From insight to innovation: The power of customer experience analytics for the retail industry


Katie Leask

July 13, 2021 | 6 min read

We sat down with Harry Thornberry, Business Development Manager at Contentsquare, to find out why insight and innovation should be top of every online retail professionals’ list this summer. 


Experience often trumps price

“Digital experience in fashion and retail is a battleground right now,” says Harry. “And we’re finding with a lot of our client base that brands are competing on user experience rather than price.”

In today’s digital world, it’s easy for a customer to click off your site and move to a competitor. And nine times out of ten there’ll be someone offering a cheaper product or solution than you. “So it’s up to brands to provide an experience compelling enough to make them stay,” he says.

Think about it; how many times have you browsed various websites only to return to your trusted favorite? ASOS is a great example of this. Though many of the brands they sell have their own websites, customers still prefer to shop them on the ASOS platform. Why? Because their user experience is simple, intuitive, and downright easy to use. 

ASOS offers:

  • Free shipping and returns
  • ‘You might also like’ functionality for similar items
  • Videos of the clothes to see how they hang
  • In-depth product information
  • Advanced filtering options
  • One-click add to cart

The experience is so customer-centric that it begs the question; ‘Why shop anywhere else?’. And all these little things added up make a huge difference to consumers, who typically value ease and convenience above all. In fact, research shows that customers are willing to spend more money on the same product on a site that’s easier and more convenient to use.

That’s why nailing your digital customer experience is so important.


The brand vs consumer divide

What’s even more interesting is the huge gap between the experiences businesses think they’re offering their customers, and the experience the customers actually receive.

According to research from Capgemini, 75% of businesses believe themselves to be customer-centric, yet only 30% of customers agree.

“What this experience gap tells us is that, firstly, the methods brands are using to measure customer satisfaction aren’t giving them the full picture and, secondly, a lot of experience decisions still hinge on intuition and guesswork,” explains Harry.

On top of this, consider that since 2000, 52% of Fortune 500 companies have gone bankrupt or ceased to exist as a result of digital disruption. “Competition is getting more extreme than ever,” he says. “And the digital era is unforgiving towards companies that treat their digital strategy as an afterthought. Every company needs to embrace digital transformation.” 


Look to the leaders

When you look at today’s real digital disruptors – such as Amazon, Uber, and Airbnb – they all have one thing in common. “Their business models are built around technology and innovation,” says Harry. “They innovate fast, focus on differentiation, and they’re completely data-driven.” 

The lesson? To survive and thrive, you need to adapt and innovate.

Take the huge boom in online shopping over the past year when the world was forced to work from home. Those who often shopped in Lidl, Tesco, and Waitrose on the high street (just like Harry’s mum!) suddenly switched to online shopping from the comfort of their sofa.

And with the ease and convenience that online shopping brought, why would they want to go back? This is a change of user behavior that’s happening up and down the country – and failure to adapt in line with changing customers could spell the end for your business.

With so many people now preferring to shop online since the pandemic, “you need to capture user behavior, innovate on it, and improve your user experience to keep people returning to your website,” says Harry. The digital customer experience is more important than ever.


From action to innovation

It’s great being able to find and fix bugs on your website (and Contentsquare’s Find and Fix feature is perfect for that), but the real value is in innovating on these experiences – that’s where Contentsquare has seen 9x revenue gains for its 750 strong client base.

“As consumers, we don’t want someone to fix an experience for us. We want to be offered a better one,” Harry says.

And that’s the true beauty of Contentsquare’s digital experience analytics platform. Contentsquare can tell you what your best performing journeys are, where your ROI hotspots are – and then give your team the insights they need to act on those learnings and create better digital experiences.


Unlocking your true potential

“We work with some fantastic retail brands; from Mulberry, Tommy Hilfiger, and Burberry to Boohoo, New Look, and Debenhams,” says Harry. “And what all these brands have in common is they realize that to provide a compelling customer experience that increases retention, they need more than what Google Analytics and session replay tools can offer them. And that’s what led them to Contentsquare.”


Example one:

The impact of weather on New Look’s online sales

“The biggest concern for many of our fashion clients is around storing their stock for seasonal products,” explains Harry. “Because a lot of this stuff will be out of fashion by next year, making it a debt to the business.” 

So how did New Look ensure they sold as much summer stock as possible? They updated the main header on their website with a ‘Summer dressing isn’t canceled’ banner, linking through to their summer collection. Here are the results:

  • +53% more visitors clicking on the banner on mobile
  • +74% more visitors clicking on the banner on desktop

Using Contentsquare data, New Look also noticed the weather had a huge impact on sales. As you might expect, when the weather was sunny, more people shopped for summer clothing. When it was cold or raining, sales dropped. There was a clear correlation.

The impact of weather on New Look’s online sales

Using click data gleaned from 100% of their users within the Contentsquare platform, New Look had the insights they needed to optimize their homepage to drive more summer stock sales.

The key learning? When summer hits, it’s time to start pushing your summer collections to the top of your homepage. Make summer dresses, t-shirts, shorts, and swimwear as easy as possible to buy for your customers, and prepare to see increased sales and customer satisfaction.

Using click recurrence, engagement, attractiveness data, and much more from Contentsquare, you can uncover what’s working and what’s not on your website in real-time. Optimizing towards your best performing content at the right time – depending on weather, time of the year, or cultural clues (like festival season or graduation) – is an innovative way to boost sales and increase customer retention by taking your customer experience one step further: to what the customer really, really wants.


Example two:

Quantifying the impact of user-generated content

“Brands like Boux Avenue and Office have been pushing some fantastic user-generated content recently,” says Harry. “And we’ve seen some huge positive engagement with people clicking on this content.” 

For example, using engagement and attractiveness metrics within the Contentsquare platform, Ugg was able to quantify the impact of user-generated content and make a data-driven decision about their ongoing digital strategy. 

Without Contentsquare’s in-depth customer engagement analytics, Ugg would have been unable to quantify the exact impact that user-generated content was having on their revenue and sales targets. With it, they were able to optimize their online offering with the content they knew was resonating.

The takeaway? User-generated content works, “So have some fun with it, especially when the engagement on this content is so high,” says Harry.

Quantifying the impact of user-generated content

Empower every team with data

At Contentsquare, our mission is to empower your entire team with invaluable insights about your customer journey. “There’s no point pigeon-holing data to one or two analysts, it’s about opening up the doors so all teams can access data. From junior interns to the CEO!,” explains Harry.

“It’s all about breaking down data silos because data silos kill businesses.”

Contentsquare provides valuable insights for all your teams; from eCommerce, Product and UX, to Analytics, Marketing, Merchandising, CX, and Voice of the customer. 

And we’re committed to showing you your data in a visual, intuitive, and easy-to-understand way. It’s about giving everyone the ability to analyze customer intelligence to improve your customer experience. No more spreadsheets and confusing graphs. No more documents filled with numbers and tables.

“I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, and even I can interpret the data,” he laughs.


Remove the guesswork 

With every tap, click, scroll, and hover, your customers share how they feel about your digital experience. Contentsquare’s experience analytics platform captures and analyzes every digital interaction on your website or app to tell you what content is working and what’s falling flat. We’ll give you real-time access to all the customer behavior data you need to build better digital experiences and keep your customers happy.

Book a demo with us today.