Case Study: Chinaberry Uses Personalized Product Recommendations to Boost Revenues
PROBLEM: Chinaberry, a cross-channel retailer of children's books, craft kits, toys and games, wanted to increase its online conversion rates.
SOLUTION: Partnered with a provider of personalized product recommendations (PPRs) for online retailers.
RESULTS: Overall site conversion for the Isabella brand website jumped from 4.7 percent in November 2008 without PPRs to 6.8 percent in November 2009 with PPRs. Personalized email alerts have drawn higher open rates and more than doubled conversion rates compared to the company's unpersonalized monthly email, with average order size for the PPR alerts roughly $5 more.
PPRs topped a laundry list of functionalities that Spring Valley, Calif.-based retailer Chinaberry wanted to incorporate into its e-commerce site and email communications. After all, PPRs create more relevant interactions with consumers, a must for today's marketers. So in October 2009, in conjunction with MyBuys — a provider of PPRs for online retailers — Chinaberry rolled out PPRs on its inspirational gifts, books and music brand Isabella's website. (As of press time, PPRs on the Chinaberry brand website were still a few weeks away.)
Visitors to the Isabella website are presented with PPRs while browsing product pages, at the checkout page, in purchase confirmation emails and in weekly email alerts generated by behavioral triggers (e.g., abandoning products in a shopping cart). The recommendations are based on customer profiles developed from browsing and buying histories. The more times consumers visit the Isabella website, the more refined the profiles become and the more relevant the PPRs.
As privacy issues continue to be a thorn in the side of many online retailers, PPRs would seem to be cause for concern, right? Not so according to a recent survey MyBuys conducted with e-commerce consulting firm the e-tailing group. Seventy-six percent of shoppers want retailers to know them, remember them and make recommendations. And they expect retailers to do so, the survey revealed. Chinaberry is no exception.