Displaying items by tag: personalization - Retail TouchPoints - Retail TouchPoints https://www.retailtouchpoints.com Sat, 23 Mar 2019 04:14:49 -0400 RTP en-gb Privacy Paradox: 86% Of Consumers Want Opt-Out Control, But 56% Value Personalized Offers https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/topics/crm-loyalty/privacy-paradox-86-of-consumers-want-opt-out-control-but-56-value-personalized-offers https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/topics/crm-loyalty/privacy-paradox-86-of-consumers-want-opt-out-control-but-56-value-personalized-offers Privacy Paradox: 86% Of Consumers Want Opt-Out Control, But 56% Value Personalized Offers

Shoppers in emerging markets are embracing friction-reducing technology at a rapid pace — but they also are very protective of their private data, according to the New Topography of Retail study by Oracle. While 87% of North American consumers say they would exercise the right to select which brands can access their data, this share rises to 90% in Latin America and 91% in the Middle East, India and Asia-Pacific.

These trends are pulling retailers in two directions, since more than half (56%) of global shoppers still want personalized offers. The key to striking a balance may be drawing on data only where it can have the most noticeable impact —only 20% of consumers feel offers are always personalized to them.

The desire to protect one’s data is surprisingly strong. “One of the most startling data points is that 86% of global consumers would exercise the right to be forgotten,” said Mike Webster, SVP and General Manager of Oracle Retail in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “This GDPR initiative, if not restricted to Europe, will be a global movement where this new culture of opting out will continue to emerge. That opt-out is driven by the fatigue we as consumers experience from being bombarded by promotions that don’t speak to our needs and are generic in nature, perhaps driven off of a single transaction.”

The key to overcoming this fatigue is focusing on the quality of interactions rather than the quantity. Carefully tailored curation at select parts of the customer journey are more effective than constant suggestions, and are less likely to generate negative backlash among consumers. Retailers should strive to take relevant information into account rather than build on every tangential data point they’ve captured.

“It’s not enough anymore to just do analytics through transactions,” said Webster. “I think the shift from best practice to next practice really is a focus on the interactions that we’re having with the brands that serve us. They need to look at social media, they need to look at not just what you bought but what you browsed and didn’t buy. They need to look at the influencers in your social circles. It’s shifting away from transactions and toward really making connections.”

Focus On Important Data Or Face Paralysis

Retailers that respect their customers’ privacy can harness the most relevant data to create memorable experiences that capture shoppers’ attention, particularly in emerging markets. Consumers in these regions are even more eager for seamless shopping than their counterparts in developed markets, and are looking forward to:

  • Linking fitness trackers to grocery stores for product recommendations (51% emerging, 24% developed);
  • Automatic product replenishment based on subscription preferences (59% emerging, 30% developed);
  • Loyalty program access through facial recognition (55% emerging, 25% developed);
  • Using at-home VR to navigate a personalized in-store experience (64% emerging, 33% developed); and
  • Receiving deliveries by drone or driverless car (60% emerging, 32% developed).

The sheer scale of available options can cause retailers to suffer from a “paralysis of priorities” when launching new capabilities in emerging markets, according to Webster. He suggested that retailers home in on the solutions that best fit their needs and capabilities, rather than chase every trend that may hold promise.

“Emerging markets are by definition less constrained by legacy solutions, infrastructure and regulation,” said Webster. “They express a desire to innovate with greater urgency and act with greater agility. What our guidance would be is that all retailers, regardless of geography, need to invest with intention. What gives the best return on invested capital across this growing buffet of big, bold technology bets that are available?”

The ultimate goal for retailers will be balancing the need for privacy against the potential for connecting with shoppers, and only deploying technology that further builds customer relationships. Webster noted that respondents seemed more willing to share their information with retailers they trust, and opening the lines of communication and convenience now will put retailers in a better position to tackle privacy and technological concerns in the future.

feed@retailtouchpoints.com (Bryan Wassel) CRM / Loyalty Mon, 18 Mar 2019 09:00:00 -0400
Top Takeaways From Shoptalk 2019: Hint…It’s Personal https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/topics/shopper-experience/top-takeaways-from-shoptalk-2019-hint-it-s-personal https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/topics/shopper-experience/top-takeaways-from-shoptalk-2019-hint-it-s-personal Top Takeaways From Shoptalk 2019: Hint…It’s Personal

Shoptalk 2019 did not disappoint: it has established itself as one of the “must attend” retail events of the year. The biggest problem is choosing between compelling sessions, meetings and, of course, playing with the puppies from the SPCA.

I actually missed a few sessions I was planning to attend because I was engaged in great conversations with retailers, solution/service providers, media colleagues and other industry experts. Five top takeaways from my Shoptalk experience are:

  • Personalization is being defined by each company’s business goals;
  • Women Leadership is taking center stage;
  • Influencers are rising to the surface as a vital marketing element;
  • Subscription Services can boost sales and loyalty for a wide variety of brands; and
  • Voice is the next customer engagement frontier.

Getting Personal With Personalization

Some of the most compelling topics of discussion were around the true meaning of personalization in today’s retail world. I wanted to find out how companies are defining what personalization means to their businesses, as well as how they are balancing the importance of moving toward a 1:1 relationship with customers amid challenges around GDPR and privacy/data security. Here are a few insights I collected:

  • Vineyard Vines is working with CCG Analytics to pivot the way it approaches the business: “We are now looking through the lens of the customer vs. financial metrics,” noted Chris Fitzpatrick, VP, Business Analytics & Strategy. As a result, the retailer has developed five customer personas, is opening successful new stores and is expanding its product selections.
  • Because “e-Commerce is becoming commoditized,” Kibo has acquired Certona to “double down on personalization,” according to Michelle Fischer, Chief Customer Officer at Kibo. The goal is to deliver a “Personalization-First Commerce Platform,” she noted. “Personalization is the glue of omnichannel,” added Meyar Sheik, Founder of Certona and the new President and Chief Commerce Officer of Kibo.
  • Salesforce is automating its collection of consumer sentiment using AI in order to deliver better, more personalized customer service. “Data is the currency making personalization happen,” noted Rich Lyons, CEO and President, Lyons Consulting Group. The company also recently added a new position: Chief Ethical and Humane Use Officer, in an effort to “uphold the basic human rights of every individual,” the company reported.
  • Macy’s is working with Perch Interactive to provide a more relevant customer experience in its fragrance department. Through interactive displays, shoppers can view videos and gather relevant information about the products they are interested in. For the retailer, the data collected by the interactions with the products will help drive more effective merchandising and inventory decisions.
  • “Personalization is misunderstood,” said Raj Nijjer, VP of Marketing at Yotpo. The company recently developed Yotpo Focus to help marketers integrate data and systems, delivering deep learning to improve personalization. Powered by AI, the solution customizes the online product description pages (PDP) to highlight the most relevant content for each customer.

Spotlight On Women Leaders In Retail

As I write this article on March 8, International Women’s Day, I am compelled to point out the strong, positive focus the retail industry is placing on the empowerment of women leaders in business. During Shoptalk, the Women In Retail Leadership group offered ongoing, focused sessions at the Female Quotient lounge within the Shoptalk exhibit hall; and the Women2Watch/Remodista group hosted a lunch discussion and evening reception during the event. Also, Yotpo was promoting its recently published “Amazing Women In E-Commerce” report.

Influencers’ Influence Is Growing

The importance of influencers in driving retail sales and loyalty is on the rise. I’m impressed with the creativity and out-of-the-box thinking some companies are using when it comes to their Influencer strategies:

Shopstyle is a two-year-old platform that offers syndicated Influencer content to shoppers to help with product selection. The company currently has 20,000 Influencers providing content. Grove Collaborative, an online retailer selling “healthier home essentials,” has thousands of Influencers currently promoting the brand.

• Executives from Mizzen+Main, Ipsy and Billabong also spoke about “Using Influencers Effectively” during a Shoptalk track session.

Subscription Services Are On The Rise

Grove Collaborative also has an optional subscription service offering for its customers. Shoppers can customize their monthly delivery basket and speak 1:1 with their own Grove Guide.

Subscription offerings are helping retailers expand sales and customer loyalty. Brands like Gap, Stitch Fix and Target are all experimenting with the strategy, and even Amazon has jumped on the subscription bandwagon with Prime Wardrobe. Subscription retail also has made an impact on holiday marketing.

Voice: The Next Frontier

When asked, most industry executives said they expect voice to become a significant part of retail business strategies. But the question is, when? “Voice will be a big game changer,” noted Sandro Corsaro, Chief Creative Officer at Fandango. In May 2018, Fandango enabled voice ticket ordering via Google.

A main stage session featuring an Amazon executive during Shoptalk asked, “Alexa, What’s Next For Voice Retail?”


feed@retailtouchpoints.com (Debbie Hauss) Shopper Experience Mon, 11 Mar 2019 10:45:50 -0400
Kibo Acquires Certona, Adding Personalization To Cloud Commerce Offering https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/mergers-and-acquisitions/kibo-acquires-certona-adding-personalization-to-cloud-commerce-offering https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/mergers-and-acquisitions/kibo-acquires-certona-adding-personalization-to-cloud-commerce-offering Kibo Acquires Certona, Adding Personalization To Cloud Commerce Offering

Kibo will acquire Certona, an omnichannel personalization solution provider, combining Kibo’s cloud commerce solutions with Certona’s personalization offerings. The financial terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed.

As part of the deal, Kibo clients will gain additional personalization options, as well as access to Certona’s experience and expertise.

Certona leverages machine learning and predictive analytics to provide a deep level of personalization, helping retailers optimize content and messaging designed to increase engagement and conversions across all touch points. Properly analyzing existing data to offer accurate personalization is an important task — while 36% of shoppers say retailers need to do more to offer more personalized experiences, 52% worry about retailers knowing too much about them, and 17% refuse to share any information at all, according to data from Forrester Research.

“Kibo is dedicated to partnering with our clients to provide retailers with robust commerce solutions, which enable them to deliver outstanding consumer experiences,” said David Post, CEO of Kibo in a statement. “To that end, we also believe those experiences are more powerful and compelling when they are personalized to the needs of the consumer. To prepare our clients for what’s to come in commerce, we looked for a true innovator that would elevate our current personalization capabilities, and we found it in Certona. Together, we will continue to partner with our clients, meeting them where they are along their digital transformation journey.”

feed@retailtouchpoints.com (Bryan Wassel) Mergers & Acquisitions Tue, 19 Feb 2019 15:17:30 -0500
NRF19: 36% Of Shoppers Want Better Personalization, But Hesitate To Share Personal Info https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/topics/shopper-experience/nrf19-36-of-shoppers-want-better-personalization-but-hesitate-to-share-personal-info https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/topics/shopper-experience/nrf19-36-of-shoppers-want-better-personalization-but-hesitate-to-share-personal-info NRF19: 36% Of Shoppers Want Better Personalization, But Hesitate To Share Personal Info

Personalization will continue to be a hot-button investment item for retailers in 2019, but they will have to struggle with consumers’ cognitive dissonance to implement it effectively, according to Sucharita Kodali, VP and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research. Kodali spoke during the State of Retail Innovation 2019 session on Sunday, Jan. 13 at the NRF Big Show.

Up to 36% of shoppers say retailers need to do more to offer more personalized experiences, with this percentage reaching 43% for households that earn more than $100,000 annually, according to data from Forrester Research. Yet despite the evident desire for personalization, shoppers are still hesitant to share the personal information that can steer retailers in the right direction, and are overall distrustful of the concept.

“There’s a lot of tension in the personalization landscape, and that tension is what consumers want, what they expect and ultimately how retailers are able to deliver against them,” said Kodali, VP and Principal Analyst at Forrester. “A lot of consumers are very skeptical about the data that is being collected about them and how the data is being used.”

As many as 17% of consumers still aren’t willing to share data at all. More than half (52%) of shoppers still worry about retailers knowing too much about them, and that percentage jumps to 59% for higher-earning households. Similarly, 46% are uncomfortable with the amount of information that retailers can collect about them, while 53% of higher-earning households agree.

Consumers Prefer To Share Purchase Info, But Don’t Want To Get Too Personal

In fact, background on products they like is the only kind of data that more than 50% of shoppers were willing to share in order to receive more personalized discounts or offers, according to study from Forrester and RetailMeNot.

While 40% of shoppers were willing to share hobbies and interests and 37% were willing to share products they already own, they are heavily guarded about divulging their most personal information, including:

  • How much they like to spend on products (26%);
  • Social media information (7%);
  • Permission to track their online activities (6%); and
  • Friends or followers on social networks (4%).

“A lot of what shoppers find acceptable to share with retailers is straight-up purchase information,” Kodali said. “What are the products that I like and own? For some consumers it’s okay to use location information. What’s off limits, and this is where so much of remarketing and retargeting is delving into — this is the heart of the Cambridge Analytica scandal with Facebook — they don’t want any of their other social activities to be tracked. It is incredibly important to collect information in a way that’s useful to retailers, and not invasive or more than what shoppers are expecting.”

2019: The Year Of Collisions And Clashes

To close the presentation, Kodali predicted that 2019 would be a year defined by four battles within retail:

  1. Amazon vs. Walmart: The two retail giants will continue to scramble for power in the following categories: B2B, grocery, international, last mile delivery, third-party sellers, media and advertising. B2B, grocery and international are all trillion-dollar opportunities, with Amazon presently winning in B2B and international, while Walmart has the edge in grocery. “I still see a lot of challenges with an online player winning in grocery,” Kodali said. “We don’t think Whole Foods was enough to really change the game for Amazon in that direction.”
  2. Brands vs. Amazon: Brands have historically thought that, as third-party sellers on the Amazon marketplace, they controlled their own prices. Yet Kodali shared an example of a seller that had its product discounted by Amazon. Additionally, brands are pulling back their products from Amazon due to knockoffs and the e-Commerce giant’s alleged slow response to take them down.
  3. Personalization vs. privacy: More privacy laws are likely going into effect, especially in the wake of Europe’s GDPR in 2018.
  4. Focus vs. innovation: Diversification and entry into new businesses/markets are essential for continued growth. For example, while Microsoft generated 80% of its revenue from Windows and Office in 2000, it evolved to generate 50% from cloud, hardware and social networks by 2018.

“When we look at the technology titans — Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft — and we look at where their revenues come from now as compared to 2000, every single one of them is vastly different,” Kodali said. “If I were to do the same chart of four top retailers, their revenue from the year 2000 would likely be exactly the same as their source of revenue today.”

feed@retailtouchpoints.com (Glenn Taylor) Shopper Experience Sun, 13 Jan 2019 12:59:29 -0500
Personalization Best Practices For Data-Centric Retailers https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/executive-viewpoints/personalization-best-practices-for-data-centric-retailers https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/executive-viewpoints/personalization-best-practices-for-data-centric-retailers

0aaaRoger Barnette MessageGearsIn a world where your customers and prospects are expecting personalized communication, more customer data means more complex marketing programs. Unfortunately, for large business-to-consumer (B2C) retail companies, the sheer size and complexity of a customer dataset can result in less personalization. But this doesn’t mean enterprise retailers can’t excel at personalization. Below are three best practices for effectively accessing and using customer data for increased personalization.

1. Create Campaigns Where Data Lives

Create campaigns where the data that drives your communication lives. For most small businesses, this happens in the marketing cloud — but what about large retail enterprise organizations that have too much data to store in a marketing cloud CRM?

The principle of creating campaigns where the data lives still applies to large, data-centric enterprise retailers. It just looks a little different than it does for small businesses that store data in a marketing cloud CRM. Most enterprise-level organizations invest millions in implementing and managing a secure database behind a company firewall.

Creating email where data lives for these enterprise organizations means building campaigns behind a company firewall and using the cloud only for rendering and delivery. This allows enterprise organizations to access all their customer data in real time instead of sending select pieces of data to the cloud and constantly syncing them with the internal database.

2. Integrate Data

Small organizations that store all customer data in a marketing cloud CRM platform have access to a global customer view, but large retail organizations often are forced to use multiple, disparate sources of data. Adopting multiple platforms that all require their own database can limit how organizations use their data.

Fragmented marketing means many retailers have data stored in silos that prevents marketers from having a complete view of customers. The larger the organization, the more dots there are to connect. When data points are not connected, customers often receive messages that are irrelevant to their situation. Marketers need visibility into everything customers are doing to effectively communicate with them, yet data integration remains a top challenge for marketers, especially at large organizations with multiple departments.

Overcoming these divisions means shifting to a centralized database that all departments can access, including the marketing team. By organizing your customer data around a centralized database model instead of parsing out data between different applications, you gain an expanded view into the entire customer journey. For retailers that want to successfully incorporate personalized, real-time marketing into their strategy, storing all facets of marketing data in a single database is a must, but customer data is not the only data marketers need to access. Marketers may also need access to data such as real-time inventory levels , geolocation data, shipment tracking data, etc. In fact, your marketing success depends upon the accessibility of your entire data set, not just customer data.

3. Personalize Without Compromising Data Security

Personalization requires retailers to collect and store personally identifiable information (PII) about customers, but the security concerns of sending sensitive data to marketing clouds prevent marketers from using most of this data. Having a vast amount of data about customers and not being able to use it is a major frustration for marketers. If data is not allowed to leave the security of the company firewall, how can marketers do anything more sophisticated than build campaigns based on a “spray and pray” model?

For these marketing teams, there is an answer that increases personalization without comprising data security — KMS (Key Management Service) encryption. KMS encryption allows retailers to encrypt individual pieces of data across a dataset, including PII such as email addresses or health and financial information, and prevent even their own data engineers or marketers from seeing that data as they build audiences and messages. Users just see an encrypted code instead of the actual PII data. A third-party cloud services program holds the key to decrypting that data via a key name that the customer delivers to them.

Decryption occurs only at the moment of launch of an individual campaign. The only data transmitted and decrypted from these sources is the data used to personalize the message, sent as emails, push notifications, text messages or other outbound messaging. This level of security provides retailers with the confidence to send highly personalized messages that key off everything from geolocation to preferred store to most recent order. As a result, marketers can segment and communicate in a way that’s unique to each individual customer at scale. Meanwhile, they aren’t exposing any PII to their internal teams or to any legacy marketing cloud.

There are many advantages to being a large retail enterprise with vast resources, but with size comes complexity. Fortunately, following these three key email marketing best practices can increase the personalization and speed of any campaign, regardless of size. 


Roger Barnette is CEO of MessageGears, a revolutionary email marketing technology provider that allows major global brands to deliver individualized experiences to their customers at scale in real-time. Barnette is focused on helping global businesses expand their marketing reach through innovative yet practical technology and services solutions.

feed@retailtouchpoints.com (Roger Barnette, MessageGears) Executive ViewPoints Wed, 16 Jan 2019 08:00:00 -0500
From Catalogs To E-Commerce: Using Personalization To Deliver Customer Loyalty https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/executive-viewpoints/from-catalogs-to-e-commerce-using-personalization-to-deliver-customer-loyalty https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/executive-viewpoints/from-catalogs-to-e-commerce-using-personalization-to-deliver-customer-loyalty

0aaaEmre Baran QubitIn Venice in 1498, publisher Aldus Manutius created a catalog of the books he was printing.

15th century Europe was going through a publishing revolution. The invention of the Gutenberg press and movable type in the mid-1400s opened a world of mass printing. By the end of the century, there were 417 presses just in Venice — one of the major printing centers — and the output of the western European printing industry had reached twenty million volumes.

With a (comparatively) immense range of books available, the catalog must have been a helpful marketing mechanism to Manutius. This was an industry, a new medium, skyrocketing. And Aldus Manutius, whose business was the new medium, used this new medium to better serve his customers and his business.

So that was (possibly) the first catalog, ever. And from there, catalogs went on to become mainstream for centuries.

Why did catalogs work so well?

  • They combined a comprehensive list of available products with product information and pricing.
  • They made all this information available to customers in an easily accessible and convenient way.
  • They also established a two-way relationship between vendors and customers, spreading a single transaction out into several different interactions: sending the catalog; the mail-order purchase; delivering the product; and then, next month, quarter or year, sending the next catalog.

The Decline Of The Catalog And Rise Of The E-Commerce Web Site

The rise of the Internet and the emergence of the web site signalled the end of the catalog’s dominance of customer-convenient retail. And now, e-Commerce is ushering in seismic change for brick-and-mortar stores.

There’s a familiar metaphor of a web site as a brand’s shop window. But that’s not quite big enough. Approximately 90% of today’s e-Commerce web sites are not too far away from simple and ancient catalog businesses. The web site is convenient for your customers, combining your product catalog, price list and order form. But it can do a whole lot more.

The “more” that the web site can do (which the catalog cannot) are the little relationship touches writ large. A salesperson might send out a catalog with notes and tabs “This range is brand new,” or “these would go really well with the X you bought last month…” but producing an entirely different catalog for every single customer (or even customer group) is cost-prohibitive in the world of print. Similarly, it would be ridiculous to alter the layout of a brick-and-mortar store and (for example) hide away all the clothes in the wrong size for each new shopper to walk through the door.

But on the web site, personalization becomes possible at scale.

This is because it impacts every element of a brand’s business and affects every stage of the customer journey. The web site isn’t just a channel for customer acquisition teams, it’s also a tool for teams whose remit is customers’ retention and ensuring their ongoing engagement.

But modern consumers have high expectations when it comes to their relationships with brands. They expect to be remembered, to have their preferences catered for, to be valued. Otherwise, they won’t come back.

Personalization And Loyalty

Approximately 70% to 80% of customers are one-time purchasers, only around 20% repeat, according to our research. And, just like the Pareto principle dictates, these 20% of customers drive the top 80% of revenue.

For many brands, loyalty and retention are the biggest issues. That’s where personalization really can play a major role.

Personalization is about getting the right message in the right place at the right time, to the right person. It’s entirely contextual. Web sites give you context: you know what customers do on your site, and when. You can see their preferences. Then, you can use that insight to present a visitor with new and relevant information that they want and can use. Personalization is also about having the sort of relationship where visitors trust brands to give them relevant experiences.

But most importantly, personalization is about trust. It is about building a relationship where customers are happy to share their preferences and opinions, and for brands to use that insight to curate experiences, across the entire customer journey. And that includes post-sale.

Brands can use personalization to turn that post-first-purchase period into the pre-next-purchase period. To deliver great experiences and customer service, to become habit-forming and delightful for customers

Top tips for implementing a great personalization strategy include:

  • Collect relevant data points according to your business goals and customer journey.
  • Make sure you take the time to understand your data, create hypotheses and test them.
  • Have a way to use the data in real time (at the right time, the right place and with the right message).
  • Set metrics for how you will measure success.

How Do You Create A Personalization Program Built On Trust?

A personalization project is about freeing up data and putting it into action.

Segmentation is an intrinsic part of personalization, and what makes it scalable. When you’ve got the tools to tailor how you treat one group of people, the marginal cost of curating experiences for the remainder is trivial. Given this, brands should look at creating a meaningful segmentation strategy. Then, you can look at delivering personalized experiences that are tailored to each customer group.

Like the Aldus Manutius catalog, it’s about brands being able to serve their customers, and their businesses, better. About providing all the information customers want, in a contextual, relevant and convenient way. About building two-way, ongoing interactions.

And for that, you need the data points that tell you when and where to act: insight into what your customers want, and what they like. What’s next on their customer journey, and what’s relevant at that stage. With all that in hand, you can then customize the experience. That means the message, the interactions, the types of social proof, the recommendations algorithm…everything you do can be based on customer context and delivered at the right moment.

In luxury retail, for example, you might show VIP visitors customized pages with the VIP phone line displayed prominently, or an invitation to an upcoming exclusive event with their favorite designers. In health and beauty, you can target purchasers with reminders that, based on their last purchase date their foundation is running out, and prompt them to reorder.

The best salespeople understand purchaser signals and buying behavior. They also check in at the right time, checking in on customer satisfaction, making upsells a service: “The new season’s collection is now in, there are some pieces which…”. They recognize and remember customers, making each one feel special. They do more than sell products, they sell positive emotions and happy memories.

That’s the goal of personalization, and what marketers need to achieve through their e-Commerce web sites. That’s when customer interactions become relationships, and when consistent experiences, delivered over time, create trust and loyalty.

And In The Future?

Modern e-Commerce web sites don’t look a great deal like early catalogs, but the format is still pretty similar: lists of products by category. The next big revolution is likely to be inspired by social media, transforming how visitors discover products, making it more organic, arranging them by visitors’ (predicted) interest, rather than their type. The future is customer-centric, and brands must make sure their top priorities for personalization are to build trust and create loyalty.


Emre Baran is a co-founder and CTO of Qubit, the leaders in marketing personalization technology.  Prior to founding Qubit, he was a senior product manager at Google working on AdWords and AdSense products — building large scale artificial intelligence and analytics systems to scale and automate operations. And prior to Google, Baran was the co-founder and CTO of Yonja.com, Turkey’s largest social network.

feed@retailtouchpoints.com (Emre Baran, Qubit) Executive ViewPoints Fri, 21 Dec 2018 09:17:37 -0500
Carhartt And Invaluable Drive Engagement With Email Personalization https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/news-briefs/carhartt-and-invaluable-drive-engagement-with-email-personalization https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/news-briefs/carhartt-and-invaluable-drive-engagement-with-email-personalization Carhartt And Invaluable Drive Engagement With Email Personalization

Two very different retailers — workwear apparel brand Carhartt and live art auction site Invaluable— have implemented email personalization solutions to boost their customer engagement. Both companies chose Evergage as their solution provider.

Carhartt was able to massively improve the results of its abandoned cart emails with trigger-based personalized reminders, causing clickthrough rates to jump 178% and conversion rates to soar 598%. The 127-year-old brand has embraced other digital tools as well, including location- and weather-based personalization and educational cross-selling.

By swapping out static email recommendations, Invaluable achieved a 21% increase in clickthroughs for batch email campaigns. The retailer said that 12% of its overall monthly revenue is driven by Evergage personalized web and email recommendations.

“We have millions of monthly visitors and hundreds of thousands of unique items auctioned on our marketplace at any given time,” said Neal Glazier, VP of Marketing at Invaluable in a statement. “To help our visitors easily navigate our collection and pinpoint what they want before someone else wins it, we need to know their interests right down to the one-to-one level.”

More than 281 billion emails are sent every day, according to The Radicati Group. Evergage offers multiple capabilities designed to help retailers cut through inbox clutter and improve open rates:

  • Open-time email personalization, which allows retailers to offer recommendations based on when the email is opened, as opposed to when it was sent;
  • Triggered emails, which send one-off messages based on shopper behavior or other factors; and
  • Evergage SmartBatch, which lets retailers send batches of individually personalized emails that take multiple factors, such as the ideal time to send and recent shopper activity, into account.
feed@retailtouchpoints.com (Bryan Wassel) News Briefs Wed, 19 Dec 2018 14:57:19 -0500
Michaels Adopts Multi-Touch Point Personalization Solution https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/news-briefs/michaels-adopts-multi-touch-point-personalization-solution https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/news-briefs/michaels-adopts-multi-touch-point-personalization-solution Michaels Adopts Multi-Touch Point Personalization Solution

The Michaels Companies has deployed Salesforce Marketing Cloud to personalize content, promotions and offers across multiple touch points. The new technology, together with its current instance of Salesforce Commerce Cloud and Service Cloud, will allow the arts and crafts retailer to combine its e-Commerce, service and marketing under one platform.

To deepen engagement with its tens of millions of customers, the retailer chose Marketing Cloud to deliver seamless, personalized shopping experiences across all its channels. Marketing Cloud will allow the retailer to integrate customer data across touch points and use powerful data management to deliver real-time, personalized shopping experiences across email, social and digital advertising, to drive valuable engagement with shoppers.

The Michaels Companies operates more than 1,200 stores in the U.S. and Canada under the brands Michaels and Pat Catan's, and e-Commerce sites including Michaels.com, MichaelsWeddings.com, AaronBrothers.com and MichaelsKids.com — all powered by Commerce Cloud.

"We want to take the friction out of shopping and help our customers engage with us in the easiest way possible, no matter where they are in their shopping journeys," said Steve Carlotti, EVP of Marketing at The Michaels Companies, Inc. in a statement. "With Salesforce Marketing Cloud, we will be able to better leverage all of the customer data we have to drive more effective audience engagement and ensure that every customer communication is timely and relevant."

Michaels uses Salesforce Service Cloud in its call centers to provide customer service reps with a complete view of customers in one unified desktop view, helping them to solve issues faster and with greater accuracy.

The retailer also chose Heroku and MuleSoft Anypoint Platform to build an application network that integrates various back-office systems and types of customer data. Michaels will be able to reuse existing APIs and integrations to increase development speed and adapt its customer engagement strategy to keep up with the evolving retail space.

feed@retailtouchpoints.com (Bryan Wassel) News Briefs Thu, 29 Nov 2018 10:49:04 -0500
Getting Physical: Three Tips For Bridging Online And Offline Experiences In The New Year https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/executive-viewpoints/getting-physical-three-tips-for-bridging-online-and-offline-experiences-in-the-new-year https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/executive-viewpoints/getting-physical-three-tips-for-bridging-online-and-offline-experiences-in-the-new-year

0aaaCarl Tsukuhara OptimizelyRecently Wayfair and Casper joined the likes of fellow e-Commerce brands Amazon, Everlane, Glossier and many others that are all experimenting with, or opening permanent, brick-and-mortar stores. However, with many traditional retail stores closing shop in the last year, it's even more imperative to integrate offline and online channels to provide a consistent experience across all touch points.

These digitally-born businesses are in a battle with Amazon to retain customers by offering a great in-store experience at a reasonable cost, all while avoiding the mishaps Build-a-Bear and others recently encountered. In fact, while 87% of consumers say they expect an omnichannel experience, only 7% of retailers actually provide the ability to shop seamlessly across all channels.

That means opening physical stores requires delivering a hyper-personalized and streamlined experience that is massively digital-friendly. This is fundamental to the future of this omnichannel company’s business model. Here are three ways retailers can marry their online and offline customer experiences to accelerate growth in 2019.

Create A Personalized Experience

Customers have come to expect personalized experiences online, and brands need to find ways to replicate the tailored experience in store. Since 85% of customers say they like to shop in stores because they want to “touch and feel” items before they buy them, it’s imperative for brands to provide highly relevant experiences that are “digital enabled” as a way to enhance relationships with customers and boost sales.

Nordstrom has done this through its “reserve online and try in store” service. By giving customers the option to reserve items online before heading to the store — where they are met with a personalized dressing room with their name and selected items — the retailer is combining the best of personalization across online and physical experiences.

For 110-year-old legacy brand Neiman Marcus, personalization is the new loyalty. They’ve incorporated data and machine learning across all their platforms to learn more about what customers prefer, which includes embedding new capabilities on the devices its sales associates use in stores. For example, they launched the Snap Find Shop, a visual search feature in its app that lets customers take a photo of any clothing item and find a similar style in the store’s product line using AI. The company has continued to maintain its stellar brand reputation by using the data it collects online and off to provide superior customer service and a distinctive, personalized shopping experience.

Thanks to the endless amount of data businesses can collect online, retailers are able to create targeted experiences for their customers and build relationships with them based on their interests. This is a key point where experimenting with this holistic experience comes into play. Retailers can now experiment with their online and mobile experience with the direct objective of on-premise, physical conversion. In this case, the retailer owns the entire process and supply chain and can directly measure the impact of their digital experience on both the e-Commerce and physical world.

Think Outside How Digital Experiments And Success Can Enrich On-Premise Experience

Brands can now test all kinds of variations in the digital world that can be transferred to the physical storefront with much less supply chain and physical merchandising risk. By creating highly personalized digital experiments around things such as pricing, recommendations, bundling or affinity, teams can know how to execute with high levels of certainty in the physical world.

For example, any retailer can experiment with offers against specific customer “buckets” or try checkout-level offers to see what improves average order value for different audiences. Once the suggested variation is proven to work, then a physical version of such offers, sales or displays can be replicated in physical locations where similar customer demographics apply. By getting this right ahead of larger scale physical deployment, it reduces the need for storing inventory, cuts down on operating costs and provides customers with a tangible way to know the proper in-store experience before committing to deployment at scale.

As consumer expectations and demands continue to rise at an accelerated pace, retailers must stay unique, leverage their digital data and experiments and think outside a purely digital or physical (brick-and-mortar) box in order to stay ahead. You may have a great idea for a pop-up shop or an in-person campaign, but how do you know if anyone will actually show up? Who will be interested? By testing online first, brands can learn about the customer journey, consumer behaviors and individual preferences, and use that to foster loyalty in the physical space.

One brand demonstrating the power of experimentation before national success with brick-and-mortar is Warby Parker. While the company originally got its start selling eyeglasses online in 2010, it plans to have 100 physical stores open in the next year. Before creating any permanent stores, the company started with showrooms and pop-ups. In fact, they even had a school bus early on that traveled to different cities where employees sold their glasses on wheels. By learning about their customers’ wants and needs before setting up shop, they’ve been able to take the convenience of online shopping and combine it with the in-person experience found in actual stores.

Other examples include online dating app Bumble, which just launched “The Hive” in New York, a brick-and-mortar hangout space, and Refinery29, which now hosts pop-ups as a way to bring readers closer to their brand through visual, immersive experiences.


Brick-and-mortar isn’t dead, the model is just changing. While many brick-and-mortar stores are going out of a business in the digital age, this is largely due to lack of modernization. Bridging the online and offline experience will be necessary in order for retailers to succeed, and brands that successfully adapt their approach will keep their customers coming back for more.

Carl Tsukahara, a 25-year veteran of Silicon Valley, is Chief Marketing Officer at Optimizely, a leader in digital experience optimization with customers including Gap, Revolve, Trunk Club and Blu Dot. Prior to Optimizely, Tsukahara was CMO at Birst, which delivered enterprise business analytics to major global corporations. He also has held executive management roles at Evolv, Monitise and Vitria Technology.


feed@retailtouchpoints.com (Carl Tsukahara, Optimizely) Executive ViewPoints Wed, 28 Nov 2018 09:30:49 -0500
Yamamay Localizes Product Assortments, Improves Personalization https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/news-briefs/yamamay-localizes-product-assortments-improves-personalization https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/news-briefs/yamamay-localizes-product-assortments-improves-personalization Yamamay Localizes Product Assortments, Improves Personalization

Yamamay, an Italian lingerie and swimwear retailer, has deployed a suite of Oracle Retail solutions to localize its offerings and boost personalization efforts. The brand, which currently operates 680 stores in Europe and the Middle East, has implemented Oracle Retail Merchandising Financial Planning, Oracle Retail Assortment Planning and Oracle Retail Xstore Point-of-Service solutions.

The retailer’s Project Retail Evolution initiative aims to deliver a faster sell-through of goods, drive more significant insight into customer preferences and help managers adapt to local market demands as the brand continues to add new locations. The solution suite also will improve efficiency by empowering planning teams to create more localized assortments and utilize strategies that more closely match supply and demand.

“In our 2018 consumer research study The New Topography of Retail, we discovered that 72% of European consumers think knowledgeable in-store staff are important to their brand experience,” said Chris James, Vice President of EMEA, Oracle Retail in a statement. “A satisfying brand experience begins with smarter decisions in planning the assortment to executing flawlessly in store.”

Additionally, Yamamay is using Oracle Retail Merchandise Financial Planning and Oracle Retail Assortment Planning in tandem. The financial planning tool helps the retailer strengthen Open to Buy processes and systems, in combination with the assortment planning solution to reduce the number of SKUs per collection while opening new streams in its product collections.

feed@retailtouchpoints.com (Bryan Wassel) News Briefs Mon, 05 Nov 2018 16:24:51 -0500