Pets Place grooms the shopping experience for animal lovers

Biggest pet food retailer in the Netherlands sees 15% increase in revenue from product recommendations

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Pets Place case study header image
15%
increase in revenue per user from personalized product recommendations implemented across the customer journey
18%
increase in revenue per user from personalized category recommendations in the Dog category pages
8%
increase in revenue per user from personalized category recommendations in the Cat category pages

Introduction

In business for over fifty years, Pets Place is currently the biggest pet food retailer in the Netherlands, operating across two hundred storefronts and two websites. But the pet food industry is rife with competition, especially as ZooPlus and Bol.com continue to crank up the heat. In order to stay ahead of the curve, Pets Place realizes how essential it is to develop deep, personal relationships with every customer in order to maintain their loyalty, in addition to consistently providing a positive and efficient shopping experience. And with over 15,000 products available from over 200 brands across numerous categories, achieving success is only possible with a robust personalization platform that can couple content curation with personalized product recommendations. In securing Dynamic Yield for the above tasks, Pets Place has already reaped numerous benefits, including a tight reign of the pet-animal kingdom, better education for its customers, and a 15% increase in revenue.
Pets Place logo
“We have chosen Dynamic Yield after considerable market research. We looked at every available option and chose Dynamic Yield due to its flexibility, wide array of tools and capabilities, and its ease of use. I can think of many use cases, and Dynamic Yield is the only platform that allows me to build them without being technical.”
Peter van der Heijden, Freelance expert in eCommerce, digital marketing, and personalization

The Challenge section thumbnail

The Challenge

The rise of giants like ZooPlus, Amazon, and Bol.com has shaken up the traditional pet food industry in the Netherlands. Now, the only way to stack up against the competition is by nurturing customers who are loyal to the brand. These are customers who display unwavering support because they value higher-quality content, as well as a better shopping experience. In today’s digital terms, that means Pets Place requires a personalization platform that can:

  • Sort through tens of thousands of products and recommend the most suitable products for each visitor and their pet(s)

  • Mine through thousands of educational articles and recommend the right content for the right pet owner

Execution

Onboarded CRM data and defined customer segments based on pet-type, customer-type, and behavior
Recognizing that different pet owners have very different needs (i.e. kitten owners require distinct content and products from senior cat owners), Pets Place identified and clustered their customers based on the type of pets they shop for: dogs, cats, birds, horses, and much more. In addition, Pets Place used Dynamic Yield’s audiencing engine to identify customers who prefer consuming content vs. those who solely shop for products or enjoy VIP status. In addition, they onboarded their first-party CRM data in order to have all customer lifecycle data at their disposal.
Built a multi-functional recommendation widget
Next, Pets Place designed flexible product recommendation templates for easy customization and deployment on any page or area of the site, whether embedded and presented upon page load or displayed within a popup. With these templates, non-technical users at Pets Places could test between differing recommendation strategies for each customer segment on every page. For instance, on product pages, Pets Place tested between the Bought Together and Similarity strategies, while on the homepage, they tested between User Affinity (personalized) recommendations vs. popularity-based recommendations.

Leveraging Dynamic Yield’s machine-learning based auto-optimization technology, Pets Place saw a 15% uplift in revenue per user from their recommendations alone.
Built a multi-functional recommendation widget
Provided category recommendations, not only products
One of the most integral elements of a positive customer experience is ease of navigation—especially when 15,000 products are in play. Pets Place used Dynamic Yield’s User Affinity API to not only recommend products, but also provide personalized, sub-category recommendations within category pages. Now, whenever a dog or cat owner, for instance, arrives at a category page, they are presented with a selection of sub-categories specifically tailored to them. This experience alone has resulted in an 18% uplift in revenue per user among visitors to the Dog category, and an 8% uplift in purchases per user among visitor to the Cat category.
Provided category recommendations, not only products
Personalized the entire Homepage
Personalized the entire Homepage
Whether you’re a cat, kitten, dog, or rabbit owner, every banner, notification, and product recommendation on the Pets Place homepage is personalized with content relevant to you and your pet’s needs. For every element and segment, Pets Place included several variations, from which Dynamic Yield’s optimization engine then chose the best performing variations for each customer.
Offered personalized advice to each identified user that arrives onsite
Pets Place realized the more knowledgeable pet owners are, the better and more loyal customers they become. As a result, they began targeting each of their customer segments with personalized messaging, aimed at arming pet owners with the tools and information they need to make the best choices for their pets.
Offered personalized advice to each identified user that arrives onsite

The Key Takeaway

Pet owners shop for two: their pet and themselves. Leaving it up to pet owners to sift through tens of thousands of options in order to find the right products for each pet is an ineffective approach that both taxes the consumer and results in sub-optimal product fits for their pets. Therefore, it’s imperative to provide these shoppers with a set of tools that will not only inform and educate them, but also direct them toward the right products. In essence, a personalized and guided experience is required. Realizing this need, retailers like Pets Place, who compete with the likes of Amazon and Bol.com, can thrive if a robust platform is acquired. This platform must be able to gather customer data, create segments and user affinity profiles, sift through high-quality content and thousands of products, and then tailor guided experiences for each consumer. By partnering with Dynamic Yield, Pets Place managed to execute all of the above, ultimately achieving a whopping 15% uplift in revenue.

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