Awards & Press

eTail West 2019:
Perfecting Micro Moments to Drive Commerce

Focusing on the micro moments throughout a consumer’s journey will pay dividends on the macro metrics retailers obsess over measurement-wise, whether it’s conversion rate, average order value or another KPI deemed proper to track effectiveness.

Micro moments? Tell me more …

The brand, the messaging, the ads, the digital and in-store experiences.
The way you leverage landing page optimization to increase email acquisition rates.
The customer service along the way to commerce and after the sale.
The friendly nudge from a brand when they’re ready to guide you to a recommendation.
The ___________ you’ve now thought of for your brand after seeing a few examples.

Metrics like conversion rate and average order value are the sum of the individual micro parts along the path to purchase. Polish and perfection of the individual components of the consumer journey ripple effect into smooth omni-channel experiences and improved macro metrics.

While there was a lot to take in at eTail West 2019 last week, this stood out to us as the most actionable insight marketers can start working on now. We attended 10+ sessions while we were there and highlighted relevant perspectives from speakers that accentuate this insight.

“The purchase is the result of many micro-conversions that people have on your site. Giving their email address or starting to check out. When you focus your efforts on the areas where micro-conversations happen, progress is made toward e-commerce.”
Alex Banys, Director, Global eCommerce and Digital Marketing, Specialized Bicycle Components

Consumer Journey Mapping

When you dig into the micro components of your consumer’s journey, the complexity grows exponentially. Especially given the number of touch points and interactions people have with brands before purchasing. Mapping this journey can be overwhelming, but there’s value in spending a few hours white boarding and identifying immediate opportunities to improve.

“What’s helpful with consumer journey mapping is identifying the paint points. I’m a big believer in talking to customers and making sure I understand what they want.”
– Valerie Hoecke – Chief Digital Officer, LVMH Perfumes and Cosmetics, LVMH

“There’s not one journey for all. If you’re looking from start to finish, you’re already wrong.”
– Alan Wizemann – Chief Digital Officer, Dollar Shave Club

“When it comes to the journey, it comes down to your brand and the experience. Don’t get overwhelmed about the entire customer journey, but focus on a few areas and make sure the personality of your brand comes through. That’s personalization.”
– John Hazen – Chief Digital Officer, Boot Barn

As indicated from the quotes above, deciding which micro moment opportunity is right for your brand is the most difficult choice to make. At this point, it makes sense to zoom out and consider the macro metrics as you prioritize. If you were to improve on each of the micro moments, what impact would it have on conversion rate and average order value?

Removing Friction

Once you decide which moments to focus on, be relentless about removing friction.

“When we think about removing friction, we ask ourselves, ‘What benefit does this provide to the consumer?’ first and then design and build experiences from there. As you remove friction, personalization and humanization become real.”
Kathryn Money – VP, Strategy & Merchandising, Brilliant Earth has removed friction on multiple fronts, including virtually trying on rings with different skin tones and “Drop A Hint” functionality on product pages. In 2020, they’ll be launching augmented reality for trying on rings, creating joint accounts for partners to share notes and making it easy to create Instagram moments while in store.

For GameStop, digital ad creative is a friction point. “Creative is a friction point that doesn’t allow us to get to an individually personalized state, according to Jim Edgett – Head of Digital Ecosystem & Channels. He continued to say, “We’re making better use of customized landing page templates for certain audiences, but having a hard time keeping up with digital ad versioning.”

Causality and Incrementality

Whatever micro moment you decide to focus on, create a learning agenda, define which micro metrics to measure and then build a forecast that makes assumptions about the impact you can have on conversion rate and average order value.

“Whatever we do, we have to understand the deterministic thing that influenced a sale.”
– Jim Edgett – Head of Digital Ecosystem & Channels, GameStop

At Ovative Group, we measure causal impact with our marketing analytics platform by analyzing incrementality. If you’re interested in learning more about how we do that, or how we can increase revenue on your digital media channels by 25%, we’d love to hear from you.

Dale Nitschke

Dale Nitschke

CEO & Founder

About the Author

Dale is the Founder and CEO of Ovative. After years of operating a large omni-channel business and leading a customer data initiative, Dale knew there was an opportunity to create a marketing firm that helped clients become more customer centric and drove better performance outcomes. A gap existed between business consultancies and advertising agencies that modern marketing approaches demand. He also believed that a strong, healthy culture could attract and develop smart, talented team members. In 2009, he formed Ovative to bring media, measurement, and consulting together under one roof to enable an enterprise approach that drives more revenue and grows clients’ customer base.

Prior to founding Ovative in 2009, Dale spent 23 years at Target Corporation where he served as President of and grew the ecommerce business from start-up stage to a $1 billion+ business and established the foundation of Target’s Guest database capabilities. Previously he served as SVP Merchandising at the Department Store Division of Dayton Hudson. Dale has advised retailers and brands globally on business, growth, marketing, and measurement transformation strategies.

Outside of Ovative, Dale is a leader on topics including business strategy, change management, and team leadership. He serves on the board of Allergy Amulet and on the Dean’s Advisory Board of the Wisconsin School of Business at UW-Madison.  He enjoys spending time with his family, up north in northern Wisconsin, playing golf, and cheering on Wisconsin sport teams.

Steve Benson

Steve Benson

Chief Financial Officer

About the Author

Steve is the Chief Financial Officer of Ovative. Steve is responsible for the company’s IT, corporate accounting, treasury, tax, financial planning and analysis, and Business Operations

Prior to joining Ovative, Steve provided finance and accounting advisory services to clients. Before that, he spent 23 years at Target Corporation, leading Finance and Accounting teams.

Steve enjoys distance running, woodworking, and traveling. Steve and his wife have two sons, and they enjoy escaping to the Minnesota north shore.

Annie Zipfel

Executive Vice President, Media

About the Author

Annie is the Executive Vice President of Media at Ovative. She oversees delivery and growth across paid and owned media (digital, traditional, and retail media) and creative services.

Annie has more than 30 years of experience in media, brand management, insights/analytics, marketing, and product. She has also developed large, high-performing teams and built new measurement capabilities. Annie led the marketing team at Andersen Windows & Doors, leading the digital, social, content, customer insights, and creative functions. Prior to that, Annie served in multiple marketing leadership roles at Starbucks, REI, Target, and General Mills, with a keen focus on brand, media, insights, analytics, and measurement.

Annie is an industry leader in brand management, customer insights, e-commerce, social media, and analytics. She enjoys hiking, traveling, cooking, fishing, and spending time with her sweet dog and two sons.

Bonnie Gross

Executive Vice President, Talent Services

About the Author

Bonnie is the Executive Vice President of Talent Services at Ovative. She is responsible for attracting and retaining top talent and creating a culture in which our team thrives personally and professionally. Under Bonnie’s leadership, Ovative has defined an industry leading leadership and development program and transformed our approach to talent recruitment with a focus on diversity, equality and inclusion. Prior to her current role, Bonnie led Ovative’s Client and Business Development team overseeing client satisfaction and new growth opportunities.

Before joining Ovative in 2014, Bonnie spent 13 years at Target Corporate as the VP of digital and Digital Marketing where she led the launch of Cartwheel, an industry-leading social shopping application. Bonnie was the VP of Marketing for Fingerhut for 15 years prior to joining Target.

Steve Baxter

Steve Baxter

Executive Vice President, Strategic Initiatives

About the Author

Steve is the Executive Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at Ovative. Steve has been with the company since 2010 and launched Ovative’s media practice in 2012.

Prior to joining Ovative, Steve worked at Target for 8 years where he led development of Target’s CRM initiatives, Digital media analytics and Target’s Media Network. In 2005, Steve developed Target’s proprietary in-house capabilities to both measure in-store sales impact from digital brand investments and personalize marketing messages across both digital and non-digital channels.

Steve is an industry leader on topics including marketing, advanced measurement, ecommerce, and monetization. Steve enjoys fishing, camping, golfing and trying to stay competitive in any sport with his three boys. Steve enjoys escaping to the MN north shore with his wife, boys and dog whenever possible.

Beth McKigney

Senior Vice President, Measurement

About the Author

Beth is the Senior Vice President of Measurement at Ovative. She is responsible for developing, implementing, and supporting proprietary technology products that enable clients to unlock insights across marketing channels and devices. Since joining Ovative in 2013, Beth built Ovative’s Site Analytics & Optimization practice and Ovative’s unified marketing measurement tool, MAP. She is spearheading development of new technology products focused on advanced analytics, testing and reporting.

Prior to joining Ovative, Beth spent 9 years at Target in multiple digital and marketing analytics roles. She defined and delivered Target’s email and mobile marketing strategies, identified and defined guest-facing technology enhancements, and managed site-wide promotional marketing plans.

Beth is a thought leader in advanced analytics and optimization strategies. She regularly advises clients on strategies to improve their marketing effectiveness and is a published thought leader. She lives in Brooklyn Park with her husband, two boys and dog, Sota.  Beth’s an avid University of Minnesota sports fan (especially football – Row the Boat!) and enjoys downhill skiing, biking, hunting and fishing.

Lindsy Steinberger

Sr. Manager, Paid Search

About the Author

Lindsy is a Sr. Manager on the Paid Search team at Ovative.

Tyler Spiwak

Analyst, Measurement Solutions

About the Author

Tyler is an Analyst on the Measurement Solutions team at Ovative.

Dianne Anderson

Senior Vice President, Media

About the Author

Dianne is the Senior Vice President of Media at Ovative. She is responsible for delivery and growth across paid digital media, traditional media, marketplaces, and creative services. Since joining the company in 2013, Dianne has been a key leader in establishing new channel practices, a strategic voice in media and marketing strategy and a driver scaling best in class teams. She regularly advises clients on ecommerce, retail, digital media and measurement strategies.

Prior to joining Ovative, Dianne spent 8 years at Target leading strategy and activation of digital e-comm and brand marketing initiatives.

Dianne is passionate about music, leading ukulele lessons for the team and participating in office musical collaborations.  Her happy places are Northern Wisconsin, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where she enjoys making memories with her family.

Lillian Smith

Senior Analyst, Paid Social

About the Author

Lillian is a Senior Analyst on the Paid Social team at Ovative.

More Awards & Press


Star Tribune Names Ovative Group a Top Workplace for the Ninth Year

For the ninth time, Ovative Group was included on Star Tribune’s Top Workplaces list. This year, Ovative ranked #25... Read More »


Insights Team


Ovative Team Funds Scholarships for Five Students from The BrandLab

Ovative granted a record-breaking $35,000 in scholarships to five students in partnership with The BrandLab.... Read More »


Insights Team


Two Ovative Group Employees Win 32 Under 32 Award

Two Ovative experts were recently honored as winners of AdFed Minnesota’s annual 32 Under 32 Awards, with 21 total... Read More »


Insights Team

accent bar