focused on UX as it enters Germany

E-tail marketplace is "ramping up" its optimisation and personalisation campaigns in 2014, as it looks to improve user experience (UX) and grow the company's name on an international scale.

It was announced last week that the online marketplace for independent retailers is to launch in Germany, and this move is one of a number of projects leading the team to invest in customer experience optimisation activity to boost conversion rates.

Ollie Scheers, optimisation manager at, says the aim is to become a "data-driven organisation" – a process that, he says, requires a significant amount of testing and analysis, not to mention a larger team, which has resulted in a recent recruitment drive by the retailer.

"Optimisation and personalisation campaigns give us robust insights into what works for our customers, and what doesn't," explained Scheers.

"We can then feed those insights back to our UX department and help inform any new products that we release. This year, we're really ramping up the volume of our campaigns – but we're not optimising things for the sake of it. Every campaign has a hypothesis and sets out to answer a key business question, and feeds back into the major strategic objective of revenue growth." started working with technology firm Maxymiser in 2012 to aid the business on this journey, and the retailer has utilised the vendor's systems for its recent launch in Germany.

"The business is currently looking to expand into Europe and we need to ensure that our site aligns with local language requirements," noted Scheers.

"We therefore wanted to understand the impact of changes in layout to the 'add to basket' and 'save for later' call-to-actions (CTA) – a key requirement for the new German site where CTA copy will naturally be longer due to the translation. The campaign led to a layout change that increased conversion by more than 5%. Without Maxymiser, we may not have been able to get that direct benefit, and would certainly not have been totally confident that any changes we made would work."

The retail industry is increasingly going mobile, with recent figures from the IMRG-Capgemini Quarterly Benchmarking Report indicating that mobile commerce accounted for 36% of all UK e-retail sales in the second quarter of 2014. This rose to 40% for clothing and apparel websites.

Some 52% of traffic to retail websites came via smartphones and tablet devices, according to the study, which was published at the start of September.

Against such a backdrop, will be paying particular attention to personalisation and mobile technology in the coming 12 months, working alongside its tech partner, Maxymiser.

Scheers commented: "The majority of campaigns to date have focused on the desktop site but, as with all eCommerce operations, we're seeing a shift towards mobile and tablet usage – it's a huge area of opportunity and one that requires a focused effort to optimise the customer experience.

“Likewise, personalisation is becoming increasingly important – not least in our marketplace, where customers have unique needs. We need to drive relevancy; with such a diverse range of products, we need to make sure we get the right products in front of the right people. Campaigns that we have run to date back up our need for personalisation – so that's what we're focusing on right now."

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