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CASE STUDY How Skinnydip London boosted average visit value 16% by shifting entire operation online and investing in AI

Skinnydip London revamps online

Skinnydip London, which sells mobile phone accessories, clothing and lifestyle products online, as well as through its network of UK shops and retail concessions, has delivered a 16% increase in average visit value and a sales conversion rate on its ecommerce store of 15% through automated merchandising and A/B testing technology.

The improved performance has been achieved since the company pivoted its entire operation online during the pandemic. 

Skinnydip is using an ecommerce merchandising solution available through Nosto’s AI-powered Commerce Experience Platform to automatically optimise the way it displays and ranks products on category pages based on real-time customer behaviour and onsite performance data.

The company, for which 90% of ecommerce traffic comes through mobile, is also using A/B testing tools through Nosto to identify the best performing merchandising strategies on dozens of category pages for its beauty, clothing, phone cases and accessories products.

With the pandemic abruptly halting brick-and-mortar shopping in 2020, Skinnydip, like many brands, shifted focus to its ecommerce store as the sole channel for traffic and sales. This was both an opportunity and a challenge: while online traffic has increased, so has online competition. 

Skinnydip needed a merchandising strategy to foster product discovery, convert new site traffic and nurture new shoppers into loyal customers. With Nosto it has been able to replace a labour and time-intensive manual strategy based on gut feeling and guesswork, with automated merchandising that uses data and machine learning algorithms to drive decisions.

“Our previous merchandising was done through intuition and what ‘looked good’. For example, there are tons of products in our collections that work really well as add-ons, but someone manually merchandising might rank them much lower on the category page,” explains Meghan Lewis, Head of Ecommerce, Skinnydip London.

With Nosto Category Merchandising, an infinite number of products can be automatically arranged in a specific order on the most vital areas of a category page, based on product attributes (such as brand, colour, whether a product is new or is being offered at a discount) and performance metrics such as click-through rate, conversion rate and impressions. 

Different personalisation and merchandising rules can be assigned to different customer segments, with the ability to select multiple attributes and performance goals together, giving different weights to each to fine-tune the order in which products are displayed.

Underpinning its Category Merchandising solution, the Nosto platform uses machine learning to analyse shoppers’ online behaviour and give retailers the ability to automatically segment audiences and personalise the online experience based on almost any combination of factors -such as category affinity, brand affinity, gender, lifecycle stage, and more.

“Category Merchandising was profitable in less than a month. It’s definitely a significant revenue and growth driver for us,” adds Lews. “It also helps to take things off the never-ending to do-list so we can focus on meeting our growth objectives.”

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