Provide a convenient shopping experience online for pet owners
Grow revenue through digital channels by optimising promotions and campaigns
Adapt quickly to quickly changing conditions, using data as a guide
Achieved ROI from personalisation in 3 weeks
Captured 43% higher revenue from new visitor purchases
Increased conversion rate by 44% over previous year
Grew same-day deliveries to significant part of online business
Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director at Greencross Limited
When Linden Martin visits his local Petbarn store, the associates there don’t necessarily know he’s a fellow employee. They just see him as a pet owner and customer—one of many browsing the aisles and enjoying the experience. And they never fail to ask about the tropical fish he’s bought, ready to answer questions if needed.
“People who visit Petbarn don’t necessarily first talk about what they bought. They are often more excited about the service they receive,” Martin says. “Shop associates are friendly and knowledgeable. Dogs are sniffing around and wagging their tails. It’s a great experience.”
As Head of CRM and Customer Experience for the leading Australian pet supply retailer, Martin works to recreate that winning experience on Petbarn’s website. E-commerce hasn’t always been a top priority for the company, with 95% of its sales coming through shops. But that dynamic is changing and the company’s digital team are leading the charge. With Magento Commerce as the company’s e-commerce platform, they’ve spent the past year ramping up a digital transformation and producing impressive results, thanks in large part to their culture of continuous testing and use of Adobe Target.
George Wahby, the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Greencross Limited, Petbarn’s parent company, had high hopes for what the company could accomplish with its digital transformation. “When we first looked at adding Adobe Target, we knew it was going to be a game-changer for us,” says Wahby. “We just didn’t expect to achieve so much so quickly. We set up Adobe Target in two days and it paid for itself within three weeks.”
Petbarn already had a rich source of in-store data and could identify 80% of visitors on the website. It was just a matter of importing that active visitor data into Adobe Target. After that, the digital team was eager to start optimising online shopping experiences. According to Martin, “it was about getting some numbers on the board” to show the business what was possible. The first big win came quickly.
Within two weeks of adopting Adobe Target, the digital team launched an online offer personalised to customer’s purchase behaviours. It’s a familiar concept for shoppers — a $20 discount on a $100 purchase, for example. The tactic performs extremely well in shops, but Martin suspected it could do even better on the website.
“For us, personalising offers based on previous purchase behaviours is a way to encourage people to spend a bit more than they normally do,” Martin says. “Using Adobe Target, we segmented customers based on their average order value (AOV) and exposed each segment to a different tier of discount. Through that one promotion alone we fully paid for our investment in Target.”
The team didn’t stop there. Through A/B testing on each customer segment, they were able to nudge people to higher and higher tiers. In other words, the targeted promotion was convincing people to spend more on each order—on the order of $10 or $15 more.
“The really interesting part is that we used this way of thinking to change the business as a whole,” says Wahby. “Based on what we learnt through Adobe Target, we optimised the personalised offer promotion in shops, where AOV optimisation can have an astronomical impact on revenue.”
Head of CRM and Customer Experience
Since then, the digital team’s relentless optimisation has produced many more big wins. “We questioned everything, including several promotions that seemed like no-brainers,” says George. “With rigorous A/B testing in Adobe Target, we were able to disprove many of our assumptions and optimise experiences to get the results we wanted.”
For example, Petbarn wanted to offer a discount for first-time online shoppers. The team’s first impulse was to use a 10% discount—a common tactic in the retail world. But instead of jumping to conclusions, they started asking questions. Which discount would attract the most customers? How would different discounts affect revenue? How could Petbarn maximise both?
“We found that the $10-off-a-$50-purchase approach far outperformed the 10% discount in terms of revenue per visitor,” says Martin. “Rather than following our instinct, we followed the numbers and ultimately achieved 43% higher revenue from new visitors.”
Petbarn’s Repeat Delivery service has also got a big boost from the optimisation efforts. The service allows customers to schedule recurring orders, such as cat food delivered automatically every six weeks. It’s convenient for customers and a good revenue stream for Petbarn. By experimenting with messaging to promote the service on product pages, the digital team found it could boost customer response rates significantly.
“With a single test, we were able to increase subscriptions by 20%,” Wahby says. “At this rate, we’re on track to grow Repeat Delivery business by 140% in just two years.”
Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director at Greencross Limited
Petbarn was less than a year into its digital transformation when the COVID-19 crisis hit Australia. At that point, online sales had risen to 6% or 7% of total sales, but they were about to skyrocket. Customers still needed pet supplies, but fewer were visiting shops and there was a real risk that government mandates would force shops to close. In response, Petbarn made a bold move.
“Our online sales tripled almost overnight, but we didn’t have the fulfilment network to handle the sudden increase in demand for deliveries,” says Wahby. “We decided to use our 250 shops as fulfilment centres and offer same-day delivery to customers.”
Before Petbarn could promise same-day delivery to customers, it needed to make sure it could keep up. That’s why the team conducted a staged roll-out of the offer on the website. After selecting specific locations, they used Adobe Target to expose the service to one audience segment at a time. If volume started to exceed capacity, they could easily “throttle back” and limit exposure to just a segment of the audience. Or if they encountered a problem, the team could immediately remove the messaging and functionality.
The approach was a success and it set Petbarn up for a bright future post-pandemic. “Same-day deliveries are now a significant part of our online business and that number is growing quickly,” says Wahby.
Petbarn used the same staged approach to release its new live chat feature during the pandemic. By carefully controlling audience exposure, the team made sure volumes were manageable as the company ramped up staffing. Now, live chat is central to Petbarn’s customer service model. It has even earned a 92% positive rating from customers—a testament to the company’s careful, measured approach and commitment to delivering on its promises.
Petbarn has put a lot of work into its online shopping experience. Over the past year, overall website conversion rates increased by 44% using personalisation. The company stays focused on creating digital experiences that are just as personal and powerful as the in-store experience. And it uses data to guide decisions.
“Before Adobe Target, we always had theories and assumptions, but we never had proof,” says Wahby. “Now, the numbers speak for themselves. We’re constantly trying new ideas and tracking the results—and we see every test as an opportunity learn.”
For Martin, it’s a win-win situation. The work brings enormous professional satisfaction—a sense of accomplishment in moving the needle on critical business metrics. It also means he can enjoy the experience as a customer, whether he visits his local Petbarn store or shops online.