Link Lockers are a large UK National locker manufacturers part of the Link 51 Group, supplying custom locker installs to the leisure industry, NHS, Education, Manufacturing, Emergency Services and more. They are not your normal eCommerce locker store selling individual lockers or small bulk loads of lockers to your normal B to C client base nor do they sell online. Their ideal clients are much more targeted which is why converting traffic into high quality leads was just as important as increasing the overall conversions.
Link Lockers conversion rate wasn’t much below the industry standard online with the average conversion rate of just under 1% however they were still insistent that there was something missing in their goal funnels, which is why they approached us for the extra intelligence. We took one look and new we could squeeze more.
stage 1 – The Research
Once we have received the brief and discussed with our client the kind of things we would be doing we got started straight away on some valuable research. The first thing we do with every conversion rate project is to get our whole team to view the site and go through the goal funnels from a third party view (This is a bit biased we know, which is why the second research stage is with the customers). We use some software called Bounce app to take screen grabs of a web page and then share online between our team which allows everyone to add comments and express ideas and opinions on different parts of that web page. This is really useful as it involves the whole team involved in different departments from the development team, to the design team, accounts, search marketers and even the IT techy guys!
The second part of the research stage is to monitor the visitor activity on the website and ask them a series of questions about why they visited the site, what they came for, what they couldn’t do, what they could do and so on and so on. At the end of the day it’s the customers who are buying the product and its the customers who are using the website so to understand what they require is way too valuable to miss out on.
stage 2 – Identifying the problems within the current goal funnel
Armed with our valuable research we started to pay more detail to the potential floors found in Link Lockers goal funnel. We were focusing in particular on their locker enquiry goal. Let’s talk you through how the original page was set up, where the main goals appeared and how exactly a customer was guided into a goal.
Step 1: Here is the original home page design (Click image to enlarge). We have highlighted where there main goal appeared. As you can see it is pretty standard stuff, probably where you would expect naturally to put goals and calls to action within this web page design. They fit in well with the site, very symmetrical and nice looking. The goal funnel started with these basic calls to action. A user would hopefully see these click on the calls to action and general want to create a locker solution for their business.
Step 2: Once a user clicked on these calls to action they were then taken to a pop up window where they could configure their locker solution. This locker creator was an all singing all dancing interactive system. A user would be able to choose their type and style of locker required and then customers it to their specific requirements. They could choose specific dimensions; number of doors, door colour, type of locks required and also add different types of accessories and benches etc.
Step 3: Once you had configured your locker to your exact requirements the user would then be taken to a third stage which was a pop up form within the pop up window weirdly enough. This looked great and appealing once again. At this stage the user would simply fill in their contact details and information and submit their enquiry for a quote on their design. This would then be a successful goal completed and the enquiry sent off to the sales team to process the quote.
Pretty nice looking goal funnel you say?
Some issues we found with this goal funnel from research and our own experience
- The home page calls to action didn’t stand out from the design and layout of the web page
- They were generally unappealing and got lost within the design
- The home page slider was fancy but boring. Who’s going to sit and watch that roll around all day?
- When the call to action was clicked the locker creator opened up within a new pop up window! Potentially blocked and looked spammy to most modern day browsers with pop up blockers. There were also no navigation options back to the website once in this locker creator.
These were just some of the problems found in this goal conversion funnel that was potentially loosing valuable customers and holding back that all important conversion rate.
stage 3 – split testing & designing winning web page’s
At this stage we were armed with enough data to start split testing different variations of the home page and tweaking the goal funnel with one clear aim, ‘to achieve as many goal conversions as possible’. As there were 2 main stages within the locker creator goal funnel we decided to create 2 different tests. The first thing we did at this stage – We wanted to find out whether we can channel and tempt more visitors to go through the locker creator quote process from the home page of the website. We looked back our data from Click Tail and Heat Maps to see how people interacted with the site and where there main focus on different web pages was, particularly the home page. We started to come up with various web page designs from this data and from our own past experience.
Each design tweak and layout stage was split tested to the original home page using Visual Website Optimizers A/B testing suite. We wanted to find out whether each small change based on data and experience actually improved over the original design and importantly which changes if any didn’t. We had used Google’s website Optimizer tool in the past to split test but we found VWO’s tool far easier to use, set up tests and analyse the data and results. Design variations we intended to split test had to be created within the Link Lockers branding and within the site so they didn’t look too out of place. We took a carbon copy of the current home page, changed and coded what we needed to and then uploaded the new variation onto the site under a different URL. i.e http://www.linklockers.co.uk/site/home2. This url would then be entered into VWO’s suite to test against the original URL. Once the test was activated the software would then present one page variation to 1 visitor and the alternative variation to the other visitor (50% traffic sent to one 50% to the other). So for example, I may visit the site and I get presented with the original home page. It will then track if I convert from that URL however my neighbour next door may get presented with the alternative variation and the software will then track if he/she converts from that layout into a goal. Over time (depending on the amount of traffic you have and conversions) we can then come up with conclusive results as to whether the original or variation was better at converting.
Once we had tested every design change we wanted to and analysed the results we had a pretty good idea of what the winning home page variation would look like. We put all the design changes together from the data and created one final home page variation with all of the winning parts from the split testing. We then split tested this over the original just to be sure that it drove more traffic into the locker creator than the original. Surprise surprise it did and with far greater effects than we ever estimated.
One final thing to fix – We knew we had a killer home page designed which attracted more potential goal conversions however we still found one fundamental issue which was the alarming drop out rate when a user actually opened the locker creator. We knew this was down to the creator opening up within a pop up. To fix this we needed to get Link Lockers original developers involved. We asked for the interactive software to be built and developed within a page of the main website. This would not only avoid pop up blocker issues but would also allow easy navigation. Once this was developed and we had then tested to the original we knew we were onto a winner with increasing the conversion rate.
the winning web page which tripled online revenue
…And here is the winning page design variation which attracted more visitors to the goal and lead to more than tripling conversions and sales in January 2012!
Notice the changes? Take a look below at the new variation compared with the old. We’ve illustrated exactly what we changed.
|Original Home Page||Winning Variation|
New Locker Creator
Here is the new locker creator, nicely developed within a page of the website. Remember when the call to action was clicked previously the old locker creator opened up within a new pop up. We realised this may have been blocked from many browsers and modern day machines, especially when most of the website traffic was coming from b to b business. This small user ability changed actually significantly helped towards squeezing more conversions out of this main site goal.
Here are some cold hard facts for you on the results we achieved from our successful conversion project. Below is the number of goals and also the average percentage rate of those goals each month from October 2011 to March 2012. These goals were set up and tracked from Google Analytics.
October to December 2011 was our testing stage. This is where we split tested various design tweaks on the home page until we come up with a confident design we knew, based on the data would work to significantly increase conversions. January 2012 was when the new web page and non-pop up creator was put live on the site. As you can see the number of enquiries tripled and the average conversion rate tripled. This means we were converting more than 2% more of website traffic into a goal/conversion and enquiry. It is important to mention that the locker industry isn’t seasonal. You wouldn’t expect a flurry of enquiries in January compared with the rest of the year. It’s not a January sales clothes industry. Actually we found the busiest period for locker enquiries was to be around June time according to previous analytics data.
What you should do:
- Conduct valuable research at the start of every conversion rate optimisation campaign. Gather research from your own team, the companies team and most importantly the customers/website visitors
- Make small changes, split test them and test some more to come up with the ultimate winning goal funnels
What you shouldn’t do:
- Don’t implement and split test changes based on your own personal preference without valuable research. It could take months to ever find a winning variation. Not only that you miss things that your potential customer don’t
- Never implement changes without testing. You could get burnt and actually reduce valuable conversions and have a negative effect on sales revenue