Maintaining a Low Altitude of E-Commerce Personalization


E-Commerce Personalization Experiences

Personalization of marketing experiences is the name of the game. It involves multiple channels and requires integration across each of them. Companies that deliver personalized digital experiences for their customers generate double-digit returns on their marketing programs. This also extends to e-commerce experiences.

E-commerce platform providers like Demandware and Shopify enable B2C and B2B online businesses to deliver personalized shopping experiences to customers when they are online as well as offline. A critical part of this process involves the use of data analytics and business intelligence (BI) to understand the behaviors of known and unknown customers. When the next-generation e-commerce platforms are integrated with other software solutions such as live web chat and real-time personalization offers and content, the potential business impact is amplified.

The more information a company knows about a customer, the greater the degree of personalization it can offer to that customer during the shopping experience. Reverbant calls this measurement the “Altitude of Personalization™.”

Imagine a scenario where I am conducting research on some parts for my Ford Mustang. I conduct a Google search for those specific parts and visit several online retailers that have tuned their search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO) activities to align with my search, although I am not ready to make a purchase yet. Several days later, when surfing on another site unrelated to this earlier search, I am targeted with ads highlighting products related to my earlier searches. When I click on one of those display ads, I am redirected to the website of one of the online retailers I visited several days before. In addition to being taken to a personalized landing page, I receive invitations to chat with online sales agents and even additional product offers.

Altitude of Personalization™ and the Impact on the Commerce Graph™

Personalized e-commerce experiences are proven to deliver substantial returns—from reduced bounce rates to higher conversion rates (and more permanent sales). For example, almost half of consumers spend more after receiving personalized offers, and over three-quarters are willing to provide more information about their in-store purchases so they can have personalized e-commerce and other shopping experiences.

The more information a company knows about a customer, the greater the degree of personalization it can offer to that customer during the shopping experience. Reverbant calls this measurement the “Altitude of Personalization™.” This, in turn, correlates with a resultant Commerce Graph™ for each user. The less a company knows about its individual customers, the corresponding altitude of personalization will be higher. For companies that know more about their customers, the corresponding altitude of personalization will be lower. Looking at it another way – when a lower altitude has been established it affords greater personalization; when a higher altitude has been established it affords less personalization.

One of the companies that has established and maintains a very low altitude of personalization with its customers is Amazon. This enables Amazon to deliver highly personalized and meaningful e-commerce experiences. Consider the following scenario and the breadth of data analytics and BI that are involved. For a particular customer who plays soccer, Amazon knows he plays soccer based on his previous purchases and browsing history.

This just scratches the surface of what happens behind the scenes. Amazon also knows the gender, location, spending habits, other product purchases, browsing history in general, and many other factors. When these are put in a broader customer demographic aggregate, much deeper insights become evident. Based on this level of detail, Amazon can establish a very low altitude of personalization with its customers, thus allowing them to offer a soccer shoe tailored for someone who plays outdoors on wet surfaces, which results in higher customer satisfaction and revenue. Contextual messaging, dynamic retargeting, real-time offers, and location-based messaging are the norm for companies who can establish low altitudes of personalization.

“The world of internet commerce is continually shifting under our feet,” says Grant Lea, president and founder of Nytch, Inc., a company specializing in e-commerce experiences. “It is more important than ever for retailers to know their customers as individual people. With millions of products available online, customers put a premium on quickly and easily finding the products that solve some problem that they face; it isn’t enough to simply provide access to things to buy. A low altitude—almost intimate—understanding of your customer and their uniqueness is a major competitive advantage now, but will be a requirement for online retail in the near future.”

Companies, competing against retailers like Amazon, that have established a very high altitude of personalization are at a competitive disadvantage if they are unable to deliver comparable personalization experiences. For example, in the case of the above scenario, an athletic retailer without the same level of information on the soccer customer likely will never know to offer them a soccer shoe, let alone one that is tailored to meet their playing preferences. Returning to my initial example involving my Ford Mustang, imagine the e-commerce personalization opportunities that would exist in the event the retailer knew I had a second house in upstate New York and needed to winterize the vehicle every fall.

Analytics and BI of E-Commerce Personalization

The data analytics and BI challenges facing many B2B and B2C companies today are twofold. The first relates to the fact that there is a vast amount of data being captured on customers. Simply pinpointing and integrating the different data streams and silos can be a huge feat. A second challenge pertains to making it meaningful, identifying insights that can be used at moments of inspiration that influence buying behaviors.

Establishing a low altitude of personalization is something companies of all sizes can do. The result is a highly promising Commerce Graph™ for each customer.

The technology tools you need are available today. It often is simply an issue of engaging with the right technology partner that can help you assemble and deploy them in a way that meets your business requirements. Check out our eBook, “Digital Transformation Made for Small and Mid-Size Businesses: Four Areas of Opportunity,” for a more in-depth examination of data analytics and BI.

Reverbant enables businesses to become more competitive and deliver better customer experiences by crafting digital solutions with integrity. A trusted technology, consultancy, and staffing partner for companies that range from small businesses to Fortune 200 enterprises spanning various industry segments. Reverbant collaborates with customers to identify, design, and implement solutions that improve operational efficiencies and reduce costs. Digital craftsmanship with integrity: “Good stuff built the right way.”

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