Wednesday Jan 30, 2013

Executive Q&A with John Andrews: Part II – A Deeper Dive Into the Data that Powers Personalization 

Part II of our interview on personalization and commerce with John Andrews VP of Product Management, Oracle Commerce.     

Q.  In Part I of your post you talked about having to have a good handle on your product and customer data to achieve personalization.  What if you are dealing with a new customer or have little profile data?  How do you personalize the experience? 

If yours is like most commerce organizations, you don’t have complete (or any) data of the vast majority of shoppers. New customers are the lifeblood of online storefronts, but building out profiles for every one can prove to be a near impossible task. The good news is that in addition to commerce platforms that can automatically collect this data, there are new ways to round out your customer information beyond how they interact with your site. Social data is a great way to take personalization to the next level and Facebook is the easiest – but certainly not the only place - to start. Facebook has loads of free, accessible information on their users like their demographics, even brands they like and their comments on products. Enrich product information and merchandising efforts by capturing Likes and user comments from the Social Graph. If appropriate for your business, get customers to log in with their Facebook account to leverage information to round-out user profiles and segments housed in your commerce platform.

While segments and personas help simplify the definition and delivery of tailored experiences, the reality is that no two members of the same segment have identical needs. This is why having scalable technology in place to deliver dynamic experiences that adapt to every visitor  - anonymous or loyalist – is critical.  With a solid base of customer profile information, segment information, and rich, well-attributed product information, the next step is having the right technology in place to put this data and content in to action.
[Read More]

Friday Jan 11, 2013

Executive Q&A with John Andrews: Part I - What “Personalization” Really Means to Commerce

We sat down with John Andrews, VP of Product Management, Oracle Commerce to discuss his views on one of the most talked about topics in the world of commerce, personalization.  

Q.  The term personalization is used a lot in commerce but what does “personalization” really mean?

Personalization is one of the most overused terms in commerce, and has been for a decade and a half. Yet, for all of the personalization talk, the promise of personalization has not been fully realized by many. That’s because personalization is rarely done well at scale.
Why? First, it helps to understand what “personalization” really means – through the years of missed definitions and interpretations. In the simplest terms, personalization means delivering the most targeted content (like products, videos, reviews, or promotions) to the right customer at every point in their journey, based on their unique needs and preferences. To achieve this, it means knowing as much as possible about every customer and having the right technology under the covers to deliver. Personalization is not just about a single system delivering a piece of content to a user, it’s about capturing the right data, analyzing it, and having the algorithms and delivery engine in place to power dynamic experiences to all, across their paths. That’s why it’s tough to pull off.[Read More]

Monday Nov 12, 2012

P-Commerce – What The Heck Is That?

We’ve heard of e-commerce, m-commerce (Mobile Commerce), and f-commerce (Facebook Commerce) but what is p-commerce?  It’s not truly a customer touchpoint or channel but the emphasis on personalization of the buying experience.

Ask yourself how well do you know your customer?  Are you able to take what you know about them and apply it to their commerce activity with you and personalize the shopping experience?

Much of this is dictated by have a complete 360 degree view of your customer, collecting data from your website, sales interactions, historical commerce purchases, call center activity, how they got to your website, etc. and applying it to their current commerce interaction.  Customers expect to have a similar interaction on your website as they would in your brick-and-mortar store, displaying the products and services that they might be interested in purchasing.

Thursday May 31, 2012

“Big Data” Is A Small Concept Unless You Can Apply It To The Customer Experience

There’s been a lot of recent talk in the industry about “big data”.  Much can be said about the importance of big data and the results from it, but you need to always consider the customer experience when analyzing and applying customer data.

Personalization and merchandising drive the user experience.  Big data should enable you to gain valuable insight into each of your customers and apply that insight at the moment they are on your Web site, talking to one of your call center agents, or any other touchpoint.  While past customer experience is important, you need to combine that with what your customer is doing on your Web site now as well what they are doing and saying on social networking sites.  It’s key to have a 360 degree view of your customer across all of your touchpoints in order to provide that relevant and consistent experience that they come to expect when interacting with your brand.

Big data can enable you to effectively market, merchandize, and recommend the right products to the right customers and the right time.  By taking customer data and applying it to product recommendations, you have an opportunity to gain a greater share of wallet through the cross-selling and up-selling of additional products and services.  You can also build sustaining loyalty programs to continue to engage with your customers throughout their long-term relationship with your brand.


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