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EXIsport: +50% increase in Recommender CTR

Tests clearly showed that Luigi's Box Recommender outperformed the original recommenders. Read how we did it in our case study.

EXIsport: +50% increase in Recommender CTR

EXIsport, a leading sports clothing and equipment retailer in Slovakia, recently significantly changed its approach to recommending products and improving customer experience. EXIsport’s e-shop started its 20th year since its launch, and from the beginning, it has been a leader in the Slovak market.

It has 20 years of experience, changes, and innovations that the company has brought. It operates in the Slovak, Czech, and Hungarian markets. There are 19 EXIsport stores in Slovakia, and its turnover for 2022 increased by more than 40% compared to the previous year. It is a multiple Superbrands Award holder and the winner of the MastersGate Award in 2018.

In our study, we will dive into the story of Exisport, which, through innovative solutions such as personalized product recommendations, managed to significantly increase not only the CTR of its recommenders but also improve the satisfaction of its customers.

You will learn:

  • EXIsport has been using Luigi’s Box Search since 2018
  • Trust brings new challenges
  • What questions were asked in EXIsport before the test, and what were the results
  • What changes followed

At EXIsport, we are not newcomers

Our cooperation began in 2018, a year after an experienced marketing consultant came to EXIsport, who noticed several interesting things after a UX test. From the deployment of our first product – Luigi’s Box Analytics, it turned out that up to 30% of sales on the then website were made through search. The conversion rate of those who used the search was several times higher than those who used navigation. Based on these and other findings, which you can read about in our previous EXIsport study, they solved the problem at the time by deploying our Search along with autocomplete.

Another step toward our mutual goal

How do you think this story continues? A client who is satisfied with the product gains greater trust and the value of cooperation within the business relationship with the vendor. This synergy mutually moves both the customer and the vendor, opening up new possibilities and increasing the efficiency of cooperation. Over the four years of collaboration, we have fundamentally improved search and autocomplete. Our algorithms are getting better and better. With machine learning, we bring more relevant results in all areas.

The search is personalized and provides the user with the comfort they require. So it’s about more than just numbers, plans, and revenues. Not everything can be measured, and the customer’s relationship to the e-shop, where they always find what they are looking for in a minimum of time and effort, is qualitatively at an entirely different level. So we improve our relationship with the client and the customer’s relationship with us. EXIsport knows this, and after years of successful cooperation, they wanted to try Luigi’s Box in another area – product recommendations.

It will only work with testing

Testing new ideas on e-shops is essential for many reasons. One of them is that even minor deviations in CTR or CVR can significantly impact the overall revenue of an e-shop. If it is an e-shop with high traffic, even a slight improvement in conversion rates can substantially impact increasing revenues. On the other hand, if the conversion rates are not high enough, it can lead to a loss of customers and revenue. Testing allows e-shops to identify weak and strong points in conversion processes and then optimize them. This way, e-shops can improve the user experience and increase customers’ likelihood of repeatedly returning and shopping. If the test or comparison is of high quality, the e-shop gains valuable information about customer behavior, which it can use to improve its marketing and sales strategies, just like in the case of EXIsport.

Like many other clients, they developed their recommender using their resources and system. At a certain point, verifying how successful this solution was was necessary. There were several arguments about why their recommendations could be better than ours but also why Luigi’s Box Recommender could bring a better result. Answers to two fundamental questions were sought, for which there were no answers without testing.

What will be the CTR /clickthrough rate/ after deploying Luigi's Box Recommender compared to the original recommendations?

What will be the CVR /conversion rate/ after deploying Luigi's Box Recommender compared to the original recommendations?

From the beginning of the comparative test idea, professionals from the EXIsport marketing department had in mind that the test deployment should not be rushed. Testing began with data collection from the basket pop-up recommender, where data on its performance was collected. Subsequently, we jointly embarked on implementing the Recommender from Luigi’s Box. The implementation was not entirely simple, but thanks to the cooperation with experienced experts from EXIsport and their IT providers from ASdata, we successfully deployed our recommenders as an alternative to the original ones. This combination of expertise and product support ensured a smooth implementation process and effective deployment of recommendations.

The pop-up basket recommender is an innovative feature in the e-shop that offers customers personalized product recommendations directly in the shopping cart. This handy tool is displayed as an attractive pop-up window that suggests additional products based on customer preferences and shopping behavior that might interest them.

The pop-up basket recommender is designed to make shopping easier for customers and, at the same time, increase the value of the order. Its simplicity and effectiveness lie in the customer not leaving the shopping cart to view the recommended products. This way, the e-shop provides customers relevant and exciting offers, improving the customer experience and increasing sales.

To test the performance of our Recommender, we deployed it in a product category where there were no recommendations so far. Our primary focus was to monitor the impact on sales. The primary KPI was the number of transactions, which allowed us to assess the Recommender’s effectiveness in this category accurately.

Data speaks in favor of Luigi’s Box

The test results of the original recommenders were significant enough. They can be explained on several levels. The first data collection from the original recommendations was from summer to late autumn 2022, i.e., during the Christmas gift shopping period and Black Friday sales, which may have slightly skewed the data. However, this is not a problem.

If we take the average of the entire test duration, our recommenders recorded an increase in CTR compared to the original ones by almost 39%. Isn't that amazing?!

If we took the average of only those months when no Christmas shopping and special occasions were included, we could talk about an increase in CTR by almost 51%. Great!

And what about the CVR metric? Conversion recorded a slight reduction at the level of the average deviation in the range between 0.5 and 3.5%. However, this is negligible in the case of such a significant increase in CTR.

Let’s also look at how the Recommender performed in the category. Here, the CTR and CVR values were only interesting because there was nothing to compare them. However, the number of transactions is interesting, the amount we cannot disclose, but their value was a pleasant surprise with a considerable profit that came, let’s say – just like that.

Conclusion: “It is necessary to deploy Luigi’s Box Recommender as soon as possible…”

No wonder.

After evaluating the selected metrics, it is clear that Luigi’s Box Recommender can increase CTR by almost 39% and even up to nearly 51%, depending on the chosen metric. This increase, of course, also increases revenues, which is the desired result for every merchant. Moreover, in categories, the Recommender can bring additional profit that did not exist before. Therefore, Luigi’s Box Recommender completely replaced the basket recommenders’ original solution and EXIsport introduced the Recommender in categories as a novelty in their e-shop.

And what about you? Will you be inspired and try some of our products?

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