Thomas powers better digital experience with integrated technologies and a robust A/B testing program
Thomas has served and connected industrial buyers and suppliers since 1893. Today, they continue this mission while providing actionable information, data, analysis, and tools that align with and support today’s industrial buying process. The design and product teams rely heavily on FullStory and an integrated suite of technologies to continually improve the digital experience, helping their users get what they need to do their jobs.
"FullStory is a part of our culture. It’s deeply ingrained in what we do. If someone has a strong opinion about our digital experience, I’m all ears. But if they don’t participate in our recurring FullStory game film reviews, I can’t dedicate much attention to their idea. FullStory helps us keep users top-of-mind, but also gives our co-workers a systematic way to propose evidence-based ideas for improvement.”Julian Gaviria, Director of User Experience, Thomas
"FullStory has helped us solve an organizational problem.
It’s been a game-changer at the cultural level.”
Resolving internal debates and prioritizing experience improvements
Transitioning from traditional publishing to digital platform means cultural changes are inevitable. FullStory has been a critical tool in helping Thomas employees adopt an agile, user-focused mindset, rather than making decisions based on opinion. For example, when a company wanted to list their business on Thomasnet.com, they needed to submit a multi-step form. The design team suspected they could improve the UX and wanted to test whether another approach could increase conversions. FullStory provided compelling visual evidence to the Thomas stakeholders that changes to this flow could improve conversions. This change resulted in a 33% lift in company listing submissions.
A/B testing with the user’s full experience in mind
Over the past several years, Thomas has invested a lot of energy and resources in its A/B testing program. This is part of the company’s overall shift from being opinion-centric to data-guided. But the team at Thomas wanted to avoid a common optimization mistake: the tendency to over-optimize for conversions while simultaneously destroying the user experience. FullStory plays a vital role here. After every test launch, the team immediately jumps into FullStory to observe how the new test is impacting the rest of the user’s experience.
Getting a complete picture and democratizing insights with FullStory + Usabilla + Optimizely
The design team at Thomas relies on four main technologies to power digital optimization: Optimizely, FullStory, Usabilla, and UserTesting.com. These technologies are deeply integrated to allow anyone to access the information they need. When a user leaves feedback in Usabilla, for example, the team can also see the respective A/B test and variation that the user was bucketed into along with a link to the user’s session replay in FullStory. Thomas goes a step further to democratize insights, holding bi-weekly “game film reviews” for team members across all departments to watch FullStory session replays from tests launched that week. This approach fosters idea sharing, knowledge sharing, cross-team discussion, and better test ideas.
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