September 3, 2009, 12:00 AM

Ace Mart scores a winning hand with new product recommendations system

Ace Mart, a multichannel retailer of restaurant supplies, started serving up recommendations to help it do a better job cross-selling online. Consumers who browse the recommended items convert 400% more often than shoppers who don’t, the company says.

 

Multichannel retailer Ace Mart Restaurant Supply Co. recently started serving up recommendations to help it do a better job cross-selling on its e-commerce site. The system is working, the company says. Consumers who browse the recommended items are converting 400% more than shoppers who don’t.

 

The system, called Intelligent Offering from recommendations vendor Coremetrics, also boosted average order value. Shoppers who browse recommended goods have 23% higher average order value. The combined higher order value and conversions resulted in an 8% increase in sales, the company says.

“The financial impact far exceeded our expectations, and senior management is delighted with the results,” says Bonny Russell, e-commerce marketing analyst at Ace Mart. “In the first 30 days we doubled our cross-sell revenue and the contribution to the bottom line is unmistakable. Because the process is fully automated, we’re maintaining higher cross-sell revenues month after month with no extra effort on our part.”

 

Before using Coremetics, Ace manually selected items to cross-sell, and recommendations appeared for only about 15% of Ace’s products. The new automatic system enables Ace to offer recommendations for every product. The Coremetrics system keeps cross-sells current and based on changing customer interests, new products and seasons. Additionally, Ace Mart employees can fine-tune settings on their own.

“The key to increasing revenues is to get qualified people to your site and keep them there,” says Jeff Schmidt, senior vice president of worldwide sales and services for Coremetrics. “Intelligent Offer encourages people to explore other items, clicking effortlessly from one product page to another. The more they browse, the more likely they are to add items to their carts and to complete their orders.”

Coremetrics offers online marketing services for such e-retailers as Office Depot Inc., Macy’s Inc. and Staples Inc.

Ace Mart also operates 14 stores in Texas.

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