Allbirds and Shopify have practically grown up together, with the footwear brand often spotlighted in Shopify's list of star brands and biggest success stories. A favorite of Silicon Valley for their sustainable and comfortable footwear, today we're analyzing whether Allbirds is a favorite brand when it comes to personalization.
And if you're interested in reading more about footwear specifically, be sure to check out our Rothy's and Steve Madden personalization audits.
Allbirds personalization strategy audit
Allbirds is most often associated with Silicon Valley, having earned major street (or desk) cred for their line of eco-friendly, comfy shoes. While the brand might have been picked up by tech founders a plenty, they've also got a widespread and growing base as word of mouth continues to help generate buzz.
There are definitely similarities worth noting between Allbirds and Rothy's, another shoe brand we covered in our personalization audits. Both brands were driven by a desire to create a more sustainable type of shoe. And both brands have since expanded their lines based on this core principle (and hit runaway product). In Allbirds' case, they've gone less for the 'accessories' and more in the 'active lifestyle' direction, with a line of sustainable fashion that embodies their uncomplicated, 'for real life' design aesthetic.
When it comes to where we'd expect to see personalization on the Allbirds site, some of the same considerations we've mentioned for Rothy's and Steve Madden hold true; tailoring the site based on preferred styles or function (e.g. shopping for flats versus running shoes), as well as color.
But we also see similarities between Allbirds and activewear brands we've featured, like Gymshark and Alo. Allbirds could personalize the site based on someone's inferred gender, or their preferred activities (e.g. shopping for lifestyle vs. training purposes). With all that in mind, let's see whether this shoe success story is as successful when it comes to personalization.
What Allbirds got right
Returning shopper recognition: Net new shoppers on the Allbirds site are presented with a 'Best of Allbirds' collection; a great best practice to give new visitors a taste of what the brand is known and revered for. But for returning shoppers, this block is replaced with 'Take another look', bringing recently viewed items to the forefront (a strategy we've seen play out well for another footwear brand).
The same is true on Allbirds product detail pages. New shoppers are served a 'Also consider' block at the bottom of the page, while returning shoppers will see their 'Recently viewed' products instead.
Areas for Allbirds to enhance
Product detail page recommendation blocks: The product detail pages on Allbirds site have a few spots for product recommendations, some of which function more successfully than others. There are featured products right by the main product under an 'Also consider' headline; in some cases they take you to other similar shoe styles (e.g. running shoes on a running shoe page) while on others they feature accessories (e.g. an insole). While this is effective for a low-SKU site like Allbirds, their 'Frequently viewed together' box feels a bit less relevant to the shopping journey, with a mix of Allbirds' clothing and other footwear. The brand might have better luck actually swapping these two boxes; curating a look as a bundle in the 'Also consider' spot, and highlighting similar styles (or colors) where 'Frequently viewed' is currently placed.
In-cart cross-sells: Allbirds Ajax slideout cart features a simple cross-sell which can be added to the cart with a single click. The cross-sells aren't particularly tailored to the a buyer's interests however; the only shift between what showed up in the cart was based on the product itself, and not a shopper's overall buying behavior. For example, if the product was a running shoe (socks), flats (insoles), or shirt (bralette), you saw slightly different items. On the upside, the recommended cross-sell does change if the customer adds the original cross-sold product to their cart. The brand could take things a step further by offering multiple upsells in the cart through a carousel, as opposed to relying on a single product.
Finally, it's worth noting the cart page itself (not the slideout cart) isn't easily accessible to customers unless the backtrack from checkout, but features no personalization or product recommendations whatsoever.
Unisex collection sorting: Allbirds primarily drives customers to navigate by men or women, but they have a number of collections the bring together items from both lines - for example, by shopping for shoes for 'rainy days'. While the brand splits up Men's and Women's lines on these collection pages, an even simpler fix might be to swap the order of what appear first if a customer shows a preference for one gendered collection over the other.
Geo-location personalization: Given Allbirds actually markets their shoes as being for warm, cool, or rainy weather, they could benefit from geo-targeting elements of their site based on the climate of a shopper. For example, visitors from the Northern U.S. may be served 'cold weather' hero images and featured collections on the home page during the months of October - January, while the Southern U.S. may stick to the brand's overall bestsellers, or their rainy day line.
Allbirds has got a fair bit of personalization and opportunities for cross-selling that make sense with what we identified as their key areas of focus. There is potential to fine tune a bit of what they're doing, and to move into more advanced strategies based on their customer segments, but in all we'd say Allbirds is on the right track to put their best foot forward from here.
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