Lifetime Brands Optimizes Product Placement, Active Merchandising and

Lifetime Brands Optimizes Product
Placement, Active Merchandising and
Site Search to Increase Conversion,
Order Size, and Revenue
Lifetime Brands is North America’s leading provider of nationally branded kitchenware, tabletop, and home décor products that make it easier for consumers to prepare food, serve
meals, entertain guests, and decorate their homes with style.
Consumers rely on the company’s acclaimed e-commerce
sites to directly and efficiently purchase a broad range of
products from some the industry’s best-known brands, including Farberware, KitchenAid, Mikasa, Pfaltzgraff, Cuisinart, Calvin Klein®, and many others. Its many product
offerings include kitchenware, cutlery and cutting boards,
bakeware and cookware, pantryware and spices, flatware,
dinnerware, tabletop accessories, crystal stemware, giftware
and barware.
Unfortunately, with so many collections, patterns, and SKUs,
it was initially a challenge to deliver a consistent search and
navigation experience for site visitors. According to Laura
Siegel, VP of Housewares Brands, the merchandising of
various brands and patterns has an important impact on
the company’s e-commerce results. “Our buyers often know
precisely what pattern they want when they come to one
of our brand sites,” she said. “On, a visitor
might want something from the Winterberry pattern. When
that happens, we want to first present what we call ‘Essential
Items’ – our top-selling SKUs based on recent sales – and
then present our line in a specific order. For instance, our
complete 32-piece sets are a point of emphasis so we want
to see those appear first, followed by our 16-piece, 48-piece,
and 64-piece sets and then dinner plates and salad plates.
And we want that to be consistent from pattern to pattern.
That’s not just consistency for its own sake – we knew that
this would optimize our sales, too.”
At first, Lifetime Brands struggled for that uniform presentation. Layouts could vary significantly and merchandising
personnel had to manually position each individual item in a
collection to achieve a structured layout on-screen. When a
new product was added, all of the product placements had
to be manually shifted. Unfortunately, with 200-300 products
changing each month among its various sites, the manual
shifting of layouts was an extremely labor intensive process.
“Working with Demandware’s Retail Practice Group we
were able to improve our overall site navigation and
improve our ability to merchandise our product line.”
- Laura Siegel, Vice President, Housewares Brands
Lifetime Brands, Inc.
Siegel and her colleagues consulted with the experts from
Demandware’s Retail Practice Group to find a better way.
The result: customized “search placement codes” for all dinnerware subcategories leaving some blank numbers in between to allow for the addition of new product subcategories
as seen in Figure 1 below:
Search Placement Code Dinnerware Subcategory
32 Piece Set
16 Piece Set
48 Piece Set
64 Piece Set
Dinner Plate
Salad Plate
Figure 1: List of Search Placement Codes assigned
to order product subcategories.
Because search placement codes are placed at the category or subcategory level, when a new dinner plate is added
to the pattern, it automatically gets the appropriate search
placement code. These dinnerware products are then used
to populate the Patterns and Collections pages. Since the
sorting rule for these pages is to present items according to
search placement codes, all Patterns and Collections pages
have exactly the same product layout – without any manual
work. This consistent user experience can be seen in Figure
2 showing two popular Pfaltzgraff patterns – Winterberry and
Evening Sun.
In many cases customers are looking for replacement or
add-on pieces like additional salad plates or dinner plates.
To best merchandise these Dinnerware subcategories like
Salad Plates or Cereal Bowls, an active merchandising
sorting rule was added. The active merchandising sorting
rule sequences the products in each category by best-sellers
– using a mixture of the revenue and orders metrics. This
has allowed the merchants to “set it and forget it.” They no
longer have to manually position products for the Dinnerware
subcategories. They also have the ability to feature certain
products by using the Category Position feature. This allows
merchandisers to pick their favorites to be at the top of a Dinnerware category and then let metrics take over and sort the
rest by best sellers.
According to Siegel, it was a relief to eliminate the countless
hours that Lifetime spent manually reconfiguring the presentation on its various product pages. “We’re not wasting
that time anymore,” she said. “That’s a huge advantage. But
more importantly, we’re seeing amazing successes from a
financial point of view. We analyzed the performance metrics for the three weeks before and compared it to the three
weeks after we implemented the search placement codes.
We saw that the order conversion increased 0.7 percentage
points and the number of orders jumped 26%. These changes along with a Memorial Day promotion also contributed to
an average weekly revenue lift of over $50,000 per week.”
Lifetime Brands also wanted to find ways to refine and improve its site-search functionality. An amazing 20% of site
visitors use the site search box to locate specific items – far
higher than the average 8% usage that most Demandware
sites experience. Again, this is because the Pfaltzgraff shopper is typically searching for specific patterns or for specific
product types like coffee mugs or cereal bowls. However,
the results were not targeted enough to meet their needs.
Figure 2: Pfaltzgraff Pattern pages provide the same consistent product layout.
Figure 3: Incorrect search results on page 1 due to a match in the long description.
“The problem was that when the user entered a search
term, a lot of false hits and inappropriate results were returned due to the fact that the product long descriptions were
being searched,” said Siegel. “If someone searched for ‘salad plates,’ the first page might be full of complete dinnerware
sets that include salad plates – simply because ‘salad plate’
was contained in the long description.” The results of this
can be seen in Figure 3.
“Working with Demandware’s Retail Practice Group we were
able to improve our overall site navigation and improve our
ability to merchandise our product line. Since these changes were so successful on the Pfaltzgraff site, we then rolled
them to our Mikasa site and plan to implement them on our
other sites. We can now deliver the right assortments to the
right people at the right time – and that’s directly translating
into greater revenue.”
The solution was straightforward, simple, and fast. The
team simply removed the search option from the long description. Then, search indexes were reindexed. In only a
few minutes, the problem was fixed and search results
were precise and targeted – exactly what shoppers were
looking for. Overall, order conversion for the entire Pfaltzgraff
site increased by 0.5 percentage points. More importantly,
for searches directly for product types like ‘salad plates’ or
‘cereal bowls’ the number of orders and the items per order
doubled and order conversion increased from 7.9 percent to
10.5 percent.
“It’s pretty simple: if you don’t take people where they want to
be – forget it,” Siegel said. “If your site visitors are searching
specifically for coffee mugs and you show them dinnerware
sets, they may leave – and they may not come back.”
The trusted, global leader in on-demand ecommerce,
Demandware revolutionizes how businesses deliver customized shopping experiences to consumers in the digital world.
Only Demandware combines the on-demand ecommerce
platform rated #1 by industry analysts, an open ecosystem of
partners that extend the value of the platform, and measurable commitment by its employees to enabling client revenue
growth. Demandware continually sets industry standards
for market innovation and client satisfaction. Demandware
clients include industry leaders such as Bare Escentuals,
Barneys New York, Columbia Sportswear, Crocs, Frederick’s of Hollywood, Hanover Direct, Jones Apparel Group,
Lifetime Brands, Michaels Stores, Panasonic, Playmobil
and Reitmans.
Demandware Inc.
10 Presidential Way
Woburn, MA 01801
[email protected]