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Conversion Amplifier: Getting Personal with Your e-Commerce Customers


For e-Commerce sites, testing and optimization are crucial for revenue growth. The amount of data that can be collected, analyzed and strategically applied to test cells is limitless. Especially when it’s a company with a solid following like Anthropologie.




Anthropologie is a high-end retailer offering trendy clothing and home décor. They’ve got a pretty consistent demographic leaning more toward upper-middle class, style-conscious women. The company doesn’t play by a lot of the best practice rules, starting with their customer emails. They consist of one giant image and no visible text, except for the headline. Of course, once images are turned on, you’re given a gorgeous, editorial-style email that reflects the brand.

And once onsite, it is quickly obvious that Anthropologie is all about visuals. There’s very little copy and a lot of real estate featuring a lot of retail eye candy. So what could this stylish company be testing to move the needle even more?

This is personal

If there’s one thing we know about a typical woman shopping online, it’s that she knows what she wants. We’d be interested to see if our hypothesis about this particular site is true—that women are coming in either for clothing or for home, and that they appreciate personal attention. So it’s a good idea to cater to this audience in a way that will appeal to them—by making shopping an easy experience from the start. That’s why we’d suggest a Personal Shopper lightbox.

Picture this. You come onto the Anthropologie site (or any retail site) knowing that you want to buy a dress and a pair of shoes. How cool would it be to have a “personal assistant” of sorts to sift through the inventory and get right down to your specific taste, budget, etc.? Pretty cool, we think. Here are some potential features of this lightbox:

Choose Category. This would ask the customer what they’re shopping for today. It would allow them to pick specific clothing or home goods or sale items. It could get quite finite and offer categories like “occasion” or “style.” It could also go broader and let them do general shopping. All of this would be made easier by…

Choose Size. From dress size to shoe size to comforter size, shopping by a set of parameters specific to you is incredibly appealing. It sets up a feeling of getting personal attention, and it also alleviates the disappointment that comes with something you like not being available in your size.

Get Styling Advice. Women LOVE to get suggestions on fashion and home décor from the experts. An added bonus to the Personal Shopper lightbox would be to make suggestions for things that go with what they’re searching for. This could be brought up in the “results” page after they specify their interest. For example, if a customer put in  “Dress,” “Vintage,” “Party” and their size, and was given a results page of all dresses fitting that style and occasion, the Personal Shopper could also recommend shoes and accessories that go with it. Or it could automate Look Books for the customer to see how different pieces would look together.

Remember the scene in Pretty Woman when Julia Roberts went shopping and was treated like royalty after she had been treated like a homeless peasant? That’s the idea here. Online shopping in a high-end retailer like Anthropologie is missing that human quality of customer service. And even though the products are gorgeous and speak for themselves, adding that extra layer of assistance can go a long way to make the customer feel special.

Pretty Woman

What’s in it for you?

Sure, this is all great for the customers. And we know that happy customers mean return visitors, referrals and higher average order values. But what are the benefits to Anthropologie? Or to any retailer considering this sort of implementation? After all, creating and developing this module will take time and money. We think that the short-term investment will make for a long-term revenue booster. Here’s why.

Data, data, data

This is a data goldmine. Seeing which products are being searched for the most gives a retailer a valuable chance to cookie visitors for their return and serve them products that resonate with their preferences.

Capture their email and their attention

Let’s say you decided to build in the look book feature. Since this has a perceived value, most customers wouldn’t mind offering up their address to get the results via email. Or, registered users could be prompted to sign in. Either way, you now have a valuable set of information that can be used for dynamic, targeted emails based on their preferences. That kind of personal attention can easily trigger a conversion with a higher-than-average order value.

Shopping online is quickly becoming the norm for a lot of people. When faced with merchandise that is high-end and fashionable, it’s important to cater to that level of taste and customer expectation. Using tools like a Personal Shopper lightbox not only enriches the customer experience, it also gives you a wealth of data and information to use. The best part about a lightbox like this? It’s imminently testable and optimizable. If you build it, they will convert.