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How to use AI Optimization and Personalization to improve customer loyalty in the Sports Industry

Oct 13th 2021 ecommerce

How to use AI Optimization and Personalization to improve customer loyalty in the Sports Industry

A generic shopping experience represents a high risk for a company operating in a fashion or sporting goods industry. These are highly dynamic and fast-paced environments that do not leave any space for marketing or merchandising strategy mistakes. The digital shopping experience needs to be responsive to trends and the changing tastes of customers. It needs to appeal individually to each customer. This is where AI Optimization and Personalization come in: dynamic and individualized shopping.

AI Optimizations

Applying AI optimizations helps retailers optimize their marketing efforts and directly affect customer conversion and increase sales. For a highly competitive industry such as sports & goods retail, a generic approach is not going to be sufficient to “win” the customers and stay competitive in the long run. Every dollar in the marketing budget has to be used with maximum efficiency, and each move should be tested and evaluated to optimize the overall business strategy.

Read more about best ways to leverage AI to optimize a user conversion

AI Re-Ranking: Gymshark

On Gymshark’s website, products, which users often click in the search results, rank higher. Behind the scenes, AI dynamically optimizes the ranking to increase conversions.

Gymshark’s success indicators:

  • Merchandising with machine learning (AI Re-Ranking) is responsible for £2M a year in extra sales




AI Synonyms Suggestions: Gymshark

Sports retailer Gymshark uses Algolia’s AI-generated synonyms to let users find relevant results even if they use different words for the same products.





Personalization allows retailers to deliver superior customer experience to their customers, even outperforming the in-store direct communication with a sales person. Personalization should feel effortless and useful to ecommerce shoppers, not “creepy” as it may happen with personalization strategies taken too far. Below are examples of sports & goods ecommerce retailers who successfully implemented personalization to ensure a superior user experience and satisfaction, while simultaneously improving their sales, click-through-rates, and conversions.

Personalized search: Decathlon, Gymshark

Decathlon Singapore analyzes users’ preferences as they browse. This enables Decathlon to personalize the user experience, making the search results and overall browsing process more relevant and engaging.

Decathlon’s success indicators:

  • 36% increase in click-through-rate
  • 50% increase in conversion rate

Read more about Decathlon’s personalized experience

Gymshark ensures that each shopper sees the products most relevant to their unique preferences by combining events and facet values in user profiles.

Gymshark’s success indicators:

  • Search conversion rate: from 6.2% pre-Algolia to an average 10% and climbing
  • Orders originating from a search: from less than 10% pre-Algolia to more than 30% increase for Black Friday 2020
  • Revenue from search users climbed up by 400% YoY




Read more about best practices for eCommerce personalization


AI optimizations unlock new opportunities and increase the efficiency of your ecommerce process, by automating and leveraging machine learning algorithms. Such innovations are essential for fast-paced industries like sports & goods ecommerce. This market is highly competitive, rapidly evolving, and continuously influenced by new trends. Therefore, sports & goods companies have to rapidly adapt and constantly improve their customers’ online experience. With well-selected and configured tools, sporting goods retailers can achieve improved relevance, better merchandising and personalization strategies, decreased bounce rates, and increased revenues, sales, click-through-rates, and conversion rates.


About the author
Tanya Herman

Product Manager

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