Retail and ecommerce

Extra Space Storage + Quantum Metric + UserTesting

How Extra Space Storage stays a top player in the self-storage industry
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Industry: Retail and ecommerce
Company Size: Enterprise
Role: Designer, Researcher
Customer Type: B2C

About Extra Space Storage

Extra Space Storage Inc., headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, owns and operates more than 2,000 self-storage properties in 41 states. Its properties rent 1.4 million storage units  collectively representing more than 152.6 million square feet of rentable space. It offers customers a wide selection of affordable, conveniently located, safe and secure storage solutions across the United States. Unit types include personal storage, boat storage, RV storage, and business storage. 

Extra Space Storage achieved

3%
Lift in move-in conversion rate across 2,000+ properties in 41 states
14X
Faster average deployment time for user interface design changes
Increased decision-making confidence for driving digital engagement

Challenge

With over 2,000 locations across the United States and $4.6B added in recent acquisitions, Extra Space Storage is a familiar brand to many. As a friendly neighborhood company, Extra Space Storage prides itself on providing helpful staff and secure, clean, and convenient storage spaces with options for storing things outside, such as boats and RVs, or inside, including climate-controlled units. But there is always room to improve, which is why the company set out to redefine the storage industry—an ambitious goal. 

With relatively few customer touchpoints compared to many retail businesses, Extra Space Storage knows just how important it is to deliver strong customer value in every interaction—which is a particular challenge given today’s ever-present digital experiences. From finding the nearest location, to selecting the right storage unit size, to completing rental agreements, Extra Space Storage believes in the relentless pursuit of excellence. Its world-class digital marketing team recognized an opportunity to leverage customer insight solutions to continuously improve their product experiences, while at the same time balancing customer needs with company goals. 

Solution

Extra Space Storage began to look more closely at each digital experience from two perspectives: pre and post-production. In pre-production, the UX and Design teams opted to rely heavily on fast feedback from two sources of customer insight and first-party data:

  • Inferred feedback: behavior signals, engagement data, and technical details collected by Quantum Metric’s heat maps, click paths, and screen replay technology.
  • Direct feedback: video-based customer feedback, sentiment analysis, and human emotion, collected and analyzed on UserTesting’s opt-in human insight platform.

In post-production, digital experience teams continue testing what they built by gathering fast feedback using these same methods to monitor and further optimize performance. This creates a constant flow of feedback and holistic insights that inform decision making across the company, from small UX decisions that make a specific page more helpful to large strategic ones that impact go-to-market strategy. 

“This ‘better together’ approach, where two solutions empower Extra Space Storage’s marketing team, has allowed the team to identify pain points and opportunities at each step in the customer’s digital journey. These tools have ensured highly actionable and intuitive decisions that have led the team to make data-driven decisions because they explain the why behind the what. Understanding the why has provided more decisions that are made with greater confidence to achieve a better digital experience," said Meggie Rider.

These solutions allow Extra Space Storage to iterate over and over with speed and scale until each digital experience is optimized. For example, when the company tested having a virtual tour on the size guide, their data validated that the ability to interact with helpful visuals reduced confusion regarding what could fit in a storage unit, a question that visitors asked often. Empowered with human insight, they tested and iterated new designs and copy to optimize each digital experience to achieve maximum effectiveness, ease of use, and delight.

Outcome

Being able to identify pain points and validate assumptions using Quantum Metric and UserTesting resulted in a rapid 3% lift in conversion rate in move-ins across 2,000+ properties in 41 states. 

Leveraging the UserTesting results, Extra Space Storage quickly made optimizations through the interface 14x faster than they would have without.

The insights increased confidence in how to display the pause/play button and how fast to display the animation, which maximized average viewer engagement.

Brooke Stencil
VP Digital Marketing, Extra Space Storage
“These combined solutions help keep us focused on enhancing the customer experiences that matter most, and ensures that we’re keeping our customers at the center of business decisions.”