Computers and artificial intelligence have come along at an exponential rate over the past few decades, from being regarded as oversized adding machines to the point where they have played integral roles in some legitimately creative endeavours.
Strong customer data practices, an ecommerce optimisation platform and geolocation are all helping Australian retailer, Jeanswest, better personalise the digital shopping experience for its customers.
Jeanswest ecommerce project and tech development manager, Megan Scott, caught up with CMO for a progress update on the retailer’s digital efforts since embarking on a new multi-channel customer experience project and rolling out SDL’s eCommerce Optimisation and Customer Experience Platform six months ago.
Scott said the team had introduced search capabilities around size, colour, leg length and denim cut to better address how customers want to find products online. The new online capabilities also enable in-store staff to better source products across the network.
A month ago, Jeanswest began using geolocation data to determine the homepage content customers see on the site. For example, customers in the Northern Territory will be served up the retailer’s warm weather window, Scott said.
“Traditionally, we’ve had two seasons - cold and warm. This system allows us to identify customers and serve up appropriately suitable imagery,” she said.
Jeanswest’s customer loyalty program data has been brought into the ecommerce platform to further personalise what loyalty customers see once logged in. According to Scott, the majority of the retailer’s sales come from its 2.4 million members, who receive tiered discount vouchers, membership offers and shipping based on how much they spend.
“If the user is logged in with their membership, then the messaging is being personalised to them, and the shipping and discount options are specific to their status,” Scott explained. “With reward levels, all that needs to happen is for us to send through that information to the ecommerce platform. We can then set up triggers to read these pieces of information.”
To do this, Jeanswest’s Oracle Responsys CRM data is being passed into the ecommerce platform, as is a customer’s in-store purchases and transactional information from its ERP system. Jeanswest is in the process of moving to a new ERP system, based on Microsoft AX, by the end of the year.
“We’re personalising on things like a customer’s birthday information, store, left-hand navigation boxes and showing information about their vouchers,” Scott said. “We have also set up campaigns so that if you’re not subscribed to our newsletter, for example, we can show specific campaigns for opting in to subscribe.
“It’s a huge opportunity to build more engagement.”
For Scott, the next big step, and the one she’s most excited about, will be dynamically matching content and “fingerprinting the customer” based on their online behaviour, as well as targeting like-for-like customers across devices. She hopes to have this in place in the next 18-24 months.
“For example, if a prospect has hovered or added something to their wishlist, an email could be generated on that behavioural data,” Scott said. “The first step was about addressing registered users, but this is the next step.”
While Jeanswest’s customer segmentation strategy hasn’t changed, its optimisation efforts have allowed better targeting than before, Scott continued.
“Our business has always had a clear customer strategy; this is a tool to use that data and enhance that strategy,” she said. “We have very good data, and our CRM team know what they want to do and have always been clear about that. It’s easy then to pull out the birthday information, or subscriber status, or things like email bounces.
“This kind of engagement isn’t difficult once you have that decision and clear data strategy in place.
“You need to look at the end game and things you want to do – what are you targeting customers for, what are the triggers for campaigns. It’s about having that focus on the results you want.”
Scott said Jeanswest had received good feedback from customers, and reported consumers spending more time on the site. The retailer has formerly stated that it hopes to see a 50 per cent improvement in online conversion rates in the first 12 months. Prior to launch, digital represented between 5-10 per cent of total sales.
The insights being captured through Jeanswest’s new ecommerce platform are also starting to inform online content delivery as well as wider product strategy. As an example, Scott had found online consumers searching its site for Wrangler, a premium jeans brand.
“Previously, we would have shown a zero search result as we don’t stock third-party brands. Now we showcase our premium lines,” she said. “We’re also looking for other trends and product opportunities based on what people search for, whether it be extra-short jeans or searching for summer gear a month earlier than expected. We then take that data back to the business.”
Scott said it’s vital in the digital game to be able to dynamically merchandise products based on a customer’s behaviour and preferences.
“The success is in the campaigns, customers interacting with the site, and having that ability to personalise,” she added.
Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu