ShopClues is an eCommerce major in India serving 42 million visitors with a global Alexa rank of 431. Backed by the likes of Helion, Nexus and Tiger Global, the five year old ShopClues is already valued at one billion dollars.
We got in touch with Divakar Ravichandran, marketing technologist at ShopClues, to talk about the process they follow, the hurdles they face and the results they’ve achieved.
The Team Behind Optimization
Divakar belongs to the on-site merchandising team and takes care of on-site optimization. While A/B testing and optimization became a core function only four months ago, they were quick to set a goal of optimizing the high traffic and marketing pages. To scale fast they decided to have at least one effective A/B test deployed every week. The rigorous regimen paid off and they were able to achieve a 26% higher visits-to-order from the homepage.
Optimization Becoming a Practice
When asked if he sees optimization becoming a regular practice at the company, Divakar told us that within four months, a set of few minor and two major design improvements have been made live site-wide. It’s a move in the right direction and he is confident that conversion optimization will be adopted deeper and wider into the marketing function.
Process of Optimization
The team is currently focused on optimizing the homepage and the category pages. They act as owners for the homepage while with category pages they collaborate with the respective category managers.
Test 1 – Homepage
Each element of the homepage is carefully tracked for conversion signals and this data then fuels hypotheses and testing. On the homepage, the main navigation bar links were getting a lot of clicks. Particularly, the first link that was ‘Wholesale’. The challenge, they identified, was to send better qualified traffic to the category pages.
ShopClues hypothesized that replacing ‘Wholesale’ with other marketing categories (like ‘super saver’ bazaar) and moving it to the left navbar can make the page more visually aligned and help receive better qualified visitors to each of the category pages.
Results of Optimization
The new top navbar with the marketing categories now receives 50% more CTR. And as expected, the quality of visits to the categories improved as evidenced by an improvement of 26% in visits-to-order.
Testing Helps Uncover Further Areas for Improvement
Re-positioning ‘wholesale’ also meant the change had to be highlighted to the visitors. For this purpose, the team has displayed a banner that says ‘new’ right next to the ‘wholesale’. This change has since then further improved the CTR on ‘wholesale’ category.
Test 2 – Marketing Category Page
With the category pages, the team obtains data from the analytics team, deploys heat maps where required and sends these reports to their respective managers. The category managers then point out areas that require attention. Based on this feedback the team sets about creating hypotheses, prioritizing tests and executing them.
Here’s an example of how this works in real: By using Visitor Behavior Analysis the team noticed that for one of their promotional categories (Sunday Flea Market), filters like ‘new arrivals’ ‘best selling’ and ‘price sorting’ were getting the bulk of user attention. On-Page Surveys were then used to collect feedback from visitors themselves about these filters. Based on this insight a new test was created where visitors were spared that step in their search. The variation presented visitors with the products that matched the filters upfront in a horizontal display (see below).
Here’s how the original page looked:
And this is how the variation created based on user behavior and feedback looks:
This test resulted in a stupendous 48% higher visit-to-order.
Experience Using VWO
VWO consists of a complete set of tools and features using which I was able to infer how visitors use the site (heat maps, visitor-recordings etc) and even how they feel (surveys). Gleaning insights from these data, I could strategize and easily launch A/B tests, multivariate tests, personalization triggers and more to optimize our funnel. The complete process of “data driven” optimization through this tool is self-explanatory and easy to set-up.
As an enterprise customer, ShopClues could also take the help of our Customer Success Managers. Divakar was kind enough to acknowledge the contribution of the CS team to their optimization efforts:
The response from the team is quick and they are available to discuss tests hypothesis and helps in setting up them effectively. I sync up with my support manager almost every day of the week to plan and optimize things.