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Winning the E-commerce Race, Part 3

In our earlier posts on Winning the E-commerce Race, we discussed the disruption to business and changing consumer attitudes invoked by the COVID-19 pandemic. In this article, we will look at personalization and how it is driving digital transactions in the ‘new normal.’

Sona Sharma on April 13, 2021

The Growth of Personalization and Its Importance in Meeting Consumer Needs

Personalization, sometimes known as customization or 1-1 marketing has always been a key component of winning and keeping customers. Mom and Pop businesses know the value of learning each customer’s likes and dislikes, ordering ahead for them or putting away hard-to-find items for that one customer who will always come back for more. Today, online retailers attempt to mirror the Mom and Pop shops by tailoring offers or services for their customers with personalization.

In the early ‘90s, web developers began tracking HTML calls to their sites from online visitors. As online commerce grew with early internet retailers such as Zappos and Match.com and social media platforms matured the 2000s data streams became rich veins for sentiment measurement and analytical prediction. In 2012 the Web Analytics Association changed its name to the Data Analytics Association to better accommodate and understand these new data streams. 

Gartner on Personalization

These data streams mirrored the growth of e-commerce and new technologies, such as Data Management Platforms, Customer Relationship Management tools, Beacon technologies, and importantly Artificial Intelligence (AI). These technologies provided marketers with ways to better target and convert site visitors to customers. As the technologies evolved so did the consumer expectation for personalization and convenience when shopping online. 

Today the importance of personalization to marketers cannot be overstated. The pandemic drove the growth of e-commerce by five years in just a few weeks. Seemingly overnight, businesses were disrupted and consumers shifted purchase behavior while still demanding relevance and convenience. Personalization driven by AI-powered predictive engagement platforms can create a superior shopping experience for consumers while driving revenue lift and customer loyalty for brands.

Accenture on personalization

 

A recent Accenture study revealed that 91% of 8,000 consumers surveyed said that they are more likely to do business with brands that remember, recognize, and provide them with relevant recommendations and offers. And as McKinsey noted, “when brands get personalization right, marketing spend can deliver five to eight times the ROI and lift sales by 10%.”

 

McKinsey on personalization

 

In the next episode, we will look at how brands can successfully leverage AI-powered predictive engagement to create hyper-personalized experiences that turn consumers into long-term customers. Meanwhile, watch the webinar on Winning the E-Commerce Race to hear about retail and e-commerce lessons learned during the pandemic.