When Sage, a global provider of cloud business management systems, needed to revamp their homepage and conversion funnel, they knew who exactly to turn to: CRO manager Marion Ravel. Here’s how she has used experimentation to test her optimization ideas, leading to higher transaction volume for Sage France’s B2B e-commerce website.
As one of the world’s biggest business management software providers, Sage doesn’t just offer cloud technology services — it also enables entrepreneurs around the world to make smart and fast decisions. From finances, operations, and human resources, Sage prides itself on being a partner to 6 million customers at small and medium businesses in more than 20 countries.
Sage’s digital footprint is made up of local e-commerce websites, supporting multiple products for different personas. For the team at Sage France, this means aligning regional initiatives with the global corporate strategy, while also ensuring a seamless buying experience within a complex website infrastructure. Intuitive user navigation is a must for Sage France’s website, which offers subscription-based software based on business size, profession and sector.
It’s a challenge that Marion Ravel knows too well in her 10-year career of working in marketing and conversion rate optimization (CRO). So much so that Sage France created a position specifically for her to tackle the team’s growing complexities of website optimization.
As Sage France’s CRO manager, Marion places experimentation and customer experience at the forefront of her strategy. She handles both e-commerce and customer product marketing, where she works to build a bridge between selling software and providing customers with product updates and specialized offers.
ABOUT MARION RAVEL
Marion Ravel, CRO manager at Sage France, has over 10 years of CRO, A/B testing, UX, and e-commerce marketing experience. At Sage France, she is responsible for mapping the online customer journey, identifying user personas and ensuring that each pathway is highly optimized through A/B testing and continuous iteration.
The challenges of building a seamless CX
While Sage France had a successful acquisition strategy in place, the website was not fully optimized nor suited for today’s customer demands.
“To update a website, you need to tackle it bit by bit through testing. It would be a huge investment, and potentially erroneous, to redo an entire website and not be sure of which change ignited the positive impact,” Marion explains.
Sage’s e-commerce website is also linked to the customer support page, meaning that any change had to be seamless. For example, conversion can happen on the e-commerce site, but then invoicing would take place on the customer page, so a heavy amount of coordination was needed to ensure a cohesive customer experience.
Recognizing the scale of the challenge ahead of her, Marion knew she needed to find the right technical partner to test, validate, and seamlessly implement her optimization strategies. Luckily, Marion was already a champion of AB Tasty’s client-side solution since 2016.
“The support I’ve received from AB Tasty has never wavered throughout the years, even when I’ve changed companies,” Marion says. “At Sage, we tested many other website optimization solutions for the sake of comparison, but there was no one that came close. AB Tasty is the best tool to implement all your testing with intuitive plug-ins and a dashboard that provides clear insights. On top of that, the Customer Success team has always been helpful and friendly so I didn’t see why I would switch partners.”
The ROI of testing with AB Tasty
In its most basic form, the conversion funnel represents the potential buyer’s journey, from the moment they land on the homepage to when they make a transaction or, in the case of a B2B SaaS business, generate a lead or subscription sign-up. The team at Sage noticed there was a drop in their conversion funnel between the homepage and the product page. Nearly 18% of visitors from the homepage bounced without viewing the product page.
From Marion’s perspective, the product page simply was too crowded with text and CTAs that were competing for attention. Before investing in radical changes like creating new icons that needed corporate sign-off, Marion wanted to test her theory that the UX had to be simplified. She stripped each product category of its clutter, leaving only the title. Quickly, Marion learned that it was not the right direction.
“From the testing, we realized that people were still hesitating about clicking on product categories. The data was showing the category titles were not enough. So we iterated by adding more copy to guide visitors into clicking further into the products,” Marion explains.
Testing isn’t always about finding the winning formula; it’s about learning — quickly. After a month of modifying the product pages, Marion saw an increase of 30% in traffic from the homepage to product pages, representing an increase of 7% in transactions and a decrease of 7% in bounce rate.
“Before AB Tasty, we couldn’t measure how effective our changes were and how customers were reacting. We were just working with opinions and assumptions, and really struggling to put both of them aside. Now with AB Tasty, I’m always surprised with the results of an experiment,” she says.
The evangelizing of experimentation
In the two years that Marion has been working with Sage, nothing has changed internally more than the user-feedback mentality. AB Tasty has helped the team collect unbiased data through experimentation and derive insights for future continuous iterations.
“The way our culture has changed internally is also resonating well with our users, since they see how their feedback is being implemented. It’s the combination of AB Tasty and customer feedback that enabled us to build an optimized website that delivers on the customer experience,” Marion says.
She is also on a mission to take data-driven experimentation to center stage at Sage, via monthly newsletters to stakeholders within Sage where she shares CRO achievements and learnings.
“I realized quite early in my career that it’s important to share your successes and how you got there. It’s more interesting why certain variables or differentiations didn’t work, and what we changed to achieve the positive results,” Marion says. “It’s a continuous effort of testing, learning and optimizing.”
Sage is cloud business management system provider, offering integrated accounting, payroll, and payment systems — enabling entrepreneurs worldwide to make fast, informed business decisions and improvements. The global enterprise software company was founded in 1981 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, and has since expanded to over 20 countries, 13,000 employees and millions of clients.