June 15, 2012, 2:51 PM

Brooks Brothers spices up product pages with ‘badges’

The marketing labels can tell shoppers if items are new or made in the U.S.

Lead Photo

An old-fashioned American sales tactic—putting the U.S. flag alongside a product—can still spark purchases in the digital age, at least according to recent experience at Brooks Brothers.

The apparel merchant, No. 156 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, last fall began testing what it calls product badges, says Cindy Lincks, director of analytics at Brooks Brothers.

The small images advertise such attributes as “New Arrival,” “Collegiate,” and “Made in America,” and appear on product pages—a “Made in America” badge, complete with the flag image, might appear below an image of a tie and its text product description, for instance.

The retailer uses Monetate Inc.’s JavaScriptExpressTag technology to put the badges on its e-commerce site. The cost of the badges is included in the flat rate the retailer pays to the online testing technology provider; Lincks would not provide further details about those costs. To deploy the badges, the retailer tells Monetate what items should carry the descriptions; after that happens, the image can appear within minutes, Lincks says. 

Brooks Brothers so far has tested at least five badges, which collectively appear with about 5% of the retailer’s products, Lincks says. She adds that she expects that up to 25% of products will carry some kind of badge in time for the holiday shopping season; a badge might indicate a product that is featured in Brooks Brothers’ gift guide.

In the tests, badges have resulted in conversion rates up to 26% higher than for pages without the marketing information on them, the retailer says without being more specific. Revenue per visit increased by as much as 34%, while the add-to-cart rate has increased by about 5%.

The “Made in America” badge has outperformed the other ones by a significant margin, Lincks says. “’Made in America’ still has clout in the marketplace,” she says.

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