eSpotlight – Foreign No More

Problem: Peruvian Connection, a multichannel retailer of men’s and women’s handcrafted garments native to the Andes, wanted to cross-sell and upsell products to its customers and prospects more effectively.

Solution: The merchant contracted MyBuys, a provider of personalized product recommendations for online retailers.

Results: Clickthrough rates, average order values and revenue have increased by 72 percent, 23 percent and 8 percent, respectively.

Differentiation is nothing new for Tonganoxie, Kan.-based apparel merchant Peruvian Connection. With a unique line of knit and woven sweaters, tops, skirts, and more products inspired by Andean designs, it isn’t your typical apparel retailer.

That couldn’t be said of its website, however. Lacking the resources to merchandise every product uniquely for each customer, the site had grown static. One experience was the same as the next.

Realizing that personalization could spur incremental growth online, Peruvian Connection hired MyBuys to bring “personalized product recommendations” (PPRs) to its site.

By building profiles for each Peruvian Connection customer — based on past buying behavior, in-session behavior, product attributes and other factors — MyBuys is able to serve more relevant content.

Personalization proves value

Instead of offering the same earrings and skirt to every customer on a sweater’s product detail page, MyBuys’ engine customizes merchandise recommendations to each customer’s profile.

Peruvian Connection uses PPRs three ways:

  • as a cross-sell tool on product detail pages;
  • an upsell tool on checkout pages; and
  • in email campaigns sent to customers every Friday.

Peruvian Connection is testing further uses for PPRs, including within transactional emails, landing pages based on search terms and site search results.

It was especially critical for Peruvian Connection to test the effectiveness of the technology before implementing PPRs on its website and in its emails. The MyBuys technology, for example, had to generate increased ROI in order to be a part of the company’s online marketing strategy.

“The first test we ran was on our product detail page,” says Erik Martinez, director of e-commerce at Peruvian Connection, “testing the idea of coordinated items versus personalized recommendations. The results showed we increased clickthrough and average order value with PPRs. We were generating a marginal lift for every time a customer visited that page, saw that product, and then chose to look at and potentially purchase another item.”

The numbers from several A/B split tests told the story. For the average consumer’s visit to the Peruvian Connection site when PPRs were in use, clickthrough rates were 72 percent higher, revenue per participating session was up 7.7 percent and average order value was up 23 percent compared to consumers visiting the site without PPRs.

Alerts generate conversions

That success translated to email, where A/B split tests produced similar results: Based on a campaign sent to the same customer base, emails with PPRs produced clickthrough rates that were 7.63 percent greater and conversion rates 0.73 percent greater than emails without PPRs.

MyBuys also has worked with Peruvian Connection to send email alerts to opt-in customers of the brand. Shoppers get personalized email alerts based on their profiles, says Lisa Rosner, vice president of marketing at MyBuys.

Upon clicking through to Peruvian Connection’s website, the site knows who each customer is and then recommends products that are appealing specifically to her, which in turn leads to higher conversion rates.

“We’ll be able to increase our probabilities for conversion by delivering more relevant content,” Martinez says. “That’s the biggest distinction — that we can do it at an individual level as opposed to a group level.”

Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail. Joe has more than 10 years experience covering the retail industry, and enjoys profiling innovative companies and people in the space.

Publish date: October 1, 2009 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT