SmartPak Embraces AI Merchandising Practices With Bloomreach Discovery
SmartPak, a Covetrus brand, was founded in 1999 based on one brilliant idea: creating single-packaged horse medication and supplements that are preselected and premeasured for each individual horse. In fact, the initial idea for SmartPak was sparked by a love for healthy horses and a passion for happy riders.
Although SmartPak is foundationally a direct-to-consumer website, the business began to branch out into new markets as it gained recognition for its unique feeding system. Once the equine supplements retailer began to incorporate hard goods — like tack and equipment, apparel and gear, and even supplies for dogs — into its offerings, the company sought a way to continue delivering top-notch customer service and shopping experiences despite its fast growth. Bloomreach Discovery was the answer.
As SmartPak expanded its product offerings, third-party apparel line, and targeted market to include barn owners, the company found itself in a state of hypergrowth. However, this rapid expansion of the business and diversification of product lines presented a unique challenge for SmartPak. Even though the company aimed to remain true to its roots and ensure that each customer interaction felt personalized and genuine, the brand also had to keep pace with the growing demands of an increasingly diverse customer base with various needs, wants, and pain points.
Though armed with personal equine expertise, the small merchandising team found themselves in uncharted territory. Now, they had to provide the same level of service that reflected the brand’s customer-first mindset at scale — without compromising the company’s commitment to providing high-quality, tailored e-commerce experiences to its customers.
Fortunately, SmartPak saw this challenge as an opportunity to innovate and adapt, leveraging its equine industry knowledge and close-knit team dynamic to develop a merchandising strategy that would allow it to scale effectively. Despite these growing pains, the e-commerce department was confident that they could maintain Smartpak’s high standards by continuing to build meaningful relationships with customers through intuitive digital experiences, no matter how large their audience, product line, or in-house business ventures grew.
We really let the Bloomreach algorithm take control and sort the page. We trust the rules set in place by the solution and that they are going to populate the most relevant products.
SmartPak found a way to address their challenges through the power of e-commerce AI. By harnessing the capabilities of Bloomreach Discovery, SmartPak could not only keep pace with the ever-evolving consumer demands of its highly niche industry, but it could also expand its business — all while upholding the exceptional standards that its respected brand is known for.
Since Bloomreach combines the data that we’ve amassed over the past 14 years on shopping and search habits with publicly available data, our solution can train AI, unlike any other e-commerce solution on the market. SmartPak saw the value immediately — even in dealing with specialized products for horses like “surcingles” — and trusted Bloomreach’s AI, or Loomi, to handle all the obstacles of search and merchandising, from synonyms to misspellings. Over time, Loomi also continued to learn (and get smarter) from SmartPak’s real-time customer and product data and became more agile with these very specific equine search terms and phrases.
At the same time, SmartPak’s experienced team of merchandisers could step in and manually tweak product grids where needed. For example, Bloomreach’s merchandising tools allowed SmartPak to boost new products without any historical data behind them across its homepage, category pages, and product landing pages. The retailer also wasn’t afraid to let Loomi step in when needed, relying on the e-commerce AI to prioritize category facets that needed more visibility, optimize products for seasonality (e.g., “fly season”) based on geolocation, and auto-generate thematic pages to create landing destinations for its customers while keeping a clean category tree.
SmartPak is now working smarter with Bloomreach Discovery’s capabilities, which are embedded with Loomi at its core. Not only does our product discovery solution provide SmartPak’s growing base of customers with personalized experiences at scale, but it’s also allowed the retailer to continue exploring new markets and product lines.
With Bloomreach, SmartPak has seen many favorable outcomes, including a 5.2% increase in search conversion rates over the past eight months and a 2.3% lift in category RPV within the same time frame. To put it into a dollar amount, Bloomreach impacted approximately $1.9 million of that revenue in the last eight months — a 15% increase.
In addition to these impressive numbers, the intuitive nature of Bloomreach Discovery has made it easier for SmartPak’s new and returning customers to find exactly what they're looking for, whether it’s through the search bar, facet navigation, or targeted landed pages — streamlining the shopping experience and making it feel more cohesive overall. With the help of Bloomreach, SmartPak is setting a new standard in the equine industry for delivering superior, personalized shopping experiences, all while enabling the brand’s merchandisers to unlock limitless potential.