A Look Inside Booktopia’s AI-Driven Personalisation Strategy

Ally Feiam By Ally Feiam | 25 May 2021

Booktopia is one of leading Australian online book retailers, and since it was established in 2004, it has strived to have a deeper understanding of its customers and how their behaviour changes over time.

Booktopia was founded in 2004 in Sydney, and currently ships out more than two million packages annually, including books, DVDs, maps and many other products. The retailer listed on the ASX at the tail end of 2020, and as an online-only business model, understanding how the online shopper operates is sacrosanct to its success strategy.

Before Insider, Booktopia would aggregate its product recommendations list, news and best sellers manually. Not only was this time-consuming, but it is also unsustainable in the long-term. As the business grew and developed, the team required technology that would remove the time-consuming tasks. Moreover, they needed to assist the UX team in developing a deep and holistic view of the online shopping experience for its customers. 

Following the pandemic-induced online boom, it’s no longer viable to simply have manual recommendations for customers shopping online. With e-commerce increasing in popularity year over year, retailers require advanced solutions for a comprehensive and thorough understanding of its audience. 

Booktopia, as an online bookstore, houses a multitude of categories on its website. This in itself is a major issue for the customisation of user segmentation, and the retailer required a platform that could personalise these categories with speed and scale. That’s where Insider comes in. 

The team implemented a strategy that personalised the category titles based on the user’s previous sessions. Using the custom category list order and dynamic attributes, Booktopia was able to assist customers to find the right products faster. What was the result? The overall online experience was markedly improved, and online sales saw a significant increase, with a conversion rate uplift of 2.01 percent. 

Mobile is one of the most critical channels to monitor and optimise for retailers in the current online landscape. Booktopia was searching for a way to enhance the user experience beyond desktop, and cater to a wider range of audience online. Ultimately, they required a solution that could suggest relevant products, such as books, to its customers. 

How did Insider help achieve this goal? By implementing dynamic AI-backed recommendations on the Booktopia product page, the retailer can now show ‘Viewed Together’ recommendations on both desktop and mobile. 

“We enjoy working with Insider because they value our feedback and are proactive in developing features above the standard offering, based on our needs,” said Wayne Baskin, the Deputy CEO and CTO of Booktopia. 

Working in combination with the retailer helped develop and fine-tune the perfect solution for its overall strategy, with the implementation of A/B testing to determine what truly works for the brand as it moves forward. “The A/B testing available for campaigns is a great feature that has enabled us to experiment and identify best performing variations to drive optimal results.” 

All-around management support doesn’t just improve its overall conversation rates, but it also allows Booktopia to execute faster go-to-market campaigns and plans, with dynamic personalisation strategies. In the long-term, this can help build further trust and loyalty with its customers. 

In the current landscape, it’s imperative that retailers go beyond basic product recommendations. As such, implementing holistic and optimised strategies can have ripple effects across the business, including an uplift in revenue to a deeper sense of loyalty amongst shoppers. With its wide-ranging mobile and desktop optimisation, Booktopia has achieved sales conversion rate uplift of 3.64 percent on desktop and 2.52 percent on mobile web. 

“Insider’s product discovery solutions combined with their segmentation capabilities has helped us achieve more than a 3.6 percent uplift in conversions,” Baskin explained. “The platform has so much more to offer and we are looking forward to exploring that!”

Find out more about Insider and request a demo here.

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