October 21, 2010, 9:42 AM

How Musicademy.com used predictive analytics to boost its conversion rates

Working with PredictiveIntent, the retailer seeks to present site visitors with tailored content.

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Musicademy.com, a U.K. online retailer that sells instructional products related to worship music, caters to musicians at all skill levels.

The retailer had been manually associating products with the sites’ blog entries and manually entering items into the site’s “Related items” and “Best sellers” features. As a result, it was uncertain that the site’s visitors were presented with the most relevant information and products. That manual process was having a significant effect on the site’s conversion rates, says Musicademy.

To help shoppers find what they were looking for, the retailer hired personalization technology vendor PredictiveIntent to adapt its content and products based on a given visitor’s behavior. The service works by calculating what a shopper is interested in based on information such as what keyword the visitor uses to initially arrive on the site and what blog posts he reads on the site.

PredictiveIntent also built widgets that took over the manual recommendation and suggestion process, and added a plug-in to its WordPress blog platform to display products relevant to a particular posting from the retailer’s e-commerce store.

The changes allow the retailer to display content based on user’s interactions with the site. For instance, a shopper who buys a beginner bass guitar DVD is identified in the site’s system as a visitor interested in “bass guitar” and as a “beginner.” On his next visit to the site Musicademy will present him with “bass guitar” products designed for “beginners.”

“Without PredictiveIntent’s suggestion software we were often presenting customers with products and blog posts irrelevant to them,” says Marie Page, Musicademy director. For instance, the retailer might present a beginner bass guitar player with advanced drumming products and tutorials.

Musicademy says about 47% of its conversions are attributable to PredictiveIntent’s personalized recommendations. Moreover, PredictiveIntent’s technology has eliminated the need for the retailer to manually enter recommendations and suggestions, saving the equivalent of two full days of an employee’s time per month.

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