Many retailers are familiar with this challenge: You have a diverse assortment of products on your site that cater to different audiences. You want to promote a specific category of products across the site, but you worry that if a visitor who doesn’t care about that category sees these promotions, she may decide that your site doesn’t interest her and move on to another site.

Beyond traditional product recommendations, how can a retailer pick the right information to display on its site to appeal to as many visitors as possible? This was the situation for, a leading online shoe retailer.

The Situation

When Shoeline first began its journey with personalization, it primarily focused on capturing email addresses and offering incentives to visitors based on referral source. These campaigns were driven by rules and delivered through simple, yet effective, pop-up messages. With these quick wins under its belt, it wanted to do more.

Shoeline offers styles of shoes across multiple different categories. A few such categories include: nursing shoes, bowling shoes, work boots, western shoes, and athletic shoes. Some of these categories are relevant to very specific groups of people, and not at all relevant to others. Shoeline wanted to make sure that visitors who wanted to shop nursing shoes, for example, were able to quickly and easily find nursing shoes. But it didn’t want to promote nursing shoes to other shoppers who would never need them.

The Solution

One way that Shoeline approached this problem was to create multiple different homepage experiences for different groups of shoppers. It displayed relevant creative and related copy based on the shoe category shoppers have spent the most time engaging with over time. So if a shopper never engaged with the nursing category, she would never see that experience. But if she did shop that category, it would be promoted to her right on the homepage.

With this single campaign, Shoeline generated up to 26% clickthrough rates for personalized homepage experiences.

shopper intent

Shoeline also implemented a “Recently Viewed” browsing companion tab to provide shoppers with easy access to the products with which they were most engaged or had previously purchased. The contents of the tab are completely personalized to each individual. This tab has driven a remarkable 18% conversion rate!

shopper intent

Final Thoughts

These two campaigns, and the many other personalization initiatives that Shoeline is regularly testing and implementing, show us that personalization is a journey. There is nothing wrong with jumping right in and trying a few simple campaigns before you truly incorporate personalization as a part of your digital strategy — as Shoeline has done.

No matter your industry, if you’re hesitating to get started with personalization because you don’t have a defined strategy, that’s ok! Find a personalization partner that will scale with you, so you can start small if you prefer and then expand your efforts over time.

For more examples of real-time personalization in action across the e-commerce experience, download our newly updated eBook, Individualized E-Commerce: Great Examples of Real-Time Personalization. And to learn more about how was able to drive clickthroughs and conversions with intent-driven experiences, check out the full case study.