July 28, 2011, 10:15 AM

Personalized product recommendations bring gains to The Container Store

Since adding the feature the retailer has boosted its average order values.

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Offering online shoppers personalized product recommendations has helped The Container Store Inc. boost its average order values and e-mail open rates.

The multichannel retailer, No. 308 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, gives shoppers at its e-commerce site product recommendations meant to complement merchandise that the consumer has either browsed or ordered. Those recommendations appear on product detail pages, web site shopping carts and order confirmation pages, along with the weekly e-mails the retailer sends to consumers.

The Container Store began using recommendations technology from MyBuys Inc. in 2009—including personalization algorithms that determine what products to recommend—after finding that creating manual recommendations was too tedious. “We had limited data from which to create recommendations and most of it was based on offline sales,” says director of direct marketing Catherine Davis.

The retailer says that online shoppers who click on a recommendation spend, on average, 30% more than other customers. Moreover, open rates for e-mails with personalized product recommendations are two times higher than for the retailer’s other e-mail marketing messages. “We expect this program to grow over time as we capture more customer e-mail addresses,” Davis says.

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