COPENHAGEN: Small moves towards personalisation based on big groups of consumers rather than audiences of one have proved highly effective for UK fashion retailer Topman.

Gareth Rees-John, Global Digital Director at the Arcadia-owned retailer, discussed this topic at the recent Shoptalk Europe Conference in Copenhagen, where he explained how the brand’s particular take on personalisation is leading to significant increases in conversions.

One simple step has been to add a “toggle” on the brand’s website that invites students to show all prices on the site at a discounted student rate of 10% off.

Topman can identify because they have to produce a student card to get the discount. This move has resulted in a huge uplift in sales to students, which used to account for 38% of the total, but are now at 50%.

“It’s a personalised journey that feels quite natural,” Rees-John said. (For more details, read WARC’s report: Personalisation at scale: what Levi’s, Lyst and Topman are doing.)

“It’s not like we’re forcing a relationship on them. We’re saying, ‘hey, we know you want to pay a bit less, here’s the toggle’.”

A second broad-brush approach to personalisation lies in geo-location, as the brand develops a deeper understanding of which categories and products sell best in different parts of the country.

The site is being adapted to detect where people are and show them the items most likely to appeal.

“We look for trends in the data on what is purchased where,” Rees-John said. “It’s very stereotypical but it came out of the data that we don’t sell as many coats in Newcastle … and in London we sell loads of coats.”

Topman is also experimenting with AI-powered conversion optimisation tools that present shoppers with targeted messages at key moments in their decision-making.

Serving the right message at the right time is delivering conversion uplift of between 3 and 5 per cent, Rees-John reported.

“I’m not trying to do anything huge,” he said. “It’s about nudging people along, like a sales associate does in a store.”

Sourced from WARC