Mapping the Consumer Genome: Ep 6

Conversation with Nikhil Chandurkar, formerly of Kohl’s on:

  • Automating customer retention strategies in a world of machine learning
  • Creating differentiated experiences for each unique shopping journey

About Nikhil Chandurkar, formerly Director of Product Management at Kohl’s:

  • Nikhil Chandurkar was formerly a Director of Project Management at Kohl’s where he led teams to deliver personalized omni channel retail experiences leveraging Big Data and ML to drive incremental sales and user engagement. 
  • Prior to his experience at Kohl’s, Nikhil held high-level positions at companies including Yahoo, Symantec, eBay, Aeroxchange.com and Oracle. Through these experiences, Nikhil has broadened his specialties such as Product Strategy, Product Management, E-commerce, E-marketplaces, Supply chain management, Customer experience, etc.

Key Insights

(01:23) Recent technological shifts that have occurred

  • Nikhil opens by addressing how differentiated experiences are a transformative way to create a unique shopping experience for consumers
  • Nikhil identifies the importance of creating an efficient shopping process for consumers
  • According to Nikhil, a “dynamic real-time offers” is the ability to identify “a shopper who is not yet quite sure that they want to make a purchase, incentivizing them based on what we feel is their current shopping journey insights, and giving them a meaningful offer to have them convert”

(03:53) Creating differentiated experiences for each unique shopping journey

  • With Nikhil’s experience, he has found that consumers generally concern themselves with the value of either the pricing or the product itself
  • He utilizes historical and real-time assessments to further personalize the experience for individuals

(05:41) Predictive capabilities at the top of the funnel vs. mid-funnel

  • When analysing the top of the funnel, Nikhil makes it clear that there is less real-time data about the consumer except for “wisdom of the crowd personalization”
  • In the middle of the funnel, there is more historical and real-time data through the journey of the customer
  • For the top of the funnel, important data points include location and weather

(08:54) Automating retention strategies in a world of machine learning

  • Traditional marketing tends to utilize large sets of data to launch manual campaigns that lack feedback and neglect certain audiences
  • Automation and machine learning are now automatically managing lifestyle segments to understand a border consumer base

(11:07) The role of data for customer acquisition

  • Nikhil notes that personalization depends on the acquisition of data which can be difficult to obtain
  • Retention, on the other hand, is a more efficient means of time and energy and can allow you maintain customers

(13:14) Creating differentiated experiences

  • For Nikhil, the transition of marketing has moved from focusing on the current transaction, to the next transaction
  • Nikhil brings up the concept of differential experience where there is a focus on how he can influence the consumer to return in the future during the current transaction

(14:46) What does the next generation marketing cloud look like?

  • Nikhil begins to identify the future of conversational experiences with voice recognition advancements
  • Nikhil brings about examples of this innovation through companies such as Amazon and CoverGirl

(16:10) Empathy at scale

  • Outside of machine learning, showing empathy to your customers before they experience negativity is crucial (ex. Refunding products that may not have been delivered, and suggesting similar products)

“Imagine a world without campaigns, where things are completely automated and no customer slips through the cracks.”

– Nikhil Chandurkar, Product Management Leader

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