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These 3 Retailers Have Nailed Personalization. Here’s How.

Lihi Pinto FrymanLihi Pinto Fryman | September 23, 2019

Personalization has been a staple buzzword in the past few years with many retailers realizing its importance as shoppers look beyond products and prices when they make purchase decisions. With a multitude of choices within arm’s reach, consumer preference for relevance and convenience, regardless of channel or touchpoint, becomes the focus of the shopping experiences.

In fact, an Adobe study revealed that 37% of retailers consider delivering personalized experiences in real-time the most exciting prospect in the coming years. Using predictive analytics, retailers expect to serve the most relevant content and messaging, anticipate customer needs, and implement the most effective way to convert leads into customers.

When personalization is done right

According to a research by BCG and commissioned by Google, customers who had a personalized shopping experience were “110% more likely to add additional items to their baskets and 40% more likely to spend more than they had planned.” On rating retailers, customers who experienced a high level of personalization gave net promoter scores that were 20% higher than customers who experienced a low level of personalization.

In relation, a survey report by Segment revealed that after a personalized shopping experience, 44% of consumers will likely become a repeat buyer and between 22% to 39% will likely leave a positive review, tell friends or family, and post a positive comment on social media.

Besides customer loyalty, personalization also drives more purchases. According to the same Segment report, “49% of U.S. shoppers said that in the past three months they bought a product they did not initially intend to buy after a brand made a personalized recommendation.” This was particularly prevalent among millennials (63%) and Gen X (46%) shoppers.

Moreover, because their experience was personalized, 40% of U.S. shoppers purchased something more expensive than they originally planned. In terms of channels, consumers were satisfied with the impulse purchases they made on:

  • Email (84%)
  • Brick and mortar (84%)
  • Online checkout (82%)
  • Push notification (76%)
  • Online ad (72%)

By 2020, Salesforce found that 51% of consumers expect companies “will anticipate their needs and make relevant suggestions before they make contact,” probably at the same level of personalization that Spotify and Netflix deliver today. How are retailers actually faring to this point? Let’s look at how three retailers are doing personalized recommendations right.

1. Sephora

Sephora is known for its seamless and intelligent integration across all channels—web, mobile, email, and in-store—that guarantees excellent customer experience. It topped the Personalization Index Retail list developed by Sailthru.


On the website, the beauty retailer not only shows customers related or “recently viewed” products throughout the shopping journey, but also puts these personalized recommendations in bundles and makes sure promos are visible to further entice customers.

Moreover, Sephora has an effective customer loyalty program, called the Beauty Insider, that has rewards and gifts that customers are excited to work for. Besides engaging content and personalized products, the beauty retailer celebrates its community which enhances its social currency and customer trust.

2. Fashion Nova

According to Google, Fashion Nova is the most googled fashion brand in 2018, beating luxury brands Louis Vuitton, Versace, Givenchy, and Gucci that completed the rest of the top five. Besides the trendy and fast fashion business model that Millennials and Gen Z shoppers find desirable, what puts the eCommerce retailer on the map is its social media presence.

From thousands of influencers to celebrities like Cardi B, the legitimacy and resounding reach of online personalities propel Fashion Nova to its rapid growth. In addition, the online retailer makes sure that social engagement is topnotch, liking and sharing customer posts.


To ensure a seamless connection across touchpoints, the Fashion Nova’s product pages are boosted with photos from Instagram, which also add another layer of social proof and “look when worn” ideas for shoppers.

3. Boohoo

Boohoo and sister company PrettyLittleThing are experiencing continued success despite the slowing retail market in the United Kingdom. On top of the competitive prices, stylish products that are on-trend and in demand, and brand engagement, Boohoo has another asset that enhances personalization on its platforms—visual search.


On the website, shoppers can easily look at visually similar items based on browsing history and quickly see color options without having to open individual product pages. On the mobile app, customers can upload a photo of a fashion inspiration and immediately see similar styles and products to complete the whole look. By eliminating the need to find the right search keywords, shoppers easily find the look they encounter anywhere, especially while scrolling through social media.


Interested to know more about the visual search solution that Boohoo implemented? You can read the case study here and find out how it improves product discovery, provides better search results, and simplifies product tagging to deliver Boohoo shoppers the best personalized customer experience.

Embracing personalization

Personalization is no longer optional; it is now a must. Personalized recommendations are just one of the many ways to delight customers with relevant and seamless shopping experiences.

The Accenture Personalization Survey looked at customer expectations around a personalized shopping experience. In-store, shoppers welcome automatic discounts at checkout for loyalty points (82%), real-time promotions (57%), and complementary item suggestions (54%). Online, customers expect website optimized by device (64%), intuitive web navigation based on what the shopper is browsing (59%), and price comparison or buy an item (59%).

With the right mix of strategies and retail technologies, personalization pays off. As discovered by the same BCG research, retailers with advanced personalization methods can see 20% improvement in net promoter scores, 6% to 10% gains in productivity, and at least 10% growth in incremental revenue.

“When building a technology stack, retailers should invest adequately in the intelligence layer that powers the personalization engine,” according to the BCG study authors.

Visual search is an example of a retail technology that not only improves customer-facing buying journeys with intelligent recommendations engines and camera search button. But it also enhances backend operations with automatic product tagging, near real-time inventory management, and predictive analytics. Contact Syte to know more.

Lihi Pinto Fryman

Lihi Pinto Fryman

Lihi is the CRO and one of the co-founders of Syte. She is passionate about inspiring positive experiences through creative ideation.

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