Case Study: The Wirecutter & Sweethome

Boosted Recommended Product Clickthrough Rate by 22%

The Wirecutter

For 15 months, Draft worked with review sites The Wirecutter & The Sweethome to optimize their sites’s key goal: to encourage people to purchase what they recommend.

The Wirecutter spends months exhaustively researching an entire product category, and then providing a solid recommendation for the majority of use cases: one that’s affordable, of course, yet maximally valuable for its audience.

Unlike most blogs, The Wirecutter had a clear revenue model when we began working together: instead of using advertising to make money (which would disqualify them from being a Draft Revise client), they get affiliate fees from people clicking on – and then buying – the products they recommend.

During my time with them, The Wirecutter evolved from a simple tech recommendation site to “Consumer Reports for [our] generation”, largely because of its lack of paywall and consumer-friendly approach. The Wirecutter & Sweethome were acquired by the New York Times Company in October 2016.

What we did

During our time together, I worked extensively on the layout and behavior of their primary and secondary calls to action – which comprise the majority of their revenue-generating activity. Several tests improved clicks to recommended products by 10% or more.

Additionally, I overhauled in-review navigation, provided a rework of the right-hand sidebar, and made the home page easier to scale to many hundreds of reviews (which was imperative in the midst of The Wirecutter’s hiring many new reviewers).

In the words of Christopher Mascari, The Wirecutter’s general manager:

Nick is seriously a wizard. I can give him a half-evolved idea I want to test, and he interprets it perfectly. He'll do all the work, analyze the findings, and send us a simplified report.

For example

One of our most successful tests was around price expectations. Most recommended products change in price after the review is posted – especially those on Amazon, who mess with their prices all the time.

To keep people apprised of what they should expect when they click a button, we made sure that each one had three things: the price, the place you’re purchasing it from, and if the price changed, what the price was as of the review’s posting. This involved routinely – and automatically – checking the places we recommend to see if and how the price changed.

Adding this information was a significant win for us, with an A/B test of the prototype providing a 10% lift. This convinced us that it was worth pursuing throughout the site – with a minimum of development effort expended upfront.

Are you a growing business that sells in volume?

Then you have a clear need for research-driven A/B testing – which will help you grow even faster. Through Draft Revise, we’ve helped dozens of growing businesses accelerate their trajectory – by understanding their customers better, and crafting a pitch that truly meets their needs. If you sell in enough volume to A/B test effectively, reach out and apply for Draft Revise today.

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