Ann Summers gets personal with recommendations technology

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Ann Summers is making visits to its website personal, thanks to the use of recommendations technology.

Shoppers on the sex toys and lingerie website will see personalised recommendations that are uniquely relevant to them, thanks to the use of RichRelevance’s enRich Personalisation Engine. The recommendations are based on information held about each customer, from their preferences and shopping history, to the link that referred them to the website and demographic details.

Ann Summers, led by chief executive Jacqueline Gold, aims to create a deeper connection with its largely female online customers. It also wants to gather information about shopping behaviour and product associations that will trigger sales across all channels.

Andrew Harber, ecommerce director at Ann Summers said: “Through our personalisation initiative we are gaining valuable insight into our customers and the way they shop for and discover our products.

“For example, we can access vastly more kinds of associated data about what people viewed after viewing a certain item. By partnering with RichRelevance to manage and analyse our customer data we are more in-tune with our customers’ behaviour and can take a more holistic approach to merchandising and promotions.”

David Selinger, chief executive of RichRelevance, said many multichannel retailers struggled to take practically-useful information from their customers, with different channels working in disconnected silos. He said: “It is exciting to see Ann Summers take a customer centric approach. By looking at all their customer touchpoints as a whole and considering how data can be used to improve the customer experience across channels, Ann Summers will be able to offer a better and more consistent shopping experience.”

Ann Summers turns over more than £117.3m a year and AnnSummers.com, launched in 1995, is its third largest channel, behind its 150 high street shops and Ann Summers Party, which holds more than 4,000 women-only events each week in the UK. Some 1.5m visits are made to the website each month.

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