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STUDY: Pixmania tests its way to success

By Retail Technology | Thursday August 1 2013

European e-commerce site optimises website effectiveness and brand presence with online testing software

With 30 million visits per month, Pixmania has optimised conversion rates using online testing and analytics software from Webtrends.

A subsidiary of the UK group Dixons, Pixmania has presence in 14 European countries and operates 15 online retail sites in 11 languages, with a catalogue of over one million products. It achieved revenues of €750 million in 2012 and employs over 800 people across Europe.

In 2011, Pixmania made a business decision to explore how it could optimise conversion rates in order to exploit the high numbers of visitors more effectively and maximise return on investment (ROI) for its marketing campaigns. 

It was keen to identify which pages required optimisation in order to secure higher volumes of traffic and ensure that its site was primed to keep customers returning and converting into sales. It was a priority for the team to build a solid and robust knowledge base of what was and was not working so that it could test different versions of content online. 

Analysing shopping behaviour

By using data gathered from analytics to uncover difficult-to-find customer abandonment points and optimising the customer experience, Webtrends has helped Pixmania maximise its online presence and stand out in a competitive marketplace. Advanced segmentation also makes it possible to identify and target the most profitable visitor segments with personalised experiences, by offering them the most relevant content. 

Since the start of the testing campaign Pixmania has achieved an average 6% increase in conversion rates on pages tested. Tests have been focused on the most strategic pages in the buying cycle, based on measurements supplied by the Webtrends Analytics platform. 

“We looked at the pages where the largest number of customers were abandoning their search, which allowed us to define our testing priorities,” said Ghadi Hobeika, Pixmania marketing director.

For example, on a product details page, a 6.9% increase in conversions was achieved by adjusting the position, size and colour of key elements on the page. In addition, by testing the proportions, size and colour of the elements on the Christmas 2012 homepage and by featuring eight products instead of four, Pixmania achieved 4.3% lift in visitors reaching the basket page compared to the original layout. This equated to 7,500 extra visitors on the payment page, or additional sales worth nearly €1 million. 

Further optimisation planned

The next step for Pixmania will involve using Optimize to segment and adapt its website to different customer profiles (targeting) in France and other countries in order to offer each segment more tailored content.

“The major advantage of Optimize is that it has enabled us to redesign the main pages on our websites and improve them based on accurate measurements and conclusive results, armed with quantitative data, rather than simply relying on intuition as we have done in the past,” added Hobeika. 

“Access to quantitative data allows us to make the case for the value of our improvement plans to the IT department and also verify the validity of our hypotheses. Some of our initial ideas, which we believed were accurate, were invalidated by the tests. Our ongoing test programme allows us to identify best practice and avoid mistakes.”

“We still have a lot of areas to explore and we are not yet exploiting the full potential of Optimize,” concluded Hobeika. “Our experience so far has shown us that Optimize could be useful at optimising every stage of the buying process. In practical terms, we could identify dozens of additional items to test on our site.”

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