Woolies intelligence recommends sales growth

In a deployment completed only six weeks ago - just in time for the key retail Christmas trading period - Woolworths has installed new web intelligence software to encourage greater sales conversion and basket sizes for its online channel.

The adoption of software to provide customers with recommendations for additional purchases is part of an ongoing strategy to attract more customers to the Woolworths.co.uk site and follows the addition of reviews and a redesign, all designed to make the browsing experience more interactive.

Mark Batty, Woolworths online marketing manager told IT PRO the use of the new technology from vendor, Avail came out of customer feedback that those visiting the site would do so only to find the particular product they had in mind, without spending much additional time browsing.

"We're already seeing from the results that the Avail recommendations are offering customers a lot more of our product range than they might already have browsed for," he said.

The Avail technology uses sophisticated algorithms taken from customer behaviour on the site, such as popular searches and previous purchases, to provide real-time recommendations from the combined customer base for each shopper browsing the site.

The recommendations are expected to deliver significant, immediate and measurable improvements to conversion rates and average order values per customer - with increases of up to 20 per cent.

"We have already noted improvements to the customer journey, with positive customer feedback on the recommendations generated. This has been particularly strong on toys, which is an extremely important area for Woolworths during the Christmas period," said Batty.

Currently multi-channel sales make up five per cent of Woolworths' total revenues, and this can grow up to ten per cent at busy periods such as Christmas.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.