Camping Online Retail Industry Report – CRO 2015

published by on 25th November 2015 under Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO), Industry Reports, Research

Camping CRO Industry Report




Find out which camping online retailers are taking the lead in having the critical conversion elements in their homepages and category pages to maximise online conversions.

A bespoke Conversion Experience Scoring (CXS) analysis framework was developed by FIRST to provide a relative measure of the onsite customer experience of selected online retailers in the camping industry. The CXS is a percentage based indication of how well an ecommerce website incorporates best practices on its website’s homepage and category page. Additionally, FIRST applied its Element Group Scoring methodology to identify which category element is most present across the analysed camping retail websites. The list of core conversion elements in the report is intended to serve as a good practice framework for you to build from depending on your unique business and audience needs.



  • Currently, Rebel Sport takes the lead in having most of the core conversion elements in its homepage. It is followed by Kathmandu and Bivouac. For the category page, EquipOutdoors holds the first place with Outdoor Action and Bivouac following in the second and third place, respectively. Bivouac was consistently part of the top three online retailers in the CXS rankings for both the homepage and category page.
  • Most camping retail sites have the elements under the Navigation group present but lack the elements under the Features group in both their homepages and category pages.
  • Majority of the analysed camping online retailers have CXS scores below 60%. There is significant opportunity for these retailers to improve their CXS scores or online conversions by incorporating core conversion homepage and category page elements to keep customers focused and ready to buy.
  • In this competitive industry, players are urged to optimise their pages to increase relevance, reduce friction and match messages with visitors’ intents.


Homepage element score rankings_camping blog

Category page element score rankings_camping blog






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Why analysing human behaviour trumps analysing ‘session’ behaviour

published by on 19th November 2015 under Digital Strategy, Google Analytics


Digital Marketers and Consultants tend to rely heavily on data to shape decisions, strategy and marketing budgets. A lot of time is invested in analyzing, interpreting and providing insights or developing hypotheses to improve performance. Consistently sifting through Google Analytics data and dashboards, Crazy Egg reports, Formisimo, excel sheets, pivot tables, and on and on………

We tend to spend so much time focusing in on the numbers and metrics like impressions, bids, conversions, bounce rates and observations like “click through rate increased by 4.2% month on month”, “exit rate from this page is 30% above site average, and more pronounced from mobile” or “conversions (customer acquisition) is down 25%”  it’s easy to forget about the people actually generating those numbers.

The below video gets this point across nicely, and although humorous, it is a sad fact that many companies still subject their customers to a painful online experience because they forget to make a connection between the data to the actual person behind the numbers.



Don’t get me wrong, analysing, making sense of and providing insights around quantitative measurement and research is important. It has its place and provides insights into ‘what’ occurred, but I believe more needs to be done to add a layer of context in relation to the actual person (your customer) behind the numbers, to uncover the ‘why’, if we are to really shift revenue and ROI upwards and beyond.


Why, why, why?

If we understand the Why, we have more insight into the human behaviour (not ‘session behaviour’), emotion, and the personality characteristics that quantitative data cannot match. By better understanding your customers behaviours, needs, desires, routines, use cases, pain points, we, as marketers, for example are able to craft better ad and site copy, include more persuasive imagery and communicate benefits that really appeal, create and portray offers in a way that compels your customers into action, focus A/B tests on those elements that are the real decision and revenue drivers.


Let me explain ‘why’

Let’s assume your problem is lead acquisition (you’ve seen the numbers and conversion rate of successful online enquiries is not what they should be). The obvious, initial onsite focus point then becomes your enquiry form, but despite running multiple A/B tests you’re not seeing a big increase in conversions. So we know the ‘what’ (conversions are down), but we don’t know ‘why’.

To get a better understanding from your visitors as to what is preventing them from filling out the enquiry form, you implement an exit survey for visitors using Qualaroo – “What prevented you from contacting us today?” The answers received are not at all what you were expecting, and don’t relate to the enquiry form at all.

Responses tell you that visitors were confused as to what you were actually offering, and they had unanswered questions. They simply needed more information, and a more compelling reason to act, before they were ready to take the next step and enquire.

Now consider how much time you spent working and testing variations on the enquiry form, how much time and effort you wasted analysing formisimo data, crazy egg and GA reports.

Adding an FAQ to answer common questions, and clarifying the benefits of how your offer solves their problem, could have produced much more significant results.

Only once we start to truly understand the motivations and behaviour of our target audience, can we truly create marketing campaigns worthy of case studies. 

Every so often, it’s important to venture outside of all the dashboards and spreadsheets to actually engage with, and understand your customers. The gold lies in discovering the emotional triggers that influence your customers purchase decisions.

This post from WordStream provides a good illustration of the power of tapping into your customers emotions to improve performance from PPC campaigns.


Helpful tips and tools

Below are a few of our favourite ways & tools we at FIRST use to uncover more about our clients customers:

  • Online Customer Surveys

Favourite ToolQualaroo
What: Helps you gather data (who, what, how, where) from a lot of people quite quickly.
Tip:  Ask visitors about friction and ask customers about retention.

  • User Testing

Favourite ToolUser Testing
What: Get videos of real people using your website or app
Tip:  Great for uncovering technical site issues too

  • Live Chat Transcripts

Favourite ToolZopim
What:  Live Chat transcripts tell us what people are looking for who don’t want to search. It also tells us what is missing from a site or what is hard to find.
Tip:  Ask the right questions. What has been the most frustrating part of your search today?

  • Live Interviews

Favourite Tool: Phone
What: Having a direct conversation with someone who has purchased something from you. Nothing beats actually talking to your target audience.
Tip: Interview your sales / customer service staff too. They’re on the ground talking to your visitors and customers every day. Record the conversations if possible



Without knowing what your customers are thinking, it’s very difficult to solve a problem you don’t fully understand. If you can’t figure out WHY your site visitors (prospective customers) aren’t behaving as expected, qualitative research can help fill the gap and enables a peek inside the mind of the people you’re trying to form a relationship with. By better understanding your customers, you can serve them better, and that’s just better for everyone!


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FIRST Team Enters The Combat Zone At Lock ‘N Load

published by on under Events, Team Fun

FIRST Team Paintball


Here at FIRST, we just love getting our hearts pumping! We did the zombie invasion experience at Escape Masters last August, and now we’re back for another adrenaline filled adventure activity. Last weekend, we headed to Lock ‘N Load Paintball park and decided to shoot each other for fun.

A blend of action, strategy and small projectiles hurling through the air upwards, paintball was an activity similar to what we do at the office on a daily basis (especially the small projectiles hurling through the air).


All Geared Up


Thankfully the NZ weather forecast was spot on and we had a nice sunny weather last Saturday. Right after the briefing by the referee, we geared up and divided ourselves into two teams. Done outdoors, we did a series of games in different fields- Dawn of the Dead, “Deadwood” Western Town, “Mad Max” Urban Wasteland, “D Day Landing” WW2, “Area 51″ UFO Crash Site and Barrel Field. Our goal was either to shoot every single member of the enemy team or retrieve the flag. I think we enjoyed the former goal more. We enjoyed it so much that even members of the same team were shooting each other towards the end of the game. Both teams had wins and losses from the series of the games. But no one was declared the winner at the end as most of us kept violating the rules such as – don’t shoot your own team mate or don’t shoot when the person has surrendered. All good clean fun :)


Nothing like BBQ to bring both teams together


Bruised up but with big smiles on our faces (from shooting each other), we ended the game after two hours and devoured all the food in sight. It was another fun filled activity for the team. Would definitely come back for more!


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Dymocks Increased Conversion Rate By 40.48% With FIRST CRO Process

published by on 18th November 2015 under Case Studies, Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO), Research

Dymocks case study blog


Dymocks is one of Australia’s most established and best known brands, founded 136 years ago. With more than 60 physical stores across Australia and over 10 million books sold last year, the company holds the crown of Australia’s leading bookseller. With the goal of improving its online user experience, increasing online revenue and driving more customers to the physical stores, Dymocks partnered with FIRST for a customer-centric omnichannel strategy to encourage customers to purchase in store and online.


The FIRST Conversion Rate Optimisation Process

To increase engagement and conversion rate, FIRST conducted qualitative research to understand customer behaviour and customer usability by talking to a reflective cross section of the bookseller’s target market, mapped against existing segmentation data from the Dymocks marketing team.

Using a methodical approach to testing and optimising conversions, quantitative analytical insights was combined with the qualitative research to have a complete view of the customers’ buying journey. This involved looking at specific customer needs and creating ways to provide a better online experience and to nurture them into becoming high value customers.


Better Experience, Better Results

From the research and insights gained, FIRST made recommendations prioritised in order of the potential financial uplift they would bring to the site. Overall results of some of the tests included:


Dymocks Case Study results



 Download the Full case study here


Dymocks case study testimonialDownload the Full case study here


FIRST are conversion experts

Without a doubt, CRO is an essential piece of any digital marketing strategy. A culture of responsiveness and testing will help you increase conversions and get measurable differences to your results. Give us a call today at +64 9 920 1740 or email us. We’d be happy to chat about your specific needs.


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Google Customer Match: A Great Opportunity to Retarget Your Customers

published by on 17th November 2015 under Digital Advertising, Digital Trends

Google Customer Match: A New Great Opportunity to Retarget Your Customers


What is Customer Match?

Early in October this year, Google launched Customer Match, an anticipated product feature in AdWords that allows advertisers to upload email lists to target customers or prospects in their database by email where the email address is linked to a Google account. This offers advertisers great opportunities to re-engage with their customers and make the most out of their email databases.

Facebook’s Custom Audiences is no longer the only way to target via email. With Google Customer Match, advertisers can re-engage their target audience in Google Search, YouTube or Gmail with various formats, text ads, videos and GSPs (Google Sponsored Promotions). To expand the target audience, advertisers can also generate Similar Audiences who have similar interests and characteristics of their target audience.


You might be asking…

How can I get the most out of Google Customer Match campaigns? Which type of campaigns best suit my business – is it paid search, YouTube, Gmail or all of the three? Which ad format can get a better response from my target audience? Should I promote new products/services or special offers that are just for my target audience?


Next steps

To answer all of those questions, you need to have a clear goal on what you want to achieve, whether it is increasing conversions or increasing brand awareness. Once the goal is set, the next step is to segment the email lists into different target audiences. For instance, online retailers can segment the email lists of their existing customers based on their previous purchase behaviour like frequency of purchase, the average order value, products purchased etc.

Once the goal is set and audience segmented, advertisers can then decide on the following:

  • which type of customer match campaign to run
  • which type of ads format to use
  • what offer or message is to be included in the ads

… all appealing to the target audience in ways that are most relevant to their intent and needs.

If the business goal is to increase brand awareness and promote the new launched products, you can run YouTube video campaigns to get the message out and paid search campaigns that target keyword variations of your new products to ensure you present in front of your targeted customers in your email database while they are searching for products similar to what you offer.

If the business goal is to increase sales as an ecommerce business, you can run a GSP campaign to present the promotions that could be interesting to your target audience in your email database based on their purchase history especially the customers who haven’t opted in your email newsletter/ list. In addition to GSP campaigns, paid search campaigns that target keywords of particular or similar products your target audience purchased previously with the latest promotion could be another effective way to re-engage with your customers and encourage them for repeat purchase.


FIRST are adwords experts

There are plenty of ways to design your campaigns, just be clear on what you want to achieve, optimise bids and creative and test, test, test to ensure the success of your campaigns. If you’re interested in taking your ad campaigns to a whole new level of personalisation and connect with your customers in the most relevant ways, contact our team at FIRST today for a free no-obligation quote.


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