December 7, 2007, 12:00 AM

Personalized e-mail nearly doubles conversion at apparel retailer Karmaloop

The younger consumers who buy Karmaloop’s “streetwear” clothing want to be the first with the latest products. With recommendation technology from MyBuys, Karmaloop delivers to customers the early word on the clothes they crave.

Don Davis

Editor in Chief

 

The younger consumers who mainly buy Karmaloop’s “streetwear” clothing want to be the first to have the latest product from their favorite brand, says Anand Shah, chief operating officer at the apparel retailer. With recommendation technology from MyBuys Inc., Karmaloop makes sure customers get the early word on the clothes they crave.

For the past several months Karmaloop has been using MyBuys technology to trigger e-mails to consumers, based on the brands they prefer and the categories that interest them. “The mindset of our demographic is very brand-driven,” Shah says. “If you’re interested in Adidas, anything to do with Adidas would trigger an e-mail.” The result, he says, is a conversion rate from the personalized e-mail that’s nearly twice the rate of previous e-mail marketing campaigns.

More recently, MyBuys has started providing personalized recommendations on the right side of pages on Karmaloop.com. The recommendations are based on the previous browsing behavior of the customer, and the choices become more accurate the more often the consumer visits the site, Shah says. While it’s too early to quantify results, he says focus groups suggest the recommendations are quite accurate.

Karmaloop operates one store in Boston, but generates 99% of its revenue online, Shah says. The privately held company does not disclose its revenue.

Shah says he plans to make more use of MyBuys technology next year, for instance customizing the pages a consumer sees by their location. “If someone is coming to the site from Canada, we can show a promotion that says all Canadian shoppers get free shipping,” Shah says.

Shah says he’s convinced personalized offers generate more sales, lending credence to results from a survey Harris Interactive conducted recently for Redwood City, CA-based MyBuys. 60% of respondents said they would be more likely to shop with a retailer that offers recommendations based on their interests and past purchases, and 65% said they would like retailers to offer personalization, such as e-mail alerts when products or brands they like arrive or go on sale.

The survey suggests most retailers are not yet offering that level of personalization. While 76% of respondents said they have received product recommendations when shopping online, 62% said those recommendations are rarely personalized to their tastes.

The online survey of 2,480 adults who shop via the web was conducted Nov. 1-5.

 

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