National Trust was struggling to conserve conversion rates across its commercial operation. Our research, test and learn approach turned the tide.

“We’ve been hugely impressed with the professionalism and dedication shown by the SearchStar team. Our work together has delivered a succinct and actionable conversion optimisation roadmap, which continues to drive measurable improvements in conversion and revenue for National Trust’s commercial areas.”

Beth Young, Senior Digital Marketing Executive, National Trust

National Trust

The National Trust is Europe’s largest conservation charity. It has been protecting, conserving and caring for places of historical interest and natural beauty across England, Wales and Northern Ireland for the last 125 years.

Their Objectives

The National Trust operates an online shop and holiday booking engine that sit alongside its primary membership business. Together, these two significant revenue streams attract new audiences and engage existing National Trust members.

Despite launching a new online shop in 2018, the team at National Trust felt there were some key conversion barriers that needed to be addressed. Meanwhile, the holiday booking engine was experiencing a steady decrease in conversion rate.

Understandably, the National Trust team’s core objective was to turn these performance issues on their head. As a result, our conversion team was brought in to assist in the optimisation of user journeys across both the online shop and holiday engine.

Our Approach

To gain a full understanding of the problems plaguing the National Trust website, we conducted full conversion reviews of both the holiday engine and online shop. Beginning with discussions around business objectives, successes and frustrations this provided a basis for our conversion reviews, which included:

  • A comprehensive analysis of the data within National Trust’s Adobe Analytics, pulling out insights on their audiences and how trends have changed year on year
  • Detailed behavioural evaluation to further understand their users’ motivations and fears, conducting interviews with the call centre, running user testing, heatmapping, online polls and session recordings
  • A review of National Trust’s key competitors to help understand market positioning
  • A hands-on analysis and critique of the entire current user journey from landing pages through to the thank you page
  • An extensive list of recommendations for a/b testing, along with wireframes to visualise key changes

Finally, our reviews were presented to the National Trust, and we spent time with them helping to prioritise and implement testing ideas to identify the changes that would have the biggest impact on performance.

Their Results

A testing plan has been put in place to systematically test and measure recommendations, but initial a/b tests on both the online shop and holiday engine have shown positive impacts on performance.

For instance, adding additional USPs and positive messaging alongside holiday bookings CTAs delivered an increase in ‘add to cart rate’ of 5% against the control, and a 2% increase in overall conversion rate.

Furthermore, the online shop introduced a/b tests, which added ‘free delivery’ messaging on qualified products. This change had an immediate impact, improving the conversion rate by 2.4% and average order value by 9.4%.

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