How Life Is Good Maximized Merchandising Power with Constructor
“I don’t have to adjust search nearly as much anymore. The system’s learning and doing it on its own.”
An iconic “Positive Lifestyle” brand across apparel, accessories, and housewares, Life Is Good has grown to $100M in annual revenue with a thriving ecommerce site.
Over the past several years, the company has seen tremendous growth by shifting their production model in-house instead of relying on overseas printing. Direct-to-garment printing has allowed Life Is Good to respond more quickly to current events and cultural touchpoints, increasing demand and accelerating their ability to generate popular inventory at scale.
With the growth in inventory, Life Is Good’s small and mighty ecommerce team faced an uphill battle as they relied on manual merchandising to give site visitors the best experience.
The sorting process involved hand-picking the top 50-100 products to rank on each category page according to that week’s sales reporting. Even for similar product rankings across categories (men’s and women’s t-shirts, for example), ecommerce manager Nicole Bragg would still have to manually sort products in each category to optimize the site experience.
Product search presented an additional challenge. “We had a lot of issues where ‘dog’ and ‘dogs’ would return different results because the system wouldn’t classify them together,” Bragg recalls. “I spent a lot of time creating manual synonyms so that we could show our customers the things they wanted to see.”
Even with manual sorting and synonym creation, the experience still wasn’t optimized for each individual visitor. For a category of 3,000 women’s t-shirts, Life Is Good’s tech stack didn’t provide any significant personalization for each user.
“Our followers seeing certain products on TikTok and Instagram were coming to the site and seeing completely different products,” explains Director of Web Operations Linda Shore. “We were showing the same t-shirts to every person on the site whether or not they had an affinity for golf or the color red.”
To keep up with Life Is Good’s significant growth, it was clear that the site was ready for a full-featured product discovery platform.
The Constructor Difference
Life Is Good evaluated several product discovery vendors but found that Constructor stood out for two reasons:
Personalization in service of business KPIs
Constructor’s AI and machine learning solution would allow the Life Is Good team to personalize for the individual and optimize results specifically for business KPIs like revenue per visitor. Other platforms not built for ecommerce would have required the Life Is Good team to continue to manually merchandise and even specify their own segments for personalization. “The real focus for Constructor is on data-driven results,” Shore says. “That’s the same space we like to live in.”
Commitment to long-term partnership
Life Is Good needed not just a vendor but a product discovery partner to build long-term success. Unlike other solutions, Constructor offered the team open access to a dedicated customer success team, including developer support and a product manager. Shore recalls reaching out to Constructor about a technical issue that ended up being on Life Is Good’s side and getting help within seconds. The close relationship has also benefited both teams; Bragg’s insights and ideas as a site merchandising manager have contributed to shaping Constructor’s roadmap for future features and products.
“Constructor’s dev team is smart and solution-based, and it’s very rare to have access to a product manager like we do. Other partners aren’t like that. Our relationship with Constructor has been really supportive.”
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Merchandising with Confidence
Life Is Good entered their relationship with Constructor looking for three things: better personalization, automatic boosting for bestselling items, and search optimization.
After an initial A/B test, the results exceeded their expectations and Life Is Good migrated 100% of their catalog to Constructor within just a few weeks.
“Constructor took away the manual piece of what I was doing before,” Bragg explains. “Now I hardly ever manually sort products on browse pages. The AI not only automatically recognizes items most likely to sell overall, but also personalizes results based on customer behavior.”
For search, Life Is Good was able to take advantage of Constructor’s built-in Cognitive Embeddings Search, which automatically returns the closest result for any search query and virtually eliminates zero results searches. CES also eliminated the manual work that went into trying to provide better search suggestions and synonyms. Bragg says, “I don’t have to adjust search nearly as much anymore. The system’s learning and doing it on its own.”
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Revenue per Visit
The assistance from Constructor has allowed Bragg to focus more on email marketing to promote collections around events or item attributes. Constructor’s personalized landing pages mean that the items Bragg includes in each email can be boosted to the top of each landing page but ranked and featured according to each customer’s individual preferences.
Making Mother’s Day (Even More) Special
Collections pages are a strong opportunity for Life Is Good to personalize their onsite experience for individual visitors beyond what they see in category pages. In the spring, the team launched a Mother’s Day category on the main navigation, but wanted the ability to adjust the sort for email and social promotional campaigns.
In just a few minutes, Bragg was able to create a Collections page with a special sort of Mother’s Day products for the email campaign. This allowed her to sort items how she wished for marketing, but not interfere with how those products were automatically ranked on the Mother’s Day category page.
“We had a big need for personalization but also for more flexibility around how we displayed categories and collections,” Bragg says. “Constructor created that for us and has made the entire process a lot easier.”
The Future Is Good
While Bragg’s time has been freed to get creative with emails and collections, she’s in the process of onboarding a second merchandiser to manage Life Is Good’s upcoming product launches. Why? So that she can dedicate more time to driving results—with Constructor’s help.
Armed with merchant intelligence and insights about what optimizations the platform can make next, Bragg is excited about what the future holds.
“I want to focus more on my work in Constructor,” she says. “I actually like it a lot, and I know there’s a lot of opportunity in there to dive into analytics and learn more about what I can enhance based on what the data is telling us.”
Both Bragg and Shore have also actively provided feedback on new product features coming soon to the Constructor platform that will continue to improve ecommerce results. Shore says she appreciates the ability to help shape the future of search and product discovery at Life Is Good: “The most exciting thing about Constructor is working within the platform and seeing what we’re able to impact next.”
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