Cultivating split tests and growing ROI for Marshalls Seeds

We partnered with Marshalls to optimise their website’s performance.

Client: Marshalls
Sector: eCommerce
Services: CRO, Experience Design, Web DevelopmentConversion Services

Top level results

Driving revenue and performance within Marshalls financial year:

Our conversion rate optimisation project with Marshalls, resulted in a 32% uplift in revenue and generated a return on investment of +216% by the end of their financial year (August ‘19) and has continued to provide uplift into 2020.

The Challenge

Marshalls Seeds is an e-commerce gardening website that sells seeds, plants and gardening accessories. While in the process of migrating to a brand new website, they needed to ensure their existing website was still working hard in the short-to medium-term to drive sales and hit business objectives by the end of their financial year (August ‘19).

They wanted to make improvements to their website and checkout process to convert more visitors and give customers a smoother user experience.

We have been working with Marshalls across a number of disciplines, including CX, SEO, CRO, analytics, and web development, to help them achieve digital success. Our CRO objectives have been to:

  • Boost revenue generated by the site by improving conversion rates and average order values
  • Achieve optimal return on CRO investment
  • Understand more about what website features work for their users

“Fresh Egg quickly achieved impressive results allowing us to further invest in their CRO services and increasing the pace of testing and UX improvements on our website.”

Sarah Leach, Head of Marketing & Ecommerce at Marshalls Seeds

Our solution

Working in partnership with Marshalls, we involved them at every step to help drive an understanding of the business, the website user journeys, and the audience.

  • We began with a CRO discovery project, which started with a kick-off meeting with the client team. We immersed ourselves into all things Marshalls Seeds and ran a collaborative UX review workshop to gather stakeholder issues and common customer pain points.

  • This gave the direction we needed to conduct quantitative analysis against Marshalls Seeds web analytics data. This allowed us to understand what issues were happening where together with potential opportunities for improvement. We used these data insights in combination with user research to assess ‘why’ users might behave in a certain way. We conducted six remote unmoderated user tests to gather real feedback from users by setting tasks relating to researching, finding, and purchasing products on the website.

  • By analysing the discovery research, we were able to draw up a set of hypotheses for split tests and recommended actions for the site. These were scored in a test plan and then prioritised in collaboration with the Marshalls team to form the CRO roadmap.

  • We worked with the Marshalls team on an iterative process of ‘test and learn’ by deploying tests, learning, and in some cases refining test ideas as we went, based on new learnings derived from the CRO tests. Throughout the process, we demonstrated to Marshalls the value a CRO programme can offer in terms of debunking assumptions and learning about user behaviour.

  • Each test involved Fresh Egg creating test briefs, designing mock-ups and producing the final designs. Once signed off by the Marshalls team, tests were developed and set up by Fresh Egg on the website. Tests ranged from redesigning CTA buttons and changing the features within a page, to entire redesigns of pages within the purchase journey.

  • Tests were initially deployed using a free tool, but the performance uplift achieved by the end of the first quarter proved the business case for Marshalls to invest in and migrate to an enterprise-level testing tool, Monetate. Monetate gave Marshalls the flexibility to run more tests, add campaign tests into the plan and utilise Monetate’s expansive segmentation and targeting capabilities.

  • Using the data collected from the tests, we made continuous improvements to the Marshalls Seeds website. Our final test before the website migrated onto a new platform focused on the product page and provided a strong performance uplift as well as providing the Marshalls team with learnings to prove the new site design and give the business confidence ahead of launch.

Our digital expert, Dinah says

Headshot of Fresh Egg's Head of Conversion Services

"This has been an enjoyable CRO challenge for us at Fresh Egg – a great set of results for Marshalls and great to see the Marshalls digital team embrace a 'test and learn' culture, really getting involved in the process from test ideation to understanding and refining on results."

Dinah Alam, Head of Conversion Services, Fresh Egg

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The outcome

The first test we ran on the site focused on category and results pages and resulted in +9.8% higher conversion rate, an increased average order value of +7.8%, and an increase of 16.7% in revenue per visitor. The first test alone covered the budget for a year’s worth of CRO tooling and services.

Another seven tests covered key stages of the journey identified as opportunities in discovery and delivered uplift in progression rates from site search, category pages, basket, and checkout. 

Cumulatively, by the end of the financial year (August ‘19), the CRO program had achieved +216% ROI and a 32% uplift to revenue.

What happened next

Testing continued up until a site migration cut off point. A number of refinements and a large product page test continued to generate an uplift in performance for Marshalls.

The product page test has given Marshalls confidence in the design direction the new site will take.

  • R.P.V. +12.2%
  • A.O.V. +7.7%
  • Conversion rate +6.1%

Our account lead, Lisa says

Headshot of Fresh Egg's Account Director, Lisa Rippon

"Marshalls were really involved from the start, we held a collaborative heuristics session to identify onsite pain points and opportunities for improvement. We then conducted quantitative analysis and qualitative analysis, including user testing, to get a thorough understanding of how visitors were behaving on the site. From all of this information, we developed test hypotheses and prioritised them with Marshalls based on potential impact and ease of implementation. This in-depth discovery and prioritisation process enabled us to roll out a test plan that provided great results for Marshalls."

Lisa Rippon, Account Director, Fresh Egg


By testing and making changes to the website based on fact rather than assumption, we succeeded in helping Marshalls achieve uplift to website performance within their financial year and continued to grow conversion rate and increase average order values.

What started as a trial for Marshalls is now an embedded discipline in the team, with all stakeholders gaining confidence around the subject and engaging in the process.

Conversion rate optimisation services

Conversion rate optimisation services

We’ll work with you to create innovative and impactful conversion optimisation solutions that help you achieve your online goals.