Furniture and home décor are typically high consideration purchases, so digital retailers have to work harder to make shoppers comfortable while they are browsing for a sofa online. One retailer is turning to AI to personalize the online buying experience and give shoppers the recommendations they need to make confident buying decisions. Industry West has seen a 15% increase in average order value (AOV) and an 8.1% increase in revenue after introducing AI-powered content personalization for both desktop and mobile visitors.
As much as 25% of the retailer’s e-Commerce sales come through onsite personalized content such as special offers, product recommendations, site banners and hero images. Using Onsite Content Personalization technology from Nosto, Industry West can display personalized product recommendations and automatically customize onsite content to match the needs of individual visitors and different audience segments in real time.
“Our vertical has very high cost of acquisition and it’s just getting more expensive as the days go by,” said Jordan England, CEO and Co-Founder of Industry West in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “When we started 10 years ago, we were one of the very few pure play e-Commerce furniture companies, so we understood that once we did acquire new customers that we made sure to get more lifetime value out of that customer. For us, it was important to target if shoppers had purchased in the past from a certain geographic location and recommend the add-ons that other people had purchased.”
Personalized Recommendations On Product Pages, At Point of Purchase And Even On 404 Error Pages
No matter where a shopper is on the site, the content displayed is what’s most relevant to them or is designed to help them pick up where they left off. For example, repeat visitors who haven’t made a purchase are presented with personalized “continue browsing” recommendations based on their past browsing history. As they are move further in the consideration stage of the buying process, the content they see becomes more product-specific to guide them towards an informed purchase.
The retailer displays personalized product recommendations in various scenarios, including:
- On product description pages (PDPs), where cross-sell and related product recommendations are shown to help the shopper compare options and find the best fit for them;
- On a 404 error page, where the site displays the browsing history-based recommendations to help resume the shopping session;
- Within category pages, where the site displays best sellers specific to the product category; and
- At the point of purchase, where the site recommends complementary and lower-ticket products to the shopper under the headline “customers who bought these also bought,” along with the item they are ready to purchase.
Similarly, onsite content automatically changes to encourage future purchases from returning customers, with hero and top banners presenting discounts and “quick ship” options for relevant product recommendations.
“If they’re living in New York and they’re looking at these products on the fifth visit to the web site, we can recommend things that are in stock at this time, with a certain promo code that might be geared towards free shipping and that we know has a higher probability of resulting in a purchase,” England said.
DTC, B2B Audiences Cross Paths
Segmentation remains a pivotal part of the company’s strategy regardless of the intended audience. England noted that while Industry West is a DTC brand in the retail space, 79% of its revenue comes from commercial contracts with other businesses. But through its segmentation process, the team learned that some consumers actually bought as both regular shoppers and business consumers.
“The customers are very similar,” England said. “We spend a lot of time trying to divide these customers out and segment them around their intended use, but what we found is that often, buyers are the same person across DTC and B2B. We’ll specify hotel projects, and two weeks later, the same customer from those companies will be purchasing the same products they used for the hotel for their home or as a gift.”
Personalization Data Assists Curation Process In New York Store
The Industry West team also has leveraged data from the Nosto platform to curate products within its New York studio, which opened in March 2019. In future, England hopes that the data gathered can help the retailer make better predictive decisions around product catalog assortments. As “AI just keeps getting better and better,” England insists that the tools may be used down the line to predict which products will sell more in different markets.