585*GOLD Tests Hypotheses in Email and Applies Winning Strategies to SMS, Messengers, Social Media, Offline Advertising, and Procurement

Founded in 2000, 585*Gold is one of the largest jewelry chains in Eastern Europe. Shops and pawnshops operate in 420 cities across Eastern Europe.
Company size. 
1.000 offline stores and pawnshops across the Eastern Europe, online store, 10 million customers
author
Nikolay Kondratiev,
Director of Analytics, Forecasting, and Research at “585*GOLD”
Goals
Increase text and Viber campaign conversions without spending thousands of dollars on A/B tests in these communication channels
Solutions
Test hypotheses using email campaigns and use the results in other channels

IT stack. 

ERP, Mindbox marketing automation platform
Results
The entire marketing strategy of the jewelry chain has been transformedThe conversion of SMS campaigns has increased by 19.7%
Noteworthy features
Email A/B test results are used not only in SMS and messenger (Viber) channels, but also in social networks, in-store advertising, and as part of the procurement strategy
The following case study is from Mindbox, the original brand behind Maestra’s technology

How and where were hypotheses tested before?

Before implementing hypothesis testing in its email channel, 585*Gold relied on A/B testing to review promotion efficiency, ad layouts, and even product design. In 2019, the company set out to increase SMS and Viber campaign conversions. Each communication channel had its own challenges at this stage.
In SMS campaigns management tested discount formats (for example, whether customers preferred monetary or percentage-based discounts), pricing strategy (per item of jewelry or per gram), and interest in offers (cashback and others).
Challenges of SMS campaign tests:
  1. Limited format. The channel only works for testing promotions. There is no way to carry out an A/B test with product images and determine their appeal.
  2. Ever-increasing campaign costs.
On Viber 585*Gold tested jewelry design, discounts, promotions, and interest in gifts. Challenges arose when messages began to get delivered to business chats instead of customers’ private messages, meaning customers had to search for “585*GOLD” among dozens of other companies.
On social networks they checked how customers perceived different types of photos, such as just a piece of jewelry in the image, one person wearing jewelry, or multiple people wearing jewelry. They also tracked interactions generated by these photos, including likes, views, and reposts.
In brick-and-mortar stores the brand updated posters with promotions in the shop windows and tracked how this affected the foot traffic. This allowed the team to determine which advertising best motivates customers to enter the store. However, it is still impossible to choose the most efficient form of advertising using this approach.

How are we testing hypotheses now?

Now all hypotheses are tested in email campaigns targeting the retail store customer base. The results of such tests are used for all marketing communications. For example:
  • The best version of the promotion based on the results of the email A/B test will be sent via SMS and Viber.
  • If customers do not show interest in the offer in the email campaign, the page detailing it will not be placed in the printed catalog for retail stores.
This method of hypothesis testing is free because Mindbox doesn’t charge for email campaigns.

How testing hypothesis in email campaigns transformed the jewelry network’s marketing

The initial task of increasing the conversion of SMS and Viber campaigns by to testing hypotheses in the email channel led to the transformation of the entire 585*GOLD network’s marketing strategy.
Activity planning. Customers’ reactions in email newsletters helps to more accurately plan marketing activity (i.e., promotions, discounts, etc.) in any communication channels such as social networks, the website, and printed advertising.
Procurement of products. We can rank products based on customers’ reactions to each piece of jewelry seen in the email campaign. The company takes this into account during procurement. For example, when we wanted to choose one of three types of inlay before putting it on sale, we tested their photos in an email campaign. We chose the ones that received more clicks. In the end, the stores received the product that proved to be the most popular.
In general, testing via the email channel affects various aspects of 585*GOLD’s business operations:
Organizational structure. The department of Analysis, Forecasting, and Research, the marketing department, and the sales department, have merged into a new division — the promotion group. Now marketing hypotheses are tested together, marketing activity is planned, and analytics methodology is determined as follows: