Eurostar is improving its customer experience by delivering relevant eCommerce journeys. The rail service provider has been working with Monetate to improve experience and conversion rate, increase online registrations and reduce calls to customer support.

Using A/B testing, Eurostar trialled messages on its homepage which detailed its USPS, this resulted in a 6.2% increase in new visitor conversion rates and a 3.7% increase in overall conversion rates.

Meanwhile, targeted messaging to encourage consumers to log in resulted in a 96% increase in user registrations.

"Our customers are no longer just expecting us to engage and satisfy them, they now want us to inspire them too. One size fits all does not work anymore. Customers are expecting us to use the data we collect to enhance their experience in real time and that’s where personalisation comes into play," said Perrine Allain, general manager of eCommerce at Eurostar.

"Moving forward, we’ll use the data insights that Monetate gives us, to find opportunity segments and explore ways of shaping content around our customers. Using these insights, we plan to employ ‘always-on’ personalisation to deliver contextually relevant, personalised experiences to our customers."

Eurostar also used the personalisation to revamp its homepage carousel. The grid was updated to improve usability issues and low engagement, it now displays more content and has witnessed a 15% increase in interaction.

Finally, the rail operator personalised destination content to match previous searches –  customers, for example, who have searched to travel to Paris, are now automatically shown information about Paris when they next visit the site. This resulted in an 18% increase in engagement and reduced bounce rates.

Mike Harris, VP EMEA at Monetate, added: "Eurostar is a shining example of how a company can very quickly deploy the Monetate platform and experience instant results. Eurostar’s forward-thinking approach has allowed it to stay ahead of the curve, when it comes to customer experience and interaction, and we’re pleased to see that by embracing personalisation it has helped to digitally transform the online experience for its customers."

Essential Retail recently spoke to head of digital at Eurostar, Neil Roberts, who said he and his team are trying to avoid pigeonholing customers when it comes to personalisation.

"A lot of what we're talking about in the business is how do you avoid stereotyping? People shift; they change; they mature. One day you're a football man, the next day you're a family man – you have different needs and want a different service," he said.

"My personal view is that you have to interact with customers. It's this conversation that seems to be lost on digital channels. At the moment, digital is very much broadcast – it's brands saying 'this is our message, this is our message, this is our message'. There's no opportunity to feed back."

Retailers' attempts at personalisation via targeted emails and "recommended items" can fall short because they do not take into account an item may already have been purchased elsewhere, or the product may have been bought as a gift for someone else, Roberts argued.

He added: "There's no opportunity for me as a customer to tell them that I'm done, that feedback loop is missing. For me, the real extent of personalisation is actually listening to customers and giving them an opportunity to engage with a brand.

"When we give customers the feedback opportunity to have two-way conversation and, as brands and businesses we react to that, we're going to get much closer to personalisation."

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To read Essential Retail's Eurostar interview, click below:

Interview: Eurostar's digital strategy on track