How Carter's is Using Personalization to Drive Sales
Carter's also learned from analytics reports that it had an abandonment problem on its checkout page, particularly when visitors reached the billing section. The retailer has addresses the problem, narrowing its checkout down to one page. The result: abandons are down and Carter's is capturing more sessions that start on the checkout page.
Automation Yields Sales Gains
Carter's had a product recommendation solution on its website previously, but it was handled by its merchants manually in real time. It was a time-consuming process and it wasn't terribly effective. Carter's is now using IBM's Product Recommendations engine to automate personalized product recommendations across its digital channels (website, mobile, email).
Pop-up product recommendation displays of "Moms who viewed this also viewed these" and "Moms who bought this also bought these" are now found on Carter's product detail pages. The technology is being rolled out to the site's category landing pages and shopping cart page as well, Lahue said. Product recommendations now account for nearly 15 percent of Carter's online sales, with up to 9 percent coming from recommendations on product detail pages and 5 percent via "add to cart" pop-ups.
Carter's email program has also leveraged automation to its benefit. The retailer has implemented a trigger program that sends automated emails to opted-in subscribers when certain behaviors are exhibited on its website. Those triggers include signing up for the company's email program, abandoning a shopping cart (two emails are sent in this case: a first email is sent one day after the abandonment and a second email is sent five days after the abandonment if a conversion hasn't occurred in the meantime), abandoning the site after browsing for a certain amount of time, writing a customer review, and completing a transaction.
The trigger email program has proven very effective for Carter's. Email drives 10 percent of Carter's brick-and-mortar sales, 20 percent of its total web sales and 35 percent of its total web traffic. In particular, shopping cart abandonment trigger emails have been a major win for the retailer. They account for 50 percent of all the sales generated by Carter's triggered email program. The cart abandonment email that's sent one day after the event averages a 38 percent open rate and a 12 percent conversion rate. To put that into perspective, that conversion rate is a 500 percent increase vs. Carter's average campaign emails, said Langan.