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Big Lots increases overall site revenue by 60% with 1:1 personalization

Sitecore Discover helps Big Lots bring its unique retail experience online, successfully driving visits, conversions, and revenue.

Big Lots




Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Big Lots is a home goods store renowned for surprising and delighting its customers with unexpected finds and special offers. Big Lots was eager to bring this unique retail environment online by offering personalized experiences across search, recommendations, and category pages.


Bringing the thrill of the treasure hunt online

Realizing that over 50% of its online shoppers use search during their buying journey, Big Lots felt it was important to implement a solution that helped shoppers find what they wanted more intuitively. The company also wanted to make it easier for the e-commerce side of the business to scale and improve their site conversion rate by creating an easier buying experience. In addition to their search problem, Big Lots had little control over the product recommendations customers saw. Their existing solution gave them little flexibility with recommendations, as well as few analytics or reporting insights. To compound these challenges, Big Lots had category and landing pages that had to be sorted through and merchandised manually, putting a drain on staff time, and limiting the online business’s ability to scale.

Only a platform solution could address these difficulties for Big Lots. Their overarching goal was to improve their site conversion rate by creating an easier buying experience. “We wanted to make sure we are relevant by recommending the right products anywhere in the shopper’s journey,” says Lorraine Kaufman, Director of E-commerce Merchandising. “Give her as many tools as possible to get what she is looking for.”

The company’s second goal was to create new efficiencies that could enable the e-commerce side of the business to scale and save precious work hours for the team. “From an ease-of-use standpoint, this was important because our team is not huge. It’s important they learn one tool and work as one team with one vendor,” says Kaufman.

By streamlining their website’s technology with a single personalization solution, Big Lots saw that they could optimize the site experience while eliminating the problems that come with having multiple solutions that can’t “talk” to each other.

big lots challenge


increase in site revenue


increase in conversion


increase in revenue per visit


As Big Lots was relatively new to the e-commerce space, they needed to catch up with competitors. Sitecore Discover gave Big Lots the ability to create personalized experiences across search, recommendations, and category pages while creating an opportunity to level up in the future with a 360-degree view of the customer. Since implementing Sitecore Discover’s personalization technology, Big Lots has begun connecting their online and in-store experience by powering personalized shopping experiences for shoppers wanting to buy online and pick up in-store. Sitecore Discover’s advanced AI makes it the perfect solution for Big Lots because of the way it aligns with the buying journey that the brand aims to deliver.

“We want to make sure the experience is personalized,” says Kaufman, “but we also don’t want to forget about the surprise-and-delight piece of our brand DNA that makes us unique. Sitecore Discover was the perfect mix of intelligence and partnership we were looking for – it just made sense.”

It also made sense to Kaufman because Big Lots needed a solution that the e-commerce team could just set and forget if they needed to since they are a very lean team. Big Lots added four of Sitecore Discover’s modules, which work seamlessly together to personalize customer engagement by pivoting to the purchase intent of each shopper in real-time: preview search, full-page search, product recommendations, and category pages. With blazing-fast reaction times, Big Lots customers now see curated product images from their very first keystrokes, helping customers to find exciting new deals rapidly in a context-sensitive, responsive environment.

Retiring cumbersome legacy systems, deploying a sleek new system, and training staff — all while maintaining downtime — might sound like a daunting proposition for a business as large as Big Lots, but Sitecore Discover made it simple. “The deployment team did an amazing job leading us through it all,” says Kaufman. “I literally don’t know when they sleep. We had homegrown and legacy tool systems, so it wasn’t the most straightforward implementation. But Sitecore was able to meet our unique needs through the process. I really can’t speak highly enough of the deployment team and the partnership.”

big lots solution

"Sitecore Discover was able to meet our unique needs through the process. I really can’t speak highly enough of the deployment team and the partnership."

- Lorraine Kaufman, Director of E-commerce Merchandising


Big Lots + Sitecore Discover – A revenue success story

Just two weeks after implementing Sitecore Discover preview search and recommendations, Big Lots began to see a substantial return on their investment. Using the analytics features integrated into Sitecore Discover’s Commerce Engagement Platform, they could see impressive initial results:

  • Conversion rate increased by 53%
  • Site revenue increased by 61%
  • Revenue per visit increased by 45%

This was just from launching two modules in Sitecore Discover’s Commerce Engagement Platform — just a portion of what will eventually be an even more robust AI-driven solution for Big Lots.

Upcoming plans include a focus on expanding the omnichannel experience for Big Lots shoppers, with a clear, personalized connection between the online and in-store shopping experiences. Big Lots wants to provide its customers with a friction-free buying experience, reaching them with just-right products, no matter where, or when they shop. Lorraine Kaufman says Big Lots wants to fit into each customer’s life, “…however she wants us to fit in. With personalization, we can save her time by showing her the right search results and product recommendations. We can also improve her day by surprising her with the perfect party essentials, or whatever she needs and get it when she needs it – whether that is through buy online, pick up in-store or shipping a few days later.” Anytime, anywhere, Sitecore Discover’s revolutionary AI will be helping Big Lots customers to find a trove of great deals for years to come.

big lots outcome