May 8, 2008, 12:00 AM

FootSmart.com brings its customers back with behavioral targeting

With marketing offers based on customers’ shopping behavior, FootSmart.com is finding new ways to bring back shoppers who left without completing a sale. The tactic has helped boost conversion rates 15%, the retailer says.

One way an online retailer can build customer loyalty is by using behavioral targeting to figure out new ways to entice web shoppers back once they’ve prematurely left the site.

At Benchmark Brands Inc., which owns and operates FootSmart.com, the company is using behavioral targeting to improve customer loyalty and to increase its sales conversion rate by 15% in the past year, says CEO Alan Beychok.

Benchmark, No. 87 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, is working with Dotomi Inc., a Chicago-based provider of behavioral targeting applications, to figure out why customers leave FootSmart.com before completing a transaction and then figuring out new ways to bring them back.

With behavioral targeting, a set of software tools and analytics that online retailers can use to tailor web ads based on a consumer’s online behavior, Benchmark can do a better job of tracking other web sites FootSmart.com shoppers visit, the products they research and if they are making a purchase. “We can use behavioral targeting to increase site traffic and keep our loyal customers coming back,” says Beychok. “If they left our site and go to CNN.com to read the news we can serve them up an ad that may entice them back to our site. We can also use their behavior to create custom e-mail campaigns and profiles that target the items returning shoppers want.”

Benchmark isn’t breaking out many specifics for its behavioral targeting program. But targeting shoppers in ways that generate more repeat business helped FootSmart.com grow e-commerce sales by 46% in the first quarter to about $21 million from $14.4 million in the prior year, Beychok says.

Behavioral targeting also has helped Benchmark reduce its shopping cart abandonment rate and create more detailed customer profiles. “We can use behavioral targeting to figure out how to get both new and loyal shoppers back and convert the sale,” says Beychok.

 

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