July 29, 2010, 8:01 AM

Adding personalized recommendations boosts Build.com’s conversion rates 23.1%

The site’s average order value increased more than 9% as well.

Lead Photo

Brandon Proctor, Build.com vice president of marketing

Within a month of adding personalized recommendations for similar and complementary products to its product pages, Build.com improved its conversion rate by 23.1%.

Before adding the personalization application, the multiple web site retailer of home improvement products manually suggested additional items for purchase on product pages. The process was tedious and required constant updating, says Brandon Proctor, vice president of marketing for Build.com, No. 97 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. “The products we wanted to suggest as a value-add were always changing and there was no way to keep up,” he says.

Working with analytics vendor Omniture, part of Adobe Systems Inc., Build.com added Omniture Recommendations to its site. The offering uses algorithms to analyze visitor data to deliver relevant content to consumers based on what other consumers have viewed, searched and purchased.

The application allows Build.com to segment visitors based on the referring traffic source. For instance, if a consumer arrives on the site after doing a search for “faucet” the program’s recommendations automatically generate similar faucet recommendations, as well as complementary items based on what other visitors with the same keyword search looked at or bought.

Since launching the application last September the site’s conversion rate has increased 23.1% and its average order value is up 9.0% year over year.

The success of the program has led Build.com to extend its personalized recommendations to its category pages, home page and marketing e-mails. Each has produced significant results—for instance, since adding customized recommendations to its e-mails, conversions have risen by triple digits, says Proctor.

“It’s a fantastic way to drive incremental sales,” he says. “Often the customer didn’t even know these similar or alternative products existed, so we’re curating our product catalog for them in a more relevant and personalized way.”

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