Retailers may not be entirely aware of an ongoing e-Commerce threat: the presence of unauthorized product and promotional ads appearing on their web sites that potentially distract shoppers or even divert them to competitors. In the case of Build.com, as many as 20% of the company’s web site visitors came from infected browsers, leaving the company highly susceptible to these invasive ads and, unfortunately, lost potential sales. But with the help of Namogoo, a platform dedicated to preventing this type of malware from affecting the customer experience, Build.com has since lifted its conversion rate across site visits more than 2%.
“When you see numbers that are too good to be true, you really spend a lot of time making sure those numbers are correct,” said Patrick Berry, Senior Director, Brand Technology at Build.com. “Too often, you can make mistakes during statistical analysis, and with numbers like this you don’t want to make mistakes. When you go to people and attribute one change to an uplift in conversion rate, most people come back and say nothing moves the needle like that. Organizational implementation is making sure that you have the due diligence in the numbers, because the results are so dramatic.”
The Build.com team wasn’t expecting to discover this kind of “online journey hijacking” at first. Berry noted that while the company spent a lot of time on the user experience through research, testing, development and monitoring, many of them lived in a “bubble of safety” at the company’s headquarters, protected by antivirus programs, corporate firewalls and the use of private WiFi. But when accessing the site outside of these protective boundaries, it was clear that the user experience wasn’t as clean as they would have liked.
“Once you go out to a local Starbucks and install a browser add-on and you see the Internet as a lot of customers see it, you really start to go: ‘Wow, it doesn’t matter if we’re trying to sell a decorative pillow or a jacuzzi tub when there is junk on the screen that is trying to yank you away or distract your attention from what you’re there to do,’” Berry added “It has an impact and it is measurable.”
Successful First Test Lifts Conversion And AOV, Reduces Bounce Rate
Upon first implementing Namogoo in 2017, Build.com ran an A/B test, in which 50% of traffic would go through the site with the invasive ads blocked while the other 50% would go through the site as usual, without Namogoo protection. Under the test, the infection-free experience generated a 2.18% uplift in conversion, while average order value (AOV) increased and bounce rate decreased.
The online retailer also learned from the test that 97.7% percent of the infections featured visual ads for competitors’ offers or products.
After seeing the results of the original test, Build.com now runs Namogoo across its site at a 97% to 3% traffic split — meaning that it cleans 97% of the affected traffic, while keeping the 3% of affected traffic unchanged. Under this A/B test, Build.com can continue to assess the value that Namogoo provides accurately.
“It goes back to knowing that we can have confidence that the design decisions we make for the customers are actually getting to the customers,” said Berry. “When we measure those, we know that those results aren’t being unduly influenced by pop-ups, takeovers and other hijacking efforts. It’s really about having more faith in our ability to give the customer exactly what we meant to give them. At least the control is back in our hands.”