Upwork Stops Customer Journey Hijacking & Ups its Website Conversions

  • 49%

    Increase in Registration Conversion Rate

  • 29%

    Increase in First Job Post Rate

  • 25%

    Increase in First Payment Rate

About Upwork

As the world’s largest freelancing website, Upwork enables professionals to earn over $1 billion USD annually through the service. Upwork connects businesses with talented professionals to make it easier to get work done — anytime, anywhere. According to The McKinsey Global Institute, online platforms like Upwork could add $2.7 Trillion to the Global GDP by reducing friction in the labor market. Upwork makes it simple, quick and cost-effective for clients to find, hire and work with freelance talent around the world.

The Problem: Over 20 Percent of Visitors Exposed to Unauthorized Ads

While Upwork’s marketing team constantly strives to improve the customer journey for site visitors and realize performance metrics, the growing impact of Online Journey Hijacking works to lure them away by injecting unauthorized ads into customer browsers.

In August of 2017, after meeting with the Namogoo team, Rich Pearson, Upwork’s SVP Marketing learned for the first time about Online Journey Hijacking, its impact on their business performance, and how it was compromising their user experience and skimming conversions from their online marketplace.

At first, like many people, I thought ‘this can’t be happening’. Until you actually see the videos for yourself, it’s pretty disturbing to see what’s happening to your customers. When you see the ways these ads are interfering with our users, you think ‘Oh my God, it’s really that bad’. And when our initial tests also show this is real, it becomes a no-brainer that we have to fix this.

Having never seen the problem first-hand, Rich was skeptical at what the findings would reveal. Watching a video recording of the user experience on an infected browser and the types of ads redirecting Upwork customers to competing sites, made the team realize this was a major problem that not only impacted their customer’s experience and brand equity but was also hitting their bottom line.

The Solution: Namogoo Customer Hijacking Prevention

Upwork’s marketing team ran a 30-day Proof-of-Value (POV) pilot to verify the scale of the issue and to see how Namogoo Customer Hijacking Prevention can impact their business performance.

After setting up the POV, Namogoo and Upwork kicked off an A/B test on their web traffic, blocking all unauthorized ads for 50 percent of users and monitored the remaining 50 percent. This gave Upwork visibility into the scale of the issue and variety of unauthorized ads impacting their visitors. It also enabled them to measure the incremental impact of eliminating invasive ads from customer web sessions.

At first, like many people, I thought ‘this can’t be happening’. Until you actually see the videos for yourself, it’s pretty disturbing to see what’s happening to your customers. When you see the ways these ads are interfering with our users, you think ‘Oh my God, it’s really that bad’. And when our initial tests also show this is real, it becomes a no-brainer that we have to fix this.

During the POV process, the Upwork team met frequently with Namogoo’s Customer Success team to align success metrics and ensure they were integrated into Upwork’s Google Analytics dashboard.

The Business Impact: Improving KPIs & Gaining Control of the Customer Experience

After reaching enough statistical significance within the testing period, the Upwork team was thrilled with the results.

In the A/B test, the infected test group (where Namogoo Customer Hijacking Prevention blocked unauthorized ads) markedly outperformed the control group. Upwork’s most critical KPIs rose all the way through the sales funnel. Registered users rose by 49 percent, while job posting rates were up 29 percent. Start rates, which represent when businesses and entrepreneurs hire freelancers — and convert into paying customers — jumped by 25 percent.

We work all year round to optimize our key metrics. If a conversion test delivers a 5 percent lift, we’ll do cartwheels on our desk. You don’t see many tests that move the needle as much as Namogoo did right out of the gate…

Additionally, Upwork saw its page load times shortened by 12 percent and bounce rate fall by 6 percent, while registration abandonment decreased by 10 percent.

The Upwork marketing team was particularly surprised to learn that customer hijacking is more prevalent within their highest-valued customer segment and were pleased to see that results within this portion of the test group were even higher compared to the rest.

“Infected users were more likely to be businesses than individuals or solopreneurs. Job posts from businesses increased twice as much compared to the job posts from overall users.”

Conclusion

With Namogoo’s end-to-end solution eliminating the impact of unauthorized ads from its customers’ online journey, the Upwork team feels they have more visibility and control than ever of their website’s performance, and are retaining the customers they’ve worked so hard to earn. Moreover, with Namogoo’s solution, Upwork can operate with the peace of mind that the ROI on their optimization efforts and the tools they apply on their site is much higher, since all customers are finally receiving the experience that was originally intended.

Download the PDF

“If a conversion test delivers a 5% lift, we’ll do cartwheels on our desk. You don't see many tests that move the needle as much as Namogoo.”
Rich Pearson
SVP Marketing

Find out how Namogoo can help preserve your online customer journey and win back stolen revenue.

Get a Free Website Analysis

Interested in Namogoo?

Schedule a call with one of our marketing consultants
to learn more

Interested in Namogoo?

Schedule a call with one of our privacy consultants to learn more