In the early days of Ann Summers, it worked off three basic customer types. Nervous, curious and experienced.

Ann Summers felt it needed more insight than that so it developed a deeper data-driven approach.

Doing this it discovered a plethora of customer types, ranging from the confused boyfriend, the older woman, present buyers and younger teenagers.

Customer experience

Primarily the focus for Ann Summers was to improve the overall customer experience. It did this by improving the quality of its existing CRM database. 

It segmented new visitors from regular visitors, and only served a 10% off voucher to those who visited for the first time.

There is also a customer survey pop-up that appears every three months asking for feedback on any feature of the site experience. Apparently Ann Summers has particularly vocal customers so this works very effectively.

This feedback can be anything from suggesting new products to suggesting UX improvements to the site itself. One particularly minor tweak to the UX (the implementation of a next page button at the bottom of product listings) resulted in a 1.6% increase in conversion.

Unique selling points

Ann Summers asked what its customers would rather see on the homepage: a message saying it offers free delivery or a message saying it offers discreet packaging.

During testing, both messages led to an uplift, but free delivery showed the highest, so this is the message featured clearest on the site.

It was also found that users on mobile were far more likely to search for items such as bondage items and restraints on a mobile then they are on a desktop.

This is entirely understandable as mobile allows for a more personally discreet experience, therefore the experience is changed for those more adventurous customers.

It’s vital to adapt the experience across all devices as the customer intent on each one will be different, no matter how subtle the difference is.

For visitors who have viewed one particular item more than three times without purchasing, they will be served different content afterwards. For instance more detailed sizing information or a size chart.

This is effective customer service, clearing up any possible confusion and driving visitors closer to conversion.

For more on personalisation, download or report on The Realities of Online Personalisation.