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Ground-breaking personalisation

Shop Direct customers will now be able to benefit from even more personalised product displays - highly targeted to improve the overall shopping experience.

Personalising online shopping for the overall customer experience

Shop Direct, the UK's second biggest online pure-play retailer, has 4 million customers that shop on the Very.co.uk, Littlewoods.com and VeryExclusive.co.uk websites.

SAS® Customer Intelligence solutions coupled with SAS® Advanced Analytics, SAS® Visual Analytics and SAS® Solutions for Hadoop will help Shop Direct's website learn from individual consumer behaviour then adjust what products are displayed in real time.

SAS will help the retailer convert browsers to buyers more often by balancing customer needs with customer value and risk.

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"We're all about making it easier for our customers to shop. That's why we're passionate about personalisation. We want to tailor everything for our customer; the shop she visits and how we engage with her before, during and after she's shopped. Our partnership with SAS will allow us to get even better at using data analytics to show our customers the right products at the right time to capture her attention."


Alex Baldock, Group CEO at Shop Direct

Shop Direct is at the forefront of digital and mobile retailing. Now, 100 per cent of its transactions take place online, with over 63 per cent of those completed on mobile devices. During the last 12 months, SAS has helped Shop Direct successfully build a system capable of analysing two years of historic customer, sales and inventory data in real time.

SAS provides Shop Direct with a flexible, hosted suite of data management, analytics, data visualisation and real-time decision capabilities. This combination allows multiple users to explore massive volumes of data, then create descriptive, predictive models. Shop Direct now can organise, integrate and analyse its data, then present it in a format that's easy to act upon and friendly to casual business users.

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Technology background

The solutions behind the personalisation

SAS Visual Analytics

SAS Customer Intelligence provides a real-time decision engine which powers the personalisation of the customer journey. The software is called in real-time by Shop Direct’s e-commerce websites to deploy advanced analytics during the browsing experience. The software provides Shop Direct:

  • Scalability to support huge volumes of web sessions in real-time
  • Ability to link and deploy complex rules and analytical models
  • Opportunity to test and deploy more advanced levels of personalisation to improve customer experience
  • Capability to trigger offline events

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SAS Advanced Analytics helps Shop Direct’s data scientists meet their customer needs better through analysing and linking browsing, purchasing, promotional, credit data and customer feedback together. The software provides:

  • An enterprise analytics framework to build and deploy advanced analytics (including both SAS and open source)
  • A suite of tools to build predictive and descriptive modelling for both structured and unstructured data.
  • Sophisticated data preparation, summarization and exploration.
  • Model validation and comparisons, automated scoring and deployment to SAS Customer Intelligence.

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SAS Visual Analytics gives business users across Shop Direct, including executives, instant access to information about customers. The software:

  • Visually explore the freshest analytical insights, including performance of their advanced decisioning.
  • Ability to quickly see how customer satisfaction and NPS scores are tracking.
  • Get the picture instantly – no coding required.
  • Create meaningful visuals from any data source.

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SAS Data Management and SAS Solutions for Hadoop is at the heart of Shop Direct’s next generation data and cloud strategy which glues together the data, insight and execution capability provided by the associated SAS solutions. These enable:

  • Extract, transform and load data from multiple sources with ease including Shop Direct’s cloud deployment of Hadoop.
  • Push processing down to the database to minimize data movement and improve performance.
  • Apply data governance and data quality to improve analytical processes.

More information

The results illustrated in this article are specific to the particular situations, business models, data input, and computing environments described herein. Each SAS customer’s experience is unique based on business and technical variables and all statements must be considered non-typical. Actual savings, results, and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. SAS does not guarantee or represent that every customer will achieve similar results. The only warranties for SAS products and services are those that are set forth in the express warranty statements in the written agreement for such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. Customers have shared their successes with SAS as part of an agreed-upon contractual exchange or project success summarization following a successful implementation of SAS software. Brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies.

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