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VWO helps Eastpak close the experimentation loop with a connected platform!

14%
Clickthrough rate
Eastpak Logo

Industry

Retail

Location

Belgium

Capabilities Used

A/B Testing
Deploy

VWO and Eastpak

Eastern Canvas Products, Inc. started manufacturing durable gear and safety equipment for the U.S. Army nearly 40 years ago. Today, the Eastpak® brand not only packs quality, style, and convenience in its backpacks and shoulder bags, but also brings innovation to travel with its creations like wheeled suitcases. 

Eastpak joined hands with VWO in 2019 and has since focused on building an experimentation culture that moves the needle across revenue, conversion, and user experience metrics in a fast-moving fashion world. 

The fashion industry and experimentation

Fashion has been continuously evolving, more so in the last two years with Covid-19. As an industry that relies heavily on customer self-expression to define success, customer experience has become a key component for the industry. And with digital becoming the only normal, experimentation is the soul food that a thriving fashion business needs now. Continuously improving the online customer experience is paramount. Retail subject matter experts at VWO resonate with the fact that persistent user-experience experimentation and improvement by way of personalization, contextual on-page content, and immediacy is the only way forward.

Challenges

We sat down with Ilse Normington, UX and Web analyst at Eastpak, to understand the experimentation process and needs of the company. In her 3 years at the organization, she has grown from focusing on sales and conversions to solely managing experimentation across the 12 European brand websites and becoming the consumers’ voice within the organization.

Back in 2019, Ilse realized the need for a dedicated A/B Testing platform and led Eastpak to move to VWO in order to sort the challenges they were facing, which were as follows:

Lack of experimentation ownership and business impact

The experimentation culture at the organization was mostly outsourced and under-utilized. While there were tests being run, the velocity was missing, as was deriving business applications of these experiments. 

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The earlier A/B Testing platform that we had was limiting, in the sense, we couldn’t get deep into the experimentation culture, we had no control over the process, the analysis wasn’t as actionable as we would like, leaving us thinking if we should go live with a test or not.

Ilse Normington

Ilse Normington

UX and Web analyst at Eastpak
Eastpak Logo

Understanding the changing consumer needs and resonating with them

With the changing times, there were a lot of new learnings within the Eastpak team which were earlier marked as ‘gut-feel’. Quantifying them and delving deeper into the user journey was something that was needed to deliver a far more contextual user experience.

Disjointed systems

Like any other global organization, Eastpak was also swimming in the deep waters of multiple systems, tools, and platforms to integrate into their artillery. Without synergies, it was not only affecting turnaround time but also affecting efficiencies and ultimately the revenue. Add to that the fact that Ilse and her team dealt with 12 European websites across 8 languages at any given point in time. This meant that experience needed to be deployed instantaneously, and hyper-localized across the continent.

Solution: A connected platform

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For us, VWO is not just an A/B testing tool, but a comprehensive website utility tool.

Ilse Normington

Ilse Normington

UX and Web analyst at Eastpak
Eastpak Logo

In order to drive growth and solve the specific problems that Ilse and the team were facing, they zeroed down on VWO since it not only helped with A/B testing but was also able to analyze and optimize user journeys end-to-end. Add to that VWO’s consultancy wing – VWO Services, they were able to source some of the industry’s best CRO resources driving the A/B testing culture within the organization, all that with the right amount of hand-holding.

And the results are there to see. Earlier, tests were run only on Eastpak’s UK, France, and Italy websites, that too at a limited pace. Now with VWO, not only has the frequency of tests improved, but they are also able to run these across all the websites in Europe with assistance from VWO Services.

With the right support system in the shape of VWO Insights and robust reporting, Eastpak UI & UX team has not just been able to double down on the user insights that they want to test out but have also been able to make business decisions that have led to major website improvements. 

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Sometimes it can take months (based on the priority and bandwidth of internal teams) to take things live on the website, If we didn’t have VWO Deploy, we would have lost a lot of revenue potentially in the past year or so.

Ilse Normington

Ilse Normington

UX and Web analyst at Eastpak
Eastpak Logo

With VWO Deploy, the team has been able to tie loose ends on their websites faster and without much dependency on the overworked front-end development team, considering these changes run across different languages and require immediate action. 

In totality, experimentation has come a full circle at the organization. There are synergies at scale, multiple ‘task force’ teams (consisting of Merchandisers, Product Managers, Marketing & UI/UX folks) working on specific experimentation projects.

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Experimentation has gone from something that some of us used to do on the side, to something that has become the core of what we do, and other departments know and value what we do, and contribute to it as well!

Ilse Normington

Ilse Normington

UX and Web analyst at Eastpak
Eastpak Logo

Besides these macro wins for Eastpak, we also discussed few experiments that Ilse’s team were proud of, and in general, can provide inspiration for other experimenters out there:

Stickied Filter Bar

Rationale: VWO Insights showed that only 5% of mobile visitors interacted with the filter bar on Product Landing Pages. The team wanted to ensure customers only see the most relevant product from the vast product range which is why it was important that they notice and use filters.

Hypothesis: By redesigning the mobile filter bar, giving it clear and consistent labels, and making it sticky to the top of the screen would lead to increased filter usage and conversions.

Results: There was an improvement in the interaction with the filters by 106% compared to the Control group. Business-wise, there was a 7% increase in click-through rate, because customers were now more easily able to find relevant products.

Eastpak Filter Control And Variation

Streamlined Check-out Journey

Rationale: VWO Services team suggested that there was an unnecessary extra step within the checkout journey that showed a quick view popup on the mobile shopping cart, and this was causing customer dropout. 

Hypothesis: By removing the extra step and sending customers straight to the shopping cart when clicking the cart icon, there can be an increase in conversion rates.

Results: There was an increase in the click-through rate by 14%, i.e. removing one additional step made it quicker and easier for customers to make a purchase and improved their checkout experience.

Eastpak Checkout

Conclusion

With the increased appetite to experiment across all Eastpak websites, Ilse and the team are now considering rehauling the overall product landing structure. With inputs from the VWO Services team, they are moving to a user-centric layout that is far more immersive (including gamification and interaction elements) and customer-centric.

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