We caught up with David Hayne, Managing Director of Free People, to find out how this leading apparel retailer uses The Monetate Agility Suite.
How Does Free People Use Monetate?
We use Monetate in two ways. We use it for a lot of A/B testing; for example, two different home page designs, which sounds simple but if you don’t have a good tool for it, then it’s not as simple as you would think.
With Monetate we can do a 50/50 split test of different versions of the home page very easily. That quickly tells us which produces higher conversion rates, average order values, and other metrics that help drive revenue.
From an A/B testing standpoint, that’s huge. And while the home page is perhaps the most obvious place to test, we also test on many other parts of the site, like on our cart page. The other big way we’re using Monetate is as a first line of defense in new web development. We quickly found that doing development with Monetate is easier than building something into our core platform, even though we have a fairly nimble development platform. For companies with a more rigid development environment this would be a huge selling point for Monetate.
A good example is on our category pages where people can pop open a “quick view” modal window to view products. We did that almost entirely with Monetate – not the display of the modal window but the triggering of it – so 50% of our traffic saw the Quick View link, the other 50% did not. That told us whether we should build this into our system.
Overall, this blending of A/B testing and new development is where I see Monetate’s biggest value. Whenever we ask ourselves “Should we be doing this?” the next question is “How do we build this into a test with Monetate, either as an A/B test, or can we just have Monetate do this on the fly?” Monetate can usually implement quicker than we can get our development team to build it into our platform.
Have You Found Other Uses For Monetate?
Yes, we do some basic search traffic targeting, so if you visit the site via a search engine you see something like Welcome Googler to reflect our awareness of where you came from. Also, whenever a returning customer has an item in their cart we message them, on whatever page they land on, with something like “Hey, pick up where you left off, check items in your cart.” It gets them back into buying mode and we can do that because Monetate is able to tap into the cookie value of the cart contents.
Then we wanted to test how free expedited shipping affects conversion and AOV for certain types of customers. We used Monetate to present free 2 or 3 day shipping to certain groups of customers (using some clever behind-the-scenes stuff where our cookies and Monetate cookies both come into play). Monetate enabled an extended A/B/C split across customer deciles which taught us a lot about how shipping offers encourage or discourage purchasing, including important metrics about net revenue.
So Monetate is proving to be a valuable tool to discover new information about our business, sometimes as valuable for what it shoots down as what it confirms.
Any Final Thoughts or Favorite Campaigns?
We really like the platform synergy, the ability to marry information between the Monetate layer on the front-end and our platform on the back-end.
Campaign-wise, our easiest win was international traffic, throwing up a message on our site saying, yes, we can ship to you. That was a piece of cake, one of the first things we did, and very effective. Within the organization as a whole, the extended testing around free shipping really opened some eyes. That learning has been huge for us.
About Free People
One of America’s leading multichannel apparel retailers, with roots stretching back to the 1970’s, Free People today has 37 retail stores, a catalog business, plus a wholesale business operating out of three showrooms, in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
In addition, the company sells to approximately 1,000 specialty stores worldwide plus select department stores. Since its launch in 2004, FreePeople.com has found great success with online shoppers who are looking for a little something special in their experience.