Williams-Sonoma Creating Customer Models for Catalogs

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Home furnishings retailer Williams-Sonoma Inc. will build 100 to 120 customer models to better match its catalog brands to recipients.


"Once under way, they hope to see a decrease in marketing costs while improving response rates to catalog mailings," said Nelle Schantz, global strategist and CRM program director at SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC. Williams-Sonoma will use SAS' Enterprise Miner to handle the modeling structure that will underpin more than 270 million catalogs this year.


The retailer will work to identify households most likely to buy from Williams-Sonoma catalogs, including the brands Pottery Barn, Hold Everything, Chambers and Williams-Sonoma. This system updates current business processes at Williams-Sonoma.


Simply put, Williams-Sonoma will use the models to generate an appropriate list of customers who should be targeted for a particular catalog.


"For example," Schantz said, "based on understanding a customer's interests, one person may receive a catalog about cookware and knives while their neighbor may receive a catalog focused on household goods with a July 4th theme."


The next phase of the SAS analytics effort will cover Williams-Sonoma e-mail campaigns and more personalization of catalog mailings.


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