The supermarket has signed a deal with Criteo, a global company specialising in performance display advertising, to implement the technology.
The Waitrose site was beset by teething problems when it launched last year, despite costing £10m and taking two years to build. The company has been keen to point out it works in conjunction with Ocado, not in competition.
Waitrose head of online commercial Nick White said: “As the industry leader Criteo was an obvious choice for us, enabling us to present consumers with relevant and up-to-date product information in a visually rewarding way.
“We are driving innovation in the grocery sector by being the first supermarket to adopt personalised retargeting, enhancing our ecommerce strategy and making online shopping even easier for our customers. We are already seeing a tenfold increase in the click-through rate compared to non-targeted display activity as well as a high level of conversions.”
Criteo leverages consumer intent in the same way as search advertising by showing ads for products based on the browsing behaviour of people on Waitrose.com.
The software uses a predictive engine that is able to recommend products based on the behaviour of other consumers that have viewed the same or similar products. The ads are created in real-time to ensure consideration of stock availability and pricing. Waitrose can easily track the success throughout by comparing the cost of sale with the click-through purchase cost to ensure that it remains viable and successful.
“It is great to see an industry leader such as Waitrose driving innovation in the retail sector,” said Michael Steckler, managing director for Northern Europe at Criteo. “We share a common goal as we continually aim to provide consumers with a more relevant online shopping experience,” he added.
Developments are also in progress to enable Waitrose to present consumers with items that they have forgotten to place in their online trolley prior to the delivery date as well as re-advertise purchased items once they are likely to have been consumed.
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