Intelligent product recommendations increase Arcadia’s order value by 67%

Arcadia Group comprises nine well-known fashion brands, including Topshop, Topman and Dorothy Perkins. Ecommerce is one of the group’s most rapidly expanding areas. Arcadia has 900 stores in 40 countries outside the UK, and ships to 115 countries through its websites.

Personalizing a fast-moving catalogue

Prior to 2012, Arcadia’s websites displayed basic recommendations, curated by style advisors. Manually maintaining recommendations on a fast-moving catalogue of thousands of products was a challenge. Some recommendations stayed live even when the product was out of stock. Most limiting of all was the fact that the same set of recommendations was displayed to every visitor to that page — there was no personalization at all.

Topshop, Miss Selfridge, Burton and Arcadia’s other online brands needed a cost-effective, automated and intelligent recommendation solution that could keep up with their fast stock turnover. It also needed to be able to engage with highly individual consumers and deliver a significant uplift in cross-sells and up-sells.

“There is no such thing as an average Topman or Wallis customer, and when we look across all of our different brands our customers’ needs are even more diverse,” says Arcadia’s Group E-commerce Director, Simon Pritchard.

Basing recommendations on real-time behavior

Arcadia turned to Episerver’s Peerius division for a solution to deliver intelligent product recommendations and create more personal online experiences. The group deployed Episerver Perform across its websites, which analyzes real-time visitor behavior to deliver unique recommendations.

The solution enables retailers to use their creativity in choosing where to place recommendations. For example, recommendations can be placed on the product detail page to support cross-sell and up-sell opportunities, or in the checkout to encourage impulse buys.

Recommendations can also be used on basket pages, where the solution analyzes the products there in order to recommend additional purchases based on a variety of factors. These factors could include pre-configured clothing collections and different price ranges. Recommendations can also be sent in customer emails, based on real-time stock levels.

Delivering real commercial value

Episerver Perform has proved a big hit since its launch across Arcadia’s websites. Average order value has increased by 67%, and average units per order have increased by 66%. The solution alone has driven 7% of Arcadia’s online sales.

Each Arcadia brand has been able to simply plug in the solution and leave it to run, or tailor recommendations to very specific retail parameters. A number of the brands have extended this customization to factor in where visitors are located, as well as tailoring recommendations to seasonal and climatic factors.

“With Episerver Perform we’ve found a technology that can engage every individual with unique recommendations and deliver real commercial value,”says Pritchard. “It is sufficiently flexible and scalable to grow with our brands as we build our ecommerce business across mobile, multichannel, and international markets.”