Expected by consumers but tricky to implement, personalisation can take your brand to the next level.
When talking to retailers, the inspiration for personalisation is to be using technology that is so advanced that entire websites are tailored to the customer, not just content and product recommendations. Some companies are known to achieve such advanced 1:1 personalisation because its departments share information while also utilising captured data to better understand its customers. It may seem unrealistic that smaller retailers could ever accomplish the same, but any company can achieve personalisation on that level by understanding the current obstacles and the technology that exists to fix them.
Current obstacles with personalisation
When it comes to personalisation, 57 per cent are willing to share their data with a company if they get something in return, like personalised offers. In addition, 80 per cent of consumers are more inclined to purchase from a shop when they feel like they are being treated as an individual, and if that message is not felt, 52 per cent are likely to shop somewhere else.
From basic to more advanced options, 89 per cent of digital retailers are investing in personalisation, including AI and machine learning to predict user behaviour. But for many companies, personalisation is a very tedious process, with no better example than product recommendations – the most common area to be personalised on a webshop.
However, these boxes are typically filled manually based on their purpose (‘Complete the purchase’ or ‘Similar items’), placed very low on the page creating minimal impact and not updated as frequently as they should be. Worst of all, some solutions market themselves as using AI but in reality are only using popularity to choose recommendations. Overall, the intent to deliver is there, but the execution of personalisation usually still leaves something to be desired for the consumer and lacklustre results for the retailer.
Personalisation of the future
Clearly, there is a reason for the personalisation hype, but not every company has the resources of the major players in ecommerce to build their own in-house solution. Luckily, many platforms use AI and machine learning to help automate and optimise personalisation.
When choosing a provider, ecommerce companies often face the issue of tech stacks that do not integrate nicely with each other or budget constraints that limit where they can implement personalisation. Either they will choose to personalise just one position on one of their channels, creating minimal impact, or choose different providers to personalise different positions across channels, which end up being siloed when it comes to data sharing. There is nothing wrong with choosing multiple providers, as the data sets all eventually feed into the same company-wide data lake. With AI, this is incredibly important, because the more data the algorithms can use to learn, the more accurate the personalisation will be.
As the personalisation industry grows, constant improvements are being made to make these solutions smarter. However, if your provider is not putting in the right amount of effort to improve the underlying techniques, your personalisation will not stand up to your competitors. Don’t be afraid to challenge your provider to share or explain what goes into its solution.
Ensuring your platforms have appropriate dashboarding and reporting capabilities will be crucial in actually understanding how personalisation is impacting your business. Having all your data and knowledge in one place will allow for a comprehensive overview of the company to allow for the smartest decision-making. On top of this, deep machine learning techniques can offer additional insights and emerging patterns that are unnoticeable to the human eye but can have a huge impact.
Personalisation is an integral part of the customer journey, with consumers expecting it and retailers wanting to exploit it. When evaluating personalisation solutions, it is important to ask these questions:
- Where and how does personalisation fit into your company strategy and resources? Do you know who your key stakeholders are and do you have their support?
- Does every platform or solution in your current technology stack share data with the others?
- Do you have enough consolidated data insights on your customers to make smart decisions to consistently improve your customer experience and engagement? If not, will adding this specific solution help you get there?
- Are your providers innovating and staying current on the latest trends in the industry?
Once your company has gone through these questions and defined the current status quo, you can begin your own journey: implementing personalisation in the most relevant and effective way for your consumers, using a partner that also meets your needs.
Learn more about how Froomle’s modular personalisation can create quick wins for your business.
Looking for inspiration? Take a look at our most recent case study with Colruyt Group.