How Carter's is Using Personalization to Drive Sales
In a session at IBM's Smarter Commerce Global Summit in Nashville yesterday, Michael Lahue, e-commerce project manager, and Lisa Langan, e-commerce marketing analyst, both of Carter's, discussed how the cross-channel retailer of baby and children's apparel is leveraging personalization solutions to drive sales across its organization.
Carter's is a newcomer to the e-commerce space, having launched its site in March 2010. However, the retailer has quickly ramped up its focus and investment in the channel, and has identified four goals for its website, said Langan:
- expand brand reach (Carter's has a significant retail presence with nearly 400 brick-and-mortar stores, and it wants e-commerce to complement that influence);
- grow traffic, both online and in-store;
- increase customer and prospect engagement via relevant content; and
- define "mom" through streamlined data gathering processes.
Helping Carter's to accomplish this is IBM's enterprise marketing management (EMM) solutions. The retailer's unique requirements — it needs custom reporting for its two brands, Carter's and OshKosh B'gosh, and a platform that's scalable since it's e-commerce business is growing at such a rapid pace — made EMM the right solution, said Lahue.
Analytical Insights Lead to Initiatives
Carter's learned from analytics reports that the company's best customers were shopping both its brands, Carter's and OshKosh B'gosh. This was contrary to how the retailer set up its website, noted Langan. So changes were made. Now the two brands share one shopping cart page. Other integrations between the two brands include cross-branding via links to the other site, as well as on-site search functionality that crosses brands.
Furthermore, web analytics revealed to Carter's that there was strong international demand for its products, despite the fact that the retailer wasn't shipping its products overseas at the time. This finding led to the retailer to create an international shipping program (it now ships its products to 80 countries). Plans are in the works to test in-country marketing programs (e.g., paid search, display ads) in some of these international markets, said Lahue.