As more retailers cite online comparison shopping as an ongoing threat, effective promotions and marketing strategies that combat this challenge are becoming paramount to success. Cutting-edge retailers are differentiating themselves from competitors with personalization, segmentation and other compelling strategies that create enriching yet relevant brand experiences for target customers across channels.
However, to maximize the value of these efforts, retailers must have the resources and ability to test multiple, even dozens, of strategies simultaneously to ensure they leverage the best combination of campaign components.
L’Occitane, a high-end beauty products retailer, more effectively tests web site and email messaging, offers, images and other content, with help from the Agility Suite, a testing and personalization solutions toolbox from Monetate. Additionally, the brand is increasing purchases and loyalty by segmenting visitors and customizing e-Commerce experiences based on consumers’ overall level of engagement and “their unique journey and relationship with the brand,” Matt Kritzer, Director of e-Commerce for L’Occitane, told Retail TouchPoints.
“Our goal is to transform the web site and create an effective introduction to the L’Occitane brand for new customers,” Kritzer said. “We also want to create a brand experience that is unique and memorable for our frequent shoppers.”
Retailers attempting to create a web design concept for both parties “usually end up with the least common denominator,” noted Kritzer, “which leads to experiences that are just satisfactory, not special.”
To drive more revenue among new and returning customers on its e-Commerce site, L’Occitane is testing a variety of personalization techniques for different customer segments, running up to 75 different campaigns at one time, according to Kritzer. “Testing and targeting both are key to the L’Occitane online experience,” he said. “We’re focused on personalization to make the web site itself as relevant as possible to specific users.”
Following is a snapshot of the Agility Suite techniques L’Occitane has implemented, and the effectiveness of each:
- Targeting new customers with a lightbox and inviting them to share their email addresses in exchange for special offers helped L’Occitane increase conversions 37% during the 2011 holiday season.
- Moving the add-to-cart button and product price above the fold on product detail pages led to a 1.53% boost in the add-to-cart rate and improved average order value 3%.
- Placing a “Best Seller” badge on products resulted in a 3.1% conversion increase and a 4.9% lift in customer acquisition.
- Adding a “Limited Edition” badge on a selection of L’Occitane products encouraged a 13.8% jump in customer acquisition.
In addition, the L’Occitane email program also is driving substantial revenue for the brand ― again as a result of the Agility Suite testing and personalization solutions, Kritzer added. To create a more consistent journey from a customer’s email to the site, L’Occitane tailors web content, images and offers based on the email subscriber. “We never thought that ensuring consistency between email and the web site would make much of a difference,” he said, “but it definitely has had a tremendous impact on overall sales and conversions.”
Since implementing solutions from Monetate in 2010, L’Occitane has seen “great ROI behind all the testing we’ve done and the general best practices we’ve developed,” Kritzer noted. “It’s all about making the web site a more effective sales tool.”
Connecting The Dots Between Online Marketing And Brick-And-Mortar Purchases
With the web site acting as a top customer acquisition tool, L’Occitane relies on compelling calls to action and other strategies to better connect the dots between online browsing and researching, and in-store purchases.
“We always try to encourage online-to-offline pushes from the web site, mainly because the brick-and-mortar store provides the strongest brand experience,” Kritzer said. “In the physical stores, shoppers can try products and receive expert advice from store associates, while the web site helps pique consumer interest and educate shoppers on the brand and product offerings. In terms of how we generate relationships with our customers, we truly are a cross-channel brand.”
Location-based services ― including a geotargeting feature that notifies shoppers of the three closest retail stores within a 45-mile radius of their IP addresses ― allow L’Occitane to better connect the web site to the brick-and-mortar store. The retailer also encourages shoppers to opt-in to social sign-ins on the web site to receive special offers only redeemable in stores. These strategies will increase likelihood that consumers will make a purchase, reported Kritzer.
“When shoppers visit our web site, our goal is to capture them as prospects,” Kritzer said. “We’re not trying to convert people on the first visit, because we fully understand that a relationship needs to build through communication and education. Email efforts and social media strategies allow us to fulfill that relationship.”