Personalization is king. But it’s a complicated king that requires attention.
Into the holiday season, the CEO of Etsy, Josh Silverman, has confirmed that searches for “personalized gifts” have been the most popular search term this year… even more popular than “masks.”
Consumers are not only wanting personalized content and experiences, but they’re expecting them. Meaning that for brands and retailers, personalization is in the upper tiers of concern and is being constantly tweaked and updated, given care and attention. But it presents pain points.
I’m sure you’re aware of the following scenario: the sound of your inbox sends you to your emails, where you’ve been sent a reminder about your loyalty rewards, and how they’re set to expire VERY SOON, despite the fact that you’re only just redeemed them. Or, this other scenario: you get an email from a store that has sent you product recommendations based on your likes, past purchases, and browsing habits, yet when your eyebrows rise, your heartbeat quickens, and you click on the link, you find that the products are currently out of stock.
The brand started the interaction, and enticed the consumer into offers and updates, only for them to be faulty, stringing the customer along and ending up in frustration.
As consumers, we expect that the polyamoruous love we have for our favorite brands translate into fulfilling and accurate experience online. At the very least, we expect brands to know who we are, how we shop, what we want, and not to infuriate us with their empty promises – am I still talking about brands or boy/girlfriends?
Unfulfilling online experiences are only going to push customers into the arms of a lover rival.
Each message from a brand gives them a great opportunity to boost value and help out their customers. It can spark our ideas for holiday presents, it can save us money, save us time… and in return we give them more loyalty.
In order to help out brands and retainers, we must first critique them and look at the challenges they are facing in terms of implementing personalization.
As brands expand and scale the more problematic it is to reach out to their customers one-to-one. That’s when data becomes even more important to build better portraits of each customer, which is then used to channel personalized content. But all data is not created equally; choosing the right data is the key in determining which is used to tailor content to each customer.
This is perhaps the reason why just 14% of brands describe themselves as very satisfied with the solutions that have been provided by “decisioning technology”. Put another way, most companies are unhappy with AI, which is not meeting the high demands of their customers.
Data is also often disconnected from each other, unable to talk to each other. Using a platform that is able to pick up data from all areas of the customer journey, and integrate it into how it then communicates to those customers, is how you’re going to boost better online experiences.
Among the very best is the Einstein AI that works across the Salesforce cloud family, including Salesforce Commerce Cloud, the ecommerce platform of choice for brands with the biggest muscles – which is actually broken down into two separate platforms: Salesforce B2C Commerce and Salesforce B2B Commerce.
Salesforce’s Einstein technology works behind the scenes on the back-end that not only collects data but also trains itself to learn customer behavior.
The one thing that brands are increasingly asking for is more intelligent AI, and Salesforce’s Einstein is perhaps the smartest of them – at least for now.