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Retail Technology, Retail technology News

STUDY: BHS converts vouchers online

Tuesday January 29 2013

Fashion and homewares retailer boosts its e-commerce conversion rates with an affiliate voucher code and mobile marketing campaign

Fashion and homewares retailer boosts its e-commerce conversion rates with an affiliate voucher code and mobile marketing campaign


British Home Stores, or BHS as it is more commonly branded, is one of the most longstanding brands on the UK High Street.


First opening its doors in 1928, the retailer now has over 179 stores nationwide and 100 franchise stores overseas across the Middle East, Europe and Africa.


Since launching on online performance marketing platform Affiliate Window in 2008, the BHS programme has gone from strength to strength offering a standard commission of 5% across all product categories. A year later, BHS became part of the Arcadia Group.


In June 2012 BHS launched a new website and, through the integration of its menswear products, new search options and faster checkout, the new site is designed to offer an improved customer journey and experience, enabling improved site conversion.


Strategy and execution


In wanting to maximise traffic to and conversions on its new site, BHS identified voucher codes and mobile as two key areas they were not using within the affiliate space.


Historically, BHS found it difficult to secure strong coverage on voucher code sites due to a busy onsite promotional calendar. Furthermore, it was felt that it was not taking advantage of the mobile space and, despite not having a mobile optimised site, wanted to tap into the growing mobile audience.


BHS decided to identify a gap in its onsite promotional calendar to trial an exclusive affiliate voucher code and identify any opportunities to run an offline voucher in order to gain exposure and traction with a mobile audience.


Conversations between BHS’s online and offline team realised an opportunity within the affiliate channel. They were able to offer an existing in store flier promotion on an exclusive basis with one affiliate partner, with the ability to extend this offer into the online space, also on an exclusive basis.


An opportunity arose last year to run this voucher code both online and offline. It offered 25% off all orders for an eight-day period. Due to the exposure offered, was selected as BHS’s dedicated voucher code partner for the duration of the promotion.


Targeting online promotions


The promotion secured expose in a number of newsletters, including landing page positions, as well as online banner carousels within the top three category-specific positions. offered the offline vouchers further support by producing a fully designed printable page and mobile app offer. Throughout the duration of the campaign the offer appeared in the top three position of printable vouchers on both the homepage and its dedicated High Street ‘printables’ tab.


BHS’s till systems, like many retailers, are unable to scan smartphones or external vouchers. So the BHS solution was to have barcodes behind the tills in each store for shop assistants to scan when presented with either a printed voucher or a mobile phone displaying the voucher. All sale information was fed back to the voucher partner, which was subsequently paid commission based on the standard commission rate.


Results and investment returns


Overall results exceeded the expectations of both BHS and; the strength and exclusive nature of the offer and the consumer interest in the BHS brand, coupled with’s full promotional support, contributed to the success of the campaign.


The 25% off all orders offer yielded online sales value uplift (based on results from the previous week) of 786% and total sales uplift of 1026%. Online and offline results combined contributed to a sales value uplift of 1427% and sales uplift of 3070%. And overall, the programme offered a sales value uplift of 267% and sales uplift of 359%.


Due to the strength of the 25% off offer over eight days, BHS decided to trial a stretch-and-save offer for a shorter period to assess whether this could also record a strong level of redemptions while driving a higher average order value (AOV). The results were positive, considering the seemingly lesser offer and shorter validity period: 213% sales value uplift and 321% sales uplift. Due to the success of these multichannel offers, BHS is looking to work across both online and offline as part of an ongoing strategy.


“Over the last year BHS and’s relationship has gone from strength to strength,” reported James Armstrong, account director. “As a result of their proactive and innovative approach to both online and offline campaigns, we have been able to provide them with more exposure and leverage our offline technologies, resulting in fantastic multichannel performances.”


Aneila Jagpal, marketing coordinator at BHS, concluded: “This campaign worked fantastically well, it showed how we could utilise offers that we already have access to in order to drive sales online and even in-store through the affiliate channel.”


For further information on the BHS programme or to sign up as an affiliate, click here.