Online retailer of designer fashions

Offering designer brands, fashion trends and superior value

Published on 26-Aug-2013

"The website is our only sales channel and we spend a lot of marketing dollars driving people to it. With competition a click away, IBM Tealeaf CEM solutions help ensure we are not losing customers because of bad experiences." - Vice President of Technology, online retailer of designer fashions

Customer:
Online retailer of designer fashions

Industry:
Retail

Deployment country:
United States

Solution:
EMM - Customer Experience Management, Smarter Commerce, Smarter Marketing

Overview

Founded in 1998, this company is a leading online retailer featuring on-trend and in-season clothing and accessories from over 350 top European and American designers – all at a superior value. The fashion retailer is headquartered in New York City, in the heart of the Fashion District.

Business need:
The complexity of the fashion retailer’s website and variability of each unique user made its difficult to ensure a flaw-free site. The fashion retailer needed a solution that could track and alert the company when customers were encountering site experience obstacles.

Solution:
After turning to IBM Tealeaf CEM solutions due to their replay ability, the fashion retailer discovered and resolved numerous customer experience flaws on the site before they could adversely impact a large number of customers.

Benefits:
The company’s use of IBM Tealeaf CEM solutions has matured from a reactive troubleshooting tool for the QA and application support teams to a proactive discovery and analysis solution for the e-business and site usability teams.

Case Study

Founded in 1998, this company is a leading online retailer featuring on-trend and in-season clothing and accessories from over 350 top European and American designers – all at a superior value. The fashion retailer is headquartered in New York City, in the heart of the Fashion District.

The online designer fashion retailer prides itself on its ability to be fast and nimble. IBM Tealeaf Customer Experience Management (CEM) solutions help the company stay agile by providing unprecedented visibility into actual customer behavior and offering true insight into ways the company can further optimize their customer’s online experience.

As a pure-play online retailer, the fashion retailer is open all day, every day. To maintain its competitive advantage in a crowded, “one-click-away” marketplace, the company focuses on customer experience as a chief differentiator. To that end, the fashion retailer is particularly interested in gaining a firm handle on the issues customers are experiencing during any given browsing or buying session. By proactively monitoring key processes, particularly the site checkout process, the company strives to exceed expectations and ensure customer loyalty.

Challenges

It is quite difficult to understand the online experience you are delivering when your “storefront” or marketplace is the one place you cannot see – the browser of the customer. Like other e-commerce sites, the fashion retailer diligently conducts testing and quality assurance, but given the site’s complexity and the variability of each unique user, it is nearly impossible to ensure a flaw-free site.

To further complicate matters, the fashion retailer has a wide but shallow inventory. Therefore, the site is set up to remove a product from inventory when the customer adds it to the shopping cart, rather than at checkout. This means that when someone adds an item to the cart, no one else can buy that item. This business process actually limits the company’s ability to write test scenarios for the site because the company does not want to risk taking products off the shelf that a real customer may want to buy at the same time. What the fashion retailer needed was a solution that could track and alert the company when customers were encountering site experience obstacles without adversely affecting inventory levels.

A new approach

To solve the problem, the fashion retailer turned to IBM Tealeaf CEM solutions. With the replay ability of IBM Tealeaf CEM solutions (a page-by-page, browser-level recording of the actual customer experience), as well as their sophisticated customer behavior analysis functionality, the fashion retailer discovered and resolved numerous customer experience flaws on the site – before they could adversely impact a large number of customers.

But IBM Tealeaf CEM solutions afford even greater benefits to the fashion retailer. The company’s use of IBM Tealeaf CEM solutions has matured from a reactive troubleshooting tool for the QA and application support teams to a proactive discovery and analysis solution for the e-business and site usability teams. In fact, IBM Tealeaf CEM solutions are now a daily “go-to” for the validation of proposed site optimization decisions.

Win 1 – Thousands of dollars recovered from the resolution of a simple usability problem.

Problem

In examining shopping cart conversion, the fashion retailer’s product managers noticed a pattern – the majority of customers who had abandoned their purchase had opted to pay with BillMeLater. However, the team had no idea why there was such a strong correlation.

Solution

Using IBM Tealeaf CEM solutions the fashion retailer’s product managers were able to replay a sample of these abandoned customer sessions in an effort to rapidly identify the potential cause of the problem. As it turned out, a large number of these users had not been able to complete their transactions because they had failed to check a box indicating their agreement with certain terms and conditions. The fashion retailer’s website typically uses a red exclamation point to alert customers to required input fields, and although that red mark was showing up next to the terms and conditions box, it was appearing in an incorrect and very small font size, which customers were overlooking. The vast majority of customers neglected to check the box and therefore could not complete their transaction. Frustrated, and not able to determine what they were doing wrong, many customers were forced to abandon.

Benefits

With the help of IBM Tealeaf CEM solutions, the fashion retailer was able to quickly resolve this issue, halting the loss of hundreds of intended buyers and thousands in potential revenue per day. More importantly, IBM Tealeaf CEM solutions allowed the fashion retailer to reverse a bad shopping experience for repeat and future customers who preferred to pay for their purchases via BillMeLater.

Win 2 – Stabilization phase for a site redesign launch was halved with the help of IBM Tealeaf CEM solutions.

Problem

Although a luxury for many companies, a planned stabilization phase as part of a site redesign can minimize the business impact of issues; but only if those issues can be found, prioritized, and resolved before the full site launch. After a recent soft launch of the company’s new e-commerce platform generated a laundry list of issues, the fashion retailer’s team wondered where they should start.

Solution

The fashion retailer had many tools and monitoring systems at its disposal during the stabilization period; yet the e-business team reported that IBM Tealeaf CEM solutions provided the most accurate information for triaging issues. By leveraging the replay capability of IBM Tealeaf CEM solutions as well as having access to each unique session’s HTTP request and response code, the fashion retailer’s team was able to quickly categorize data issues from code issues; identify problem sessions that correlate to a known issue vs. problem sessions that represent new issues; quantify the business impact of each issue (how many customers have been affected by an issue, how much business is being lost every day because of an issue, etc.) and prioritize the most important issues to resolve.

Benefits

IBM Tealeaf CEM solutions were instrumental in enabling the fashion retailer to focus resources where they could make the biggest improvements and dramatically reduce, in this case by 50 percent, the time required for the site stabilization period.


About IBM Enterprise Marketing Management

The IBM Enterprise Marketing Management (EMM) Suite is an end-to-end, integrated set of capabilities designed exclusively for the needs of marketing organizations. Integrating and streamlining all aspects of marketing, IBM’s EMM Suite empowers organizations and individuals to turn their passion for marketing into valuable customer relationships and more profitable, efficient, timely, and measurable business outcomes.

Delivered on premises or in the Cloud, the IBM EMM Suite of software solutions gives marketers the tools and insight they need to create individual customer value at every touch. The IBM EMM Suite helps marketers to understand customer wants and needs and leverage that understanding to engage buyers in highly relevant, interactive dialogs across digital, social, and traditional marketing channels.

Designed to address the specific needs of particular marketing and merchandising users, the IBM EMM Suite is comprised of five individual solutions. Digital Marketing Optimization enables digital marketers to orchestrate relevant digital interactions to attract and retain new visitors and grow revenue throughout the customer’s lifecycle. With Customer Experience Optimization eCommerce professionals can turn visitors into repeat customers and loyal advocates by improving the digital experience of every customer. With Cross-Channel Marketing Optimization customer relationship marketers can engage customers in a one-to-one dialogue across channels to grow revenue throughout the customer’s lifecycle. Price, Promotion and Product Mix Optimization allows merchandisers and sales planners to make price, promotion and product mix decisions that maximize profit and inventory utilization. And with Marketing Performance Optimization, marketing leaders, planners and decision-makers can model and assess mix, and manage marketing operations to maximize ROI.

Over 2,500 organizations around the world use IBM EMM solutions to help manage the pressures of increasing marketing complexity while delivering improved revenue and measurable results. IBM’s time-tested and comprehensive offerings are giving companies such as Dannon, E*TRADE, ING, Orvis, PETCO, Telefonica | Vivo, United Airlines and wehkamp.nl the power and flexibility required to provide their customers and prospects with what they expect today – a more consistent and relevant experience across all channels.

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Software:
Tealeaf CX, Tealeaf cxView, Tealeaf cxImpact, Tealeaf cxConnect for Web Analytics

Legal Information

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