Ecommerce is often associated with upstart DTC brands, but legacy players have just as big a presence online. Case in point? Legacy brand Windsor. With nearly 100 years of history, today we're taking a close look at what lessons Windsor has learned about personalization over the years, and how they've been applied to the brand's website.
Every personalization audit we conduct is a result of extensive testing both incognito and within a single or repeat sessions. Learn more about LimeSpot's Personalization Audit series here and while you're there, be sure to check out the review we did a much newer brand in the fashion space, Fashion Nova.
Windsor personalization strategy audit
Ecommerce may be a relatively nascent industry, with really only about 30 years of consumer exposure. Even still, as recently as 2014, ecommerce only generated $1.3 trillion per year, a number that has since climbed to over $7 trillion. But just because ecommerce is new, doesn't mean the players operating in this space are new. Case in point? Windsor.
Founded as a hosiery and lingerie store in the 1930s, Windsor is a family-owned business that's grown organically over time into a $200M+ business. With over 200 stores across the U.S. and a strong presence in the formalwear space, Windsor has become synonymous with the place to shop when you want to get dressed up - from proms and wedding guests to bridesmaids and special nights out.
At the same time, Windsor has also expanded into accessories, lingerie, footwear, and everyday clothing. The perks for Windsor's model are clear. They have high brand recognition for formalwear. But while shopping, customers may be compelled to pick up an entire head to toe look, or something more casual that they'll get more than a few wears out of. The question is how well Windsor is merchandising this trifecta of shopping goals: formal dresses, accessories, and regular clothing.
What Windsor got right
- PDP recommendations: Windsor's cross-sell recommendations are useful in two aspects: They give customers a chance to view other items in the same color (where possible), or the same style. It's also worth noting that almost every dress clicked on also provided a lingerie / undergarment suggestion, as an easy cross-sell for most customers.
- Home page recommendations: There is one element of personalization on the home page, in the form of a 'Recommended for you' block. This block does update in real-time, meaning that within a single session a shopper will see updated items that are either recent views, or related items to their recent views. If a customer views a lot of products, this box could become less exciting as it'll solely function as a recent views box, but serving as a mix between the two types is a useful and unique take on personalization.
Areas for Windsor to enhance
- In-cart cross-sell: The idea of 'adding the final touches' in the cart makes perfect sense for Windsor. But the products actually being served up don't really jive with the messaging. Chances are a shopper isn't looking for a second formal dress when they get to their cart, and curiously the default sizes for all featured items isn't the same size as what's in the cart. Windsor could make much better use of this space by piping in recommendations from a specific collection - like accessories or shoes - instead of just relying on 'similar items'.
- It's worth noting this 'Final Touches' box works a bit better for non-formal dresses, by highlighting a mix of undergarments, similar items, or items that could be worn to make a look. But the items still don't feel as well-curated as they could be.
Missed personalization opportunities for
- Bundles: Given that Windsor sells lingerie, shoes, and accessories, it seems like a no-brainer for them to curate a complete look for all of their formal gowns. The brand could offer a bundle package (with or without a discount) to give customers a head to toe look they can add to their cart in a single click.
- Recent views: Given the sheer number of dresses on the Windsor site that can feel similar, it's surprising they don't have any recently viewed blocks for customers to circle back to, other than the home page block that channels recent views as well as related items. Having recent views more prominently / consistently throughout the site would give customers an easier way to compare items they've viewed at a glance and more easily assess which one is really calling to them.
- Free shipping progress bar - with recommendations: Windsor promotes how far away you are from free shipping on the cart page, but they could further enhance this CTA by incorporating product recommendations that are specifically geared price-wise to help you hit that free shipping threshold.
- Site and collection personalization: Windsor generally has two trajectories: Formalwear, and casual wear. They could tailor their site experience based on what a shopper is showing a preference for, whether by adjusting their navigation (including the featured images in the navigation), changing the order of their home page content, or changing the sort order of products in various collections - in particular, new arrivals.
Windsor is heading down the right path when it comes to their personalization strategy, and with a little fine tuning, they could generating more revenue in no time. The biggest opportunity for Windsor comes down to cross-merchandising their various lines more strongly; using bundles to sell complete looks, and revisiting their recommendations algorithm or stacking recommendation boxes to both present similar items (like Fashion Nova does) as well as items that go well with what a shopper is interested in.