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Case study: web sales boost for Lyle & Scott

By Retail Technology | Monday June 30 2014

The Scottish knitwear and golfing brand wanted to grow its online customer base and its revenue per visitor

Throughout its 140 year history, Scottish fashion brand Lyle & Scott has built a global reputation for quality knitwear and developed a strong presence in the golfing sector.  

The Lyle & Scott website now retails in over 50 countries worldwide, making e-commerce one of the major components of the company’s sales structure.

Boosting online sales

Lyle & Scott’s objective was to increase the conversion rate on its website. The company's in-house e-commerce team wanted to increase the company’s online sales by increasing revenue per customer. 

The e-commerce team had built a substantial customer database and was already mining the data and optimising it by creating new segments. However, it felt that there was more work to be done once those customer reached the website.

“Whilst our conversion rate was good, we felt there was room to improve it further,” Will Dymott, head of e-commerce at Lyle & Scott, who explained that the company chose to work with AWA digital for the conversion rate optimisation project.  “AWA were selected because of the company’s proven track record, understanding of the retail sector and reputation in the conversion rate optimization (CRO) segment.”

The objectives of the project - which was to be completed within established Lyle & Scott brand guidelines and in partnership with the company’s “busy and stretched” e-commerce team, were:

  • To convert more customers online
  • To increase average order value 
  • To deliver on a guarantee by AWA to provide 20% online sales uplift 

“I knew that by increasing our revenue per visitor by even a modest amount they, would not only pay for themselves but had the potential to add significant value to the bottom line,” said Dymott.

Dropping out of the sales process

AWA digital managed the project, developing a complete test plan – including hypotheses, wireframes, graphic design, copy and web development.  The vendor analysed 6.8 million user sessions and segmented up to 53 million data points to gain an understanding of visitor flow through the site, specifically looking at the difference in behaviour between people who bought and those who didn’t.  

The analysis allowed AWA digital to determine what steps were causing customer confusion or trouble, highlight any bugs, browser issues and other technical nuisances and decide what research would be required to understand why visitors were dropping out of the sales process.

The psychology of conversion

AWA digital used a range of voice-of-customer tools, including interviews with store managers, online surveys and moderated usability testing, to explore the psychology of a Lyle & Scott customer. 

To address Lyle & Scott’s position as an established and globally recognised golf brand, the project included a survey of golf club members chosen to test drive the site.  The results revealed clear differences between multi-buyers and one-time buyers. 

As part of the deep-dive analysis, the AWA team also visited Lyle & Scott’s London stores to observe customer behaviour and interview managers about perceived brand positioning. They wanted to understand why customers preferred Lyle & Scott over competing brands.  

Identifying conversion killers

AWA deployed a prioritisation process (triage) to identify the key conversion killers. These included a poorly converting category page with too many choices, the location of the search filters, a high checkout drop-off rate and too little emphasis given to order-builders. 

The team prioritised the various sections of the Lyle & Scott website for the first round of optimisation. The evidence indicated that the category and basket pages were key optimisation opportunities, rather than the home page. 


Before launching split-tests, the AWA team got feedback from usability testers previously recruited in the diagnostic phase. This process enabled the team to gather necessary feedback on proposed wireframes and designs before launching their split-tests. 

Incoming traffic to the website was then distributed between the original site and the different variations without any of the visitors knowing that they were part of an experiment.

Increase in online sales
As of June 2014, the split-tests showed an increase in revenue per visitor of over 48%. This came from just two split-tests, with the first delivering over 19% increase and the second 30%. Return on investment calculations showed  £19.55 of additional sales for every  £1 spent with AWA digital

“We are delighted with the results. We are beginning to see the huge impact this has had on our business and we are looking forward to working with the team on the next phase of optimization,” said Dymott.

Lyle & Scott has extended its contract with AWA digital for a further round of customer research and optimisation.