Berry Brothers & Rudd (BBR) is Britain’s oldest wine and spirit merchant, established in the 17th century. The company’s iconic flagship store has been located at 3 St James’s Street, London since 1698 when it was founded by the Widow Bourne. A supplier to the royal family since the reign of King George III, historic customers have included Lord Byron, William Pitt the Younger and the Aga Khan.
Although the business is steeped in history and tradition, it has always innovated and moved with the times. Today, BBR offers wine schools and tastings, corporate entertaining, fine wine investment advice and a wine club. It was the first wine merchant to open an online wine shop (in 1994) and also launched BBX (Berry’s Broking Exchange), the first online fine wine trading platform, which enables customers to buy and sell wines that are stored in the company’s bonded warehouses.
Good Growth is not a digital agency in the classic sense of the word. As such, the team has both a very commercial and strategic mindset and is focused on driving through outcomes. We understood we had a real commercial challenge with the £100 price point and knew that this was a high basket rate at which many customers were unwilling to proceed. Good Growth’s thinking – together with some very insightful customer research – reinforced our view in this area and ensured that this became a business priority.”
Good Growth was engaged by BBR to deliver a highly focused 12-week project aimed at optimising BBR’s marketing strategy and to increase its online sales. Working with E-Commerce Director Charlie Bennett, the engagement came at a time when BBR was looking to transform the revenue of its online channel.
One of the key challenges that the project team faced was the effectiveness of the existing sales funnel. It was clear from analytics that new customers were being presented with a proposition that frustrated them. In fact, around 50% of customers who actually placed product in their basket left the site without making a purchase.
Working with Good Growth, BBR installed three customer insight tools to help build a series of hypotheses to test both the general usability of the website for visitors and to understand why people fail to buy.
Qualaroo was installed on the basket page to encourage customers to detail why they failed to compete a task. The importance of this survey is that it is constructed for customers to answer in their own words. The value of this is that the outcome is not defined by imposing choices such as price, stock availability, branding or functionality. To this end it captures the customer’s agenda rather than trying to anticipate it.
Good Growth also carried out a series of user tests using Ethnio. This proved valuable in building a picture of usability to support the analytics and survey outcomes. Feedback from a small number of user testing videos provides detailed insight into why a website is not performing. Clicktale was also installed to highlight the areas of the screen that were attracting the most attention.
The conclusions from this range of customer testing indicated that customers had not spotted the minimum order requirement and, when finally presented with it, abandoned their purchase. These customers simply wanted to purchase rather than open an account and they also wanted to understand the experiences of other customers. This last point highlighted the importance of introducing product recommendations and customer reviews into the purchase decision process.
Perhaps of most interest was the fact that 50% of these customers indicated that if there was not a minimum order and they could checkout without establishing an account, they would have completed their purchase. Indeed, customers actually indicated that they would be quite willing to pay a delivery charge.
The annual value opportunity in solving this issue was identified in a range between £600,000 and £3.6m. BBR’s Charlie Bennett explained that working with Good Growth was both interesting and challenging.
“Good Growth is not a digital agency in the classic sense of the word. As such, the team has both a very commercial and strategic mindset and is focused on driving through outcomes. We understood we had a real commercial challenge with the £100 price point and knew that this was a high basket rate at which many customers were unwilling to proceed. Good Growth’s thinking – together with some very insightful customer research – reinforced our view in this area and ensured that this became a business priority”.
Since working with Good Growth, BBR has abandoned the minimum order requirement and has also introduced customer reviews into the purchase process. Although the changes around delivery options have only been changed recently, early results have been encouraging with both site and checkout funnel conversion rates up.