April 15, 2010, 12:00 AM

New personalization technology shines for Sun & Ski

Because most of its customers shop its web site only two or three times a year, Sun & Ski uses personalization technology based on the viewing patterns of all of its visitors. In the past year, the technology has boosted conversion rates by nearly half.

 

Because most of its customers shop its web site only two or three times a year, Sun & Ski uses personalization and recommendations technology based on the viewing patterns of all of its visitors. In the past year, the technology has boosted conversion rates by nearly half, director of e-commerce and interactive marketing Scott Blair says.

 

“In the last 12 months, we’ve seen a 44% increase in conversion rate for those visitors who clicked our product recommendations,” Blair says. “And a 28% increase in average order value.”

Sun & Ski, a multichannel retailer owned and operated by Retail Concepts Inc., has deployed personalization technology from Baynote Inc. “We went with Baynote instead of a system designed more for one-to-one personalization because most of our customers visit a few times a year, so it’s hard to recommend products based only on their shopping behavior,” Blair says. “Baynote takes the viewing patterns of all visitors coming to our site.”

He adds that Baynote’s technology tracks and compiles information on each visitor’s entire browsing activity to get a comprehensive look at the interests revealed by Sun & Ski’s entire community of shoppers. “It looks at more than just site searches and purchases,” he says. “It tracks when visitors highlight content with their mouse, when they scroll up and down on a page, and how much time they spend on each page.”

 

Blair also uses the Baynote system to adjust the appearance of recommended content, such as new items the retailer wants to move quickly at a good margin. “If we have a new hot item, we’ll bump up its ranking in recommendations to make it more visible,” Blair says.

 

But if a hot-selling product is nearly out of stock, he’ll take the opposite approach, he adds. “If a popular shoe is sold out except for size 4.5, I can tell the Baynote system to not recommend it until we get in more stock,” he says.

 

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