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The Evolving Luxury Industry Embraces Social Media And Personalization

Social media, which was once shunned by luxury retailers for fear of cheapening their exclusive image, is now being recognized as a valuable tool both online and in-store. The most successful luxury retailers also are increasing their personalization efforts, ensuring that customers feel like their personal style is at the forefront of the experience no matter how they shop.

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Dynamic Yield Raises $32 Million, Boosting Personalization Capabilities To More Touch Points

Dynamic Yield, an AI-powered omnichannel personalization solution provider, has raised $32 million in a Series D funding round led by Viola Growth, with participation from Union Tech Ventures. The funding will help Dynamic Yield expand its personalization capabilities across kiosks, call centers, POS systems, IoT devices and other platforms. This round brings the company’s total funding to $77 million.

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Personalization Drives 19% Order Value Increase For SwimOutlet

SwimOutlet has harnessed the personalization solutions of RichRelevance to enhance its e-Commerce sites. The broad product portfolio on the retailer’s site, which encompasses both casual and competitive swimwear and accessories, makes personalization a vital aspect of the shopping experience, according to Alexander Sienkiewicz, CMO of SwimOutlet.

“Because we’re serving so many different demographics in the swimming vertical, without personalization it’s really hard to provide a tailored experience for the customer,” said Sienkiewicz in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “We utilize one-to-one personalization through RichRelevance’s technology to provide relevant product recommendations so that we’re not serving a one-size-fits all experience on our site.”

The retailer uses first party shopper behavior collected by RichRelevance to drive its personalization efforts, delving into shopping and buying patterns in order to tell lifestyle shoppers from performance swim shoppers. The effort has been successful, driving a 19% increase in average order value and an 18% increase in items per order in the checkout view cart experience to-date in 2018. The retailer integrates personalization into every step along the shopper journey, from emails to the desktop and mobile web sites.

“Customers are adding more items to the cart after they find what’s relevant to them,” said Sienkiewicz. “We’re effectively upselling and cross-selling more effectively.”

The retailer also is looking into the RichRelevance Xen AI platform, which gives retailers more control over their personalization efforts. The software’s features include:

  • Strategies that drive every decision on every item placement;
  • Rule selection evaluation for areas including segment, context and type;
  • Overall placement performance for aspects such as attribution, views, clicks and revenue; and
  • Content performance rankings.
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L’Occitane UK Boosts Mobile Conversions 159% With Personalized Product Displays

0aaQubit-Aura-LOccitane-UKL’OCCITANE en Provence is leveraging personalization across its 50 e-Commerce sites operating worldwide to deliver an experience on par with brick-and-mortar shopping.

The brand's UK e-Commerce division reported a 159% increase in mobile conversions after implementing Qubit Aura, an AI-powered mobile product discovery platform. Within the mobile experience, L’OCCITANE can display the most relevant products based on a visitor’s intent, measured via swipes, clicks and views).

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Data Makes The Difference: How Direct-To-Consumer Brands Can Take Data And Personalization To The Next Level

0aaOlivier Scott ScalefastThe e-Commerce world is constantly transforming thanks to the rise of direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands over the past few years. From razor blade subscription services to major apparel brands, more and more companies are tapping the Internet to sell their products straight to customers. DTC sales are expected to increase by 71% in 2018 alone, according to Forbes.

While DTC business models are profiting from eliminating third-party resellers that have typically served as middlemen, one of the biggest benefits of this shift is that brands are now able to learn more about their customers than ever before. By owning the customer relationship from start to finish, brands are able to collect a wide range of transactional, behavioral, demographic and CRM data.

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44% Of Shoppers Reward Retailers That Share Their Values

While price and experience remain top-of-mind for shoppers choosing a retailer, a company’s culture and philanthropy also make important contributions to brand perception. Consumers prefer shopping at retailers that share their values, and are more likely to share personal information with them as well.

A brand’s alignment with personal values is important to 52% of Millennials, 48% of Gen Xers and 35% of Baby Boomers, according to the Evolution of Retail: The Brand Perception Effect study from Euclid. While brand perception has the strongest effect among Millennials, it still matters across all generations: 44% of all consumers say they want retailers they shop at to share their values.

“This is part of a broader theme that we talk about it, which is that traditional advertising and marketing is changing pretty dramatically,” said Brent Franson, CEO of Euclid in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “If your marketing is not relevant, consumers, particularly younger generations, will tune out.”

Inclusion Draws Millennials; Baby Boomers Want American-Made

Expressing positive values is more likely to elicit trust from consumers than opposing negative issues. Diversity and inclusion were the most important values among Millennials, with 52% of this generation finding them important. In comparison, 33% of Gen Xers and 17% of Baby Boomers agreed that these issues matter.

“I think what we’re seeing with the younger generations is more diversity being represented and resonating,” said Franson. “That makes sense, because we have such a diverse population.”

Some retailers already are embracing authenticity and diversity in their marketing. Nike has launched the Pro Hijab and features female athletes from the Middle East in its ads. CVS Health is giving its beauty ads a makeover as part of its “Beauty in Real Life” campaign, which features unaltered imagery of a diverse cast of women.

Among Baby Boomers, 66% consider “American-made” products to be a positive contributor to a brand’s perception. While this term has less impact among younger shoppers, it still resonates with 50% of Gen Xers and 33% of Millennials.

Loyalty Trumps Inconvenience

When retailers can engender brand loyalty among shoppers, the benefits can be widespread. For example, loyal shoppers are more likely to stick with an omnichannel retailer even if the physical location nearest to them closes. While nearly 20% of shoppers would switch allegiance to a similar retailer with a physical location in their vicinity, another 40% would choose to shop at that retailer’s e-Commerce site or travel to the next-nearest location instead.

Should a preferred retailer close its nearest outlet, 41% of Millennial shoppers would search for or purchase a retailer’s products online 70% of the time or more. However, Millennials are generally more willing than Baby Boomers to check out new brands online, soretailers should secure Millennials’ loyalty quickly to keep their business.

“What we find with older generations is that there’s more of a fear of the unknown, that their credit card is going to be stolen or that they’re going to put some information into the wrong corner of the Internet,” said Franson. “With Millennials there’s more of a willingness to try something new and hip that aligns with their values. They’re more comfortable spending money online.”

Trust Forms The Foundation Of Personalization

Trust doesn’t just build loyalty and drive purchases — it also builds up faith that the company won’t misuse personal information. This effect can give retailers tools to improve personalization: 41% of shoppers are open to having retailers know their purchase history if they trust the brand.

Another 35% of shoppers feel comfortable sharing their purchase history if they have previously made a purchase from that retailer. Baby Boomers are particularly likely to develop loyalty to a brand through shopping at its brick-and-mortar locations, according to Franson.

However, gaining a consumer’s trust is just the start. Shoppers are even more responsive to receiving tangible benefits in return for sharing personal data: 52% of Americans said they would let a retailer know their purchase history in exchange for coupons or other promotional discounts.

“I think there’s a more explicit awareness of the value of data,” said Franson. “With the tradeoff of knowing I’m going to have a brand talking to me more, I want to make sure I’m getting something in exchange.”

While promotions are almost always good for grabbing shoppers’ attention, appealing to their values is an effective alternate path to building loyalty. The beneficial halo from a positive brand perception can continue boosting sales well after an ad campaign ends, by creating a loyal customer who appreciates shopping with a retailer that shares their ideals.

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2018 Retail TouchPoints Holiday Guide: Putting Personalization Into Practice

Integrating personalization into retail marketing and communications strategies is becoming more important every day. Especially during the highly competitive holiday shopping season, consumers are looking for relevant promotions, messaging and interactions from the brands they visit online, in-store and via every other touch point.

The 9th annual Retail TouchPoints Holiday Guide offers strategic insights, tips and real-world case studies that drive home the value of delivering a more personalized retail experience. Download the Guide to learn more from brands like Victoria's Secret, eBay, Alibaba and Macy's, as well as a cross-section of industry experts representing Forrester, A.T. KearneyHighStreet Collective, Capgemini and more.

Download the Guide now!


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Personalization — Beyond Experience To Products And Services

0aaAmitava Sengupta HCL TechnologiesA few years back, personalizing the experience was more of a set of specific options that you could choose from a set of possibilities — a specific color, a nice monogram, cuts and smaller things that focused on the soft factors but did not usually impact the composition of the product itself.

Today, with rapid advances in technology, dramatically enhanced customer expectations and the increasing need for organizations to differentiate to stay relevant, more and more organizations are including a true personalization experience into their portfolio. Interestingly, some of these offerings have progressed beyond simple, trivial variations to core changes in the composition of the product itself or the way it is consumed.

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