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Company Spotlight: Oracle + Bronto

Please introduce your company. What it its USP?

Oracle + Bronto provides a cloud-based marketing automation platform to mid-market and enterprise retailers and many of the world’s leading brands. Its focus is purely on commerce, with all developments and enhancements geared towards the needs of retailers. Since the marketing automation platform enables marketers to do more in less time, it helps with customer acquisition, conversion and retention, driving revenue through email, mobile and social marketing, and creating efficiencies. Oracle + Bronto also employs marketing strategists to provide strategic guidance to retail clients, many of whom have previously been on the client side of commerce marketing.

What is the latest version of your system and what new functionality does it give to retailers?

Over the last year, the Bronto platform has undergone a number of enhancements around cart and browser recovery that enable clients to target shoppers before and after items have been placed in the shopping cart. It has also rolled out product recommendations. Money has been invested into expanding the company too. Offices were opened in Toronto and Singapore to enable further expansion into Asia Pacific.

What challenges are retailers facing over the coming year?

Retailers have moved on from the challenge of collecting data but with information on customers stored in different solutions such as ecommerce systems, CRM and POS from the high street, the issue now is around how to connect data and make best use of it in order to get the best results from any investment. Personalisation is the big focus this year, with retailers tackling how to utilise customer data to enable shoppers to have a unique, seamless experience across multiple devices and channels. However, many are struggling with where to start on the journey.

Bronto recommends starting with email since it’s the most profitable channel and it gives an easy way to step into highly personalised content. Brooks Sports, for example, is using email for a personalised browse recovery campaign targeting shoppers who have moved from its blog to the ecommerce site without adding to their basket. In this way, they are interacting with people at the start the shopping journey. These automated emails were highly personalised based on what the person had browsed the previous day. With them, Brooks Sports achieved an open rate of more than 61%, 24% clickthrough rate and 7% conversion rate. Apparel retailer Björn Borg wanted to focus on customer engagement so demographic data, product data and order history from different locations was imported into Bronto to send out highly targeted messages. The company saw an increase in revenue of more than 60%.

What do you see as the challenges for suppliers and technology providers and how are you meeting these challenges?

Technology providers have to continually evolve to meet the rising needs and demands of consumers and retailers. It’s one of the fastest-growing markets and retail is not 9-to-5, so there are demands from a technology standpoint as well as in providing support around the clock and across the world. Bronto provides 24/7 support from its East and West Coast USA sites, London and Sydney and is a nine-time winner of the Stevie Award for Best Customer Service Department.

Who are your customers in the UK?

Bronto works with over 1,400 brands worldwide, with customers in the UK including , Vivienne Westwood , Euro Car Parts , Oak Furniture Land and Poundland .

What plans do you have for the future?

Bronto’s roadmap sees it continuing to push the envelope in terms of ways we can give the customer a great shopping experience across the board, whether that’s at the beginning of the purchase journey, via email, in store or wherever the touchpoints are that the consumers could be influenced or impacted by or have a good brand experience. Those are top of mind for Oracle + Bronto as we work to continue to make the customer experience better.


US running shoe and apparel brand Brooks Sports turned to browse recovery and segmentation in order to increase online revenue and brand awareness, to expand its use of triggered messages and to incorporate past purchase data into its marketing messages.

By creating automated reminders for shoe buyers based on how many miles they run, building segments based on popular web products and deploying browse recovery to increase personalisation, the company grew email-generated revenue 60% in the past year.

Brooks Sports learned the true value of email as a marketing tool with its product-loyal customers when it decided to retire a particular running shoe. The marketing team segmented the email list to include just customers who had bought the shoes in the past and alerted them about the impending retirement, thinking that the loyalists could stock up. The email was so successful – a 43% open rate and a per-email return of 40 times the average for the period – that the company actually relaunched the shoe initially as a web-only product and then later re-introduced it in stores.

Since then, the company regularly studies past-purchase data to boost email-generated revenue, help grow brand awareness and improve relationships with bricks-and-mortar retailers.

“We want to make our emails relevant so that people are excited to see Brooks in their inbox,” says Stephanie Hileman, the ecommerce digital marketing specialist. Brooks’ email generated revenue has increased consistently since it started using Bronto four years ago.

Consumers aren’t always in buying mode though. They might not need a new pair of shoes but would like to know about the 5K run a local store is sponsoring. “We like to stay top of mind, grow affinity, prompt re-purchasing and educate people about new products,” Hileman says.

These goals prompted Brooks to add Browse Recovery to its marketing arsenal. The Bronto app automatically sends an email to a subscriber who browses on a product and includes an image of the browsed item. Results: A 61% open rate, 24% click rate and 7% conversion rate, with revenue of $1.44 (£1.11) per email.

Abandoned cart messaging is also being tied in to the overall messaging, with a three-day weather forecast based on the shopper’s location automatically sent to them. Automated messages are being driven, in part, by an optional preference centre, which gathers information such as gender and birthday, and also asks shoppers questions about the number of miles they run each week. Once a person hits the 400-mile point, an automated reminder email goes out suggesting they purchase new shoes. The 400-mile email has an open rate of 38.7%, with a 23.4% click through rate and a 5.8% conversion rate.

Automated messages are sent to runners just before they become a lapsed customer, which is taken to be 13 months since their last purchase. The email includes a 25% off coupon and a survey about how they like to buy running shoes.  they don’t like to buy them online, the survey sends them to an online store locator. If they aren’t running any more, the survey sends them to a content piece that encourages people to run. The survey, powered by Bronto partner Movable Ink, has a 26.5% click rate and a 4.8% conversion rate. Both figures are much higher than average for editorial content emails.


Company founded: 2002

Global reach: Durham (NC), London, New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Sydney and Singapore

UK launch: 2012

Listing: wholly-owned subsidiary of Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL)

Customers: 1,400 brands, including, Vivienne Westwood, Björn Borg, Joseph Joseph, Vince Camuto, Theory, Euro Car Parts and Oak Furniture Land.

Number of employees: 350

For more information about Bronto, visit, email or telephone 0203 640 2040. @BrontoEurope.

This Company Spotlight was produced by InternetRetailing and paid for by Oracle + Bronto. Funding articles in this way allows us to explore topics and present relevant services and information that we believe our readers will find of interest.

Photo Credits: IR Print and Oracle and Bronto

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