GNC Increases Conversion and Decreases Abandonment Rates With Commitment to Customer Service
Nearly 80 years after its founding, General Nutrition Centers (GNC) remains true to its mission of helping customers "Live Well" by providing both great products and customer service. The retailer works hard to recreate the in-store shopping experience online. With its expansive selection, knowledgeable customer service representatives, and reasonable shipping and return policies, GNC.com is creating a standard for fantastic customer support.
GNC recently put its customer service to the test. Mystery shoppers browsed the retailer's website across 300 customer service-related metrics. Every shopper touchpoint was evaluated, from the average time of an email response to the ease of returns. From these tests, GNC learned how it performed in the realm of customer service on a very detailed level. After the thorough analysis was completed, GNC was recognized with the EXCELLENT award from customer service ratings provider STELLAService.
A/B Testing Made Easy
Jeff Hennion, GNC's chief marketing officer, decided to test the value of having a STELLAService customer service seal on its website. "Being purveyors of health and nutrition goods, we certainly understand how important it is to have the trust of our consumers," Hennion said. "Just as consumers trust that we sell effective, high-quality products, we want them to understand that our service is nothing short of excellent. STELLAService's program seemed to be consistent with the message we wanted to deliver, so the only question left was whether the seal would deliver."
After Hennion and GNC's Vice President of E-Commerce Chris Dargis were on board with testing the seal, an important consideration was how to best gauge the seal's effect. The GNC team sought help from Monetate, a company that enables websites to run hundreds of concurrent A/B and multivariate tests. "Easily testing and targeting marketing campaigns like the STELLA campaign are exactly why we teamed up with Monetate," Dargis said. "We had the test up and running in no time."
Delivering Positive Results
The Monetate-managed A/B test of the STELLAService seal delivered telling results in a matter of weeks. The seal, strategically placed on the checkout page of GNC's site, drove an increase in conversion rate of nearly half a percent, as well as a nearly half a percent decrease in cart abandonment. These results were indicative of the fact that customers are sensitive to service claims, especially during the final stages of their transactions.
"The fact that customers are still influenced in their purchasing decisions at such a late stage in the buying experience indicates how powerful STELLAService's message is to those customers," said Dargis. "The results of the A/B test were so influential, the e-commerce team made the decision to add the STELLAService seal on the checkout page permanently."
"Seeing the effects of the seal so quickly certainly impressed us," Hennion added. "We look forward to working hard to maintain our excellent service reputation with our customers and with STELLA."