Website Morphing can increase your sales by 20%

12 March 2009 by Anna Mieczakowski  
Filed under News and views

The idea of intelligent websites that automatically customise themselves in order to appear more appealing to visitors caused a lot of discussion when the report on “Website Morphing” was published by MIT in Marketing Science in May 2008.

The researchers from MIT suggest that morphing websites in ten clicks or less can deduce the visitors’ preferred layout of the site’s content and images and customise themselves accordingly. Website morphing can easily figure out who wants a simple website that gives advice and smaller amounts of information and who wants a more detailed, complicated site that allows visitors to delve deeper into the product.

It is estimated that by doing so the morphing websites can increase company sales by about 20% as they bring a lot of ‘fresh air’ to the browsing experience, and most importantly they free people from personalising the website layout themselves. The experimental study on morphing was carried out on the BT Group website and it contributed to the company earning approximately $80 million (£60 million) in additional revenue.

The authors of the report claim that “website design has become a major driver of profit. Websites that match the preferences and information needs of visitors are efficient; those that do not will forego potential profit and might be driven from the market”.

Morphing works in two ways. First, every click a customer makes on a website reveals something about his or her cognitive style. Examples of such styles are impulsive vs. deliberative, visual vs. verbal, technical vs. non-technical, innovators vs. late adopters, etc. The second step is to determine what type of morph will serve each style, which is determined by machine learning. A website might morph by changing graphs and pictures to text, reducing a display to fewer options, or by optimising the amount of information presented about each product choice. A morphed website also might add or delete things like column headings, links, tools, virtual personas and dialogue boxes.

It looks like website morphing is a very promising and innovative idea, and although the report is relatively new, there is quite a few cutting-edge companies that are currently implementing this technology into their business model.


2 Responses to “Website Morphing can increase your sales by 20%”
  1. I think it is a very interesting beginning towards a paradigma change. In combination with intelligent profiling tools and an adserver, future websites could be designed directly by the adserver based on this model. Fantastic new possibilities. Further ideas I have written on my Blog (unfortunately only in German)

  2. says:

    Very interesting article, I hope we will have such sites soon.

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