No Wanky Bollocks

A movement against bullshit in business

Interview with the Head of Ecommerce at Lovehoney

This week’s interviewee is Matt Curry, Head of Ecommerce at Lovehoney.

1. Biggest mistake you made in the last year & how you fixed it?

I’m not sure we’ve entirely fixed this yet, but our analytics systems were getting a bit too….organic. We put in a shiny datalayer and tag management system a couple of years ago, which means we could start tracking all sorts of sexy stuff on the fly.

So we started tracking everything (like, everything, from Hamburger menu clicks to cross-sell addition), and sticking in bits of analytics tech without going through a proper development process. Just because you”*can* code, doesn’t mean you *should* code Matt!

I guess we ended up in tag management hell, but the big issue is that we’d lost focus of our main goal; Simple, Reliable Statistics.

So, we’re now going through a tag audit, trying to get our containers lean and mean with as little excess tracking fat (i.e. throwing random events up to Analytics because you can’t do it on page view and there’s no transaction to jump onto) as we can.

We’re also double checking our stats – we still occasionally get duplicate transactions, weird oddities around enhanced e-commerce, and our internal promotion tracking isn’t as native as I’d like it to be, but we’re getting there.

2. A lightbulb moment

This is something I had late last year. It’s very easy to want to buy a bunch of technology that does your job for you because you’re so busy doing other things (like mostly looking after the other tech that does your job for you)

Why not hire people? Y’know, actual human brains that can make decisions and stuff. It’ll probably end up cheaper. Instead of some fancy automated system that tells you where conversion is falling down, hire more analysts and researchers!

Get people who can check landing pages regularly, people who can ensure campaigns are working, stop fannying about trying to configure a bunch of automated tech and spend more time managing your team of human brains effectively.

Stop being a small team with a lot of tech and be a big team that knows what it’s doing.

3. Tip for tomorrow

I really hate crystal ball type stuff, as it’s all a bit nebulous and tossy with buzzwords. Yes, wearables. Woo.

Really, just try to be better for your customers. Work on improving something that makes your customers’ lives more simple. I always remember John Maeda’s Laws of Simplicity; Specifically, Law 3 – “Savings in Time can feel like simplicity”.

You can apply this to your fulfilment solution (you can always get faster), or your site speed (you can always get faster), or the site itself (Take out steps! Remove stuff! Fewer options! Make it quicker from landing to checkout!). Even better, don’t, just make it feel like you have.

Do you remember Just Buy This One? The old site powered by Reevoo that only had 3 products per category? So simple, so obvious. I bloody loved that site.

They also did one for the inevitable Zombie Apocalypse; Just Buy This one to Survive.

Stock up now, Zombie Chow.

Want to share your advice?
NWB confessional style interviews are posted every Monday from people in the business community. They are not self-promoting, or carefully selected quotes to make you sound good. They are full of useful, actionable insights from experience, not egos or bravado. If you like NWB’s style and have something useful to say, we’d love to interview you. Tweet @nowankybollocks or email katie [at] subjectconsulting.com.

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