Timberland Sets Up Camp for Black Friday

As marketers brace for “Black Friday,” rugged clothing and footwear manufacturer Timberland is confident. The company has increased advertising, performed diligent testing and stepped-up site optimization — all in preparation for the busiest shopping day of the year.

The company has focused most strongly on optimizing its Web site to better convert visitors, which will be directed there via emails, search engines and rich media ads.

Leading up to the holiday season, Timberland’s e-commerce department continuously ran tests to determine the best products to showcase and what type of messaging resonated with site visitors. The company uses a testing and optimization tool from Offermatica that helps it determine the best way to direct site visitors to particular product categories. To do that, the software varies the main page and subsequent pages, testing various combinations to determine which performs best.

Welcome images on the main page alternated between three static images and three Flash images. “There’s a theory that consumers in the holidays don’t want to wait for a Flash scene,” Troy Brown, Timberland senior director of e-commerce, told ClickZ News.

“Based on traffic leading up to [Black Friday] we have a good idea of what applications work best in what spot,” said Brown. “We’ll recalibrate the results on that day so we can see how the products are behaving. It’s a constant optimization game. It’s always going on; it’s a very dynamic process.”

Timberland uses the same technology to capture people’s behavior patterns and serve users with pages designed to meet their interests. Brown expects individualized Web sites, personalized using behavior and customer history, to become commonplace.

“I think that’s where the Web sites of the future are going,” said Brown. “I think in the future, Web sites will develop dynamically.”

In the future, Brown wants to employ geotargeting to welcome site visitors with weather-specific advisories and product recommendations. “We hope to use weather conditions for each part of the country,” said Brown. “We’ll serve the site with appropriate gear and storm warnings.”

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