Neiman Marcus Tests Solution to Increase Customer Engagement Via Email

Neiman Marcus always sets a high bar when it comes to customer experience and customer engagement.
As a result, Neiman Marcus tested a solution from Coherent Path−which uses a personalization platform that enables retailers to optimize customer engagement around strategic business objectives−to increase the value of its email program.

Coherent Path’s cloud-based solution applies advanced mathematics to turn large volumes of data into a map of the product, transactional, and content space at Neiman Marcus. Coherent Path then helped Neiman Marcus focus content and offers on the customer journey instead of just the next sale. The solution provides a foundation from which Neiman Marcus can introduce customers to product categories and items that may be new to them but are likely to inspire interest.

Loyalty360 caught up with Jeff Rosenfeld, Vice President of Customer Insight and Analytics, The Neiman Marcus Group, to learn more about the test.

“We are consistently looking for opportunities to improve the accuracy of our personalization,” Rosenfeld said. “Combine this with the fact that email is an especially strong communication channel for customers and is a large revenue driver. When Coherent Path approached us and explained its analytical methodology that continuously learns and adjusts its recommendations based on each customer interaction, we knew it was something we wanted to test.”

Rosenfeld said Neiman’s primary focus is to increase revenue and customer engagement with email as measured through opens and clicks.

“While our tests are still in progress, so far we’re seeing this new approach drive improvement in both metrics,” he said. “At a high level, the solution leverages customers’ historical browse, purchase, and email interaction behavior to predict how they will respond to any given set of email creative assets. It consistently micro tests its predictions, allowing the algorithm to adaptively ‘learn’ customer preferences and uses these predictions to optimize what content each customer receives on a daily basis.”

In its current implementation of Coherent Path, the tool doesn’t change the kind of content Neiman Marcus features, but “let’s us increase the productivity of our existing content to be more relevant to our customers,” Rosenfeld added. “We have been building a fairly advanced email process in-house for years and have competed (and won) against numerous other vendors over that time. As a result, we were a bit skeptical that this time would be any different, but were impressed by the Coherent Path methodology. While the tests are still in progress, we have been pleasantly surprised by the strength of their performance. We pride ourselves on the progress we’ve made to date in personalization, but always strive to get faster and more accurate. With Coherent Path’s ‘active learning’ algorithm, it enables us to dynamically respond to changes in customer behavior in a way that is both faster and more accurate than our previous methods.”

What are Neiman’s future plans for the use of Coherent Path?

“Assuming the results we’ve seen so far persist through the rest of our testing, we’ll roll out the existing use case more broadly,” Rosenfeld added. “After that, we have a couple more innovative use cases on the horizon, but aren’t quite yet ready to share those.”

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