Whether you’re a converted couch potato or an experienced athlete, Decathlon has something for everyone. Present in 52 countries, Decathlon designs and sells sporting goods, both online and in 1,600 brick-and-mortar locations.
Decathlon’s mission is to make sports accessible to all. One of the ways they accomplish this is through offering a wide array of choice – 10,000 products covering 80 sports are sold on Decathlon’s website. With a range of price points and styles, there is an almost dizzying array of items to choose from. For some shoppers – especially those trying out an activity for the first time – this amount of choice might seem overwhelming.
How could Decathlon help shoppers get situated?
Social Proof Hypothesis
“We know that social proof – the idea that, when unsure, people look to others for direction – is a powerful and effective concept,” explains David Harari, Customer Success Manager at AB Tasty. “In the context of e-commerce, this means people are influenced by what their peers are interested in when deciding what to buy. We wanted to test out if a simple line of social proof messaging would nudge website visitors further down the purchase funnel.”
To do this, Decathlon’s UK digital team ran an experiment based on AB Tasty’s Social Proof widget. The AI-powered widget dynamically surfaces the number of times a product is viewed by other shoppers on a site in a given timeframe. This gives other browsers an idea of which items are getting more traction.
“We thought it could be that extra little nudge to hit ‘add to basket’ – and might help certain customers continue through the purchase funnel,” elaborates Florent Beck, UX Leader at Decathlon UK. The team set up an A/B test on 400 product pages to see whether this kind of social proof messaging would have an impact on visitors’ purchase decisions. The text was inserted automatically just below the customer reviews ratings (another element of social proof), and above the product description. “What was really handy about the AB Tasty widget was that we can set a minimum amount of views before the message showed. In this case, we chose 20 – so if fewer than that number of people viewed the product, the message wouldn’t show, and once it hit 20, it would automatically appear,” explained Florent.
Adding this simple line of social proof messaging not only increased clicks on the ‘Add to cart’ button, it also bumped up transactions and revenue. For all audiences, clicks increased by 1.5%, transactions by 2.4% and revenue by 1.3%.
Interestingly, when the team segmented the results by certain audience profiles, they realized that the social proof messaging worked better on returning visitors. They clicked 2.8% more, with an increase of 3.3% on transactions and 2.8% for revenue lift. “This might indicate that shoppers that know and trust the Decathlon brand are even more likely to put stock in others in the Decathlon community, versus first time visitors who are more wary,” explained David.
Even more interesting was when they dove into the data to look for what kinds of products this messaging worked best with. They also discovered that the social proof approach worked better for lower priced items – less than 10 pounds – versus more expensive, ‘investment items’, like a nice bike or set of skis. This kind of information can help Decathlon increase the efficacy of their campaigns in the future, and scale up this tactic for other markets.
“We value our community at Decathlon. What’s great about this kind of social proof messaging is that it’s a way to automatically let people take the opinions of other Decathlon shoppers into account – if a certain product is popular or trending, others can know that in real time as they’re browsing. From a business perspective, it increases our transaction rate and revenue, and from a customer experience perspective, it helps orient shoppers.” – Florent Beck, UX Leader, Decathlon UK