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Matalan partners for web optimisation

By Retail Technology | Monday September 23 2013

Value retailer to drive sales and enhance customer engagement with new multivariate e-commerce testing in complement to its physical store growth

UK clothing and homeware retailer Matalan has selected web optimisation experts at Maxymiser to develop and deliver a structured multivariate testing programme across its growing e-commerce operations.
The engagement is designed to help Matalan drive sales and enhance customer engagement online, where the value retailer has a considerable bricks-and-mortar presence, with more than 200 out-of-town stores in the UK and a further 10 stores in the Middle East. But its online store, which launched in 2008, is growing at a significant rate and has been identified as a key driver for the future growth of the business.
“The online channel is crucial to the organisation, providing a critical link between our stores and our customers,” said Lee Pinnington, multi-channel marketing director at Matalan. “A large proportion of visitors to the site come not only to purchase products, but also to research items before they go off to make instore purchases, and to compare us to other retailers. So the customer experience is extremely important. The partnership with Maxymiser is therefore fundamental to our digital strategy.”

Moving testing to specialist provider
Prior to working with Maxymiser, Matalan had used mainstream off-the-shelf solutions to conduct basic online tests. But, in line with widespread recognition that developing a comprehensive understanding of the customer experience has become critical to online success, Pinnington added: “We knew that we needed to adopt a more sophisticated approach to testing to optimise our digital customer base and improve the customer journey. Our work with Maxymiser will allow us to focus on the key parts of the conversion funnel and optimise the user experience.”

Matalan is also looking to optimise the customer experience across all channels, including mobile. The retailer aims to gain insight on customers’ multichannel behaviour across mobile devices – carrying out price comparisons, for example – and completing purchases in store and/or on their desktop. 

After a competitive pitch process, Pinnington said Matalan selected Maxymiser for two reasons: “Primarily, their approach is very flexible and they provide a full agency service that covers everything from design and consultancy services to coding, implementation and analytics. They really are resourced to take care of the full service for us – from the point of advising on strategy, all the way through to the design, delivery and monitoring of tests,” he explained. “In addition to this, it was not only clear that they had significant experience, expertise and insight into best practice, but – crucially – they were able to demonstrate a proven track record of delivering for retail clients.”

Understanding multichannel experiences
Matalan’s partnership with Maxymiser is the latest step in the development of a long-term testing culture within the organisation, and one that it hopes will eventually help generate insights to inform companywide strategy both online and instore. “In the longer-term we will be looking to use the insights we gain through this approach to support decision-making across the organisation,” concluded Pinnington. 

“But in the short term, we will be using the Maxymiser platform to better understand customers’ multichannel experience – and to keep optimising and improving it. We are currently working closely with Maxymiser to set out our roadmap and identify our first batch of tests. We’re right at the beginning of the journey, but our customer optimisation strategy will undoubtedly be critical to the future growth of the business.”

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