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The eCommerce Appliance Industry – A First Look
The large appliance industry has a particular behavior when it comes to online purchases. Based on consumer insights from Google, 66% of the of large appliance purchases (such as refrigerators, stoves, and washers) are made to replace broken appliances (39%) or to upgrade old ones (27%).
In the case of broken appliances, timely delivery is a very important criterion when deciding what retailer or brand to choose.
Another important aspect is the influence online stores have on offline buying. People are researching online before buying appliances from brick and mortar stores.
The tendency to make this type of purchases in physical stores is backed up by data: according to a study conducted by PwC in 29 countries. 56% of the household appliance purchases and 51% of the consumer electronics and computer purchases were made offline, in brick and mortar stores. *
Key Takeaways from the Appliance eCommerce Industry:
- Almost 50% of the online shoppers are researching and purchasing in less than 2 weeks;
- 51% of potential clients are undecided on what brand/manufacturer to choose from;
- 86% are mostly searching for products by category name;
- Pre-purchase research is made 56% of the time online, on the store’s website or app;
About the customer
Ideall.ro, a Romanian eCommerce store, offers a large variety of top-brand household appliances from washers and fridges to ovens and microwaves. It is also a customer-centric brand that comes with full-stack customer service.
In Romania, the main criteria that shoppers consider when buying products are price, brand trust (based on experience, feedback), and product range.
Around 25% of potential consumers first “showroom” products of interest to receive more information about the products.
Ideall.ro’s competitive advantage lies in strong customer support and low prices for large home appliances.
The real struggle was to compete against other marketplaces or brands that offer a larger range of products and have a higher market share.
Other challenges they faced with their website included:
- Creating a suitable user experience for their target audience;
- Great usability experience;
- A good showcase of the shipping cost;
- Having good information architecture (on ToFu, MoFu, Bofu)
The Testing Methodology
In 6 ½ months, we followed a structured methodology starting with qualitative & quantitative analysis and UX research. We put them all together in an optimization strategy.
The first part of the optimization process consisted of two important phases that generate long-term results and have the role to create the basis of the upcoming plan: setting up the technical aspect of your website and correctly running your research.
It is crucial to set your Analytics correctly so that you properly track the activity of your visitors, understand the whole customer journey and how visitors interact at each touch point.
This way, you will build an optimization strategy based on accurate and reliable data.
From our qualitative research (surveys) we found out the following: what people like & dislike about the brand, what are the obstacles they met on the path to making a purchase, what is their consumer behavior and what are the demographics that defined them.
The survey conducted for visitors who purchased something on the website uncovered the reason behind buying more appliances in a certain period of the year. The high interest was due to the need to furnish their new home. Therefore, based on this insight, the team created a specific Facebook campaign that was one of the top best performing campaigns of the year. From quantitative data (Google Analytics, Mouse tracking & Surveys), we found out how visitors interact with the website and how each part of the website performs.
We then started to optimize the homepage, testing iteration after iteration, which has eventually led to a final design (currently running in their website)
#1 Optimization for the Desktop Version
For the desktop version of the Ideall.ro website, we looked at the homepage and category pages and analyzed what could be improved. The changes ensued as follows:
- Homepage on a desktop before testing:
- Homepage on desktop after testing:
- Category page before testing:
- Category page after progressively A/B testing different changes on the page (see below picture for details):
The types of A/B tests conducted on the desktop version of the category page were::
- Filters on the left side
- Buttons from the product image
- Product alignment
- Product information
- Comparing functionality
#2 Optimization for the Mobile Version
In terms of mobile devices, we tested almost the same hypothesis to keep the content consistent on desktop & mobile platforms, but we took another approach in terms of adjusting the elements.
Before vs After
Before vs After
Types of A/B tests conducted on mobile devices:
- A/B testing the filter display (very important feature for the website)
- A/B testing product “SEE details” button
- A/B testing the price
- A/B testing the “Fast delivery” icon
- A/B testing the discount label
|Desktop||13 A/B tests||6 Interactions|
|Mobile||5 A/B tests||No interactions|
After each test was validated, the layout was implemented by the client in order to have a new layout to build on the next hypothesis. We conducted 24 different tests (A/B tests & interactions) split between desktop and mobile devices.
15 of the total 24 tests won and were implemented on the website. From the inconclusive tests, we learned a lot of things that you could not normally figure out without testing them.
Results from A/B Testing with Omniconvert
Preliminary results after 6 and a half months (including almost 2 months of research) proved an increase in the conversion rate of no less than 22.26% (including just winning A/B tests and interactions) and an increase in revenue/visitor data of 14.23% with over 95% statistical relevance.
|+22.26% in CR||+14.23% in Revenue/ visitor||+ 9.90% in Average Order Value|
Conversion rate with Omniconvert vs. without Omniconvert tests
In the case of all the experiments, including inconclusive experiments:
- the conversion rate has increased by 9%
- the revenue/ visitor has increased by 8.32%.
- the average order value has increased by 1.39%.
The old version of the website’s interface was replaced with the winning tests just by using Omniconvert scripts, HTML, and CSS.
(A Side Note about) Incremental Uplift
When you decide to conduct optimization tests on your website and evaluate the impact on the business of the testing process, there are some basic calculations you need to make. These calculations will determine if your testing efforts paid off in terms of costs and work involved.
The incremental uplift describes the total uplift optimization experiments can bring to a business in 1 year in terms of revenue (considering the cost of testing). The revenue is calculated based on the projected revenue for 1 year brought by the most efficient experiment(s). First, we have to divide revenue to the number of days to find out the revenue/day.
In our case, we used the minimum impact, meaning the best performing experiment from desktop devices and the best performing experiment from mobile devices. Cost of testing includes the cost of the testing platforms, the cost of human resources and the cost of researching tools (surveys, user testing, user recordings tools) .
After you calculate the revenue and the cost, the return on investment (ROI) can be deduced.
A raw calculation of the ROI uplift would be something like this: (Minimum impact in revenue – Omniconvert cost)/ Omniconvert cost
|Revenue Impact from best 2 performing experiments for 12 months||103949 euros|
|Cost of testing for 12 months||4500 euros|
|ROI in 12 months||2209%|
What was the incremental uplift for testing Ideall.ro with Omniconvert?
The incremental uplift = [ (total revenue brought by the best performing test on desktop + total revenue brought by the best performing test on mobile) X 12 months – (total costs x 12 months)] / total costs x 12 months
Minimum impact: Value brought by the most successful experiment on desktop + the most successful experiment on mobile multiplied by 12 months (1 year).
Omniconvert cost: the cost of services x 12 months
The raw uplift on ROI for this particular client was 7561%. This means that in a normal environment, this could be the uplift of the revenue in the next year, considering that all the changes have been implemented.
Conclusions:When A/B testing the layout of your website you have to progressively test changes, but they have to be visible and data-driven to prove their importance. Click To Tweet
For example, if you found out that the comparison function brings a higher conversion rate, then emphasize it and make it easy to use to increase the navigability.
Testing and conducting qualitative research brings a lot of benefits – such as gaining and encouraging you to make changes to your website (precisely because they are validated by data).
Benefits of auditing your website:
- Finding the undiscovered behaviors and patterns of your audience
- Finding the specific and uncovered needs of your visitors
- Finding why visitors are choosing other competitors over you
- Finding usability problems on the website
Benefits of testing different layouts on your website:
- Validate your ideas
- Discover pieces of information that were missing from your website
- Discover which is your best-converting segment of visitors on the website
- Address some information just to a specific kind of visitors or clients
- Discover which is the best spot to place information
- Find out what is the minimum discount that works on the website
- Find out where the visitors are losing interest in forms
- Discover the ups and downs of your website through qualitative and quantitative analysis
- Do research about your competitors
- Don’t hurry to draw conclusions on your tests if you do not have statistical relevance
- Await your returning visitors to get accustomed to the changes
- Measure, measure, measure everything
- Implement the tested changes that won and build the next hypothesis
If this scenario appeals to you, then make the first step towards optimizing your online business. Omniconvert offers you the tools that will give your business the magic (data-driven!) power to help you grow.
 The Role of Digital In the Large Appliance Shopper Path to Purchase, Google/Compete U.S., May, 2012