Expanding without alienation
Blogged on behalf of T.J. Gentle
In 2011, we at set out to expand our offerings. Traditionally, we served a market seeking high-end modern furniture, but we wanted to expand into the casual and traditional markets to appeal to a larger audience. Simply adding hundreds of new items across multiple different styles wouldn’t do however; we had to find a way to add new items without sending our existing customers away.
We needed to lead each customer to the correct items at the correct time, personalizing SmartFurniture.com to aid in their search. We searched for an application to fit our needs, but no third parties could provide functionality beyond the “wisdom of crowds” approach. It became clear that a custom application would have to be developed to allow for human intuition and the knowledge of our sales team to be incorporated in the process. SmartProfile was created for this purpose.
Developing SmartProfile was a three-step process. To begin, we built customer profiles that took into account data points relevant to a broad spectrum of personality traits. Secondly, we created product attributes for each of our offerings in order to structure product knowledge in a way that could be ranked and optimized. Lastly, we created a series of algorithms allowing data from the customer profiles and product attributes to work together. These steps have served as the foundation for SmartProfile in order to prescribe a personalized experience for each user based on their preferences.
The journey to prescriptive personalization has proven incredibly beneficial for both our company and our customers. Shoppers have an easier time finding products that fit their needs, and therefore they have a more pleasant shopping experience. From a sales standpoint, using SmartProfile has increased conversions dramatically. For example, the average revenue per visit from a SmartProfile user is 22.9 times that of typical shoppers, and they convert twenty times more often than shoppers who skip the 10-question quiz.
For our company, creating our own personalization application has been an incredibly successful and worthwhile endeavor.
If you are looking to develop a proprietary application to personalize your own site, I can offer this advice: due to the time and cost associated with app development, be sure that you are doing so to support your business goals, not simply to be a part of the next big thing. SmartProfile was created for a purpose: to utilize our knowledge in a way that enhances the customer experience. If you’re just looking to make visitors convert, there are probably easier ways to do so.
T. J. Gentle is the President & CEO of SmartFurniture.com, joined us to answer some questions about SmartProfile and the importance of personalization.
Download the eBook now to find out more about:
- How did to go about creating the concept for SmartProfile?
- What benefits has SmartFurniture.com seen since the implementation of SmartProfile?
- What separates SmartProfile from other personalization platforms currently being implemented by etailers in the space today?
- What have been the opportunities and challenges associated with building your own proprietary personalization platform?
- Some advice for retailers or etailers looking to create their own personalized application: What are some key takeaways retailers should keep in mind when designing their own customization platforms?
- What is prescriptive personalization, and how does it differentiate from just regular personalization tactics?
..and much more!
Are you interested in meeting T.J Gentle? Then join him at America’s Customer Festival on September 15-16 2014, in the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.