Clarks steps up personalisation with Wunderkind

Clarks, the international shoemaker and footwear retailer, has partnered with leading performance marketing engine Wunderkind (formerly BounceX), to enhance its digital targeting and personalisation strategies, resulting in improved customer engagement and increased digital revenues.

Established  in Somerset in 1825 when founding brothers Cyrus and James Clark realised they could make slippers from offcuts from their sheepskin rug business, Clarks now operates in 75 countries internationally. Designing, manufacturing and selling an estimated 55 million pairs of shoes each year, Clarks is in the top five largest footwear retailers in Western Europe. With its heritage as a shoemaking pioneer – from its original slipper, to introducing new varieties of sizing and width options to better accommodate its children’s ranges, to its latest iPad foot gauge fitting technology available in-store – Clarks is no stranger to using innovation to drive comfort and fit that’s built to last.

The brand’s partnership with Wunderkind – enhancing email capabilities to create meaningful, one-to-one connections with customers – is one example of how this drive toward innovation extends to its digital and ecommerce operations.

Whilst Clarks could already identify its website visitors prior to working with Wunderkind, the shoe brand wanted to double down on building out its first-party data through Wunderkind’s identification and list growth technology, as Marcus Oughton, Head of Ecommerce for UK, RoI and EMEA at Clarks, explained when speaking to eConsultancy:

“The partnership was aimed at building out our first-party data. Lots has changed in the last couple of years around GDPR, tracking prevention and, in addition to that, a heightened awareness of data ownership by the consumer. What the partnership with Wunderkind enabled us to do was to own our first-party data, and to scale the communication to those consumers. Within the first year of working with them, we doubled our addressable opt-in database.”

Wunderkind’s real-time identification technology enabled Clarks to de-anonymise 32% of its site traffic within a month of going live. This meant that Clarks could determine whether site visitors were already opted-in to its email database, enabling it to target them with high-value, high converting messaging, based on intent behaviours shoppers display online. The solution gives Clarks the ability to deliver personalised, triggered emails to re-engage the customer – whether it’s to remind them about a relevant sale or offer that’s about to end, new product drops or cart abandonment notifications – helping build an ongoing personalised connection with customers.

Compared to Clarks’ previous solution, the increased triggered email reach through Wunderkind brought 13x more visitors back to continue shopping, and the resulting 5.5x revenue growth of its abandonment emails translated into nearly 5% of Clarks’ digital revenue. The solution also helped incentivise new shoppers, or those not yet registered on the retailer’s database, to opt in. This enabled Clarks to acquire new customers, scaling its addressable email lists at speed and without the high costs of acquiring customers through third-party platforms.

“The partnership has helped us to deliver a number of personalised email journeys,” Oughton continued. “And that has allowed us to capture more data to re-engage consumers who have not yet completed a purchase, but also to maximise our database and really zero in and focus on high-intent users to ensure that we maximise conversion.

“It’s enabled us to have a more segmented approach to how we implement email. Rather than relying on sending emails based on product or gender preference segmentation, we are able to ‘personalise’ the message to align with a consumer’s last digital point of interaction with the brand. The functionality being delivered by Wunderkind is enabling us to automate personalisation, which is powerful,” Oughton added.

Today, Wunderkind’s complete programme drives 11% of Clarks’ total digital revenue.

Danielle Auerbach, Senior VP of Customer Success at Wunderkind, commented: “Clarks is a well-loved, heritage brand and its customers have grown to expect that tailored, one-to-one experience they are used to in stores to be replicated online. By better identifying shoppers on-site, Clarks can ensure that the communications consumers receive are timely, relevant and based on a customer’s buying intent. This not only makes for a more personalised experience, but builds the relationship with the brand in the long term, engendering increased loyalty and customer lifetime value.”

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