UserTesting, an online, mobile and in-store customer experience testing and measurement company, has secured $45.5 million in Series C financing led by Accel Partners with participation from OpenView Venture Partners. The new funding will enable UserTesting to expand its capabilities beyond online and mobile testing to cover virtually any customer experience, anywhere and on demand, the company says.
“This financing is a milestone in the battle to get companies to start paying attention to the actual experiences of real people,” says Darrell Benatar, CEO of UserTesting. “Most companies rely solely on analytics and only know what their customers are doing. They don’t know why they’re doing it.”
UserTesting has more than 30,000 clients, including such giants as Amazon.com Inc., Facebook Inc., Google Inc., The Home Depot Inc. and Verizon Wireless, UserTesting says. UserTesting conducts tests that record how consumers in the U.S., the U.K., Canada and Australia browse web sites, mobile sites, mobile apps and stores. On-device meters and recorders capture what happens onscreen, audio comments from a consumer tester, and video from a smartphone’s camera when a consumer is in a store.
UserTesting maintains a pool of 1 million consumers who have agreed to have their devices monitored and provide feedback when asked. Testers receive anywhere from $10-40 per test, depending on the level of complexity. UserTesting tests cost clients $49 for a single test of a single respondent up to thousands of dollars for a complex test with many respondents.
“This is qualitative testing as opposed to quantitative testing, so we conduct a relatively small number of tests per issue,” explains Mike Mace, vice president of mobile at UserTesting. “We recommend 5-10 consumers in a round of testing. And we recommend doing a frequent series of small tests, especially with a web site or mobile app that is evolving frequently. A big test with a large number of testers would result in a huge amount of video for a client to analyze. But 5-10 testers will help a client easily discover major issues.”
Mace stresses that UserTesting now can offer what he describes as “full omnichannel testing,” tracking a consumer everywhere she interacts with a business.
When it comes to mobile commerce, Mace has observed a couple trends from analyzing the tests of the company’s clients.
“The line between interacting with a retailer electronically and interacting in a store is a really fuzzy thing,” he says. “A lot of our clients come to us with an assumption that e-commerce is 20% of their business and bricks-and-mortar is 80%, and those are very separate things. However, tests show the typical customer ping pongs back and forth between what is online, what is mobile and what it is they can do in a store. For mobile experts, this is not a big surprise. But for many of our clients, literally seeing this happen with their own eyes is quite a revelation to them.”
Mace adds that clients are coming to find that consumers no longer set aside time to do many tasks, like shopping.
“The amount of time consumers spend with their tablets on their couches at home is really striking—the couch is the place where tablets are most heavily used,” Mace says. “As a result, clients are realizing they actually are competing with television for the attention of consumers. Real estate clients thought house-hunters set aside time to hunt. But that’s not the case, that task is completely mixed up with recreation time thanks to mobile technology.”
Follow Bill Siwicki, editor of the 2015 Internet Retailer Mobile 500 and editor, mobile, at Internet Retailer, at @IRmcommerce and at @MobileInsiderBS.Favorite