TULA Skincare’s CRO Strategy for Retaining Customers [Case Study]
[Photo credit: Kristen Kilpatrick]
Innovative skincare brand trusts HiConversion for ongoing conversion rate optimization program, driving revenue growth and customer loyalty as a result.
Dr. Roshini Raj, a practicing gastroenterologist and probiotics expert, founded TULA after observing the positive effects probiotics had on her patients’ skin, and equally so, on their confidence.
TULA’s focus is health over perfection, and with a line of probiotic and superfood-infused products, they’re out to change what it means to have beautiful skin.
As the beauty market has taken over eCommerce – and it’s quickly become extremely competitive – merchants in this space need every edge they can get in order to attract and retain customers.
This is where CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) strategy can make the difference.
Simplified: CRO is the systematic method of turning more website visitors into paying customers, with the goal of influencing each customer to spend more every time they shop.
With their spirit of embracing inner potential, TULA set out to optimize their online store and give their customers the best possible experience for buying their products – by doing so, the up-and-coming brand could potentially cement their place in the highly competitive skincare industry.
But first they needed to find out exactly where their site could do better, and more importantly, how to make the necessary improvements before running the risk of losing customers.
How Collaboration Helped Tula Create Better Buying Experiences
Zack Abbell, TULA’s VP of Digital Marketing & eCommerce, connected with HiConversion through the Shopify Plus network of merchants and tech providers. Zack already had extensive experience with testing beforehand from working with Adobe Test & Target, Optimizely and Amadesa (where he was part of the team), giving him confidence that the partnership would bring value to his brand.
During an initial call with HiConversion’s customer experience strategists, they went over general web analytics including funnels, engagement maps, device form factors, and more. Additionally, they discussed the advantages of large-scale, ‘collaborative testing’ which enables merchants to compare their (anonymized) experiment results with peers and capture deeper insights.
After agreeing to run a full analysis, followed by a few tests of their choosing, TULA began to get a more complete picture of their site performance. At this stage, it is worth noting the strategic value of a CRO program and how it helps retailers – like TULA – deliver on the promise of their brand.
What follows is the learnings from an ongoing collaboration between HiConversion and TULA’s team. You’ll see the results from experimentation are absolutely fascinating (often surprising our own analysts).
Improving Mobile Product Listing Page Designs Increased Revenue by 26.84%
We’ve seen the Product Listing Page (PLP) play an important role in the shopping journey, most recently in our analysis of the top checkouts in eCommerce. TULA had a similar experience and used this knowledge to generate a significant lift in Revenue Per Visitor (RPV). They achieved this by testing several elements on their PLP that our analysis revealed to be potential trouble areas:
- SEO Container
- Afterpay payment method
- Product Listing Grid
- White Spacing
- Call to Action (CTA)
Unlike the other campaigns, the success of this multivariate experiment came from the compounding effects of running all of the treatments concurrently.
Product Listing Grid
Making the Best Seller product page listing in a single column should help in making individual products easier to see.
The Shop All PLP on the site has a single column arrangement, so we tested this design on the Best Seller page.
Reducing the white spacing should help in cutting down the overall length of the PLP and provide users with a cleaner, more seamless experience.
We reduced the white space between:
- Image, title
- Title, reviews, price
- Reviews, price, CTA
Also, we aligned the reviews and price elements in addition to reducing white space between different products.
Relocating the text and image to the bottom of the PLP will make it cleaner and push the product listing up eventually, making the products much more noticeable to users.
We relocated the SEO element at the bottom of the page and suppressed any unwanted white space from the top of the page.
Making the CTA prominent compared to other elements on the PLP will encourage users to interact with it.
We changed the CTA to a solid box with the color #48C6D9 and “ADD TO BAG” in white.
Making users aware of additional payment options should help in capitalizing on a wider range of users.
We added the Afterpay banner above the product grid.
|Visits||Conversions||CR Lift||RPV Lift|
Modifying Popular Products Page Increased Engagement by 4.39% (Mobile)
The grid will allow users easier access to all of the popular products at once instead of using the navigation arrow to view each product individually.
List the products in a 2×2 grid instead of a slider.
|Visits||Conversions||Click Rate (Engagement)|
Swapping Page Sections Increased Engagement by 1.25% (Mobile) and 38.14% (Desktop)
Identifying the sections of the page that are comparatively more engaged by the user and relocating them to the top of the page should increase user interaction.
Swap Popular Items section with Take a Quiz section.
|Visits||Conversions||Click Rate (Engagement)|
Bigger Hero Image on Home Page Increased Engagement by 22.54% (Desktop)
Increasing the size of the hero image should draw visitor attention to the highlighted offerings in the carousel.
Make the hero image full-width on the home page.
|Visitors||Conversions||Click Rate (Engagement)|
Optimizing Checkout Experience Increased Conversion Rate by 3.43% (Mobile) and 11.30% (Desktop)
Cutting down on visible page elements in addition to shortening the copy should reduce time spent on checkout and improve likelihood of completion.
Suppress Amazon Pay on Checkout Page and change shipping verbiage from “Free USPS Standard Shipping (3-6 Business Days)” to “Free Standard (3-6 Business Days)”.
Context Matters: Mobile vs. Desktop
One of the more interesting findings TULA made was the difference in results between some of the mobile and desktop versions of the same test. Namely, the hero image experiment.
It could be possible that the old creative looked better on the limited mobile screen due to the color contrast in the image and elements around it. We speculate that this could be why it received higher engagement compared to the new creative.
However, due to the short testing period and limited conversions, the results may be inflated. Compared to the baseline on desktop, we can see that the new creative received positive engagement from users.
It could be possible that the introduction of a new image piqued the interest of site visitors, or the image itself might be more aesthetically aligned to the rest of the desktop home page.
Although the testing period was rather short, the significant number of conversions is a good indicator that users prefer the new image on desktop.
Do CTAs and Reviews Make or Break Online Shopping UX?
After seeing how big of an impact the CTA and Review treatments made in the PLP campaign, the TULA team became curious about what would happen if they took the same approach with the Product Detail Page (PDP).
Similarly, to the PLP, this round of testing will focus on:
- Suppressing description and verbiage
- Enlarging CTA
- Relocating elements
- Suppressing reviews and stars
- Reducing clutter on PDP
We’re excited to share the results of these upcoming experiments in the coming months. Here’s a sneak-peek at one of the proposed desktop tests:
It will be interesting to compare the performance of this campaign, which focuses specifically on these two elements, with the multivariate PLP experiment where they were just part of a larger ensemble.
Bonus: Adapting to Pandemic with Messaging Treatments
TULA was one of the thousands of merchants that found themselves needing to react quickly to the sudden challenges brought upon by COVID-19.
The surge of eCommerce buying combined with decreased staff in shipping carriers created delays that would surely affect customer satisfaction. Knowing this, TULA ran a simple test informing the customer of this during checkout:
The result was a 12.76% CR lift on Desktop and 14% on mobile – clearly, small courtesies can make a big difference when it comes to checkout.
What Can the eCommerce World Learn From TULA?
Being a challenger brand in the ultra-competitive health and beauty industry – dominated by household names – presents merchants with an opportunity to innovate faster than their counterparts. When we first began working with TULA Skincare, Zack and his team were already experienced in eCommerce optimization but were looking for a way to weave it into their core growth strategy.
While most brands are quite familiar with analytics and testing, we’ve found that very few use the strategy of optimization to its fullest potential. Part of the reason why is because many teams see it as risky.
- “What if the experiments decrease revenue?”
- “Who will have the time to oversee these projects?”
- “Why should we do all this just for a few conversion rate boosts?”
These are just a few of the questions we’ve heard over the years, and they’re valid, but are more a response to optimization as a software solution rather than a cohesive, long-term growth strategy.
Leading brands know their customers better than their competitors.
The top eCommerce stores are constantly learning more about how their customers like to shop so they can keep adapting and serving their needs. Continuous optimization may be what sets them apart from the rest of the pack and keeps them on top.
Our collaboration with TULA was extensive and is ongoing. Together, we designed and implemented a large number of experiments that generated significant gains in conversion rate, visitor engagement, and revenue – but these initial benefits are just the beginning.
As the team uncovered more and more insights during our early testing, they were inspired to get creative and even design their own tests based on what they were learning. What started as a simple analysis and testing initiative guided by HiConversion turned into a powerful way for TULA to self-diagnose the health of their shopping experience. They haven’t stopped experimenting since.
What TULA learned about their own shopping experience, their site design, and how their customers react to even the smallest of changes could be an invaluable roadmap for other skincare and beauty merchants looking to overcome the challenges of their highly competitive industry.