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River Island optimises digital experience

By Retail Technology | Monday January 27 2014

UK fashion brand partners with testing and optimisation technology provider to enhance customer engagement and deliver incremental revenue

River Island has announced its selection of Maxymiser to improve understanding of its customers’ cross-channel behaviour and better use this knowledge to boost bottom-line business performance

The British High Street fashion brand has nearly 300 stores across the UK, Ireland and internationally throughout Asia, the Middle East and Europe. And its transactional website ships to over 100 countries worldwide. 

As its brand’s reputation and popularity has expanded internationally, River Island is aiming to optimise its customer journey and ultimately drive incremental revenue. It will work with its new web optimisation partner to ensure the customer shopping experience is in line with expectations across platforms and customer segments.

Obtaining customer insight

Helen Colclough, River Island e-commerce development manager, commented that an optimisation programme is the only real way to obtain an understanding of what customers are doing. 

“You gain a certain amount of insight through website feedback surveys and analytics but actually consumers do a lot of things without realising they do them,” she said. “With Maxymiser, we will be able to gain a true understanding of how customers flow through the website and the purchase funnel, for example, and ensure that their website experience is optimised accordingly.”

Prior to working with Maxymiser, River Island had undertaken some initial usability testing. However, the results that River Island were achieving were not driving strategic decision-making, highlighting the importance of finding a strategic optimisation partner and a flexible, fast-paced, expert user experience (UX) system.

“During any iterative design process you seek to innovate, apply ideas, validate them and incorporate customer behaviour and data and this was a key focus for us,” added Colclough. “It was the combination of Maxymiser’s data driven approach, single focus on optimisation and retail specific expertise that led us to choose them as our optimisation partner. We are excited to get the campaign underway and evolve our website based on facts to best serve our customers.”

Informing optimisation roadmap

River Island’s initial campaigns will inform the rest of its optimisation roadmap. Although the initial campaigns with Maxymiser will focus on its main .com site, River Island will be using Maxymiser to optimise the newly re-designed responsive mobile and tablet and across its international sites.

Colclough concluded: “Ultimately our goal is to increase conversion and incremental revenue but there is also the insight itself. Even if we make no ROI [returns on investment] from the initial campaigns that we conduct, there is huge value in validating, or indeed disproving certain business hypotheses. 

“We will still be closer to understanding what our customers are doing, how they behave across different devices and channels, and in different geographies. Fundamentally, it’s about understanding what different types of customer want from their online experience and using that to inform business strategy. We are looking forward to building an optimisation strategy that is ‘business as usual’ as well as a long term relationship with Maxymiser that delivers some great results both for us and our customers.”

River Island also last summer announced an investment in financial, retail assortment and item planning technology and consulting services to support its strategic growth plans.

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