Karmaloop selects MyBuys for segmentation, RSS

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Online retail store Karmaloop has picked online marketing services firm MyBuys to aid in its e-mail segmentation and to power its RSS feeds as part of its customer acquisition and retention strategy.

The Boston-based retailer specializes in urban street wear and is using segmented e-mail and RSS to reach out to its younger demographic who expect tech-savvy service.

"It's not just about street wear; it's about a certain kind of lifestyle," said Anand Shah, chief of operations at Karmaloop. "We're talking about an experience, not just selling clothes online. Our customers want the latest in fashion and iPods and hip-hop music. They also expect the latest in technology, like RSS."

Karmaloop carries about 85 brands including Puma, Adidas and Nike and, according to Mr. Shah, the major brand pages are the most viewed pages. To promote these brands, Karmaloop is using MyBuys e-mail segmentation platform. Though the retailer manages its own e-mail-marketing program, the in-house system can segment only by male and female. With the MyBuys platform, Karmaloop is now segmenting by prior purchase and browse history.

E-mails are sent twice a week and feature promotions, new products, contests and blogs. Ten to 15 percent of sales come from e-mail. Since the firm began using the MyBuys platform it has seen an increase in sales but would not disclose how much.

"We use e-mail for acquisition and retention by keeping our customers aware of the latest products and promotions," Mr. Shah said.

RSS has not been as successful for the retailer, according to Mr. Shah; however, this could be just because it is new. The retailer plans to promote RSS through affiliate marketers and on its e-commerce Web site at www.karmaloop.com.

Among the major retailers that use RSS to keep customers up to date on products are Nordstrom.com, Amazon.com and iTunes. MyBuys powers the RSS feeds for Ritz Camera, Lancome and Hancock Fabrics.

MyBuys recently introduced MyBuys 3.0, its upgraded service that integrates its behavioral targeting across multiple electronic channels. Online retailers can use the platform to send dynamic and relevant product recommendations on Web sites as well as via e-mail and in RSS feeds. MyBuys 3.0 aggregates prior purchases, explicit desires and observed behavior to create customer profiles.

"Cross-selling and upselling have been problematic on Web sites, so we try to aggregate customer information from various sources to make this easier," said Paul Rosenblum, vice president of marketing at MyBuys, Redwood City, CA.

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