Nailed It: DMNews speaks with BestBuyEyeGlasses.com

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Eyal Gutentag
Eyal Gutentag

Eyal Gutentag, principal at BestBuyEyeGlasses.com, discusses a new strategy that is driving results from its recommendations engine.

Q: What role do product recommendations play for BestBuyEyeglasses.com?

A: Our company has had an e-commerce presence for almost a decade. We got into product recommendations 18 to 24 months ago because we carry a very large product portfolio. A typical retail store might carry between 300 and 500 frames; we offer 30,000 frames. The sheer size of the catalog makes it far more tricky for customers to find products that are of interest to them. Recommendations from other shoppers allow shoppers to quickly and efficiently pull out items that are relevant to them.

Q: What is different about your product recommendations this year?

A: In the first quarter, we began testing the recommendations space as a way to inform shoppers about products that they might not otherwise find out about through the relevancy algorhithm. Using RichRelevance tools, we increased the amount by which certain items were represented in the recommendations space by 5% to 10%.

Q: Why did you decide to do that?

A: It enabled us to tell shoppers about products that are in our interest to move, either because we have an amount of inventory or they have a higher margin than what the shopper is looking at.

Q: What did you have to be careful of when you implemented this plan?

A: It's important for customers that the recommendations are relevant, or they lose value. If we were to use the space too much to merchandise what we want them to see, it becomes less about the natural shopping patterns.

Q: What were the results?

A: Sales increased 21% during the first quarter for Dolce & Gabbana eyewear, which we chose to merchandise via the recommendations engine because it has a slightly higher price point and wasn't getting as much visibility as some of our other brands.

Q: Why do you think this was a success?

A: I think it worked because the recommendations engine has a lot of impact on shoppers. There is a delicate balance you have to stride between offering something of value to the shopping experience while also creating something that offers value to the retailer.

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