Online performance projects at DHL
Website Optimisation project:
DHL, the global courier and logistics business, was seeking improve the performance of it’s digital channels, in particular the UK website designed for retail and business customers. IT was governed centrally through a global structure. It was important to ensure that a good business case for a proven design could presented in advance of making any changes to the website / customer journey.
I upgraded analytics, deployed session-replay and heat-mapping to improve customer insight, then deployed AB/multi-variate testing tools. The upgraded analytics and session-replay/heat-mapping tools enabled me to see exactly how and where customers were struggling with the online products and services. The tools were all deployed into the business with minimal change and targeting a compelling set of benefits and ROI . The A/B and multi-variate test tools enabled me to try out design change hypothesis and test the results in the real world. We could either leave the tests running (if successful) until the code change was available for deployment, we could try an alternative variant, or regress back to the original code. As the tools were all tools were hosted in the cloud (Software as a Service) there was minimal set-up costs: Two very small code changes were made to the website, to deploy tags that enabled the use of SaaS based analytics and optimisation tools. In this way it was possible to optimise the design and prove the performance improvements with minimal risk and disruption of code changes.
I went on to the optimisation project that incrementally enhanced the design and evolved the new UX through a planned series of A/B (test and learn) iterations. Key project activities were as follows:
- Specified the tagging requirements and worked with external agencies and DHL’s global IT team to tag the site for two SaaS analytics and optimisation tools. The tagging was treated as a small / operational change which could be implemented in a relatively short lead time.
- Deployed and configured ClickTale, an advanced analytics package (delivering heat maps and session replay). This enables observation and detailed analysis of customer journeys, moments of struggle and drop-off.
- Combined ClickTale observations and analysis with Google and WebTrends analytics to inform a set of design improvement options and A/B and multi-variate tests for the website.
- Deployed and configured Optimizely, the SaaS based A/B – multi-variate testing tool to monitor and analyse the results of each test iteration, observing how each step change and variation in website design affected the website performance.
- Over a period of several months we worked through these design/ optimsation iterations until the optimal user-journey was understood and deployed.
This on-site optimisation activity was run in parallel to an off-site optimisation work-stream focused on digital marketing.
Digital marketing optimisation:
I managed an online marketing workstream, working closely with an external agency to drive up online performance, establishing a more granular approach to the management of online marketing activities. Key objectives were commercial and performance focused:
- Traffic -> drive up web visits
- Acqusition – >conversion to sales
- Efficiency -> Cost per sale
The team moved to weekly reporting and daily updates during heightened activities. These online marketing activities were dovetailed into the context of ‘business and usual’ marketing activities such as particular email and social media campaigns.
A 12 month road-map was agreed to work through a phased and targeted approach in the management of online marketing activities. The four main areas I concentrated on were on CPC (search), display advertising, real-time bidding (demand side platforms) and affiliate network performance.
Online performance projects at ACROMAS
I managed a Group level eCommerce Programme for Acromas (brands included The AA and SAGA Group). I looked at performance optimisation through two lenses on this programme:
- Digital: Integrating webchat, improving analytics and applying digital optimisation tools and business processes to improve User Experience
- IT: Optimising the website performance against ‘NFRs’ such as response times and resiliance, covering IT and supporting processes.
Relationships with aggregators, affiliates and online/campaign management were already in a mature state. My involvement was purely to deliver and integrate advanced tools and methods that provided improved visibility, management and control across online teams.
I set up and led multiple projects across the following work-streams:
- Optimisation tools Acquisition and business process integration: Review and upgrade of the core analytics capability (tools and organisation), complimented by the selection, deployment, configuration of Session Replay, A/B / multi-variate testing tools. Unexpected business benefits were realised through basket recovery (from session replay) . The A/B and multivariate testing enable informed design optimisation activities leading to an uplift in website conversion
- Webchat Acquisition and Business process integration. This works-stream covered, requirements gathering, product evaluation and selection as the first stage. Deployment involved a technical integration into the website and the business integration into call centres. The results (EBIT) from early Webchat deployments were far higher than expected.
- Infrastructure and IT. Online capacity and response times, in particular at at peak, was an issue. This programme work-stream entailed risk assessment and review of underlying architecture capacity and performance and alignment to projected traffic and volumes into the future. A road-map of upgrades to infrastructure, operational processes and supporting IT was put in place to strengthen online performance and UI response times across multiple channels.
These work-streams were widely regarded as the most successful part of the over-arching eCommerce programme. In particular the optimisation tools and webchat projects delivered higher than expected ROI resulting in secondary funding from our key stakeholders for further development and deployment on the programme.