Case In Brief: Office Shoes Sizes Up Customers' Preferences

The shoe retailer is targeting its customers with highly relevant emails, increasing open and click through rates.

Every customer is different and they all want to be treated as individuals, not only during one-on-one conversations but also in every interaction. Organizations that understand this desire for personalized communications have been working hard to move away from generic campaigns and instead focus on sending relevant communications to their customers and prospects.

Office Shoes, a shoe retailer based in the United Kingdom and Ireland, was aware of the need to personalize communications. However, the brand was facing a challenge to personalize its outreach endeavors. According to Scott Taylor, the company's CRM manager, like many other retailers, Office Shoes was sending generic campaigns to its whole database. Although the company was achieving strong business results, it was determined to grow by targeting customers with tailored communications.

The first step, Taylor notes, was to identify Office Shoes' customers and also their tastes. "We have a lot of different shoes and different customer types, so we needed to determine customers' preferences and where they were spending money so that we could target them better," Taylor says.

However, the company soon faced a dilemma. "We had so much data that we didn't know where to start to read that data," Taylor explains. The main problem was the lack of a tool to mine the data and extract insights which could be used to make decisions on personalized marketing campaigns. In order to resolve this issue, early last year Office Shoes implemented Emailvision's Campaign Commander Customer Intelligence tool, that is helping the retailer's marketing team gain better access to customer data and be able to quickly gather insights to shape more relevant marketing communications aimed at encouraging customers to make a purchase.


The new tool is helping Office Space's leadership mine into transactional and registration data collected from its in-store and online shoppers to determine what communication is most relevant to each customer. For example, after having a sale, Office Shoes is normally left with footwear in some sizes. Taylor explains that knowing which customers purchased footwear in a particular size allows Office Shoes to target them with an email about a product in that size. Open rates for these campaigns stand at around 26 percent, higher than the average of 18 percent. Further, click rates for such personalized campaigns are almost 10 percent, double that for generic messages.

In another instance, Office Shoes noticed that one-time buyers were still clicking on emails. The company determined what they purchased and started building campaigns aimed at each segment, including asking customers what messages they want to receive. "We're acknowledging that we might not be sending them relevant content and want to be more relevant," he notes.

Overall, personalized campaigns have seen a 64 percent increase in open rates when compared to non-targeted emails. Further, click-through rates have seen a staggering 240 percent increase.

Lessons Learned

Understand customers' preferences: Organizations need to dig deep into their data to determine what their customers want to hear from them.

Target customers with relevant information: Successful marketing campaigns are highly personalized according to customers' preferences.

Extract insights from data: Data on its own isn't enough, but needs to be mined to extract actionable insights.