Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams (Hereinafter referred to as “MGBW”) is a sustainable upholstery and furnishings brand that started out of Taylorsville, North Carolina. Since their inception in 1989, the team at MGBW has held true to their beliefs in creating high quality, American-made, eco-friendly furnishings that now ships around the world.
Venturing into the eCommerce space, they have seen some fantastic success online.
In order to achieve this, MGBW brought in technical development partner, Fēnom Digital, to help with their engineering and development work.
We spoke with Leslie Strickland, MGBW’s Senior eCommerce Product Manager, and Robert Mech, Fēnom’s Senior Program Manager and eCommerce Delivery Lead, to explore their partnership and experience with Noibu’s platform.
In 2021, the organization pivoted towards growing their Direct to Consumer eCommerce store. Re-platforming and revamping their online store from the “ground up,” the focus was spent on getting something launched and live, and thoughts towards customer experience took a back seat.
This was fine for a while.
But as MGBW’s online brand started to grow, the eCommerce team started getting reports of issues with their checkouts and conversions.
Without anything in place to monitor errors or to surface UX issues, everyone at headquarters was essentially blind to incoming and ongoing site errors that were blocking customers from completing their purchases. So even when a customer did call in to report a bug, the internal eCommerce team was missing the key bits of information needed to know where to start looking to find a solution.
Given that the eCommerce team was relatively small during this time period, when it came to those customer-reported errors coming in, Leslie said that “the time that it would take to try to look into issues… [the team] just didn’t have the manpower to dive in” and discover the root cause.
And that quickly became a problem…
Eventually, MGBW found Noibu and the software started to provide them with the visibility they craved.
Bringing on Fēnom as a development partner was the final key in making things work like a well oiled machine.
In the early days of MGBW’s implementation of Noibu, there was a lot going on…
Having never previously deployed any error capturing softwares, MGBW tasked their Fēnom partners with their first order of business: cleaning up the backlog of technical debt.
Initially, Fēnom “looked at [Noibu] as a tool that was just going to tell [them] what was broken on the site.”
The developers would get the alert of an error, dive into the platform, fix what was broken, and mark it off as closed-fixed.
But after spending time in the platform and seeing the expanse of insights captured, the team realized that the software was “a much more exhaustive tool that provides a lot of diagnostic information.”
All this information could be used to easily prioritize checkout errors in a data-backed way (rather than by gut feel), and includes the data needed to resolve each issue so there’s no need to lose hours trying to recreate a bug or work backwards from a customer-reported error.
After clearing out the initial backlog of errors, and going beyond the scope of fixing mission-critical and high impact errors, Fēnom and MGBW were able to also use the additional visibility into non-critical errors to develop a regular cadence to review bugs collaboratively and add to weekly sprint grooming meetings.
Now whenever a checkout bug comes in, Leslie can quickly assess the volume of customers that would encounter said bug and create a ticket in Jira for Rob and Fēnom to resolve, or reserve the bug review for their weekly sync.
Both teams have also been using Session Replay to gain a better understanding of the actual user-impact of errors. For Fēnom specifically, Session Replay eliminated the need to spend buckets of time trying to recreate an issue and quantify it; the function legitimized the issue, captured the data needed to resolve it, all without the developers needing to verify that it is a true issue. As Rob states, “I think though, that Session replay was a… a real plus in that I now know the source of truth for an issue.”
When asked about the ultimate outcomes of moving away from customer-reported bugs and hidden errors and instead onto the Noibu system, Leslie points to how much more manageable everything seems.
For Leslie, not having to comb through mountains of data and code to “pull and pick and choose what content to share with the developers,” for each error occurrence is a huge help, especially as she isn’t fluent in developer-language.
The added visibility into what was broken or is breaking on the site is another major plus that both Fēnom and MGBW point to.
Rob spoke about how bringing on the tool changed the mindset of the team around clean data and customer UX. By giving MGBW’s eCommerce team better visibility into the issues and problems that are on their site, while giving them the autonomy to make data-backed decisions on which bugs to prioritize, the team has been able to map an increase in conversions to the implementation of the new tool.
As of 2022, the MGBW and Fēnom teams have used Noibu’s platform to save nearly $1 million of annualized revenue.
Fēnom Digital collaborates with clients to create compelling experiences that connect shoppers seamlessly, from acquisition to purchase to service. Powered by strong team relationships, including a shared commitment to exceptional communication, performance and results, Fēnom employs expert strategic innovators, consultants, project managers, developers and technologists that partner with clients to deliver high-impact eCommerce systems in a more efficient way. Learn more about Fēnom Digital at fenomdigital.com.
Serving SMBs and enterprise customers globally, Noibu is the industry leader in eCommerce error monitoring and lost revenue prevention. Noibu’s software platform monitors your eCommerce site and flags and prioritizes errors that prevent real customers from checking out, while collecting all the information required to quickly resolve them. For more information, visit www.noibu.com.