Prior to engaging with us, P&O had previously tried to get an experimentation program off the ground. In 2018, P&O engaged us to help build an experimentation program into the business and prove that experimentation can bring value to the business.
Our engagement with P&O was to help continuously optimise the site experience to help improve site performance, increase conversions and reduce the need for a full site refresh.
Our program of work has been running a combination of experimentation and personalisation across the public website.
One of the most memorable personalised programs we ran was for site search.
Data showed that users who use search had a 300% greater likeliness of progression to purchase. Our brief was to look at how we could get more users to engage with search to drive an increase in conversions.
The search feature within the site was relatively hidden. Unlike most eCommerce sites, the search feature was not exposed within the header of the site.
For users to engage with search, they first had to click the search icon for the search box to be exposed. The experience was somewhat hidden, thus leading us to our first experiment. We hypothesized that this was the reason for the low volume of search.
Our initial experiment focused on a simple A/B test. Exposing search vs controls (non-exposed search) . Surprisingly we found that exposing search failed.
To understand why, we ran some remote user testing on prospective users. Our research concluded that first time users (most generally first time cruisers) are not aware of where to go and what is available. As such search is of less value to first time visitors/cruisers.
Given this insight we ran another A/B test, exposing search to returning users online.
The test proved that personalising search experience to returning users would increase the usage of search by 64%.
increase the usage of search