path_visits/visits) for each path

Represent these paths as a bubble chart with X-axis as RPV, Y-axis as visits and size of bubble as conversion.

C. Insights as an input to new test design
The example chart above is a dummy example but leads to key areas for action:
a. Layout Design to change visit mix
If you want to drive more revenues, you could change your layout to drive visits to your best performing path
(In above example, a possible test design could be to increase visits to deals. Reason being deals has the highest RPV - so you get more out of every dollar you spend by driving traffic to deals
and less traffic to menu path)
b. Feature improvement to improve RPV
In the above example, you would try and improve the feature on going with the dummy data.
So this is a simple example where path based segmentation analysis can help you come up with new testing ideas. Obviously this has to be customized to your organizational metrics needs
(In above example, a possible test design could be to improve some path features like Menu - reason being low RPV performance but considerable visits)


  1. Kiran, this is a good post. We are just starting to figure out paths and it's cool to see the bubble chart representation of your example path segments.

  2. Hey good one Kiran. Didn't know you have a blog..! good post.