Ann Summers in personalisation push to give customers ‘their own VIP journey’

Ann Summers is giving its ecommerce offering a makeover that will see it create much more personal and convenient interactions between consumers and the brand.

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Ann Summers wants to create more personalised journeys for online customers.

The lingerie business is trying to create what it hopes will be a seamless brand experience tailored to specific consumers and their preferred device.

Using a combination of data points, from visitor opinion to visitor behaviour, the retailer aims to deliver personalisation in a way that impresses online visitors rather than spooks them.

The approach will evolve on the site organically over the coming months once data from smaller trials earlier this year has been collated and assessed.

For example, a recent test segmented apparel buyers alongside those who had purchased sex toys that it concluded were “shy” and served them offers on returns and discreet deliveries respectively from the homepage. It delivered an increase in conversions the business claims, while it has also run tests based on customer browsing history, gender, sexuality and lifestyle data.

More sophisticated efforts are on the way, Ann Summers promises. The site will eventually be able to detect if visitors need advice and serve promotional content accordingly or be able to react to the weather in local areas. So if it is raining in one part of the country, the business can encourage customers to stay indoors and purchase products for example, while those visiting the site somewhere else will receive a completely different message.

Matthew Gratze, head of ecommerce for Ann Summers says its bid for deeper personalisation is to be able to “treat everyone to their own VIP journey” in order to keep customers coming back to all its outlets, “whether that’s virtual or physical”. Previously, personalisation on the site came in the guise of content matched to the highest selling and recommended items to people’s searches, similar to how Amazon targets shoppers.

The customer data will inform other parts of the marketing mix, including mobile, CRM and in-store with the retailer set to explore how its online portal can woo customers in-store.

Ann Summers is working with online experience platform Qubit to deliver the strategy.

Separately, the business has been forced to deny it supports terrorism after launching a lingerie range that shares its name with an Islamic terrorist group once known as Isis. The business says the name of the collection, which is currently displayed in its store windows, was taken from the Ancient Egyptian goddess Isis.

In a statement it added: “We acknowledge the unfortunate timing of this product launch in our store windows, however we in no way support or condone any act of terrorism or violence. We apologise for any offence caused.”

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