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Clarks takes greater control of online campaign testing

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The shoe company Clarks has selected the visual campaign builder tool from online testing business Maxymiser to support its online testing campaigns, meaning it is taking in-house some of the site-testing it had previously outsourced to Maxymiser.

Clarks is one of the best-known brand names on the UK high street, but also has operations in North America, Eastern and Western Europe, India and China, making it the fourth biggest footwear company in the world. With online sales increasing Clarks now wants to put more resource into this key driver for growth.

The shoe company has been using Maxymiser’s fully managed optimisation service since 2010 and built up substantial in-house knowledge in that period. Taking on some of the more basic onsite testing was, said Clarks web analytics manager Mark Carlock, a natural next step.

“After running with Maxymiser’s managed service for some time now we have become familiar with the testing process. As our approach to optimisation and testing has matured, we felt that we had gained enough in house knowledge to execute some of the more simple tests ourselves, freeing up Maxymiser’s time to concentrate on the more complicated testing.”

To date, Clarks has run six self-service tests, with more to come. “We have been able to gauge what sort of tests we could be running, for example around the insertion of banners on to pages and testing carousel content. Once we know whether the tests we are conducting are a success, we can pass them onto Maxymiser to add further depth and develop the precise results and analytics, which give us the real data behind the insight,” said Carlock.

“We have a long list of tests that we want to run with Maxymiser but understand that it is not possible to run them all. By using Maxymiser’s VCB solution we can refine the list so we are testing the parts of the site that we know we will see a clear difference from doing so, while the team at Maxymiser can focus on the overall customer experience.”

Back in April Clarks went public with the results of some of its testing with Maxymiser, which had resulted in much-improved conversion rates on some of its tests. At that time it had run about 36 major tests in partnership with Maxymiser, some with hundreds of variants. Each test examined a range of characteristics within the sales funnel, from language, design to email sign-ups. One checkout test looked at different wordings with regard to delivery charges – and the result that emerged resulted in a 4.2% uplift in conversion. Another test that resulted in Maxymiser swapping its previous closed basket for an open one that showed users the items they had chosen to buy during the checkout process delivered a 1.99% in conversion.

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