The Power of Personalisation During Peak Season
Peak Season shoppers aren’t just any shoppers
It’s not just higher numbers where brands will spot a change over peak season: More than ten months of hype and anticipation since the end of the 2021 season and a readiness to grab bargains will see shoppers in a buyer’s mindset from the moment they log in.
But upon arriving at sites with high intent to buy, peak season gift buyers and bargain browsers don’t always have a specific purchase in mind.
For savvy e-commerce brands, these aren’t challenges but opportunities—but if only they can capitalise by meeting the unique demands of peak season shoppers in volume.
In this case study, we’ll look at how Crownpeak achieved this for one of France’s best-known retailers—cementing the brand’s status as a vibrant and exciting online retail experience in the process.
Awakening Wonder—Recreating the High-Street Experience
French eco-lifestyle and gift retailer Nature & Découvertes has been a familiar high-street presence to millions of shoppers across France, Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg since 1990.
But the brand struggled to translate its mission to ‘awaken curiosity, wonder and understanding of nature’ into an inspirational online experience.
In particular, the retailer found it challenging to structure, optimise and improve product discovery of a gift inventory comprising some +30,000 products—a critical mission during peak season when more shoppers arrive online without specific buying goals.
The Gift Assistant
With Nature & Découvertes’ Gift Finder feature, Crownpeak takes Nature & Découvertes’ product recommendation capabilities to new levels.
The assistant asks questions and uses a decision-tree algorithm to make suggestions in a way that feels more like interacting with a store assistant than browsing a website.
The tool lets users describe their preferences, recipient, and buying budget—effectively segmenting the buyer journey to recommend relevant gifts instead of personal items, throughout the session.
Merchandisers again benefit from weighting the search results according to inventory and commercial demands, while shoppers enjoy a highly personalised experience and moments of unexpected inspiration and delight.
Performance? Nature & Découvertes’ Gift Assistant generated a seven-fold increase in global revenues in 2020.
Enhancing Product Discovery & Personalisation
In addition to the Gift Assistant, Nature & Découvertes uses Crownpeak’s lightweight platform to implement targeted product recommendations at critical touchpoints throughout the buyer journey, such as the homepage, product pages and shopping cart.
The key to making Nature & Découvertes’ strategy so effective is a series of algorithms fed by user data such as browser behaviour, product preferences, navigation paths, perceived intent and past purchases, which made recommendations feel highly personal.
Moreover, the algorithms behind the recommendations are weighted by simple rules defined by the merchandising team and optimised through continual, automated A-B testing to determine the best strategy during the session.
Crownpeak understands, for example, whether shoppers intend to buy a gift for a loved one or treat themselves for the holidays—and serves up a selection of targeted recommendations accordingly.
In doing so, Crownpeak’s recommendation doesn’t just help shoppers find relevant gifts and items but also saves days of work for the brand’s busy merchandisers.
The result? Crownpeak's recommendation engine now generates an impressive 9% of Nature & Découvertes’ online turnover.
The Priceless Gift of Uptime
Crownpeak’s product recommendation and discovery engines have become a signature of the brand’s online presence.
The brand can’t afford a moment of server sluggishness or downtime—especially across BFCM when server requests hit their annual high.
How did we do? Crownpeak has given Nature & Découvertes 100% uptime over peak season since it was first adopted in 2020—and we’ve done the same for countless e-commerce brands for six consecutive years.