Steve Madden's online sales jump after site redesign

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Steve Madden improved its online conversation rate by 112% since last year, partially by redesigning its e-commerce site to incorporate additional customer personalization, said Andrew Koven, president of e-commerce and customer experience at the shoe and bag retailer.

The redesign, which allowed Steve Madden to better tailor product recommendations to individuals, caused the improvement, Koven said at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition in Chicago on June 10. Its average online order value increased 11% and revenue per session went up 136% since last year.

“By personalizing… we're making more money,” Koven said. “We don't want to be a general merchandizer.” E-commerce represents 5% of Steve Madden's total annual sales, he said.

The retailer enlisted vendor MyBuys a year ago to provide the technology for better targeting consumers on its site. The platform is helping the company offer product recommendations based on previous customer interaction with Steve Madden. For example, a return visitor who has a preferred price point (based on past purchase history) of $75 and a penchant for heels will be shown similar product recommendations when she shops SteveMadden.com, rather than a general “top selling” products recommendation.

The company also selected Omniture last July to drive its analytics and tweak its targeting. It continues to test the effectiveness of the site and its e-mail campaigns. Steve Madden previously used Google Analytics.

Steve Madden is conducting five homepage tests with the help of Omniture Online Marketing Suite. The company expects to redesign the site again in the next 60 days, incorporating these learnings as well as new social elements, Koven said.

“We're not trying to invade the customer,” he told the audience, “but we do want to be more relevant.”

The retailer is also expanding into mobile. It launched its m-commerce site 10 weeks ago and enabled the Facebook “like” feature two weeks ago, to help its products appear in customers' social networking news feeds.

“This has a viral effect of getting people talking about our brand with relatively little cost,” said Koven.

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