Case Study: Peruvian Connection Weaves a Stronger Personalization Strategy
And it's seeing traction for the earliest rollouts of its efforts; for example, the product detail and shopping basket pages are generating a 25 percent lift in average order value as well as an 8 percent lift in conversions, representing approximately 33 percent improvement in revenue. "As traffic has slowed down due to the economy and some of the timing of our other marketing efforts, this approach is turning into a real revenue-saving and -generating operation, which is kind of fun," says Martinez.
The e-mail product alerts, which involve dynamic merchandising via templated weekly e-mails, leverage customer profile and purchase history to determine who gets contacted and which merchandise gets promoted—e.g., something left in the shopping basket, new products, recent markdowns, etc. So far, Martinez is seeing about a 30 percent increase in productivity for the personalized efforts versus Peruvian's standard e-mail campaign, and he considers the result a good return on spend.
Soon to be deployed, the dynamic landing pages represent an opportunity for Martinez to reduce the site's bounce rates and increase conversions. The approach is to better serve search users' goals by delivering more relevant landing pages based on the search ads and Peruvian Connection's data for which products convert best in each product category for each shopping path. For example, Martinez explains, he could promote a page of the company's best-selling dresses to search users who come to the site off the search term "dresses," but personalization technology can do a better job of serving the most attractive dress products to individual visitors based on deeper criteria.
"It's an art as opposed to a science. This brings some science to the process, while we'll have some art involved with some messaging elements that we control. But the product selection presented should be controlled by an algorithmic- and profile-based tool behind it," Martinez says.
Finally, the static banner of merchandise selections featured at the bottom of transactional e-mails, like the welcome bouncebacks that e-mail registrants receive, will get a targeting upgrade via tests scheduled for the next couple months. While Peruvian Connection doesn't have profile histories on prospects, it does have the purchase histories and best-selling histories on current customers; MyBuys will leverage these insights to determine the appropriate mix of product recommendations. What's even more exciting, says Martinez, is that the personalization technology is "a learning system. As it gains more data, it will target results more efficiently over time, such as customers coming in from this kind of e-mail typically buy a cap-sleeve T-shirt or some accessories."
In all, the effect Peruvian Connection is shooting for is to bring some of the advantages of a retail shopping experience to its site. "I really view the site like a retail site," Martinez explains, "and a well-run retail store gets remerchandised and repositioned frequently ... What a tool like MyBuys brings is some of that intelligence [of visual merchandisers] without adding the extra burden of people [you can't afford to hire] to the process." And the result goes beyond more targeted product offerings, he notes, to the incremental value of conversions.