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Published September 11, 2020
Published September 11, 2020

Many brands today are looking to deliver great digital experiences that drive higher conversions and sales. But in a world with 1.94 billion websites and an increasing number of online channels being folded into the customer journey, the stakes are incredibly high.

Through the ongoing process of experience optimization, which involves testing and experimenting with different elements of a brand’s website and digital properties, brands can gain a deeper understanding of their customers. And with this knowledge, better cater to each individual’s distinct needs and preferences.

Take e.l.f. Cosmetics, for example—as the rest of the retail world scrambles to adapt to new realities, the digitally native beauty brand has proven themselves to be extremely resilient. This is because the cosmetics line places its customers at the core of all product and marketing decisions. After turning to an experience optimization platform to ensure every shopper was met with a site tailored to their unique beauty regimen, e.l.f. witnessed a 4.2% increase in revenue per user and an 18% uplift in customer engagement.

e.l.f.’s Journey with Experience Optimization:

After identifying an opportunity to double down on its digital presence, e.l.f. set out to create a better shopping experience online. The e-commerce team would then require a solution that could assist in ingesting first-party data, identifying high-value audience segments, surfacing the best product recommendations for each visitor, and optimizing the mobile experience for product discovery.

Prior to integrating with an all-in-one experience optimization platform, the cosmetics brand used customer analytics software to help identify insightful audience segments. However, the team wanted to further leverage its audience segments (e.g. Active, Active + VIP, Inactive) for immediate customization of its site experiences. The ability to ingest first-party data ensured the beauty retailer would be able to create highly targeted campaigns while not losing the rich first-party historical data.

Then, knowing PDPs are a valuable piece of the product discovery phase, e.l.f. chose this space to optimize its recommendations. And to ensure the most relevant products were shown to each visitor, the team decided to run a bakeoff between its two recommendation engines. Each vendor served a “Viewed Together” strategy in e.l.f.’s “You May Love” section and after reaching statistical significance at 95% in two weeks, Dynamic Yield’s proved the strongest engine, generating a significant uplift in CTR (+ 23.2%) and revenue per user (+4.2%) compared to the other vendor.

Lastly, given the limited real estate, e.l.f. wanted its mobile menu to resonate with each shopper. To effectively do this, the team decided to personalize the menu based on browsing history, allowing customers to quickly find products best suited to their needs. New visitors were shown high-level categories while returning visitors were exposed to subcategories of the main category they had previously shown interest in. For example, if a shopper had browsed the “skincare” category, the menu bar would include “cleanser,” “face masks,” and “treatments.” With these menu optimizations, e.l.f. saw a 17.6% increase in click-through rate, driving visitors deeper into its product catalog.

In the end, although e.l.f.’s customers have always been influential to the beauty brand, there was still a large opportunity for the brand to better reflect the needs and preferences of shoppers throughout the customer journey. After deploying experience optimization technology, the team was able to truly tap into the important audiences engaging with the brand to ensure each cosmetic lover received the most relevant experiences. And through strategically implementing several desktop and mobile web personalization campaigns, the brand saw site engagement boost and revenue.


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