December 30, 2011, 11:55 AM

At Godiva, even chocolate gets a boost from image testing

Testing the best mix of images led to a double-digit conversion rate boost.

Lead Photo

Even with business unusually brisk during the holiday shopping season, Godiva Chocolatier Inc. makes time to test the best mix of product images in its web site’s merchandising displays, says Mahender Nathan, vice president of Godiva’s direct business.

A recent test of multiple displays of a new 18-piece Parfait Chocolates Gift Box, for example, produced a winning combination that resulted in a 9.4% conversion rate lift, compared to an alternate display.

The winning gift box display continues to run today for all site visitors. The display shows a main image of the partially uncovered gift box, revealing the chocolate pieces inside. Directly beneath the main image are three smaller images revealing alternate arrangements of the chocolates; each of the smaller images can be moused over to make them appear as the main image. Each of the three smaller images are hosted by Monetate, which provides technology that Godiva uses to test multiple merchandising displays to multiple segments of site visitors.

But testing it’s not just a matter of finding the right merchandise display to convert the most customers, Nathan says. The tests also help to determine, for instance, how much Godiva should invest in product images to get the best return on investment. “The ROI of our photo budget has increased as well,” Nathan says.

Godiva is No. 533 in the Internet Retailer Second 500 Guide.

Effective imaging strategies will be addressed at the Internet Retailer Web Design & Usability Conference in February. Alan Higley, vice president of Internet marketing for Coolibar, a retailer of sun-protection products, will address how Coolibar is using its Adobe/Omniture Test & Target application to test and analyze the effectiveness of multiple navigation options during a session titled “Making sure your customers find the merchandise they want.

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