All about integration
If you’re a road cyclist or triathlete, chances are you know Sigma Sport. This global retailer sells bikes, clothing, energy bars, anti-chafe balm, and anything else you need to power through your next big event, or simply enjoy a friendly ride in the country.
The company recently set out to address a vital need: to find more customers with high potential lifetime value. “Growth with high-value customers is key to our success,” says Sigma Sport Head of Digital Nik Hill. “We knew we needed to change our website experience to better engage these customers.”
To reach its goal, Sigma Sport turned to its agency, the digital conversion specialist Merkle | Periscopix. And together they turned to Google Optimize 360, part of the Google Marketing Platform.
Following interactivity from ‘what’ to ‘why’
While reviewing insights from Google Analytics along with CRM records, the Merkle | Periscopix team discovered that 40% of Sigma Sport’s returning customers came through the homepage, but less than 2% of them were using the prominent homepage carousel to browse highlighted brands.
The next step was to understand the “why” behind that low 2% number. “Delivering a good user experience starts with understanding customers’ needs,” says Shahina Meru, Associate Analytics Lead at Merkle | Periscopix. “We conducted a customer journey analysis, which showed us that almost half the user journeys began on the homepage. The key was this: instead of using the carousel, most users were inclined to use either the site search or the main navigation to browse within the brands they had an affinity for.”
In other words, says Shahina, users had varied preferences but were all being served the same experience. “Sigma Sport has nine brands featured on the homepage, so most users were having a hard time finding their favorite brand on the page.”
That gave them a new idea: If the homepage showed users the brands they had interacted with on a previous visit, Sigma Sport should see more engagement and sales. Using Optimize 360, Merkle | Periscopix created an experiment where they replaced Sigma Sport’s homepage carousel with images of the site’s three top-performing brands: Castelli, Specialized, and Assos.
"We created three distinct Analytics audiences who had earlier bought or interacted with these top three brands, then used these as targeting rules in Optimize 360," explains Shahina. "Anyone who had looked at or bought a Specialized bike in the past, for instance, now saw Specialized products in their carousel."
Earning 28% more
When Sigma Sport tested its new personalized homepage, it saw right away that it was a hit with users.
The experiment drove a 28% rise in revenue and a 32% increase in ecommerce conversion rate during the experiment. In fact, Sigma Sport saw uplift throughout customers’ pathways to purchase, with more than a 90% probability to beat the baseline:
Overall, personalization worked, for both Sigma Sport and its bike-shopping customers. Now Merkle | Periscopix is looking for more ways to enhance user experience with personalization from Analytics and Optimize 360.
“We treat conversion rate optimization as an iterative process,” says Shahina. “We continuously push boundaries to understand the end user and present them with more personalized experiences to help them achieve their goals.”
Tracking revenue and transactions is seamless in Optimize 360 because we can measure our experiments against the goals we’ve already set up in Analytics. That makes it easy to align our testing strategy to our business objectives.
, Head of Digital, Sigma Sport