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Especially when determining the best digital experience—can be way off base, even if our gut says otherwise. 

At Opticon20, we heard from Amy Vetter, consumer experience manager at Reckitt Benckiser, the parent company for Dr. Scholls, Durex, and other brands. In this session, Amy shared her biggest takeaways since the Dr. Scholls brand began testing every change to its website. Through A/B testing, Amy and her team found that testing assumptions, knowing their market, and learning from failures, led to double the revenue. 

Testing assumptions: the clear answer isn’t always the right answer

Best selling products should be positioned at the top of the page so consumers can easily find them, right? Apparently not. The Dr. Scholls team assumed their customers would want the foot care product for their condition served up to them as quickly as possible. But, after several iterations of positioning best sellers high on the homepage and product pages, the team saw a loss in revenue.

Taking a step back, the team thought about where their customers were on their buying journey, and realized they just weren’t ready to make a purchase that quickly. Those who had the time to read through blog content about foot conditions and self diagnose were more likely to make a purchase. In the next version, Amy and her team experimented with displaying blog content before the products and saw positive results.

“Sometimes you shouldn’t trust your gut feel, and you need to actually experiment,” Amy explained. “If we didn’t have Optimizely, we would have trusted that gut feel and lost a lot of money.”

Knowing your market: What led to more buys for one audience could cause revenue loss with another

With markets throughout Europe, Amy and her team wanted to build experiences tailored to each unique audience. Through experimentation, she confirmed that a second checkout button meant more buys from Brits and more abandoned carts from Germans. 

The “Goldilocks of checkout buttons” test showed that Brits made purchases fast, they wanted to add items to their carts, pay, and move on. For that market, having the option to checkout both at the top and bottom of the page was helpful, and increased conversion. Germans, on the other hand, spent more time evaluating their carts, going over the total cost, and were slower to finalize their purchases. The same page layout with two opportunities to check out, which worked in the UK, led to less revenue in the German market.

Learning from failures: feet photos don’t always land

“In testing, the failures are the better ones because you learn from them,” Amy told the Opticon20 crowd. The Dr. Scholls team views the site as something that’s constantly iterating and evolving to best accommodate customer needs. 

Product imagery, for instance, went through several versions before the brand settled on a format. In the V1, the site showed photos of foot conditions that turned off many visitors. A V2 used product images instead to show what a customer might buy, leading to increased engagement. Similarly, an Instagram-story-style navigation didn’t land for the Dr. Scholls audience, which tends to be older. But it did work for the Durex brand, which typically has younger traffic.

With a test-everything approach, the Dr. Scholls brand has embraced failure as a key part of building a better customer experience.

Got a gut feeling you want to test?

These are just a few of the learnings Amy shared in her session. Watch the recording to hear the other ways she and her team used Optimizely to iterate and improve the Dr. Scholls website. 

If you’re in charge of building a winning customer experience, try experimentation to know for sure whether you should truly trust your gut.