Ecommerce first for personal touch from Shop Direct

In a retail first, Shop Direct takes a “major step” towards creating the world’s most personalised digital store.

The Merseyside group has added functions to offer customers of a fully personalised homepage, and believe that these initiatives could add more than £20m in sales during this financial year alone.

Shop Direct group chief executive Alex Baldock explained:

“We know that relevance wins in retail and right now customers are drowning in a sea of irrelevant choices.”

“We’re making it easier for them to shop by tailoring our websites for them. This is the digital equivalent of Selfridges laying out their Oxford Street store for each shopper.

“We’ve set ourselves an ambitious target to build the world’s best personalised shopping experience – this is a major step towards that goal.”

Shop Direct hope to achieve all of this through harnessing customer data. Its team of “data scientists” have developed a suite of algorithms, allowing them to predict customer behaviours and optimise each individual’s home page with targeted brands, products and offers.

The Group says that the algorithm produces “200m promotion affinity scores, which rank the relevance of offers for each customer.”

From this, 1.2m versions of the website can be produced and they aim to increase this to 3.5m by the end of the year.

The homepages are just the first part of its push into personalisation, which form a key part of Shop Direct’s growth strategy.

Tailored navigation already exists, so that customers who regularly search sites for items in a particular category will have that option at the far left of the navigation panel.

The initiatives follow the opening of an in-house customer experience lab at its headquarters in Speke last May.



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