18/06/19 // Written by Samantha Beckham

Biometric Testing, CRO & UX: Why Consumer Emotions Matter

In the complex, fast-paced and ever-evolving world of digital, it’s easy to forget that the user behind each device is a real person with emotions, characteristics and behaviours. As humans, we’re often influenced by our emotions as opposed to rational thoughts, and our reactions hold a plethora of insight. If only businesses could tap into how users feel in order to utilise this invaluable data… enter Biometric Testing.

What is Biometric Testing?

As the digital world advances, customers expect a positive online user experience. Research is a critical component to implementing first-class UX on your website ensuring you don’t just meet expectations but exceed them. Biometric testing delves deeper than what people say, analysing natural responses and how a person feels in order to gain an all-encompassing understanding. Through analysis of traits, characteristics, behaviours and emotion, marketers can harness the power of biometrics, gathering emotional data to understand how users interact with your website. Feedback empowers you to optimise your online brand, user experience, customer engagement and most importantly, achieve higher conversion rates by catering to your audience’s emotions.

Types of Biometric Testing

We use market-leading biometric equipment to conduct insightful research that allows our clients to optimise their webpages, removing barriers to conversion. Our biometric testing covers:

Eye Tracking 

See your website through the eyes of your users. Eye tracking monitors what your users are looking at and when, which areas capture their attention and which they ignore, mapping eye movements as they view your site. We use site maps showing how a customer’s gaze moves around the site, and heat maps that show the part of your page which is getting the most/least attention. Following where the user’s eyes are drawn to (or not) flags barriers to conversion and can highlight the reason why people abandon their carts which basic heat mapping alone does not tell you.

Galvanic Skin Response (GSR)

We don’t always show our emotions through our facial expression, GSR measures the intensity of emotional response through the electrical current in the skin as a user views your site. Uncovering unconscious emotions, GSR is useful for picking up on reactions that people are unaware of. This tool can detect whether a person is relaxed or stressed when using your website, if they’re happy or unhappy with the products you are offering, providing you with invaluable insights into conversion barriers.

Facial Expression Recognition

This software recognises a user’s facial emotions at three basic levels: whether they like what they’re seeing or not, basic emotions such as anger, happiness or fear, and as many as 15 different facial expressions. Real-time emotion recognition can tell you when the person is bored, bewildered by their purchase journey or excited to finally find the product. This research helps to ensure your customers are leaving your website smiling, and if they aren’t, making sure the necessary steps are taken to rectify this.

Pupil Dilation

In line with eye tracking, pupil dilation measures how hard your brain is working. When your brain works harder, your pupils dilate in comparison to them contracting when you take a break. Teaming this with eye tracking, we can understand which part of your website a customer may be struggling with and improve upon this to streamline the user experience.

EEG (Electroencephalography)

Our brains communicate using electric signals, we can capitalise upon these signals using electrodes attached to the scalp. EEG allows us to investigate what is happening in a user’s mind as they view different parts of your website, for example, to measure engagement. Each research method is extremely useful in its own right, but the real insights come when they are used together. We can map a user’s response to using your website based purely on behaviour and emotion. Combining biometric testing with more traditional research methods allows you to delve deeper, gaining a comprehensive understanding of where your website may be underperforming.

What Can Biometric Testing Do For Your Business?

The importance of consumer emotions in digital marketing is growing; emotions matter and more and more online businesses are recognising this. According to Coast Digital, approximately 90% of the decision-making process is subconscious and based upon emotional responses which occur in a split-second. This proves why brands need to be creating a memorable UX to stand out from the saturated online crowd.

What people say is often different from what they feel. Here at Ingenuity Digital, we dig deeper to uncover what really makes your consumers tick. Harnessing specific, data-driven insights to reveal which aspects of your site arouse interest and which cause frustration, we identify opportunities to optimise what works on your website and improve what doesn’t to enhance your bottom line.

To date, biometric testing is one of the few ways we can gather valuable insight into exactly how a user is feeling. The return businesses are seeing makes it well worth the investment, empowering you to enhance your onsite user experience. For more information on biometric testing, CRO and UX, contact the team at team@ingenuitydigital.co.uk.