STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 49

The company has about 200 employees
and sends out about 40,000 bouquets
weekly. Jansen says the average purchase
ranges from $41 to $47.
Euroflorist launched its online
operations in 1995, becoming one of the
first 100 online companies in the world.
From the beginning, the site accepted
credit cards, although transactions were
handled via a Scottish bank since no bank
in the company's home country of Sweden
was ready to deal with online shopping.
Euroflorist began using Ascend in
2017 after recognizing that AI could
bring significant value to the business;
60 percent of its revenue comes from
online commerce, making increased
conversion rates a priority.
The company had been doing research
on its own, using A/B testing to measure
the success of changes to its website
while limiting potential damage. The
method, also referred to as "split
testing," enables companies to compare
the performance of two web pages.
"In the past, only one out of five A/B
tests were successful," Jansen says. "We
considered that a pretty good number.
But it was taking months to reach a
modest 4 to 5 percent lift.
"Our team does a lot of user research
and A/B testing, but we were struggling
with limited resources. That limited the
number of tests we could run."
The main goal was to lift sales, Jansen
says. "Ascend enabled us to test hundreds
of combinations in the same amount
of time as one A/B test," he says. "This
worked even in some smaller markets,
where A/B solutions don't work due to the
low traffic. In our initial test, we saw up
to a 17 percent increase in conversions."
The results come as no surprise to
Epstein. "We saw a problem between
the speed at which people want to
attain improvement and how fast their
businesses are operating and the tools that
they use to tune their user experiences,"
he says.
Epstein says Ascend allows marketers
and retailers to test not just one change
to the user experience but as many as
50 changes simultaneously. "If you
tell it to improve the conversion rate,
STORES.ORG

Euroflorist saw an
overall 4 percent increase
in the clickthrough
rate and a 5.5 percent
increase in people
ordering more items.
AI automates the process and displays
different designs to determine which
will be the best one," he says. Sentient is
working with major airlines and other
retailers, he says, and is "seeing rates
anywhere from 5 to 50 percent."
INCREASING NUMBERS
For Euroflorist, it was a matter of
getting more data on which to base
business decisions. "We knew it would
be a win for the company," Jansen says.
"We knew AI was an emerging area and
we had to experiment with it in order to
get ahead of the competition."
The results of the Sentient system were
a foregone conclusion before it was rolled
out companywide. "We did a simple
test as a trial," Jansen says. "We tested
in three countries, Norway, Sweden
and The Netherlands, and we had 256
variants of the product page."

He says the implementation period
was short. "We did hold a workshop to
determine what we wanted to do on the
web page, based on all the changes that
had been made and research that was
already done. We picked eight elements
on the page, and for each element, we
made two variants. Basically, that was our
entire investment of time. Then, Sentient
implemented it into our website."
Since then, the company has seen an
increase in sales, Jansen says; after the
test, the company saw an overall 4 percent
increase in the clickthrough rate and a
5.5 percent increase in people ordering
more items.
"I think we can increase those numbers
as we go along," Jansen says. "Basically,
we've done the proof of concept, showing
that the system really works. We found
out that with Sentient, we can run four
times the tests we normally do with
fewer users. And we'll be doing more
tests on the entire customer journey, from
the time they enter the website to when
they leave."
Len Lewis is a veteran journalist and author
covering the retail industry in the U.S., Canada,
Europe and South America.

STORES January 2018 49


http://www.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - January 2018

Editor’s Page
President’s Page
Retail Politics
NRF News
TRENDS
Retail People
Disruption Is the New Normal in Retail
20 Ideas Worth Stealing
Drug Store Cowboy
C2W
TECHNOLOGY
WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT
OMNICHANNEL
AI
MARKETING
FINANCE
BUSINESS OPERATIONS
STARTUP SPOTLIGHT
SECURITY
HUMAN RESOURCES
POV
Communities
End Cap
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - intro
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - cover1
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - cover2
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 3
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 4
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 5
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - Editor’s Page
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 7
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - President’s Page
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 9
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 10
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 11
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - Retail Politics
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - NRF News
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - TRENDS
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 15
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 16
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 17
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 18
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 19
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - Retail People
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 21
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - Disruption Is the New Normal in Retail
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 23
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 24
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 25
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 20 Ideas Worth Stealing
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 27
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 28
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 29
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 30
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 31
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 32
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 33
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 34
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 35
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - Drug Store Cowboy
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 37
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 38
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 39
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - C2W
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - TECHNOLOGY
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 42
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 43
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 45
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - OMNICHANNEL
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 47
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - AI
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 49
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - MARKETING
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 51
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - FINANCE
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 53
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - BUSINESS OPERATIONS
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 55
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - STARTUP SPOTLIGHT
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 57
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - SECURITY
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 59
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 60
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - HUMAN RESOURCES
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 62
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - 63
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - POV
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - Communities
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - End Cap
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - cover3
STORES Magazine - January 2018 - cover4
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