Cotton on selects Optimizely to deliver the best customer experience

Sydney, NSW – July 19, 2021 - Cotton On Group, one of Australia’s largest global retailers, has selected Optimizely, the leading digital experience platform provider, to test new strategies for customer experience, and determine the best digital approach to support its international expansion.

With over 1,300 stores in 20 countries, Cotton On has eight brands covering fashion and stationery. Privately owned and headquartered in Victoria, Australia, the company has a full-funnel approach to digital, which it sees as a major contributor to its growth. This involves four strategic pillars: acquiring more customers, engaging those customers better and then converting and retaining them at higher numbers.

To support these goals, the group have undertaken a major ground-up redesign of the end-to-end customer experience across its nine websites.

With many significant changes planned and digital now very much being front of mind across the group’s executive team, Cotton On needed an efficient and reliable means to measure the impact of the upgrades as they were being rolled out.

In addition to measuring the impact of the redesigned features, Cotton On have also leveraged Optimizely through the experience design process. This was completed by leveraging Optimizely Web Experimentation to test existing site features and determine if the value delivered (before being redesigned) justified inclusion of the features in the redesign. This process also allowed identification areas where specific usability challenges are present. The result, in some cases, meant that the team were able to test new variations of the features before the development team built them.

This process has ensured the team only invest in full feature development when they have confidence in the design solutions, reducing the likelihood of having to rework after features have been deployed.

Beyond the redesign, rather than stopping after the one-off project is complete, Cotton On are taking a long-term, multi-year view to digital optimisation with the recent appointment of an Experimentation Manager.

"Retailers need to put the ease of shop and efficiency first" explains Brendan Sweeney, General Manager, Ecommerce, Cotton On. "With social channels and email being the key engagement channels today, the website is like already being deep in the store. At that point, it’s about giving them an efficient experience and getting them to great product and then the checkout quickly. We see testing as the way to ensure we’re getting it right for our customers and delivering an optimal, world-class experience."

After making the decision to replatform, Optimizely was selected as the most effective solution for Cotton On based on its technology, speed, and capability of testing from front end to back end.

With Optimizely in place, Cotton On have been able to increase the volume of tests. In most cases, the cost per test has been reduced through Optimizely’s ability to make interface changes on the front end without the support of Cotton On’s development team.

"We needed a tool that enabled us to quickly test different customer experiences while giving confidence in the results. With Optimizely, we can set up a test and have it deployed quickly. Once a test is complete, we can use customer behavior data to inform decisions. Ultimately, Optimizely enables us to be more agile," Sweeney says.

“Beyond the website, when looking at things like our multichannel loyalty program Perks in particular, we can see a host of other applications for Optimizely’s testing capability.”

Cotton On is the latest in a long line of major Australian retailers now working with Optimizely, including THE ICONIC, Country Road Group, Kmart and Showpo.

"Growth in online retail has exceeded all expectations over the past year. Retailers across the APJ region are rushing to overhaul their sites and ensure the best digital customer experience, which is exactly what Optimizely helps them do,” said Paul North, SVP APJ at Optimizely. “We’re delighted to be partnering with Cotton On as one of Australia’s most dynamic and global retail brands, on their journey to digital excellence."

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