Rothy's might very well be one of the biggest success stories of all time not only on Shopify, but for DTC brands in general. In this Personalization Audit, we're looking at how personalization has supported Rothy's rapid growth, and where they could potentially boost cart sizes a little further with a little more effort.
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Rothy's personalization strategy audit
Much has been written about DTC brands getting sky high valuations without realizing profitability. Rothy's is the exception to that rule, raising $42M but remaining profitable while hitting $140M in revenue within a couple of years of launching.
The shoe brand is also proof that when you hit on something that works, it only makes sense to expand on it. Rothy's started out with a simple mission: To create comfortable, lightweight women's shoes made from truly sustainable materials (like 100% recycled plastic water bottles and post-consumer recycled materials). Since then, they've evolved to sell handbags, kids shoes, and introduced a men's line in 2021, all while consistently clearing over $100M in annual revenue.
We've covered another footwear brand, Steve Madden, in our Personalization Audit series. In that audit, we noted the key areas for personalization involved the style of shoe a customer was interested in, as well as the occasion. Rothy's has a decidedly less expansive lineup of footwear and accessories overall, but their customer base is known to buy the same style on repeat as new colorways are released. This suggests an opportunity to tailor the site by preferred style, and of course, to cross-sell products from Rothy's expanded lineup of accessories.
Given Rothy's has multiple audiences shopping on their site (women, men, kids) there's also an opportunity to tailor the experience by preferred collection.
What Rothy's got right
Product detail page recommendations by color: When all is said and done, Rothy's has a relatively limited SKU count; their limited edition colors and patterns tend to be the way the brand expands and drives repeat sales. It's notable then, that the 'You may also like' recommendation block adapts in real time based on the color a customer chooses, without ever having to leave the product page. Selecting a different tone at the top of the page instantly changes the recommended items further down, suggesting the color is key to the shopping journey for Rothy's customers.
Areas for Rothy's to enhance
Recent views: Kudos to Rothy's for including recently viewed items in a prominent location on their product detail pages. However, the brand is seriously missing out by not placing them in more spots, for example, on collection pages, the home page, search, or even the cart / checkout page.
Missed personalization opportunities for
Side navigation personalization: Rothy's has a unique sidebar navigation that includes a few featured collections. One possible area to tailor is swapping out which featured collections appear in these visual callouts, based on a customer's browsing behavior. This could mean highlighting a men's collection, or spotlighting a specific color-themed shop.
In-cart cross-sell: Rothy's Ajax slideout cart features a simple upsell: Add a pair of insoles for a nominal price. But given the brand carries other types of products, including bags and wallets, it's surprising they're not making more of an effort once you're at checkout to actually alert shoppers to other things they might have missed. If Rothy's wants to push their brand as being known for more than just shoes, injecting more points in the shopper's journey with a callout to their other lines is paramount.
Collections: Given the importance of color elsewhere on the Rothy's buyer journey, the brand could apply the same logic to their more general collections (like 'Shop All' or 'New'). A customer that shows a preference for neutrals could have those colors sorted toward the top of a collection, while someone else with a penchant for bright colors or patterns might see a completely different sort order.
Rothy's is an interesting use case for personalization, simply because they have less variety in their overall offering. While the brand is doing a good job of cross-selling based on color, there are a few more ways they could be expanding a customer's browsing journey and ideally, driving bigger basket sizes along the way.
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