Arcadia fashions a 67% jump in order value with personalised product recommendations

Background
Arcadia is a modern, fast-moving business comprising nine of the high street’s best-known and most exciting fashion brands, including Topshop, Topman and Dorothy Perkins.

E-commerce is one of the most rapidly expanding areas of the Group.  Arcadia is constantly developing its online channels in order to deliver an excellent service to its customers.

Arcadia has been working with Peerius to deliver intelligent product recommendations to create a more personal online experience. It’s a partnership that is having a positive impact on both the customer experience and the bottom line.

Challenge
When buying clothing in a well laid-out store, a customer can quickly find what they’re looking for and spot the perfect accessory. Or they can ask staff to suggest a whole look that’s tailored to their tastes and trends.

Re-creating this experience online remains challenging, with retailers looking to a range of product recommendation solutions to better engage customers. Prior to 2012, Arcadia’s websites displayed basic recommendations, curated by style advisors. Manually maintaining recommendations on a fast-moving catalogue of thousands of products is a challenge. Some recommendations stayed live even when the product was out of stock. Most limiting of all was the fact that the same set of recommendations was displayed to every visitor to that page — there was no personalisation at all.

Topshop, Miss Selfridge, Burton and Arcadia’s other online brands needed a cost-effective, automated and intelligent recommendation solution that could keep up with fast and furious stock turnover, engage with highly individual consumers and deliver a significant uplift in cross- and up-sells.

Solution
Peerius SMART-recs technology has now been adopted across the Arcadia Group websites. SMART-recs is different because it doesn’t slavishly follow what the customer has previously looked at and bought, or what others have bought in similar circumstances. Instead it focuses on the individual by examining their unique behaviour on the site.

SMART-recs allows the retailer to apply its creativity in choosing where on their site to place recommendations:

  • product detail page for product discovery and cross-sell and up-sell opportunities;
  • the checkout for impulse buys;
  • basket pages, where SMART-recs can interpret the mix of products the customer has chosen to recommend additions based on a variety of factors, including pre-configured clothing collections and price ranges; and
  • across the full range of customer emails.

With automated ingestion of real-time stock levels, Peerius also ensures that the products it recommends are always available, reducing barriers to conversion so that every customer is satisfied.

Results
The use of Peerius intelligent technology, which is designed specifically to engage consumers, has proved a big hit since its launch across Arcadia’s websites. For 2012:

  • average order value increased by 67 per cent;
  • average units per order leapt by 66 per cent; and
  • 7 per cent of Arcadia’s online sales were driven by Peerius alone.

Critically, Peerius also combines complete ease-of-use with high levels of customisation. Each Arcadia brand can simply plug the solution in and leave it to run, or tailor recommendations to very specific retail parameters. A number of the brands have extended this customisation to include where in the world web visitors are located as well as tailoring recommendations to seasonal and climatic factors.

Arcadia’s Group E-commerce Director, Simon Pritchard, said: “There is no such thing as an average Topman or Wallis customer; when we look across all of our different brands our customers’ needs are even more diverse. But in Peerius we’ve found a technology that can engage every individual with unique recommendations, deliver real commercial value, and that is sufficiently flexible and scalable to grow with our brands as we build out e-commerce business across mobile, multi-channel, and international markets.”

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