Interview with Industry Expert
Which e-commerce store makes you awe at the personalization techniques used?
Besides Amazon, in physical e-commerce, I have only come across Myntra.com as a company that invests in real time user level personalization techniques. I had the opportunity to meet with Sharath Bulusu and learn about the stellar team required to develop the personalized experience at Myntra. I am sure large enterprise retailers might use something similar by investing millions of $$$, but none have the experience standing out directly as these two. But services like Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, Amazon Video, Spotify, Pandora etc., are phenomenal when it comes to Personalization.
What would be a right time for a store to start off with personalization?
Personalization is not right for all. It makes sense when you have high repeat visitors, multiple visits before purchase & high mobile traffic.
Are customers okay with sharing personal information? If not, what do you think can be done?
Visitors are definitely comfortable sharing this information as they are hounded today by remarketing ads. Personalization is about making the onsite journey a lot more relevant vs. applying a one size fits all approach.
61% marketers understand the need for personalization, but 51% of them do not know how to personalize. What are the first steps they should be looking at?
Marketers need to first understand the difference between personalization and personal. Any retailer serious about their online business talk about personalization, but ends up using technology that does not predict in real time what their visitors want. Marketers need to understand that personal is using static data and personalization is using data to learn & predict intent.
What can be personalized besides recommendations and search? Any example that you would like to share?
Personalization can be applied to onsite experience like Search, Recommendations & listing pages but also off site experience like push notifications, email marketing & ads. At Tagalys we also create personalized stores to ensure the complete onsite shopping experience is personalized in real time.
How do you attribute sale through recommendations?
At Tagalys we use a rigorous system to back track every data to the visitor and the feature in use.
Can you personalize the experience for a first time user? If yes, how?
This is highly unlikely, unless 3rd party external data is used to generate a shopping persona, which increases the cost of personalization. Like any brick & mortar store, the lowest cost for the best personalized experience, is if the shopkeeper learns what you like by watching your actions in the store.
If a users has not clicked on a product in the past few visits, is it a good idea to remove that particular product in the pages they visit?
Our current hypothesis says no, but we are still collecting data to validate this.
How can personalization and automation be blended together?
Personalization is automated. It is humanly not possible to continuously learn from vast amounts of data and draw insights in real time.
How do you measure the impact of personalization? What are the metrics one needs to track?
Product views per unique visitor, click depth & bounce rate. Conversion rate is correlated but not a primary driver of personalization as many external factors not in the control of the engine like PDP design, layout, payment gateway failure rates,marketing effectiveness, promotions etc., influence end conversion rate.
Some personalization experiments that e-commerce stores should try
The ability to seamlessly connect onsite & offsite personalization to make the complete visitor experience personalized using the same persona.