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The Role of Relevance

Posted on: September 9, 2020 | Posted by: Sona

Thought Leadership Series: Simon Carpio, CarParts.com

Using In-the-Moment Context to Personalize the Customer Journey

In ZineOne’s Thought Leadership Interview series, we sit down with experts from across industries to discuss the latest movements and technologies transforming the customer experience.

When a customer lands on your website, how do you determine the most relevant action to take to guide their journey? Oftentimes, enterprises use historical data to categorize visitors into different market segments—new user, returning customer, and repeat purchaser—which would inform the content and offers they are served up.

Yet, while historical behavior may account for customer intention in the past, it fails to take into consideration their context today. With this in mind, many enterprises are recognizing the importance of utilizing in-the-moment signals that allow for 1:1 personalization. CarParts.com, the online provider of aftermarket auto parts, is one such example of a company that has embraced the importance of using real-time insight to create an end-to-end customer experience.

As part of our Thought Leadership Interview Series, ZineOne CEO and Co-founder Debjani Deb sat down with CarParts.com Vice President of Product, Simon Carpio, to discuss:

  • Actionizing short-term user behavior
  • The use of continuous intelligence
  • Guiding the customer journey through ML and AI

The Importance of Short-Term User Behavior

Oftentimes, the best customer journey is one that connects customers quickly and accurately to the product or information they are most interested in. To accomplish this, Carpio describes that CarParts.com would divide visitors into two segments: DIY (do it yourself) and DIFM (do it for me). Based on these segments, customers would receive content tied to their frequency of visit (e.g. new visitor, regular customer, and infrequent purchaser).

However, as CarParts.com examined their customer behavior, they recognized that there is no mutually exclusive divide between their DIY and DIFM customers. Instead, a better indication of intention came from listening to in-the-moment signals from customers, and personalizing offers in-session based on the customer’s behavior. This requires shifting focus from a purely historical perspective to instead take into account short-term user behavior in customer engagement efforts.

Utilizing Continuous Intelligence to Create an End-to-End Customer Experience

To engage customers, many enterprises are turning to shopping widgets that allow individuals to use self-selection to guide their own journey. While helpful, widgets also come at a cost as they take up precious customer attention and can impact an enterprise’s ability to effectively serve up the right content when it will have the greatest impact.

Today, enterprises leading in personalization are utilizing continuous intelligence to ensure they deliver the right content at the right moment. This requires brands to recognize that each individual represents a stream of continuous information, and to translate this data into actionable insight. To do so, enterprises must be able to remain fluid within every session, responding to each customer’s action to drive hyper-personalized experiences.

Personalizing the Customer Experience through Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence

Each customer represents millions of data points. Where once enterprises aimed to respond to these data points by casting a wide net, today it is increasingly important to cast small, personalized nets. Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) can empower enterprises to harness data and react in a highly individual fashion. For CarParts.com, this manifests in an ability to create an end-to-end experience that takes into account seasonal and location-based criteria, the post-purchase experience, historical data that provides insight on the customer vehicle, and in-the-moment context to inform more frictionless, engaging customer journeys.

Serving up the most relevant content at just the right moment requires enterprises to consider more than just historical behavior. Rather, they must take into account in-the-moment insight. To do so effectively at every customer engagement, enterprises require an intelligent solution that can react to continuous intelligence, allowing enterprises to constantly adapt to the customer’s most immediate needs.

Interested in learning more? Watch the full interview with Simon Carpio to explore how in-the-moment insight can elevate the end-to-end experience for your customers.

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