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How M&S achieved 6% sales boost through Website Optimization?

How M&S achieved 6% sales boost through Website Optimization?

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The Brand: Marks and Spencer (M&S) The Challenge: Amplify shopper engagement through web optimization The Approach: Employing a more agile strategy of continuous short-term testing The Result: 6% uplift in sales Words by Clare Shields, Product Owner at Marks and Spencer

The Brand: Marks and Spencer (M&S)

Marks and Spencer also known as M&S is a major British multinational retailer headquartered in the City of Westminster, London. Listed on the London Stock Exchange the retailer specializes in the selling of clothing, home products and luxury food products. With 852 UK stores, 480 international outlets and a booming online shopping operation, the company at present is selling product to over 33 million customers The retailing company had a challenge of amplifying the shopper engagement that they wanted to attain through web optimization for which they collaborated with Webtrends Optimize (WO).  WO helped the company achieve a 6% increase in sales through the delivery of personalized-website experience to returning customers.

The Challenge: Amplify shopper engagement through web optimization

Although the retailing company was booming high still with the long-lasting shift to digital and multichannel shopping, retailers around the world are all the time more focused on optimizing digital experiences for customers for maintaining an edge in an intensely competitive environment. Executives at M&S identified this challenge and took it as a prospect for amplifying the shopper engagement further and driving the incremental revenue by adopting a more agile approach to web optimization.

The Approach: Employing a more agile strategy of continuous short-term testing

As discussed earlier, the M&S collaborated with Webtrends Optimize that executed a successful testing programme. Both the teams, the one at WO and M&S in-house digital team worked together and managed the website optimization tests for the retailing company. WO also provided valuable input for complex tests apart from offering guidance on strategic direction & best practices. M&S realized the value of the partnership and wanted to capitalize on this to streamline its optimization efforts even more by setting up a more shared way of working with the Webtrends consultants. So, a new operating model was established by a team comprising M & S and WO digital professional that followed a more agile strategy of unremitting short-term testing to focus on more complex, data-driven personalization tests.

The Result: 6% uplift in sales

The agile strategy of constant short-term testing along with new innovations on web optimization delivered impressive results impacting the bottom line of the retailing company by driving incremental revenue for the business. For instance, there was a test that was run mainly for determining whether the returning visitors to the website were more likely to spike up the value of their checkout journey if they were reminded about items added to their shopping basket from a previous visit. Through the right personalization of the homepage for the returning customers, M & S could drive an almost 6 percent increase in sales.

Words by Clare Shields, Product Owner at Marks and Spencer

“Our planning cycle has become much shorter and we are more flexible than before so we can be more responsive and reactive in prioritising the projects that will deliver the best possible returns for the business,”   “The testing pipeline is continuously evolving and becoming more sophisticated, which has been boosted by our partnership with Webtrends. They’ve been a trusted advisor playing an important role in developing more complex, personalisation- based tests to ensure we maximise website performance.”  “Everyone on the team recognises that our biggest challenges are the biggest business opportunities and now we can deliver new ideas and initiatives within a matter of weeks, not months,” she continued. “As we are more agile, we can make incremental improvements on a continuous basis and this has delivered impressive and tangible results.”
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