HMV deliver outstanding user experience and increase online conversions with thinkTRIBE synthetic monitoring
Music retailers have had a bumpy ride in recent years, thanks in part to the advent of online streaming services. But HMV managed to buck the trend in impressive style and recruited thinkTRIBE to provide the proactive insight they needed to regain control of their web performance and deliver the online experience resulting in increased conversions.
HMV may have decades of experience selling music and media to customers in their highstreet stores but – like many other big brands – the company needed to replicate that long-standing retailing strength in the online marketplace.
With a new ecommerce business up and running – and everything to play for – the HMV web team was under pressure to deliver a fast, flawless shopping experience, despite the challenges of working with a third-party design and hosting provider and with only limited inhouse resources to help manage and maintain the service.
Often, the most impactful services are those provided by a supplier who can extend the scope and scale of an in-house team with specialist expertise.
Delivering great user experience with a small in-house team thinkTRIBE experts were called in by HMV shortly after the launch of the company’s new ecommerce store in July 2015.
HMV’s Head of eCommerce, Steve Partridge, was aware of the urgent need for an effective independent monitoring service that would support the IT and ecommerce teams to troubleshoot problems quickly and fine-tune performance to offer customers the best online experience possible.
‘We knew our new site needed a monitoring service and we simply didn’t have the resources to manage this alone – an issue that was compounded by the fact that our web design and hosting services were provided by a third party,’ explains Steve.
‘Ideally, we wanted to extend our in-house team by enlisting the help of a specialist business and thinkTRIBE offered this insight without over-complicating our reporting protocols.’
The HMV service delivery team needed the tools to provide feedback about the site’s performance directly to their web support agency
Getting the right tools for an extensive online catalogue
thinkTRIBE performance monitoring service provides hard metrics – measuring in real time the performance, availability and consistency of journeys across the website.
In HMV’s case, journeys were scripted to make random selections from the extensive online catalogue which tested all products and categories, so uncovering the issues that would otherwise go undetected. This enhanced level of monitoring offers Steve and his team the ability to assess whether the site is meeting requirements and to pinpoint issues as soon as they arise.
‘thinkTRIBE service provides access to a portal to create reports or draw down granular data regarding any errors – this type of data is presented so easily which saves time.’
Managing third-party providers with minimum input
thinkTRIBE Monitor not only provides visibility of performance delivered by third parties but also communicates the performance data necessary for the third parties to resolve issues directly with minimum input from the client.
For HMV, lengthy page load times were flagged as a possible issue early on in the process – a factor which can often deter customers from continuing their journey and can impact conversion rates. The web design team were notified and were able to work on a resolution without further delay. An additional benefit of the monitoring service is that every team member can access the same data which increases engagement and saves time in website performance meetings. thinkTRIBE Monitor helps to maintain optimum conditions for online customers by swiftly flagging errors that might otherwise adversely impact performance.
It has also helped Steve and his team to meet internal SLAs and to keep web performance firmly on the radar. Steve believes that thinkTRIBE service has greatly helped HMV’s online offering:
‘I really must commend the thinkTRIBE team for their support and personal service – they consistently exceed my expectations and help me deliver the very best website for HMV’s customers.’