3 ways Topshop kick ass and drive conversions of 11% using personalization

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It’s easy to feel bombarded by uplift numbers and conversion rates. But when Topshop, one of Britain’s largest multinational retailers, with 440 shops in 37 countries and a huge online presence, say that website personalization has driven their conversion rate up by 11%, it’s surely worth some attention.

Let’s take a sneak peak into their strategy for success and have a look at what makes the Topshop website so dynamic online. Instead of looking at broad brush strokes, we are going to show you three different tests that drove conversions.

Before, we get down into the nitty gritty, here’s Kate Walmsley, Digital Director of Topshop, explaining how personalization transformed how they do business online.


1. A killer mobile strategy

Topshop understand how important experience is on mobile. This is clear in their very stripped back design and clear navigational structure that makes browsing through their products easy. Key to its simplicity is understanding what the user wants and communicating clearly to that individual. When they redesigned their mobile site, they wanted to nudge visitors to this new navigation.

So, they showed a navigational pointer to new visitors on their first visit, showing for 5 seconds only at entry. By highlighting how to get to other places on the site, they increased their basket adds by 4% and their number of visitors viewing a product page by 1.2%.

2. Feedback driven testing

As our research “The Value of Customer Feedback” has shown, without a qualitative understanding of your customers, you won't be able to grasp why certain things occur. Numbers tell you the scale of a problem, feedback tells you how to deal with it. Topshop used this mentality when they came to redesign their search bar: a key part of user’s path to purchase.

Qubit’s exit feedback tool, Visitor Opinion, saw that users were having trouble both finding and using the search bar. This became a problem as quantitative data from Qubit’s analytics found that people using Topshop’s search function typically convert 10 times higher. Using this data, alongside the qualitative feedback, Topshop designed four different search variations, testing both changes in copy and the addition of a border to the search box. The test, which was split evenly across all users, led to a 5.8% uplift in conversions for the winning design.

3. The devil is in the detail: product page magic

Product pages matter more than you might think. Topshop wanted a way of testing whether small changes on their product pages would have any effect, beit positive or negative. Would changing the size selector, the “details” or the “delivery tabs” have any effect? They also redesigned the confirmation pop-up, as well as buttons such as the size-guide, the “add to bag” and the “check stores”.

Instead of allocating extensive IT resources to push these full sitewide changes, they used Qubit to test their hypotheses first. In total, these small yet effective observations, once tested and placed live, added between a 9 and 11% uplift in conversion rate.

Key to Topshop’s testing strategy is the very close attention they pay to data. As Kate Walmsley has explained,

Qubit’s next generation marketing platform allows us to serve sophisticated personalizations. Creating valid hypotheses from both the qualitative and quantitative data that Qubit provides has meant we can test and make changes in real-time. As we continue to expand globally, being able to align across devices, as well as across oceans, has proven invaluable.”

To understand more about the importance of being statistically accurate, why not check out our A/B testing page? Here we will show you how to ensure that your uplifts translate to your bottom line.

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