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How M&S achieved a 13x increase on ROI with exit-intent overlays

Yieldify Account Director Ky Ismet reveals how M&S boosted their revenue using exit-intent technology.

Commercial success no longer relies on dominating the high street or owning the largest store. Thanks to the rise of e-commerce even small retailers can experience huge gains and take on some of the world’s largest brands.

However, as with the advent and popularisation of any technology, it’s never smooth sailing.

Despite the increased reach and a potential global customer base, there’s no guarantee your e-commerce store will succeed. The world of e-commerce is fickle, even minor issues can cause thousands in lost revenue. And chief among these problems is the ever prevalent cart abandonment

The average cart abandonment rate sits at just over 68%. This means that for every pound you make, you’re missing out on a further two. It’s a problem predicted to cost online retailers somewhere in the region of $4.975 trillion dollars before the end of 2015.

However, cart abandonment doesn’t have to be the bane of e-commerce stores. With smart tactics and a targeted campaign, you can recover much of this lost revenue and see a huge ROI increase.

How we helped Marks & Spencer achieve a 13:1 ROI

We were approached by Marks and Spencer (M&S) France to combat their high cart abandonment rates and increase overall revenue.

Tackling cart abandonment often takes one of two forms. You can follow up with a targeted email remarketing campaign or – as we did in this case – prevent customers from abandoning their carts with a personalised and well-timed exit overlay.

After researching M&S’s audience we devised a campaign to reduce the risk of them abandoning their cart. When a customer showed intent to exit a page we’d present an overlay with a targeted offer. The offer that they saw was personalised based on two primary factors:

1. Their on-site browsing habits

2. The value of their cart

Only those who showed intent to exit would be presented with an offer. They’d enter their preferred email address which is where we’d then send the special promo code. Through requiring an email address to receive the promo code the campaign also doubled as an effective lead capture campaign.

The campaign was a huge success. Within the campaign period, Yieldify achieved a 13:1 ROI and drove 10% of M&S France’s total revenue. On top of this, we also collected over 3000 email addresses which offer incredible future sales opportunities for the M&S team.

To top it all off, Yieldify’s strategic partnership with M&S was recognised at the digital media event La Nuit Des Rois 2015 where we won the award for the best email campaign.

The results speak for themselves. The question is what makes a campaign like this effective? At its core, the campaign’s success rests on two areas.


High conversions come from tailoring your offer to your customer’s needs. If we were to have taken a general approach and offered 10% off every purchase, we wouldn’t have experienced the same success. 10% off €200 is a sizeable saving, however, 10% off <€10 doesn’t offer any value and isn’t likely to change a customer’s mind.

Knowing this we devised numerous offers and overlays linked to individual basket value. By segmenting by basket value we can be sure of two things.

1. The offer presented offers the highest possible value to the customer without…
2. Being so high as to damage your bottom line

In short, segmenting by basket value allows us to find the perfect offer for all parties. It’s also an effective way of increasing AOV. Segmenting by cart value allowed us to produce overlays which not only stopped the customer from exiting but also encouraged them to spend a little more.

M&S and Yieldify

Customers with baskets between €1 – €50 were encouraged to spend a little more to save €10. It’s a simple approach which not only increased overall conversions but also increased AOV.

Knowing When to Make an Offer

The second key element is in timing your offer.

Exit-intent overlays offer a saving only on purchases that would have been lost. You could offer a €10 discount to every customer, however, you’d be losing out on €10 for every customer who was intent on buying. We want to turn €0 into €30, not €40 into €30.

That’s why mapping on-site behaviour is so important. Without it, you risk losing money on every sale which will negatively impact your bottom line. By mapping the speed and direction of on-site cursor movements we can be certain that money-saving offers are only presented to those who plan on exiting without purchasing. You don’t lose money on customers who are intent on buying at full price, but rather recover potentially lost revenue from those who wouldn’t have bought at all.

It’s simply the best way to ensure maximum profitability across all areas and for all customers. Segmentation and timing are the basics that apply to every campaign. However, finding the perfect offers for your segments and the best timing will differ across every company.

To get a better idea of how we’ve helped other companies like M&S recover lost revenue and increase their lead capture rate head over to our resources page and check out our case studies.

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