The luxury fashion retailer is using a tool from personalization vendor Qubit to make browsing items on mobile sites easier.

Fashion retailer Diane von Furstenberg has a problem common among online retailers: Its mobile traffic significantly outpaces mobile sales.

“Mobile is where we continue to see traffic growth, but in terms of revenue versus desktop it’s not near equal,” says Felipe Araujo, head of e-commerce at Diane von Furstenberg, which sells online at DVF.com.

While mobile now accounts for over 50% of traffic for the retailer and continues to grow, mobile revenue is significantly less than 50% of total web revenue, Araujo says.

To see if it could even the course, the retailer this spring was one of the first merchants to test a feature from personalization vendor Qubit called Aura. The tool, designed for mobile sites, allows a consumer to click an icon to see items she might like based on her past purchases, trending items and products popular on social media. The goal is to facilitate product discovery, much as one would scroll with a mobile device on Pinterest or Instagram, but within the confines of DVF.com and with DVF products.

DVF.com, No. 532 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 1000, sells more than 300 apparel and accessories products for women and Araujo says web sessions on desktop are 35% longer than on its mobile site.

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“Mobile is great if you know what you want, but it’s not great for discovery,” Araujo says. “A lot of the mobile discovery phase is on social media, like Instagram and Pinterest. We wanted to bring mobile discovery within our walls.” He adds that even shoppable features that social networks have added have been clunky in his experience because of the back and forth between the social network and a retail site.

To use the feature with DVF, shoppers tap the Aura icon at the bottom of the DVF.com mobile site that says “Need a bit of inspiration?” The icon opens the tool, which is coined “Your Diane Von Furstenburg companion.”

When a shopper first uses the feature, the site displays trending products and categories to navigate, such as Dresses or Sale items. However, as a shopper begins clicking, Aura tailors the tool based on her actions. Shoppers also can save items to a My Picks section, which is similar to a wish list but shoppers don’t need to log in to access it. My Picks items are saved in the feature for the next time the shopper returns. “You can close Aura and open Aura seamlessly,” Araujo says. “It feels very cohesive.”

The conversion rate for mobile shoppers that engage with Aura is 4.3%, which is about 400% higher than the mobile conversion rate for shoppers who don’t use the tool, Araujo says. 7.2% of mobile visitors use the tool, the retailer says.

The new tool is part of a web and mobile web overhaul that DVF embarked on about a year ago, Araujo says. The merchant relaunched its site in January with Demandware, which is part of the Salesforce Commerce Cloud, with a goal to simplify the site and make it less cluttered and easier to use. For example, DVF.com used to offer nine categories on the home page but saw that most shoppers only used about three, so it trimmed the options, moving less-used categories such as Occasions and Silhouettes into subcategories. The retailer also eliminated reviews because the feature didn’t drive conversions.

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Since its overhaul, conversions on DVF’s U.S. site have nearly doubled, Araujo says.

Organic cosmetics brand JuiceBeauty also is using Aura to quickly add sophisticated targeting technology to its mobile site.

“It’s like a personal concierge,” says Jeffrey Grannis,  the retailer’s director of digital.

He says the tool is particularly useful on the small screen of a smartphone, where it can be tiresome to navigate through many category pages.

When launching Aura, Qubit analyzed data across 35 fashion and cosmetics brands since January 2017 and spotted trends in consumer behavior when comparing desktop and mobile. It found:

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  • Traffic to each channel is about the same: 45.87% on desktop vs. 44.7% on mobile.
  • Conversion rates on desktop are more than double that of mobile: 3.35% on desktop compared with 1.61% on mobile.
  • Revenue per visitor is more than double on desktop: $8.01 on desktop vs. $3.49 on mobile.
  • The average number of products viewed per customer is far higher on desktop: 17.99 on desktop vs. 13.65 on mobile.

Los Angeles-based beauty brand ColourPop also is employing Aura. It says 31% of mobile visitors open the tool, and it has generated 4.2% lift in revenue per visitor compared with those who don’t use it.

Wolf & Badger, an online marketplace for independent brands, is another e-commerce site seeing results with Aura, generating a 3.6% increase in mobile conversions for its more than 30,000 products since implementing the tool.

“In the same way Netflix tailors the experience to each user based on their watching habits, and Spotify curates playlists for your listening habits, Qubit Aura does the same for e-commerce,” says Graham Cooke, CEO of Qubit. “No two experiences are the same.”

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