Deep Dive Into the Retail Personalization Index Top 10: Urban Outfitters

The first Retail Personalization Index had some obvious standouts and if we’re being honest, Urban Outfitters was not one of them. To be fair, the brand’s attribute-based and collaboratively filtered product recommendations displayed a basic personalization prowess. But while that earned Urban Outfitters a place on the list — they tied for 56th — it wasn’t enough to stand up to the top performing titans like Sephora and JustFab.

Brands are increasingly prioritizing personalization; National Retail Federation called it the top tech investment right now. Last year, Urban Outfitters’ Chief Digital Officer Dave Hayne even vowed to invest in data and analytics in order to improve personalization.

It’s been great to see how many retailers have drastically improved their scores over the last year. But no retailer has a comeback story as strong as Urban Outfitters. The brand jumped nearly 40 points to tie for third place with Walmart.

Urban Outfitters’ Email Evolution

While we love the “back in stock” notifications on Urban Outfitters’ mobile app and the robust rewards program, we’re most impressed with the brand’s performance in the email category. We’re not just saying this because we’re an email services provider; email was the largest contributor to the brand’s supercharged score. Now, emails are customized for each consumer from the initial welcome message.

Urban Outfitters email

Personalization continues throughout most of the lifecycle: relevant product recommendations, birthday messages, and behavioral triggers, just to name a few. Urban Outfitters has come a long way. But to really perfect their email experience, we’d recommend winback campaigns for re-engaging lapsed customers.

It’s not just online that Urban Outfitters has improved by leaps and bounds. The brand also offers personalized shopping experiences at their physical locations. Beacons are a common way for retailers to engage in-store shoppers, but Urban Outfitters goes far beyond letting you know that you’re walking by a good deal. They use dynamic audience filters, which combine location with other digital data, to ensure that push notifications are relevant. For example, promoting party dresses to those female shoppers who frequent bars and nightclubs.

Is personalization paying off for Urban Outfitters? This summer, the retailer reported that second quarter sales, increased 13.7% year over year to a record $992 million. Driven largely by ecommerce, comparable retail net sales also rose 13%.

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