The Problem: Online Journey Hijacking Disrupts Argos’s Online Customers
As one of the UK’s largest online and high street retailers with over 850 stores and over a billion online visitors per year, Argos has a skilled digital team which continuously tests and implements solutions to help improve customers’ shopping experiences. A key challenge the team needed to address was the growing problem of Online Journey Hijacking, in which unauthorised product ads, pop-ups, and banners are injected into consumer browsers and divert web traffic away to other promotions. This caused customer visits to be interrupted and redirected away from Argos’s website.
In 2015, Namogoo reached out to Argos to discuss the impact of Online Journey Hijacking on the retailer’s site and its visitors and conversions. Jim Bassett, Digital Operations Controller at Argos, said:
“When this problem arose around three years ago, customers were telling us about interruptions preventing them from completing their journey on our website by diverting them elsewhere. Namogoo were able to replicate the offending ads and track the source.”
While meeting with Namogoo, Argos’s digital team were able to see how infected users viewed their site.
“Seeing real examples of customer journeys that were interrupted by injected ads was the first Eureka moment for us because we were able to see precisely what some of our customers were seeing.”
Many of the adverts that customers were encountering were displayed subtly to blend into the Argos website seamlessly and appear as an intended part of the experience.
“The injections were clearly very sophisticated. The other aspect that was an eye-opener was the sheer and constant volume of these ads. At that point, our team decided we needed to assess scale to find out just how big this problem was.”
The Solution: Namogoo Stops Invasive Ads from Hijacking Argos’s Traffic to Competitors
To measure the scale and impact of Online Journey Hijacking on conversions and key business metrics, Argos ran a Proof-of-Value (POV) process with Namogoo’s Customer Hijacking Prevention solution. During the testing, the team learned that around a fifth of all site visitors to argos.co.uk were being exposed to unauthorised injected ads, many of which diverted customers directly to competitor sites.
“The ad injections exploited our affiliates and were taking our customers. We realized this issue was both large and complex, and that we had an opportunity to improve the experience for both our customers and our commercial performance.”
During the testing period, Jim and his team were able to track and verify infection rates throughout the customer journey.
“We were able to monitor infection rates for our most visited pages and see the specific ads targeting our customers. This let us understand targeted areas of our site and identify the volume of traffic clicking off of it as a result.”
The Business Impact: Argos Reaping Enhanced Brand Experience & eCommerce KPIs
Once results of the POV reached statistical significance, Argos achieved an overall conversion rate uplift. Jim and his team also discovered that infected users generally converted higher than other website traffic now that Namogoo’s solution blocked injected ads from disrupting their experience. This has translated into a sustained conversion rate improvement for the infected population.
“We saw a higher conversion increase for our customers that were previously infected than for our standard customers. It was very interesting to find out that when you remove the barrier of ads you locate a very valuable audience.”
Uncovering and solving a previously unknown problem was very valuable for Argos’s digital team. “We received a positive reaction after sharing information about this issue within our organisation. We’re doing the right thing for our business and our customers.”
Three years on from teaming up with Namogoo to eliminate invasive ads from online customer journeys, Argos has seen conversions on argos.co.uk consistently improve.
“Namogoo is now a staple within the suite of eCommerce solutions we use to manage our business,” said Jim Bassett.
Digital Operations Controller