Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Profitability of Personalized Commerce Experience

Thomas John, Senior Director and Commerce Practice Lead
Mobile / Platforms / Strategy

The Profitability of Personalized Commerce Experience


Personalization is the buzzword that is always used while discussing transactional commerce enablement. What does it mean to personalize a transactional commerce experience? It is not simply presenting content blocks and best guess ad banners. Personalizing a transactional commerce experience means that you recommend products based on a visitor’s past behavior or behaviors of other visitors like them. The two areas of the Episerver platform which will allow you to provide a smart, intelligent, and contextually accurate, personalized experience to your users are via the Behavioral Data Store and Machine Learning.  


The Behavioral Data Store allows Episerver to track the browse-and-buy behaviors of every visitor on the site. It allows you to quickly see the profile of any visitor on your site and drill down into the details of a specific user including purchases. Machine Learning is the other area in the platform that will help you analyze and predict based on the behavioral data that was captured. The advantage that Machine Learning will give you is that it learns and adapts over time as more data of visitor behaviors are captured. Just like a user whose preferences might evolve over time, your site will now be poised to adapt and present an ever-changing set of personalized recommendations. 


Episerver combines these powerful concepts into their Perform module. With Perform, you are able to offer a personalized buying experience across multiple channels making it a truly Omnichannel Personalization engine. The concept of personalization has gone through a change in the past 5 years with the leap in advancement of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies. Episerver Perform takes the guesswork out of the mix in understanding what your customer might want based on past browsing or purchase history. 


Personalization has evolved over the past decade from trendy, to an ecommerce disruptor and has a direct impact on profitability and repeat customers. 45% of Online Shoppers are more likely to buy from a site that offers personalized product recommendations and 56% of Online Shopper are more likely to return to a site that offers a personalized experience.


Immediate Impacts to Revenue

Businesses that are thriving have embraced this disruption and invested into technologies that allow them to understand their customers and offer contextually intelligent product recommendations. Some of the ways that we see the ROI are:


High Conversion Rates 


Personalized ecommerce experiences such as product recommendations, are only the start of the contextual journey. Expanding the experience to be Omnichannel by offering the customer a personalized experience on web, mobile, and in-store will help differentiate your business and increase the conversion rates. A study done by McKinsey & Company found that a business offering personalization can deliver 5 to 8 times the ROI on marketing spend.  


Increase Average Order Value

Reducing the friction in the browse and buy process is key in increasing the average order value. Personalization such as product recommendations, amplifying shopping cart activity, in-store beacons etc. are some of the ways to remove this friction. A Gartner study found that organizations that embrace personalization technologies would outsell the companies that do not by 20%. 


Wrapping Up 


The Personalized Commerce Experience is no longer a nice-to-have feature on your site, but a necessary competitive advantage. The Episerver Experience Cloud with Perform at its core offers capabilities to both marketers and merchandisers to drive a personalized and consistent engagement across channels from social, mobile, online and physical stores, and the internet of things.


Thomas John is Senior Director and Commerce practice lead at Rightpoint. Follow Thomas on Twitter and LinkedIn