Introducing: Online Cycling Gear
Online Cycling Gear is one of those brands that you hear about and think: wow, that’s an awesome business.
Francis Adanza is the CEO and co-owner of Online Cycling Gear (OCG) – a direct to consumer brand providing fun, high-quality apparel to cyclists and beyond.
He and his business partner bought the business because of its custom, made to order eCommerce model. Since the apparel is not made until the customer orders it, OCG minimizes supply chain costs and manufacturing waste – and as a result, passes the savings on to customers.
Cyclists and runners shop at onlinecyclinggear.com to browse accessories and apparel for their favorite sport. These shoppers love the fun styles and funky designs that the OCG team creates. And it’s built them quite a strong reputation!
Francis devised that customers appreciate the combination of unique designs, personalized customization options, and quality at an affordable price.
OCG employs best-in-class designers to build 3D renderings of the products. By not having to order and store a large inventory, the lack of storage costs and management creates efficiency that allows the OCG team to stay lean and mean.
But despite this unique facet of the business model, the OCG marketing team still has to manage the ever-changing nature of customer acquisition.
We all do.
OCG drives most shopper traffic from Google Ads and Facebook Ads, with a small (but strong) share from organic search traffic. Plus of course they rely on email and sms for existing customers retention and increasing LTV.
However, their website hadn’t been set up to optimize conversions. It wasn’t taking advantage of any predictive personalization strategies.
Francis explains: “We have our top sellers and some recommendations, but it’s really just kind of guessing and providing what we think is probably best.”
It’s an understandable strategy: as marketers we build our website flow around what we believe is going to convert users into loyal customers. And we do it to the best of our ability.
However, when it comes to the nitty-gritty tactical process of building a personalized, dynamic website… there’s no way a lean team like OCG can manage it all hands-on.
Francis puts it best: “When you have 2000 products, it’s hard to give each product the right amount of real estate so it has its chance to shine and be purchased.”
Product discovery is a challenge for merchandising teams, and having many SKUs makes it even harder.
However, personalization backed by machine learning can make product discovery a no-brainer for shoppers.
Testing a Hypothesis
Francis’s team installed Aidaptive’s Shopify app with an idea in mind: that automated personalization would help product discovery, conversion efficiency, growth in AOV – and ultimately customer LTV.
As usual, the Aidaptive team prefers to prove ROI upfront – so we setup a clean A/B test to evaluate the impact of our predictive personalization engine on OCG’s Shopify store.
The test split-up traffic 50/50: half saw a control experience and half saw a website with dynamic personalization at key revenue touchpoints along the shopping journey.
Setup was simple, according to Francis: “The integration and onboarding process was super easy. White glove service; attention to detail; the team was willing to provide resources for us. I really didn’t have to do anything. There was minimal work on my end to get going and operational.”
The goal of the test was to evaluate if predictive personalization can optimize traffic from any source, drive more sales, generate more revenue per order, and drive better engagement.
The results spoke for themselves:
- Conversion Rate: the experiment outperformed the control by 93% in CVR
- Average Order Value: AOV for the Aidaptive experience was 34% higher
- Revenue per Visitor: the revenue per each website visitor increased 159%
Francis makes it plain: “The conversion metric is pretty black and white. Here is your conversion rate as it stands today – and here is your conversion rate with the personalization. There’s a clear-cut lift.”
The data does the talking, but Francis also shared how – qualitatively – there is impact on customer experience.
He likened the personalization to getting recommendations from a sommelier at a nice restaurant. You walk in knowing you want to get a bottle of wine with your meal, but getting high quality recommendations makes the experience better.
“As for the customer’s buying experience, at its core you know it’s better – even if it’s not obvious from a specific metric. But a rising tide lifts all ships, so as we continue to get more traffic, it scales accordingly as well.”
One of the benefits of talking with an extremely experienced marketer like Francis is his insight and realism in marketing discussions.
He was transparent that the objective was to test for pure performance because conversion rate optimization is critical.
But running the test is the stand-out piece.
Why? Because every eCommerce brand needs to know what works for their unique business. And that can only be validated with experiments.
He provides some detail:
“Look. I would absolutely recommend Aidaptive, but every store needs to measure their own ROI. So it’s important to test.”
If your store wants to trial Aidaptive on your store, reach out to our team and we can get you setup.
And if you’re in the market for some fun, professionally constructed biking gear – check out the OCG site! I personally like the orange “Ride Free” styles: