The very idea of personalization is baked into the heart and soul of Vera Bradley, which was born out of the idea that there had to be a better option than a sea of black luggage. As one of the bigger name brands on Shopify, we were curious to dig in and find out whether Vera Bradley's commitment to personalization extends to the actual virtual shopping experience for their online customers.
Curious to read more Personalization Audits? Read the entire series here, or check out our first-ever post to get the lowdown on how we audit the brands we feature.
Vera Bradley is ultimately a love letter to personal style. The company was founded in the 1980s after two friends noticed nothing but black luggage at the airport while on a trip. They conceived of the idea of a luggage and bag brand that used color, print, and special details to let every one show off their style while they were on the go - whether just around town or across the globe.
Named for one of the founders' mothers and 40+ years into their history, Vera Bradley is now synonymous with bright colors, vibrant custom prints, and a hugely expanded line of bags - from their signature quilted backpacks to luggage and purses, as well as an array of accessories, housewares and more.
When it comes to tailoring the shopping experience for a Vera Bradley customer, two things must be considered. The first is color (or print). Unlike a typical fashion brand, Vera Bradley doesn't release a ton of new 'styles' of bags or accessories. Instead, they primarily offer their core lineup of products in a constantly rotating palette of prints and colors, most likely reflecting the fact that if a shopper is drawn to a particular style, they might be willing to buy it in multiple colors. Or if they love a particular print, they might be interested in buying multiple matching pieces.
The second major personalization factor comes down to function. Vera Bradley's collection ranges from large rolling luggage and weekend bags to school backpacks and work briefcases to mini purses and belt bags. Someone looking for a product in one of these categories likely isn't looking for all types of bags at the same time (although an effective cross-selling strategy might compel them to add on a matching accessory, like a luggage tag or cosmetic bag).
So is Vera Bradley nailing virtual personalization as much as they're nailing luggage personalization?
Vera Bradley is generally hitting the mark on the two areas of personalization we identified as priority for them - style and function. But with a few small changes, like adding recommendation blocks to the home page or adding recent views, the brand could be streamlining the shopping experience even more. If they really wanted to take things to a new level, we'd highly recommend investing in segmentation to help ease any shopper from browsing to buying in no time.