February 1, 2011, 2:35 PM

Get to know the customer

A close review of multiple data sources can paint a new picture of shopper behavior.

Bill Briggs

Senior Editor

Lead Photo


What e-retailers think they know about their customer base may be incomplete, and the data about who is buying might be surprising, says Jenn McClain, director of e-commerce marketing at Chico’s FAS  Inc., a multichannel retailer of women’s apparel and accessories.

McClain, who will speak at Internet Retailer’s Conference & Exhibition 2011  in San Diego on June 15 from 3:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in an advanced web marketing session titled “Discovering, defining and reaching hidden market segments,” says shopper behavior data gleaned from both internal and external sources can be a better predictor of buying women’s apparel than shopping for accessories or shoes.

“At this session I will explain how Akamai has helped us build awareness for two of our brands, and drive transactions for our flagship brand, Chico’s,” McClain says. ”This has been made possible by taking advantage of shopping data on both our customers and customers across hundreds of other e-commerce sites, and how that data can be used to understand who a shopper is and what that shopper is likely to buy.” 

Such data often uncovers a mix of obvious and counterintuitive details about who is shopping on Chicos.com, and McClain will share insights on how the retailer has fine-tuned its overall marketing approach using that data.

McClain will be joined at the session by Pedro Santos, chief strategist, e-commerce, at Akamai Technologies, which operates a global network of servers that speeds the delivery of web site content.

Session attendees will learn about marketing to shoppers at various stages of the purchase funnel, McClain says, and “how shopping data both describes people and predicts what they are likely to buy, and best practices on how to drive awareness and transactions for e-commerce sites.”

Internet Retailer’s editors asked McClain to speak because she is responsible for all of the online marketing programs that drive traffic to Chicos.com, WhiteHouseBlackMarket.com and Soma.com. These programs include e-mail, paid search, banner ad and display programs, mobile marketing, comparison shopping, and affiliates and partnerships. Prior to joining Chico’s, McClain held online marketing positions at Ann Taylor Stores Corp. and RadioShack Corp.


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