Dedicated to the customer experience
“Investments you hold” is the motto of APMEX, one of the largest retailers for precious metals in the U.S. From Royal Canadian Mint Maple Leafs to the gold bars of Credit Suisse, APMEX offers thousands of products online.
While APMEX is a large company, its marketing resources are limited. But APMEX works hard to give its online customers a concierge-level customer experience — the same personal experience customers could get over the phone. “We refuse to believe that our customers’ experiences should be limited by our resources,” says Andrew Duffle, director of analytics at APMEX.
To stay on top of its customers’ needs and emerging trends in ecommerce, the APMEX team has used Google Analytics 360 for more than five years. So the company was enthusiastic when E-Nor, a Google Marketing Platform Partner, introduced another product that could help deliver more personalized customer experiences: Google Optimize 360. It wasn’t long before APMEX was using Optimize 360 to launch new experiments on its site.
Weighing all the possibilities
In particular, APMEX relies on Optimize 360 to help it bring that personal, concierge-level touch to its website users. “We test everything,” says Duffle, “including creative versus non-creative, the impacts of SEO content on engagement, conversion rate optimization on low-performing pages, new user experiences, and even the price sensitivity of different products.”
Manager of Business Intelligence at APMEX Andy Mueller continues, “One of our goals was to capture conversions on pages that were otherwise being used as educational resources. We thought if people were checking the price of metals, they might respond to offers that really reflected their interests.”
In one test, new users coming to APMEX to check silver prices were given limited-time offers on American Silver Eagles. If they’re interested enough to check prices, the theory went, they might appreciate a chance to buy.
The results were excellent, says Mueller: “We found the sessions that included an offer resulted in a median rate of 112% more revenue per session, with a 100% probability to beat the baseline.” The experiment did more than boost revenue; it also increased APMEX’s new customer counts. “We saw a 9% increase in new customer acquisition.”
With all the data that Optimize 360 puts at our fingertips, we use it daily to build and evolve our customer relationships.
, Director of Analytics, APMEX
Some of APMEX’s other tests have also produced astounding results. In one, the team used Analytics 360 to build an audience of people who had put Silver Buffalo coins in their shopping cart and then abandoned the cart. Those who returned to APMEX in the next few days saw the Silver Buffalo first thing on their homepage. As a result, the conversion rate for the coin doubled with this audience.
A similar front-page offer to existing VIP customers who had viewed any item from the Silver Buffalo category, but hadn’t made a purchase in the last seven days, led to a 24% increase in conversions for that limited audience.
“In the majority of cases, we’ve seen the same great results when taking a successful test in Optimize 360 and scaling it across the entire website. Redirects are awesome, the editor is wonderful, and the ability to adjust by cookies or Analytics 360 audiences just puts it over the top,” says Mueller.
For APMEX, the real bottom line for optimization is building trust with customers, and providing them with a positive experience that leads to long-term relationships. “We try to offer a special level of customer service not typically found in our industry,” says Mueller. “Optimize 360 helps us make that a reality every day, and the opportunities for improvement are endless.”
The Google Marketing Platform helped APMEX realize the vast possibilities for personalization, and see just how scaleable those possibilities can be.