Case Study: Peruvian Connection Weaves a Stronger Personalization Strategy
The early mantra of online marketing simply was, "build it, and they will come." With thousands of shopping opportunities jostling for attention in today's Web 2.0 world, direct marketers must employ sophisticated tactics to entice browsers and buyers.
"Web site marketing is two things," says Erik Martinez, Peruvian Connection's director of online marketing. "One, getting the traffic, which is why I associate it more with a retail store than a catalog. And, two, once they're in the store, what do we do with them ... what to present, how to present it effectively, and in our case where products are so unique, how do we expose people to the types of products they're most interested in efficiently? Personalization technology allows us to merchandise our products better than we can ourselves [in an online environment]."
Peruvian Connection sells women's and men's one-of-a-kind knitwear along with other apparel, accessories and home décor that have international flair and attention to detail. Until recently, the company relied mostly on gut instinct for cross-sells and upsells on its product detail and shopping basket pages, displaying items that its merchandisers had styled together for grouped product shots (e.g., an outfit that consists of sweater, skirt, belt and shoes). "[They] made sense as products that would sell, but they didn't always sell. People are interested in what they're interested in," Martinez explains.
To get a better handle on what customers and prospects are interested in, Peruvian Connection turned to Redwood City, Calif. personalization technology firm MyBuys, a partner firm to Petaluma, Calif.-based MarketLive, which provides Peruvian Connection's e-commerce platform. The personalization technology analyzes the marketer's customer profiles, transactional data, real-time browsing behavior and other relevant data inputs to deliver targeted product recommendations.
Using a phased approach—which includes keeping a control group that receives manually selected cross-sells and upsells for testing purposes—Peruvian Connection has started with personalized recommendations on product detail and shopping basket pages, moved on to e-mail product alerts, is getting ready to launch dynamic landing pages for search-driven traffic, and has plans for better merchandising transactional e-mail communications.