How 160+ years old UK-based F.Hinds Jewellery gets results in a digital age
Since its company founding in 1856, F.Hinds Jewellers has grown into one of the largest jewelry retailers in the United Kingdom. Starting as a small business, run by two brothers, the company has evolved into a chain with 116 stores. F.Hinds has maintained a small-business experience across its many storefronts.
When the company launched its first website in 1997, around the same time that Amazon made its debut to the world, the intention was not to build an online experience—rather, the goal was to generate foot traffic into stores.
Slowly, that vision evolved. Shoppers have become more comfortable making high-consideration purchases, including valuables like jewelry, online. But F.Hinds wants shoppers to be confident, not comfortable, with their purchases.
The company has spent the last several years investing in infrastructure to make its web experience more customer-friendly, with the vision of giving every shopper a true-to-life product experience.
“Tangiblee entered our mix at the right time,” says Steve Mellows, who leads digital marketing for F.Hinds. “We have done a lot of work to improve organic performance for SEO. We have run a few pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. We were at a stage where it made sense to invest in third-party software.”
With such scrupulous reporting of any details that may affect the online side of the business' bottom-line, Mellow wanted to deploy Tangiblee conservatively and measure the impact with deliberate description just how granular his reporting is for the e-Commerce side of the company:
“Even a 0.001% increase to conversion rate can make a difference for us in terms of revenue impact. We wanted to take a cautious approach and launch Tangiblee with a test campaign.”
For this test campaign, F.Hinds deployed the Tangiblee platform across 2,000 SKUs of the company’s top-selling products. Tangiblee enabled functionality for shoppers to browse items in more detail and gain true-to-life sizing perspectives. Customers can gain more precise perspectives of every product, instilling confidence in their purchases.
This confidence translates into an increase in product interest and purchase rates, as well as a reduction in order returns.
Mellows was hearing the same request from his online customers repeatedly: We need to see a person wearing the jewelry. As simple and as evident as the request might be, the implications are not insignificant - more specifically, the costs associated with product photography.
“Historically, customers had offered up the suggestion to 'show pictures of products on people,'” says Mellows.
Whether customers meant the need to add User Generated Content (UGC) software or include professional model imagery for each product, Mellows knew the costs would be astronomical and unsustainable for the business. With a product catalog containing thousands of individual product SKUs (Stock Keeping Unit), conducting a professional photoshoot to show every piece of jewelry on a model's hand in different positions would be impossible to produce from a labor perspective as well as a cost perspective.
“But this feature would slow down photography production massively and add the expense of featuring hand or neck models. From our perspectives, the customer experience benefits would not have outweighed the costs and drawbacks.”
Users Browsing Products
Software solutions must be scalable and adaptable for high-turn over, high-volume digital product catalogs.
Following the test deployment in 2018, Tangiblee was a driving force in the +31% increase to the number of users browsing products in addition to increased engagement and overall time on site.
This lift translated into higher interest from shoppers which translated to more conversions and higher revenues for F.Hinds.
“Tangiblee plays an important role in our growth,” says Mellows.
In tandem with a new responsive website, Tangiblee yielded a 20% increase to overall conversion rates.
By the end of 2020 into early 2021, F.Hinds added Tangiblee's Virtual Try-On experience in addition to the existing experience. Tangiblee is excited to share the results F.Hinds is seeing after adding the VTO experience in early 2022.