New Republique has been working with Country Road since 2020 to develop an omnichannel brand experience that resonates with customers, from its department within David Jones and its standalone stores, to its website. Using a combination of survey research and data collection, we have delivered insights on customer sentiment, intent and behaviour and nurtured a culture of experimentation at one of Australia’s favourite lifestyle brands.
In this case study, we took a particular interest in loyalty and how customer sentiment converted to interest in the brand’s membership program. Working with Country Road, New Republique increased awareness and uptake of the retailer’s online membership rewards program.
Country Road’s membership program is an important part of the brand’s eCommerce strategy. While members make up only 10% of website visitors, they account for 83% of revenue and aren’t logging in unless ready to make a transaction.
We began with the following objectives:
For members: to encourage sign in as early as possible during their session and increase add to cart progression through the funnel.
For non-members: to increase the rate of sign-ups to their loyalty program by 60%, the equivalent of converting 10% more visitors.
Our first test showed that members did not sign on arrival to the site because the sign-in feature is not a focal point. Members generally did not log in until prompted during checkout.
We also investigated the reason for the low sign-up to the Country Road membership rewards. We discovered from the quantitative data found in GA, it was because the prompt to become a member came too early in their visit, before they had time to see what the brand had to offer them.
In our research, we identified that only 0.17% of users clicked the ‘Join now’ call to action in the website header, converting at a low rate of 9.98% per month via this method.
Having discovered that the issue stemmed from a badly timed prompt, our goal was to find the right place in the customer journey to introduce the membership. Overall, we aimed to convert 10% more visitors into the loyalty program sitewide.
We designed a framework that would test for the optimum time to prompt users to sign up for the loyalty program. In a previous experiment with an automotive client, we tested whether delaying the prompt to join as a member would improve sign-up rates compared to prompting as soon as a user landed on the site. In that case, delaying the prompt to visitors resulted in a 38% lift in sign-ups compared to prompting on the home page.
Inspired by findings from that previous experiment, we proceeded to test the hypothesis for Country Road customers. Our hypothesis was that if we prompted users to become members at the right part of the customer journey, then they were more likely to sign up because they would know what Country Road had to offer and therefore had time to make a more informed decision as to whether membership would be valuable to them.
A key part was to find out when customers were most interested in what Country Road had to offer, and therefore attuned to the value of membership, so the design of the experiment involved:
The offer was designed in two ways: as a pop-up on a faded background and as a pop-up viewable on scroll. The pop-ups used the same text – three bullet points promoting exclusive offers and rewards for joining the loyalty program – and the same call to action of ‘Join now’ with a footer prompt encouraging them to sign in if they were already a member.
It excluded users who arrived through a member eDM (email) and those who had signed in as a member. The experiment ran for both mobile and desktop users.
The experiment resulted in record months for loyalty program sign-ups according to the brand lead, a significant and valuable contribution to Country Road’s long-term customer lifetime cycle.
increase in sign-ups via mobile
increase in sign-ups via desktop
Timing is everything. By identifying that visitors were being prompted to join the membership rewards program too early in their session, we were able to test whether a later introduction would make a difference. We found that promoting the program once the visitor understood Country Road’s offering increased the likelihood that they would join.