A.S. Watson Group is the world's largest health and beauty retail group, with over 16,000 stores in 27 markets worldwide, serving over 5.3 billion customers every year, and over 137 million loyalty programmes members. With such a large operation, it is a challenge to launch and test website improvements quickly.
In the Benelux, their companies Kruidvat and Trekpleister solved this problem by using the no-code user experience platform of UNLESS. This CCPA and GDPR compliant platform offers traffic analysis, audience targeting, instant content management, drop-in feature components, automated A/B testing, and more. In short, the global service of Unless allowed the e-commerce and UX specialists at A.S. Watson to regain direct control over their online customer journey.
And it paid off. The use of the platform drastically reduced the time-to-market for website experiments, new content and additional features from months to almost zero, with rapidly increasing success rates. Hundreds of new experiences have been implemented so far, with significant conversion uptakes as a result.
Use case: Kruidvat.nl
Kruidvat is the most successful drugstore chain in the Netherlands, with millions of customers that shop with them every week. As part of the A.S. Watson Group, they can rely on a global IT operation that has to cater to the needs and requests of various other departments and brands as well - leveraging the advantage of scale.
However, sharing development resources with other group members comes with other challenges. Global deployments of new software take time, and so it becomes harder to respond quickly to new ideas, campaign opportunities and locally changing circumstances. To solve this problem, the team at Kruidvat started working with Unless.
Seamlessly aligned with their internal procedures, Unless now allows Kruidvat to rapidly augment and optimize their websites with targeted experiences, test performance, and deploy the winning changes more broadly. Successful experiences are subsequently submitted to the global roadmap as feature requests, including conversion data to support their case.
Examples of experiences
Kruidvat used Unless to implement dozens of experiences. Here are just a few examples.
Personalized content based on interest
Using the audience segmentation features of Unless, visitors of the Kruidvat website were grouped based on their interest. Their website experience was adapted accordingly. You know how stores often have some small items placed right next to the cash register as last-second temptations? Kruidvat carried this retail tradition to a personalized online shopping experience. Visitors with an interest in baby products see this up-sell in their shopping cart.
Quickly responding to local circumstances
When using a global e-commerce system, it can be challenging to respond quickly to local events. In the holiday season, the Dutch postal service was temporarily overflown with orders. The day this happened, Kruidvat simply switched on an overlay component from the Unless add-on library - notifying their visitors with a branded message.
New features in a matter of days
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, online shopping surged. To handle the increased demand more efficiently, Kruidvat decided to start shipping larger orders by consumers directly from their wholesale distribution center. Across the website, select items had to be marked as eligible for this special type of delivery, while also showing updated prices and new shipping estimates if certain criteria were met. With the help of Unless, this complex feature was implemented within days.
Using the Unless platform, Kruidvat was able to release and test new personalized experiences at a super fast pace. The results were remarkable, as this quote from a happy customer proves:
"As a global retail organization, we need to have the ability to react quickly to ever-changing situations. The Unless solution and their development support helped us in launching several new customer propositions.
Unless gives us agility, flexibility, and a very short time to market on any business request. These are the building blocks that A.S. Watson Benelux needs, not only now, but also in the highly competitive, changing eCommerce landscape.” -David Suitela, UX Development Manager at A.S. Watson Benelux
Often, good ideas lose momentum on a very large roadmap, or simply get delayed by long deployment cycles of IT providers. Unless can help in such cases, by offering a user experience optimization service that sits on top of your existing website or dashboards - regardless of what the backend looks like. With Unless, you can instantly create, deploy and validate ideas. It will allow you to take back control over your customer journey.