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Nespresso Awakens New Coffee Discovery Pathways with Online Quiz 

Most Americans (84%) start their morning with a fresh cup of coffee, according to the National Coffee Association, and they are increasingly turning to specialty coffees (57%) and single-cup brews (28%). Capsule-based coffee brand Nespresso has found its own unique niche in this growing market and is turning to new marketing techniques (beyond George Clooney) to not just drive acquisition but also inspire consumers to test new roasts and tasting notes.  
 
“Most of our consumers are very habitual with their coffee — when they find a coffee they like, they’re obviously going to keep ordering that same type,” noted Jenny Denham, Nespresso, Digital User Experience Manager at Nespresso in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “We also have a very loyal customer base, which is amazing, but for us, getting people to try different things obviously helps the bottom line because it keeps those habits alive but also stops them from getting bored.”  
 
However, the Nespresso team found that while their customers were incredibly loyal to the brand, they needed to learn more about coffee and, most importantly, how to find the right coffee for them. This entire journey proved difficult online, where consumers could read about a coffee’s tasting notes, roast flavors and strength, but often needed to taste it to truly gauge whether they like it. To solve this problem, Nespresso brewed up a new marketing tool — a quiz. 

Closing the Coffee Knowledge Gap 

To address the coffee knowledge gap while also driving product discovery and personalized customer experiences, Nespresso developed an online quiz that asked consumers their preferred coffee intensity, flavor notes, temperatures and more. At the end of the two-minute experience, consumers receive a results page that includes product recommendations and a call-to-action to visit specific product pages and learn more. Since implementing this experience, Nespresso has seen conversions improve dramatically. 
 
“We created this quiz to distill some [complex ideas] into more customer-friendly language,” Denham said. “We didn’t want it to be too techie or deep in the world of coffee — we wanted to simplify it — because we found through customer research that, for example, customers think intensity is linked to caffeine levels, but it’s really about tasting notes and depth of flavor.”  
 
Both prospective and existing customers receive marketing messages promoting the quiz. New customers typically click to the quiz through targeted ads and visual callouts on the Nespresso site, largely because they want to understand how expansive the product line is before they purchase a machine. “We’ve seen many customers come through looking for machines, but they actually go to the coffee quiz [first] to research the types of coffees and flavors we have,” Denham explained. “Having that more basic language [in the quiz] really helps people decide if they do actually want to buy the machine.”  
 
Existing customers have a different experience. They typically learn about the coffee quiz through Nespresso’s monthly newsletter, which drives “quite a lot” of traffic to the experience. The end goal, according to Denham, is to encourage customers to “mix things up” for a month and learn more about the types of coffee that align with their tastes and preferences.  

Learn how Nespresso has created and optimized an online quiz experience using Monetate to help educate habitual coffee consumers drive new purchases.
At the end of the quiz, consumers receive detailed product recommendations.

Aligning Content to Product Assortment 

Nespresso designed the quiz to ensure it was optimized for users but also aligned with its vast product line. For example, the quiz branches into a simpler, three-question experience for consumers who say they prefer flavored or decaf coffees because the attributes for those product lines are not as complex.  
 
“If you’re a decaf drinker and you want to buy into Nespresso, you want to know what the range is and how many SKUs there are to determine whether it’s for you,” Denham said. “We’re not making them go through 20 questions to get one response.”  
 
The quiz was a new component of Nespresso’s extensive application of Monetate, which powers all of the personalization, content optimization and product recommendations on the website. “These recommendations are also based on the strength and tasting notes from the product data; they are linked together and use the same information, which is super handy,” Denham said. 
 
After Nespresso developed the quiz content and experience, the team updated its product feed with extra fields to account for all the attributes covered in the quiz experience, such as strength and tasting notes. “We built the results off of recommendations so that it’s flexible. When a new product comes into the feed, it automatically gets into the results of the quiz,” Denham explained.  
 
Most products align with the existing tagging system, but if anything needs to be customized, that the process is relatively seamless. “It’s easy to jump into Monetate and add a new tasting note,” Denham noted. “The initial build was quite extensive, but now it’s really easy to update.”  

Using Insights to Power Experiences 

As consumers interact with the quiz, Nespresso gathers in-depth click data on each response, getting first-hand insights on the top responses for each question. “We look at it all the time from a research perspective,” Denham explained. This exercise allows the brand to keep a constant pulse on consumer behaviors and preferences while also gauging whether the quiz needs to be updated for clarity or relevance.  
 
For example, at one time there was a question focused on the cup size customers preferred to drink their coffee from. “This one stumped quite a lot of customers because customers drink a lot of diverse types of beverages — maybe a double espresso in the morning and a mug of coffee at night,” Denham said. “We removed that question completely to optimize the quiz further.”  
 
Nespresso also is exploring ways to better integrate quiz results into product recommendations. “We’re looking at ways to remember those recommendations, so once someone lands on a product page, they get a message that says that item was featured in the quiz results,” Denham said. “There’s such rich data on what customers like so we’re looking at ways to integrate it more into the rest of the customer journey.”   
 
The quiz is “a project that’s never really finished,” according to Denham, who added the team is constantly considering ways to better tailor the experience for prospective customers and existing customers, as well as find more ways to integrate machines and accessories, as well as bundling. “It’s definitely something we know customers use and they enjoy, so it’s just about making sure it’s always useful for them.”  

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