For the past two years, the retailer has worked with retail marketing vendor Bluecore to send triggered emails after customers take a specific action. 

Perry Ellis International Inc., which operates a number of ecommerce sites including CallawayApparel.com, has a simple way to cut through the clutter of consumers’ inboxes: get the right message to the right consumer at the right time.

Of course, that’s easier said than done, says Linda Sestrick, the retailer’s vice president of ecommerce and digital marketing. “We try to avoid blasting out messages that might be relevant,” she says. “That requires us to search for behavioral signals based on how a shopper is interacting on one of our websites.”

For the past two years, the retailer has worked with retail marketing vendor Bluecore to send triggered emails after customers take a specific action. For example, if a shopper on CallawayApparel.com looks at big and tall items but doesn’t make a purchase, it will place that shopper in Callaway’s extended sizes affinity group, which it then uses to power a personalized email marketing program. If the shopper takes another action, such as adding an item to his shopping cart but not completing a purchase, it may send an abandoned cart email.

The platform uses a combination of testing and artificial intelligence-powered automation to determine how and when the retailer sends an email, Sestrick says. Removing the human element helps eliminate the retailer’s biases.

“Not every message resonates with every shopper,” she says. “That’s why we test different messages at different times to see which audience should see which message and which time.”

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Personalizing the messages a consumer receives is crucial to driving a shopper to open the email. Based on a consumer’s actions, the retailer may send the items the shopper looked at, related items or items in the same category. The retailer’s email marketing success has helped it boost its online sales 80.6% in 2017, according to Internet Retailer’s Top500Guide.com.

The retailer is currently testing new personalization elements on its site. The AI-powered tool allows Perry Ellis to show shoppers recommended items on product pages based on similar items purchased by other consumers.

“We have such a wide portfolio of products, it doesn’t always make sense just to show someone looking at a shirt other shirts,” she says. “Drawing on shoppers’ previous interactions, they might be interested in shoes, fragrance or underwear.”

Perry Ellis is No. 46 in the Internet Retailer 2018 Top 1000.

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