Yesterday Zmags’ CTO Ryan Breen discussed the topic of content experimentation with Rachel Sutherland, Ecommerce Operations Manager for Toys “R” Us. With ever-increasing revenue targets, economic pressures influencing ecommerce buying behavior, and constantly changing trends – companies have no choice but to create and compare digital experiences regularly in an effort to optimize conversion rates.
The Toys “R” Us brand is iconic and well-known for its impressive renaissance following bankruptcy. While they do still have shops within Macy’s, their ecommerce site has become core to their business and brand – not only driving sales, but also educating shoppers about the latest toy trends and educational play-based products. Rachel is responsible for planning, executing, and managing all frontend ecommerce initiatives while tracking key metrics and performance.
Doing so, she faces the same challenge that Noah Kagan, Founder of AppSumo does: Only 1 out of 8 A/B tests have driven significant change. Ryan and Rachel discussed their perspectives on how to drive significant change and what types of content tests can really have meaningful impact. Rachel contends that small copy changes aren’t going to do it, and yet, that’s exactly what the majority of content experiments are about – calls-to-action, headlines, and web copy. Truelist found that only about 15-20% of all tests are done on hard-to-change site elements like page layout and the checkout flow.
At Toys “R” Us, Rachel focuses on the traditionally harder-to-change elements of ToysRUs.com - moving content above the fold, testing carousels – including the number of products shown and where they sit on the page. Sometimes that means fighting your own instincts for what “looks” good in favor of the layout that drives activity and results.
While you absolutely should plan ahead for larger scale experiments and maintain an experiment roadmap, it’s also critical that you can move fast and pivot your next test based on last week’s winner. McKinsey recently wrote a brief guide for brands to better understand and implement personalization into their digital experiences, offering this great advice:
“Focus on processes and technology that help teams work faster. Agile processes are key here—they enable teams to quickly mix and match copy, creative content, and templates to find out what works and what doesn’t. Mistakes will happen, and that’s OK. Learn lessons and move on.”
The same holds true for experimentation. By using FASTR Frontend, Rachel can look at the results from one week, work on a new design the next, and have it live in production immediately. This is far more efficient and cost-effective than having to plan ahead for development sprints that can fill up weeks ahead of time.
To learn more about how Rachel plans and runs content experiments for ToysRUs.com, including planning ahead for the holidays and her thoughts on using AI to generate content for experiments, watch the full webinar on-demand.