[Column] Nick Durrant: Personalisation becomes a top commerce priority
22-11-2021 09:39:00 | by: Nixon Kanali | hits: 834 | Tags:

Many business and technology leaders name personalisation as a top commerce technology investment priority. However, they lack the sufficient tech needed to deeply tailor experiences across channels. They are experiencing difficulty with personalisation deployment with limited resources and dedicated talent.

Personalisation continues to be prioritised as a key business initiative, but only 9% of organisations claim it is already part of their business’ DNA.  According to The State of Personalization Maturity report, a great deal of investment is still to be made despite the survey finding that 95% of organisations believe in the long-term benefits of personalisation.
 
By unlocking data's potential, one can uncover more humanised digital experiences. Behind every unique data set, is a human being creating digital experiences that transform a company, take data-driven decisions, continued experimentation and constant invention.
 
Moving towards better personalisation
 
The future of marketing is a personalised experience where customers know that the products and contents offered to them will be suited to their unique needs. This personalisation requires advanced technology and data analytics.
 
How do technology leaders achieve a more personalised product and content delivery for their customers and clients?
 
Every time a shopper returns to a site, what they see should evolve with their unique tastes and behaviours. These are the personalised experiences that modern customers expect. They should have insights on not only where the customer is coming from, but what they are likely to do next.
 
These insights must be supported by data collected from across all customer channels to ensure improved results. Incohesive and disconnected customer journeys are the ruin of many brands.
 
Personalisation attempts to use data to take  one-on-one attentiveness and translate it into the digital world. Online retailers can provide targeted offers to shoppers based on browsing behaviour and travel sites can present visitors with promotions based on the current weather or season.
 
Many consumers have grown accustomed to personalised experiences from their news feed, social networks and shopping recommendations. For example, news and other media outlets can surface specific videos to viewers based on where they live.
 
The challenges
 
Translating personalisation to the digital world is challenging, especially for many industries and especially traditional offline businesses. It’s understandable that many companies have struggled to bring the same level of personalisation that they offer in-store to their offline marketing.
 
Some of the typical challenges include an over-abundance of non-actionable data that is siloed across different systems. Also, even if they know which audiences are valuable, they often don’t have a scalable way to target specific messages to those audiences.
 
Measuring the impact of personalisation is another challenge. Even if brands can target personalised content to valuable audiences, they often lack a direct way to measure the aggregate impact of that portfolio of personalised content across their site over time.
 
The solution
 
Technology like Optimizely can directly resolve many of these challenges. To be truly effective, personalisation requires several strategies seamlessly working together.
 
Discovering audiences can be done by targeting visitors in real time based on the actions they take on the site as well as specific customer data with dynamic customer profiles including past behaviour and preferences.
 
By understanding the visitors, one can create compelling on-site experiences tailored to specific audiences that appeal to them. Doing so requires one to elegantly manage the scale and complexity of those personalised experiences.
 
Continuous measurement and improvement is crucial. One should constantly measure the return on the website personalisation investment. Not every personalised experience will resonate, so it’s important to always understand how these experiences are performing and adjust accordingly.
 
Expectations have risen so high that companies who want to improve their products are changing their strategy to address this need directly.

Nick Durrant is the CEO of Bluegrass Digital South Africa.