by Joshua Hobson
Kim Ludlow, Managing Director of mySupermarket, was one of the speakers at this year’s Internet Retailing Expo in the Merchandising section and had many insights on today’s shopper behaviour and how, as a brand, they use data to improve customer experience.
mySupermarket is the fourth most visited food and grocery website in the UK and has over 120,000 SKUs from across varying retailers and brands - offering customers insight into where they can get their shop at the most affordable price and how to get even better value from the products they are buying.
As the site is so large and crawls data from thirteen different retailers twice daily, it has lots of data to draw conclusions and insight from. Kim spoke about three core ways that they use data to improve customer experience - multi-channel shopping behaviour, on-site user behaviour and customer loyalty to brands and retailers.
1. Researching Online, Purchasing Offline
The first insight was how customers are mostly researching online and purchasing offline. This means that, whilst mySupermarket is a transactional website, they are using the site to research products and prices but then visiting the store, whether it’s ASDA or Tesco to make the purchase.
This isn’t a new revelation but it is an important one. 65% of users who use the site don’t go through with the purchase and instead go in-store.
To aid in this shopper behaviour, mySupermarket created an app that allows users to use the site whilst still in-store and on the go - scanning products and finding offers and deals whilst interacting with the products.
How are your shoppers behaving and how can you improve this experience for them?
2. A/B Testing Product Imagery
Knowing that the number of customers who use the website for transactional purchases could be improved, one of the strategies they invest in is A/B testing and conversion rate optimisation.
The key example that Kim provided was that of product imagery. In one test, the product imagery mimicked the actual packaging - complete with nutritional data and additional information on the package. In the alternative test, this extra information was removed so that the product imagery was simple and minimal.
The example test was that of cat food but we assume that this test is carried out across multiple products. The results of this test is then sent over to retailers and brands so that they are also better informed about how users engage with their products.
This program of A/B testing allows mySupermarket to test the website and offer users with an experience that has proven to be easier and simpler for users (rather than basing it off assumptions and anecdotes).
What elements of your website could you A/B test?
3. Customer Loyalty
One interesting speaking point was how customer loyalty is something that is monitored and analysed. It can be useful for mySupermarket, retailers and brands to know how loyal their customers are - whether they’re loyal to ASDA or whether they’re just loyal to Nescafé.
It was found that customers tend to be loyal to retailers when shopping online and don’t mind which brand of product they use - instead they just want the best value for money. Only 1 in 10 customers swapped retailers when shopping online.
Similarly, when shoppers are purchasing offline, they are more promiscuous about swapping brands for those on offer or those at more affordable prices.
The key takeaway that we took away from this, with regards to measuring data, is that whilst numerical metrics such as traffic and referrals can be very important in improving customer experience, measuring brand sentiment and loyalty can also be a powerful metric. However it’s often overlooked.If you know just how loyal your customers are, you can tailor your whole customer experience.
Do they purchase on price? If so, they may be less inclined to stay with you if there are competitive prices nearby - so how can you improve this brand loyalty?
Data can certainly be used for spotting trends in products and sales but it can also be used in a powerful way to improve customer experience and sentiment. How do you use data to manage your brand and your products? Tweet us at @Statement, we’d love to hear how smaller, independent retailers are also using data.