November 29, 2011, 4:14 PM

Data-driven fun uses customer input to lead site changes.

Allison Enright


Lead Photo sells fun and educational toys, and it uses its customers’ gray matter to fine-tune its merchandising. FatBrainToys mines data from product reviews and customer requests to create the site’s merchandising tools. Consumers can use the site’s Gift Wizard to search according to the recipient’s gender, age and interest, and by price and country of origin. Product pages include a Toy Value Index and Toy IQ ratings, which incorporate customer review data. Pages also include a visual review cloud of words most commonly cited in customers’ reviews. “We work hard to find the toy-specific things that really separate us from other, bigger players,” CEO Mark Carson says. In an American Express contest this summer, the retailer won a two-day Facebook training session in social media marketing.


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