Case Studies

Woolworths innovates to improve its customer experience, driving gains in KPIs

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The Australian supermarket Woolworths searched for a competitive advantage in a hyper-competitive market. What they found drove sales through employee engagement and customer experience.

Australian Woolworths Supermarkets, or “Woolies,” was founded in 1924. With approximately 1K stores, the company is popular throughout the country serving 14 million customers every week. The grocery store specializes in selling fruits, vegetables, meats, and packaged goods among other items. As their slogan suggests, the company is known for its “fresh food people.”

Finding the right in-store testing platform for Woolworths

In what is considered a fiercely competitive market, Woolies is constantly innovating and making efforts to improve its customer experience.

When Woolworths’ leaders identified an in-store testing strategy that could result in a competitive advantage if implemented effectively, they acted. With many local competitors relying linear strategies, Woolworths took a broader view and decided to test several factors to determine what would be most valuable to their customers.

Given the breadth of the proposed strategy, Woolworths realized that creating, managing, and executing these tests could be difficult and time-consuming; without a testing solution to ensure consistency in the test design and analysis, there was a risk that results would not be accurate or reliable. Enter MarketDial.

Creating and executing a successful test process

With the MarketDial platform, Woolworths was able to design several initiatives aimed at improving the customer experience. These tests were then implemented in parallel and evaluated over a 16-week period. The testing provided a side-by-side evaluation of what customers truly found valuable.

Because MarketDial streamlines the test-design process, Woolworths’ analysts could quickly design multiple complex tests in minutes. The ability to easily transition from business hypothesis to action enabled Woolies to be more agile and go to market sooner. By automating a time-consuming and cumbersome activity, MarketDial significantly increased the number and frequency of Woolworths’ test initiatives.

Without a shadow of a doubt, the biggest benefit of MarketDial is the time saved for our team members. Previously, running trials was a cumbersome process and heavily spreadsheet based.”

Mike Smith, Head of Finance for Format Development at Woolworths

The benefit we’ve had from using MarketDial is the fact that it’s such a user-friendly application for any member of a team to jump straight into and be able to learn with a very short training window and pick up the usability almost instantly.”

Ben Rowles, Head of Macro-space for Supermarkets at Woolworths

MarketDial’s software selected optimal test and control stores, improving test accuracy, preventing test overlap, and ensuring test results would remain consistent when changes were implemented in the remainder of Woolworths’ stores. The platform allowed for Woolworths to improve the customer experience while maintaining appropriate levels of profitability.

Testing confirmed that key experience factors such as increased employee training, improved product presentation and improved store experience were crucial to increasing customer satisfaction and ultimately resulted in improved business performance. In addition, testing on a small-scale ensured that Woolworths was not investing in full-scale initiatives that did not improve the consumer experience or improve business performance.

Ultimately that’s what we want, fast decisions being made by key decision makers in the organizations, which ensure we enhance the capital that we spend.”

Doug Frank, Head of Space and Insights/General Manager for Data and Analytics at Woolworths

Exploring the learnings

With conclusive results that improvements in customer experience directly resulted in improved business performance, Woolies’ confirmed their core belief that “putting the customer first” leads to optimal outcomes.

Woolworths continues to utilize the MarketDial platform to evaluate any significant new business initiatives and has come to rely on MarketDial as experts in the A/B testing space. Its easy-to-use and comprehensive testing platform allowed Woolies to test initiatives across the organization and be confident that the results are accurate and consistent, fundamentally changing the culture at Woolies.

A/B testing led Woolworths to a more profitable future and helped them retain customers that may have otherwise been lost.

Ensuring that MarketDial is embedded into our process and disciplines is by far the most important thing we’re doing right now.”

Doug Frank, Head of Space and Insights/General Manager for Data and Analytics at Woolworths

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