Harnessing experimentation to deliver an ROI of more than 30x for thortful
thortful hired Conversion to kick-start a high-impact conversion rate optimization program on their website. Pairing in-depth user research with high-velocity a/b testing, we were able to deliver an ROI of more than 30x. In fact, such was the success of the program, we eventually went far beyond the project's initial optimization scope to help thortful experiment on new delivery options, new product ideas, and innovative new upsell journeys.
thortful are the UK’s leading creative card marketplace. Their website provides a place for discerning buyers to purchase innovative card designs from independent creators – at a fair price.
When we first started working with thortful, they had big targets to hit and were hoping to use experimentation to hit them.
At the time, their primary internal focus was on building out a new product team. While they did this, they tasked us with kickstarting a high-impact CRO program to drive immediate results on their website.
As with almost all of our conversion rate optimization programs, we started off with a thorough audit of thortful’s website to identify where and how we might produce the biggest impact.
On this particular occasion, we ran two separate research studies. The first was a benchmarking study, which consisted of an analytics review, competitor analysis, and a heuristic review. This allowed us to identify low-performing areas of the website and to begin forming hypotheses to explain these observations.
In addition to the benchmarking study, we also ran a qualitative feedback study, which included a number of customer surveys as well as user testing. This allowed us to delve deeper into the psychology of thortful’s users, which helped us understand the ‘why’ behind the behaviors we’d been observing .
Audit complete, we were then able to use insights unearthed during this research process to develop a number of strong, evidence-backed experiment concepts.
One such concept centered on the user flow between thortful’s product listing pages (PLP) – where their various card designs were displayed – and their product detail pages (PDP) – where information about individual cards was shown.
During our analytics audit, we noticed an abnormally high dropoff rate between the PLP and the PDP.
Our user testing also flagged this as a potentially problematic area of the site due to an interstitial that popped up on the PLP whenever the user clicked on a product.
This interstitial contained very little additional information, so we speculated that it might have been creating unnecessary friction that was leading to the elevated dropoff rate.
In order to test this hypothesis, we created a new version of the user journey that took the user straight from the PLP to the PDP – without the interstitial.
We then ran this new version of the user journey against the original in an a/b test to see how this affected our primary KPI, number of cards sold.
The results were huge. This experiment alone increased card sales by 25% on mobile and by 30% on desktop.
Not only that: because the experiment produced no negative impact on either upsells or average order value, we estimated that this change was worth an additional $6.98m to thortful each year.
Looking beyond this single experiment: due to our painstaking research process and structured experimentation methodology, we were able to generate a steady stream of winning experiments that resulted in a program ROI of more than 30x.
In fact, such was the success of the project, we even went on to work with thortful’s newly established product team to experiment on more advanced ideas like:
- Changes in delivery costs
- New gift ideas
- Innovative new upsell journeys
All in all, we were able to thoroughly demonstrate the value of experimentation within the business, and thortful are now well on their way to becoming a fully-fledged experimentation organization.
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