- Swanky launched a standalone Shopify Plus website for Lintbells’ pet supplements brand YuMOVE in 2020.
- Over the next three years, Swanky’s multidisciplinary teams worked with YuMOVE to accelerate the brand’s DTC growth, focusing in particular on subscriptions.
- During this time our conversion rate optimisation team ran over 80 A/B tests, with a 61% win rate and 8-figure revenue increase attributable to testing.
- Other outcomes included more than a 1,000% increase in subscriber numbers and a 625% increase in monthly DTC revenue.
Building a new DTC Shopify store
This story begins back in 2019, when Lintbells, the parent company of YuMOVE, engaged Swanky to launch a standalone DTC store for the YuMOVE brand.
At the time, Lintbells had a parent Shopify website selling products from various child brands, with YuMOVE being the most popular. The team were therefore already familiar with the Shopify platform and the various benefits it offers retailers – making it their solution of choice for YuMOVE’s separate store.
Leveraging insights from a thorough discovery process, combined with our knowledge of subscription best practices and customer behaviour in the petcare market, we created a best-in-show ecommerce store for YuMOVE.
This new website would go on to support Lintbells in raising awareness of the YuMOVE brand, driving sales and building a sizable subscriber base – ultimately facilitating rapid and significant digital growth.
A transition to retained growth services
After the YuMOVE site launched in 2020, the project transitioned into Swanky’s Growth Accelerator team. This was the beginning of a transformative three-year period for the brand.
Our Growth Accelerator program is designed to deliver rapid, strategic, risk-mitigated growth with tailored, data-driven strategy and implementation.
Amongst YuMOVE’s key objectives were to:
- increase subscription conversion rate;
- grow subscription revenue;
- grow the brand’s subscriber base;
- increase customer lifetime value; and
- increase overall revenue.
These formed the basis of our DTC subscription growth strategy for YuMOVE, helping us from ideation through to implementation.
To support YuMOVE in achieving these goals, we provided a number of services as part of our Growth Accelerator package, including:
- strategy and consultancy;
- optimisation and experimentation;
- subscription solutioning;
- data, analytics and reporting;
- Shopify development; and
- UX design.
This project drew upon the expertise of team members from across Swanky, from digital strategists and data analysts to developers and designers.
YuMOVE had pre-established teams split around acquisition, ecommerce and retention. We worked with each of these teams to help improve the entire customer journey.
For the top of the funnel, we provided advice on awareness and acquisition strategies.
Our work with the ecommerce team focused on conversion rate optimisation, personalisation and enhanced website functionality – each aspect designed to increase the return on investment from their acquisition spend. This is what the rest of this case study will explore in more detail.
We then collaborated with the retention team on implementing loyalty initiatives and personalisation strategies for returning customers, in order to boost customer lifetime value.
A core focus of our work with YuMOVE was building out the brand’s fledgling subscription offering. We leveraged popular subscription solution Recharge throughout the project, as well as drawing on our technical specialists for bespoke development work.
In particular, in order to grow YuMOVE’s subscriber base and increase revenue from subscriptions, and improve customer experience and loyalty, we focused on strategies to incentivise users to move from one time purchase to recurring orders. We deployed a number of tests designed to increase subscription conversion rate, including experimenting with the placement of subscription information on landing pages and the marking of the ‘Subscribe & Save’ option as default on product pages. We provide examples of some of these tests in the next section.
We also explored and implemented strategies for reducing subscription churn. These included:
- implementing Churn Buster to reduce involuntary churn (in cases where a customer’s card details have changed, for example, causing frustration for the customer and lost revenue for the retailer);
- extending subscription cadence from one month to three months (to give new users a chance to witness the product’s benefits and therefore encourage retention); and
- consulting on a tiered loyalty program which offered increasingly appealing benefits beyond the point of traditional churn.
Optimisation and experimentation
“Fundamental to YuMOVE’s success throughout our engagement with them was our commercially-guided optimisation and experimentation program,” explains Sammy Fraser, Head of Digital Strategy at Swanky.
“We ran more than 80 A/B tests across the customer journey, with the aim of increasing the subscription conversion rate and therefore improving the effectiveness of their marketing spend.”
We leveraged experimentation solution Dynamic Yield to implement these A/B tests, some of which we will summarise below.
Example 1: Testing the inclusion of a subscription option on paid media landing page
Early on in our collaboration with YuMOVE, we identified that paid search helped to generate the highest proportion of subscription purchases compared to other channels. This was particularly impressive given that the paid media landing page was in fact geared towards one time purchases, with no links to the subscription sign up flow.
We tested a challenger variant of this landing page which gave the user pricing options for both the one time purchase and the subscription. The page also promoted the benefits of subscription, including free delivery and a 35% discount.
Control vs challenger on desktop.
As hypothesised, the challenger was more effective at generating subscription purchases than the control (generating a 33.2% uplift in subscription conversion rate). Based on recent traffic figures, we calculated that this would translate into an additional five figures of revenue each month – presenting a significant growth opportunity for YuMOVE.
Example 2: Testing sampling as a gateway to subscription
Our data team identified a reduction in customer churn after two months of product use – the point at which a pet owner would have seen the marketed benefits manifest themselves in their pet.
To make the most of this high level of retention and encourage subscription sign ups, we implemented a discounted sampling strategy, in which users receive their first two months’ worth of supplements at a significantly reduced cost before joining a full price subscription.
To counter any potential abuse of the sampling offer, we developed a custom app so that only first time customers could get access to the trial. We complemented this with configuration of Shopify Flow rules.
Within the first three months of this being implemented, it accounted for over a quarter of all subscription orders and led to a 4.86% increase in subscriptions.
Example 3: Testing subscription as the default option on product pages
In this test, we hypothesised that by filling the ‘Subscribe & Save’ radius button as default on product pages, the number of subscribers would increase.
Control vs challenger on desktop.
Subscription conversion rate was indeed 16% higher in our variant compared to the control. We calculated that this would generate a six figure annual revenue uplift.
This test demonstrates the sizable impact that a seemingly small on-site tweak can make.
Example 4: Testing a dynamic tablet recommendation tool
Previously, the YuMOVE website indicated the number of tablets that a dog needed to take in a static website block.
We tested an upgraded version of this element – one that users could interact with by selecting their dog’s weight and desired pack size. This provided a product recommendation along with options to add to cart or subscribe.
Control vs challenger on desktop.
The one time purchase conversion rate was 4% higher in the variant compared to the control. Meanwhile, subscription conversion rate for the variant was by 5.69% higher than the control. If the variant was rolled out to 100% of traffic, we predicted a significant 7-figure uplift in annual revenue.
CRO is about more than ‘winning’ – a note on ‘losing tests’
Swanky’s Digital Strategists ran more than 80 A/B tests for YuMOVE, with a 61% ‘win’ rate – significantly higher than the average success rate of 25%.
It’s important to note that whilst we achieved an above average test win-rate, there were still plenty of valuable learnings generated from so-called ‘losing’ tests.
Digging deeper into losing instances and trying to understand user behaviour in the testing period can tell you a lot about shoppers and their preferences. This can in turn inform future test iterations – ultimately edging you closer to the goal of resolving a pain point and improving your target metric/s.
You can read more on this topic in this article about the benefits of testing beyond winning.
Our engagement with YuMOVE has yielded some truly exceptional results, frequently exceeding expectations and targets. By building a new Shopify Plus store, launching a thriving subscription model powered by Recharge, and implementing changes based on a strategic, data-driven optimisation program, we have helped transform YuMOVE’s online presence.
Let’s look at some results in relation to the objectives shared above:
- Objective: Increase subscription conversion rate.
> This increased by 160% in less than two years.
- Objective: Grow subscriber base.
> The brand’s subscriber base grew by 1,728% over three years.
- Objective: Grow revenue from subscriptions.
> At site launch, subscriptions contributed approximately 25% of YuMOVE’s revenue. This increased to 64% by 2023.
- Objective: Increase overall revenue.
> Pushing the winning tests live to 100% of traffic, based on the uplift in conversion rate and revenue from each testing period, was expected to generate 8-figures of additional revenue.
> From February 2020 to February 2023, YuMOVE saw a 625% increase in monthly revenue.
> Lintbells’ overall group revenue increased from £20m in FY19 to £50m in FY22.
Transform your petcare brand with Swanky
We have a proven track record of delivering exceptional subscription ecommerce solutions for petcare brands – from branding and web design, to subscription strategy and internationalisation support.
YuMOVE is one of several brands we’ve worked with from the petcare sector, including the likes of cat product company Catit (part of the Hagen Group), Australian dog biscuit brand Farrell’s, natural pet food brands Forthglade and Natural Instinct, and iconic pet charity Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.
To find out how we can leverage our comprehensive understanding of this market to help accelerate your digital growth, please reach out to our team of Shopify Plus Experts today.