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John Smedley Conversion Rate Optimisation Case Study

John Smedley unleashes the power of conversion rate optimisation to achieve 30% growth in mobile orders


"Working with Williams Commerce, the CRO project enabled us to work smarter. CRO takes out all of the guess work when making UX choices, using analysis and data to make informed decisions. To date, the incremental improvements made to our mobile offering has been impressive to say the least."

13% increase in sessions

Mobile Revnue up by 30%

10% increase in conversion rate


John Smedley operates the world’s oldest manufacturing factory in the heart of the UK. The company is renowned for the creation and retail of highly-crafted knitwear for women and men.

The company operates a strong ecommerce store, as well as a selection of retail locations in London and Japan, and a headquarters in Lea Mills, Derbyshire.

As John Smedley’s chosen digital ecommerce and marketing partner since 2016, the Williams Commerce marketing team work collaboratively with the fashion brand across both short and longer term strategy and tactics. This includes paid and organic search to deliver brand and product awareness online and drive year-on-year growth in bringing high-quality visitors to the site.

More recently, Williams Commerce have engaged with the John Smedley team on their conversion rate optimisation agenda. Delivering a constant iterative program of analysis and insights to address those minor barriers and unlock new areas of opportunity for the ever growing sophisticated online shopper.  This approach is resulting in small but constant improvements to conversion rate, particularly across mobile, bringing more transactions, revenue and profit for the business.

A Mobile Focus

Understanding mobile users is more essential than ever before. According to Statista, the amount of money spent via mobile today is more than double what it was four years ago, and is expected to pass the US$1 trillion mark globally in 2019.

This is how more and more people are completing transactions today, and there are several key touchpoints throughout the mobile user journey that dictate whether that journey reaches the purchasing stage.

To support John Smedley’s online goals, the Williams Commerce CRO team undertook deep analysis using a number of tools including Google Analytics and heat mapping tools, in order to identify and target pain points that may be preventing shoppers from progressing to the next stage of the buying process.

It was noted that mobile users had the option of clicking a ‘return’ button on products. But users had alternative ways of continuing to shop, such as via the navigation bar at the top of the product pages.

Our experts therefore proposed removing the ‘return’ button option for mobile users and increasing the width of the ‘proceed to checkout’ button on a product page. The hypothesis was that by removing the ‘return’ option, a user will be more inclined to continue with their checkout journey at an important part of the overall customer journey.

This proposal was tested via a variation experiment, with the aim of proving that removing the ‘return’ button would still see users clicking ‘proceed to checkout’. It became clear that by removing ‘return’, more users clicked on ‘proceed to checkout’. It was also found that this had a positive impact on final conversions, with the variation we suggested proving more effective than the existing situation.


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Impressive Results

Our CRO work with John Smedley has so far seen a 10% YoY increase in mobile conversion rate. This aligned with a 30% increase in actual revenue.

At the same time, our CRO hypotheses and suggestions were being implemented, a 13% increase in sessions on the John Smedley site was noted. Generally speaking, sites that see an increase in sessions often see a slight decline in conversion rate. However, to have conversion rates increase by 10% for mobile shows the strength of the experiment and its success rate.

“We set out with a simple objective to increase mobile conversion,” said Bruce Slater, Head of Web at John Smedley. “Working with Williams Commerce, the CRO project enabled us to work smarter. CRO takes out all of the guess work when making UX choices, using analysis and data to make informed decisions. To date, the incremental improvements made to our mobile offering has been impressive to say the least. I work very closely with the talented teams within Williams Commerce and collaboratively we are forward thinking in the way we drive our web business forward. CRO enables us to get it right, first time.”

The Williams Commerce CRO team continues to work with John Smedley on an ongoing basis, with the long term aim being to continue generating analysis and insights into visitor behaviours, that will help us unlock new areas of opportunity. This iterative approach to enhancing the user experience helps to improve the website’s ability to convert and move shoppers (whose needs continue to evolve and change!) through to their destination as seamlessly as possible.

More and more online retailers are turning to Conversion Rate Optimisation, adopting it as one of their top strategies for accelerating growth online.







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