Webtrends, the global leader in digital marketing optimisation and relevance through real-time, unified analytics and customer intelligence, today announced that East Coast has seen a conversion uplift of £1.6 million as a result of using Webtrends Optimize managed services.

The train operator, which runs fast, frequent passenger services on the East Coast Main Line from London to Yorkshire, the North East and Scotland, has used data from Webtrends Analytics™ and implemented Optimize™ testing strategies to increase the volume of First Class upgrades and make improvements to the booking funnel.

Whilst East Coast takes a third of its revenue from its website, a lack of internal resources meant that the in-house team were previously focused on maintenance rather than innovation. Webtrends managed service was selected to develop a new strategy of A/B and multivariate (MVT) testing in order to improve the company’s online potential.

East Coast’s initial foray into the world of optimisation took the form of a test to increase visitor engagement with their special offers. Using Analytics intelligence to guide the approach, combined with East Coast’s enthusiasm to dive straight in, Webtrends devised a strategy that used Multivariate testing in order to increase the visitors’ familiarity with the special offers available to them. With the benefit of the additional measurement recommended through the managed service, East Coast saw the unexpected benefit of additional sales and revenue uplifts up to £6,000 per month on the first test alone.

This success led to further MVT being deployed across wider areas of the website, including the booking funnel. Further strategies were developed to increase the volume of First Class passenger upgrades, with successful testing resulting in conversion uplift in excess of £1 million.

East Coast is now working with Webtrends to improve its understanding of customer behaviour online with Webtrends Segments™. This is providing visitor level insight into online behavioural trends, which is collected from the website and enriched with data from the CRM. Optimize then uses this data to shape the on-going testing and targeting strategy.

The East Coast board has been so impressed with the results to date that it has added a new member to the website team, enabling each individual to have an area of focus: testing and personalisation, alongside analytics and reporting.

Conor Marron, Digital Optimisation Manager at East Coast, comments: “We started off using Webtrends Optimize tentatively to see how it could improve customers’ awareness of special offers. The subsequent conversion uplift we saw from what we originally thought were simple changes was astounding. The expertise of the team at Webtrends gave us the confidence and the support to try new approaches. To see an overall uplift of over £1.6 million following our testing to date is incredible. Our initial results have allowed us to better resource our digital team so we can be more focused on specific areas of the website and our digital channels.”

“We are now starting to explore behavioural patterns in our testing results, segmenting our results to align with our existing CRM segments. This will allow us to target our results to specific groups and align results and goals to our own CRM campaigns. In combination with our existing systems, we are leveraging the flexibility of Optimize to tailor our testing right down to the finest detail. This is taking our testing to places we couldn’t have anticipated back when we were doing our first test. Our main goals for the year ahead involve looking at improvements to our mobile channel, further improving our personalisation, and seeing what we can do with real-time data. The future is looking pretty exciting thanks to Webtrends.”

“Testing can seem like a huge challenge, particularly when the internal team is small but the results can make a significant impact on the bottom line,” says Nick Sharp, Vice-President & General Manager EMEA, Webtrends. “The key is to work with a partner that can provide a managed service and work alongside the internal team to deliver the testing and targeting strategy. Online channels are increasingly important. If a brand can understand the behaviours of its customers, and do this in real-time, they can achieve significant increases to revenue.”

Published on: 10:30AM on 26th June 2013