6.98% Online Conversion Rate Uplift at Matalan Supports eCommerce Growth

Further experimentation sees incremental conversion rate rises


Matalan, a leading omni-channel fashion and homeware retailer, recently reported a year-on-year rise in its profits and revenues, outperforming the market in a tough retail climate. Its results are the fruit of a strategy to add more choice to its core product offer while improving the shopping experience with refurbished stores and an enhanced online journey.

It operates a fast-growing online channel, supported by the launch of a new eCommerce platform in 2017.  Keen to use the best website optimisation tools, it’s seen a 6.98% conversion rate uplift using Taggstar social proof messaging.  Here’s its story.

The Challenge

Matalan’s eCommerce team were keen to improve the conversion rate at each stage of its customer journey, and identified social proofing as one of the key techniques to achieve this.

The Solution

Taggstar shows product trends from the browsing and buying behaviour of previous shoppers. It aggregates this real-time anonymised data, including the number of people who've bought, viewed, or added a product to their basket, and shows these as on-site social proof messages throughout the sales funnel.


With a portfolio of 13 social proof message categories, enterprise retailers can show top-trending products, stock inventory, third party reviews and (a personalised social proof first for Taggstar), product trends since a customer last visited a page.

The Matalan eCommerce team picked audience, add to basket and purchase volumes, and trending messages on its Product Detail Pages. It then added urgency messaging including ‘Going Fast,’ to its Product List Pages, with the goal of engaging and converting customers by helping them understand what other customers were browsing and purchasing.

With years of experience, working with some of the largest online retailers, Taggstar’s Customer Success (CSM) team supplied message examples that followed brand guidelines. The image style, size, opacity and page positioning followed social proof best practice.

Integration & Experimentation

Taggstar was quickly integrated with the UK site’s Google Tag Manager data layer, and the first experiments began in late-2017. Initial tests were successful on its Product Detail Pages (PDP), then extended to Product List Pages (PLP) to see whether there was an extra benefit.


Using Maxymiser as its testing tool, Matalan can track Taggstar message performance. It reviews results and optimises the messages by testing different combinations, page positions and content, as part of its quarterly business reviews (QBRs) with Taggstar’s CSM team.

The team didn't stop there. By taking an iterative approach to innovation, Matalan further optimised the messages on its product details pages over Xmas 2019 with updates to the style and animation and by adding emoji icons.


Matalan saw amazing conversion uplift results from its very first social proof experiment in 2017. The month-long 50:50 A/B test scored a massive 5.5% conversion uplift.

This grew to 6.98% when Matalan added ‘Trending’ and ‘Going Fast’ messages to its Product List Pages, to highlight popular products to customers at the start of their buying journey.

Its latest experiment. where it added emojis over Xmas 2019. measured a further incremental conversion rate rise of 1.44% on all consumer devices (1.87% on mobile alone).

Karl Rowlands, UX Experimentation Manager, Matalan said of its most recent Taggstar experiment over Xmas 2019: “We think this is an excellent result & a great example of how if you continue to iterate on successes you can continue to squeeze out the extra juice!”

Paul Hornby, Director of eCommerce at Matalan said: “Improving our online customer journey continues to be a key strategic area of focus. We are always on the lookout for technology partners who can help our customers make informed purchase decisions, and Taggstar has certainly done that. We’re delighted with the results we’ve seen so far and look forward to trialling social proofing in other areas of our customer journey in the near future”.