Re-Thinking Personalization in Retail and eCommerce
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Personalization is changing how retailers and brands reach, interact with, and utilize data from customers. Customization is the future of retail and future of retail marketing.
Hear out our expert panelists on how personalization is transforming retail and eCommerce.
Hi, everyone. Welcome to today’s web panel discussion on rethinking personalization in retail and e-Commerce. I’m Sushant and I’ll be the host of today’s discussion to 2020 has been a barrier for all of us and business verticals have been through their own little seesaw. You know, and I don’t think there’s any other industry that has been through the seesaw more than retail, right. So when COVID broke out in March, retail was going through its own transformation. Everybody said digital was the way to go. But only a very few have been able to successfully digitize their retail operations. And within digitization, personalization sits at the very centre, the very forefront of unique relatable digital experiences that make your brand endearing to your end customer. Today’s discussion will talk about the transformation of retail, and the impact of personalization the digitization of retail businesses, but we’ll do a little housekeeping first. We’ll keep this session conversational. So speakers will speak from their own experiences. I’m not traditional format of speaking from a presentation. We encourage you to use the chat section generously and pose your questions directly to the panel. We have kept aside some 10 to 15 minutes to address those questions. Yes, all the registrants will get Webinar recordings in their email. In case you’d like to make a quick business inquiry, you simply have to send a quick Hi, with your phone number to Hello at vinculumgroup.com. And last but not least, please stay safe and healthy. Take care of yourself.
So back to the webinar. I’m super psyched about the lineup of experts that we have. Starting with our first panellist who loves to combine creativity with data and helps ecommerce and marketing teams and retail design impactful experiences. Please welcome Bhavna Sachar. Bhavna is responsible for product marketing for Algonomy, and customer experience and personalization portfolio. Bhavna is continuously striving to help retailers navigate a complex Mar tech landscape. She works with clients and industry analysts to understand changing market dynamics, and then suggest creative solutions with proven best practices. You might want to reach out to her to understand how data digital and algorithms are disrupting traditional customer engagement practices in the retail industry. Once again, thank you so much for joining us, Bhavna, please tell us a little about Algonomy purpose.
Thanks for having me. So Sushant, that’s a pleasure to be here. So the way I like to describe Algonomy is, we are a one stop shop for solving retails most pressing challenges whether it is related to customer or to their back end and merchandising and supply chain problems. And we do this with the use of technology and algorithms. As a company we provide package solutions that help functions across marketing, customer experience, merchandising and E commerce with insights and real time activation of data. So in summary, you know, you can say that we help retailers bridge the digital experience gap and grow their customer lifetime value in this digital first world. Right. And as you mentioned Algonomy. Algonomy is on a path to consolidating their business with RichRelevance (Now Algonomy), which is a leader in personalization solutions globally.
Fantastic. Our second guest is Haren Shelley. Haren is director in country head for Indonesia and Singapore at yellow messenger. Haren is big on AI and heads business strategy and development at via and this webinar, Haren will speak on AI led commerce and 360 degree retail with focus on conversational commerce. HAren, why don’t you start? Start with your please tell us about your role at yellow messenger? And how did you get sold on the this big talk around personalization and retail.
Thank you. Thanks a lot for the introduction. And it’s an absolute pleasure to be on this webinar along with partner and yourself. So as you rightly introduced, I’ve been leading business strategy and development for yellow messenger conversational AI, into an OT platform, which allows enterprises to build intelligent virtual assistants for any function. Right. So we have been contributing and scaling, retail and commerce enterprises in growing their revenue for the past five years and we would have easily worked with more than 300 Plus customers in this segment. So that’s what why LMS is or has been doing across the world and showing Kramer a great amount of personal Question Two from a technology standpoint in increasing both sales and customer experience.
Fantastic. And, you know, during the brief, I’m, like I read through your talking points. And I, one of the things that caught my attention was conversational commerce. Now, I have been intrigued with conversational commerce for a while now. My understanding of conversational commerce was kind of restricted that its business application was restricted to intent filtering, that is, you know, using a using a very simple yes, no, or a Multiple Choice format, to automate conversations, you know, to object to automate conversations and just to gauge buying intent. But I’m sure there’s more to this concept. Please, why don’t you get started with, you know, what its relevance is like, what? What exactly is its business application for retail businesses?
Definitely. I think that’s a great question, right. So pretty much if you’ve seen, I think the impact of the buzzword of conversational Commerce has been highlighted or has been in the market for a long while. Post COVID. Current two, three COVID, the audience and the businesses prefer the traditional way of shopping, right? So we all prefer to go out with the specific retailer store and shop, because you can you feel that you get multiple options, you can physically feel what are them? Right, whether it’s supply chain grocery, whether it is retail, cosmetic, right, so we look for auctions. But most COVID, what people and businesses, that is consumers and businesses started realizing is that, you know, physical activity or physically visiting stones is not possible, right. And when you go to a physical store, you have a lot of advantages, right? So you have a sales representative who takes some time to assess the product. See, you get to see the sample and, you know, experiences before buying it. Now, the biggest problem retailers started facing as a challenge is that can you provide such experience digitally, right. And this thought, this specific product really created the evolve in the world, and created this technology for conversational commerce, right? And yes, 90 to 95% of that experience of shopping can be created online, right? So that’s when yellow messenger started building this 360 degree, retail automation or commerce automation solution, we have the capability to provide an omni channel experience. That’s right, that is rather than business coming to you, that is consumer coming to the business, you take the business to the consumers, that you provide the flexibility to see starting from a product catalogue to experiencing a product seeing a product demo, right? To multiple audience at a time together, right? Where they can digitally happy to be on. So what’s the product they’re buying? And how seamlessly can they buy? Now, where does this conversational aspect in this commerce contract? People prefer, you know, communicating while buying, right. So whether it’s a it’s a grocery, or whether it’s a high end product, right? Maybe electronically, it’s really important to talk check, understand this feasibility and then go purchase. Now, can we provide that experience to a consumer to chat on the chat channel? Facebook is different? Yes. But is it possible to serve each and every one of them as younger? 100,000 people visiting a retailer digitally retail, can we get it to such requirements? Absolutely. Yes. Right. So when you put a virtual assistant, which has the capability to speak in multiple different languages, and understand multiple stacks of the consumers coming from different categories, then it becomes the consumer, then it gives flexibility to the consumer to converse, you know, go through what he wants to buy, create a cart, go purchase, and make his entire purchase seamless. So that’s the overall technology or solution we have derived around conversational commerce.
Got it got an interesting point you made earlier, I just I just made a quick note of it. So a lot of people can do personalization, right. But the difficult part is doing personalization at scale. So if you have to, like personalize experience for let’s say, 10 visitors or 15 visitors, that’s okay, that’s fine. But, you know, repeating that scaling this your personalization efforts for, let’s say, 100,000 users, you know, that is the big thing. And, you know, yellow messenger being a partner. Like, I think they’ve been doing a great job of enabling personalization at scale. So, yeah, thank you for your answer. But that that actually gets me. You know, that actually brings me to a follow up question. Which is like, if you’re in 2020, I think omni channel was probably one of the biggest buzzwords that came out of retail, like everyone wants to go on the channel, right? But we know that’s easier said than done. Right? So what, according to you, would be a would be the true indicator of omni channel done right? Like, how do you help? Like, how do you gauge the effectiveness of a of an omni channel strategy?
I think that’s a good question again, I think, but the path for it is pretty straightforward, right? I mean, COVID, or no? COVID, right, let’s make it very simple. A business being present on multiple channels, right, would attract a lot of lot business mode, then just being on one traditional channel. Imagine, like, there are so many retailers or business to consumer companies, who spend tons and tons of marketing right, to give to divert the entire business to that country’s channel. Rather, you’ve already be available to consumers rate their consumers where they are already preferred, the preferred mode of communication, or where they’re already exists. So tapping that enter customer base, make a policy connect. Now, why is it cold or cold? Doesn’t matter? This? Every, every business has to scale? Suppose I’m a retailer who’s based out of India, right? And I would like to make sure my business scales, more international, right most states within India, and it’s very important for me to attract that level of audience also and be available for that level of audience across omni channel as well. Correct. So as you now know, the benefit we have is WhatsApp business is out, right? We can have a WhatsApp business account, right? Where we know that there are 3 billion WhatsApp used across the world, and at least 50% of them are active every day. Correct? Just imagine the scale of it. Right? Let’s assume let’s talk about the grocery business in Indonesia, for example, right? Why should people even go and buy the grocery retail store, when they can just click a button and the way they chat with their friends, they can just chat with that pops up since a cow and make the entire you know, grocery purchase? Why not that right? So I think that is so the single parameter, which I mean, this may, this actually makes a life easier, right? The parameter I think, which actually speaks about increasing business is the interest in the consumer face. So if you are able to attract more consumers by making a business omni channel, and if your customer base is great, 2x three, so at least in terms of the registrations for the entire customer base, the customer conversion is a different problem. So right, but at least being omni channel allows consumers to come in more, right? And be and understand that, okay, the business is at close comfort to what I would prefer to.
Call it card. And yeah, like, seems very obvious, right? Like, if you have to grow, one of your strategies, be present in more channels. And which is essentially an WhatsApp for business is a great example. I think when WhatsApp started off, nobody could have foreseen the scale to which, you know, WhatsApp would, you know, go to, but they are like, great answer once again. My next question is from Hannah. Now, for big brands, and retailers, which have these, you know, massive marketing teams. One of the bigger challenges they have is, you know, explaining internally, what personalization is? How is it different from segmentation? And then why should the organization make that shift? So, for, especially in retail, how can marketing align their management with this business case? And how do they secure this buy in from management to go all out and invest in a personalization strategy?
So, I would say Sushant, that, you know, COVID has kind of made the job of marketers and E commerce people who are trying to make this business case a little easier, right? This year, there has been, you know, digital growth worth five times that you would have expected in two quarters. Right. And, and making this business case is such an important part of marketing and innovation teams roll. So what I would say is that change is hard for everyone, but start breaking it down into use cases and applications. So for example, if today your maturity is you know, that you’re doing mass marketing, or you’re using what you said about segments, which is demographic based age groups, profiles, income levels, you know, you’ve probably made a start, but that’s not enough. Right. So if you are today doing something like an abandoned cart campaign, which was just really a tiny part of re engaging and bringing the people who’ve shown some intent back to the store, so open your management’s eyes towards other applications of how you can use personalization and specially on digital channels, right? So talk about using behavioural data, which is a big mess in a lot of places today, and how can you use it not just to personalize, maybe, you know, the product recommendations, which is how we know, which, which is how we know what Amazon does, right? When we go there. And you see something like people who bought this also bought, which is a basic form of recommendations is what I would call it because it’s not necessary that if I’m in the market for, I don’t know, a microwave oven, and somebody else who’s bought a microwave, microwave oven has also bought another equipment or fridge, maybe, you know, because they’re setting up their house, that doesn’t mean that I’m looking for the same thing, right? That’s not personalization. To me, I’m not the same as those people. And we know, you know how irrelevant some of those recommendations can be. So what you need to do is, if you’re talking about one on one personalization, start by doing a gap assessment, with, you know, engage some ecommerce experts. So if you are in grocery, for example, are you leveraging the full scale? Are you doing things like replenishment? Right? So, because people buy the same things every two weeks, every month, or whatever? Is their frequency, right? Are you helping them? You know, with things like subscriptions, complete the meal options? Or if there are certain things which are out of stock in maybe the electronics vertical? Are you suggesting substitutes for those products? Right? So if if you’re not doing this entire breadth of things, you know, you know, that you’re, you’re missing out, because product discovery is a big challenge in E commerce, right? So make the case for that and see what is the incremental gain that you can get from this and then elevate the conversation. So you know, where is it that you want to you want to be with on mass marketing segments, or one on one personalization. So you know, C suite likes numbers, so assign a number to each of those applications and strategy that you would have in place, and how it adds to the top line. And, you know, in, in my experience with our customer base, you know, a revenue gain of 5% to 20%, of digital revenues, is something that that’s that’s seen across the board based on what is the level of adoption, what is the current maturity, and a lot of people kind of, to choose to do this in house, you know, if you are a technology company, you’ve got the skill sets, and you’ve got really, you know, the luxury of time to wait till you are able to build all those, you know, data science techniques, you’re able to do your own data warehousing, then, you know, building yourselves is an option, but just weigh the pros and cons of the two. But one thing that I would like to say is that the third option, which is doing nothing is not an option right now, right? So think about what is the cost of doing nothing? Are you really in in the competition anymore? Or you know, people don’t even think of you and so that’s not acceptable, right? Sort of the three options, I would say, just don’t choose doing nothing. And that’s that’s your message to your management?
Yeah, there’s a huge opportunity costs in not doing anything. Absolutely. Yeah. And I remember I read this case study by Pmod. Institute, this is, I think, back in 2015, or 16. So Baymard is this market research for? And they did a case study where they found out that more than 68% of online shoppers abandon their carts, right? Which, again, if you do, if you do some quick math, which essentially means for every $1 that you’re earning you losing $2. So if your sale is $10,000, at the end of the month, you could have very easily made 2030 2025 $30,000. But yeah, we often tend to not focus on, you know, things that have an opportunity cost to them. So that’s probably an argument that you could go to your management with, Hey, we are losing business. You’re not getting you’re not just getting business, we’re also losing business on the side. Yeah. Got it. Got it. But the question again, the question is, like, why is this conduit? And this question is, especially for Bhavna, like, why is this conversation around personalization in retail? Like, why is this even more important in 2021? Because, obviously, you know, retail has been, you know, retail has been through a huge change in 2020, due to COVID and several other factors. So why is this conversation more important in 2021? Number one, number two, are there any growth trends, or are there any indicators in retail that you that you’ve noticed since the outbreak of COVID that have kind of validated the need for personalization?
So many social and so, you know, I think we’ve all I’ve seen those reports which have talked about how the consumer behaviour, which was changing is going to stick around and, you know, 25% of all buying is going to happen on digital channels. And I think that’s, that’s probably a lower number. Now that, you know, we’ve been through this and we know that it’s been 10 months, and it’s not going away anytime soon. Right. And just I think couple of days back, there was a report which has come out which was talking about different GIOS. And what is the ecommerce growth, which has happened, I think AIPAC is at about 25 26%. Middle East is around 30%. And, you know, this is a trend, which is across markets, Singapore, surprisingly, 70% ecommerce growth in 2020. This is huge. And what this really means for retailers is that there are a lot of new demographics, you know, people who would never use digital before who had internet, but they never used to buy online. Right? They are buying online now. So that means there are there’s so many teething problems. They used to store assistants, they used to, you know, the comfort of going in the familiar aisles or sections in the department store, and asking people, you know, what is it that they’re looking for? How do you make this this entire process hassle free for them? I think that’s the number one priority for anybody who’s selling online today. So you know, I think Haren talked about replicating the, the warm experience of physical stores on digital where there is no human connect, and how do you turn those people who are organically coming to your website, or maybe you know, through your ads that you’re doing into, into, actually convert customers, and then make them by the second purchase, and, you know, make them by you becoming their favourite destination? So I would say that personalization is important, because it’s not just about, you know, one on one, which is an important parameter, but it’s also about removing friction, friction, right? It’s about understanding, where is the customer on the buying funnel? Right? Are they still just about? You know, they’re probably not even in the market right now. And then there is there are others who are in the market, but you know, it’s still such an open game. They don’t know which brand they want, they have not done their research. So how do you help them in the research process? Are they ready to buy once they have decided on, you know, the brand and the configuration and you know, the price point that they are willing to spend on this particular item? Then it’s about, you know, elevating the experience, talking about other cross sell recommendations, right, complete the look, complete the recipe, those kind of, and if you do that too soon, you’re being too pushy, right? So understanding, where is the customer in their buying journey in the funnel, that’s extremely important. And you and again, on digital, you know, you can’t have rules or can’t set this up manually for everybody. So this needs to be needs to happen through technology through the behavioural and ticket indication. So it’s about helping them make a decision, understanding the granular preferences. You know, if they like dairy free, if they are looking for high end, or mid mid range brands, what are the historical preferences? All of that is so much more important now?
Yeah, 100%. It’s something marketers call conversation momentum. It’s like, just just what he said, Right? Depending on where exactly a customer is in their buying journey. You make conversation with them accordingly. And they may not even be a customer, right? They could be a prospect. Yep. And it’s so important to maintain that relevance, that momentum throughout the conversation, right, from the point that they come to your ecommerce landing page to the point that they’ve become a recurring customer. And, you know, I think one industry that does not do it at all is banking, so bad. I just thought of this example. Like, if you go to a bank, you go there with a certain problem, they’ll say, you know, you tell them what the problem is, they’ll tell you go to the next. And then you end up like repeating the problem all over again. And all I want as a banker spreads to tell one person what my issue is, and then you know, if at all, they redirect me to another counter, my problem statement should already be aligned, but that doesn’t happen. Yeah, maintaining that conversation moment and maintaining that relevance throughout the throughout the user experience throughout the buyer experience. Super important. Very good point, Barbara. My next question is to arraign. Well, one of the other talking points that I that I was intrigued with in you know, in the topic in the list that he shared with us was AI led commerce right. For those who don’t know any better Lead commerce might seem another buzzword. And at vinculum, we have a lot of, you know, SMEs and a lot of small scale retailers. Who would really love like to understand, you know, what, what exactly is the meaning of AI like commerce? And what exactly is its relevance in the context of essence?
Good questions to chunk. So I mean, I’ll break it into multiple places pieces will answer, right? I mean, why let commerce right AI itself is a buzzword, right, artificial intelligence, we will still wonder what exactly in artificial intelligence is artificial intelligence? Right. That’s one part of it. Second is when we talk about AI, let commerce again, at using artificial intelligence is to automate, right, bring in efficiency, save, save money bring in ROI, which is of great importance to emerging companies in emerging economies. Right, then that, that means we should definitely talk about economies like Indonesia, right, most of the Southeast Asia countries where we see businesses in the economy just growing right, right now. So I’ll give you an example it is think about as a small retailer, right? Who is starting a business with a unique product, maybe the ticket of ticket size of the product is not too high, but maybe somewhere around you know, $1 or so, right? Now, just imagine, as you rightly said that we don’t know where exactly in the buying process or a buyer footfall right, it’s very risky for him to invest more on marketing right, or maybe the traditional way of marketing and make sure all these consumers comes to the traditional channel, which is a shop and buy right, rather, what an okay, if that happens also, how many sales executives can you know, can you hire and keep right to make sure all these audiences now this brings in a great importance to hire, not to hire, but to create a virtual assistant, which has the behavioural mechanism of that particular retailer, and which has the end to end understanding of a specific product. Now, just imagine I’m talking about you know, $1, arranging product right. Now, imagine if this virtual assistant has the capability to speak into and define the product, explain it with the product in any language of the customer’s choice and make sure that he understands the product or at least gets his buying intent that okay, this makes a great return to him that the sale is automatically happening correct. Now, for this people need not invest on a on a much costlier human resource right or maybe they do invest they can use it in somewhere else, but not on the tier one tier one or the way we call it L one L two scenarios, right, like product recommendations product catalogue, about the product and all the aspects right here is where the virtual assistant with artificial intelligence and natural language processing comes into picture right? An assistant which absolutely looks and sounds like a human, which has the capability to talk to you on a channel of your choice and tell you everything about that specific retailers product and gives you a understanding of whether to buy or not right, or does it meet your need or not? Now, will it be more human more humanly or that is more realistic? That is if I if I if I go through a product because typical we have buyer satisfy etc? They go they explore and then think about it, can they come back? If a buyer comes explores on a virtual assistant understands product, maybe comes after a couple of days, village recognize the buyer and say, Hey, you were looking for some something similar? You know, we like to continue shopping the same or have you come to buy something new? Just imagine if a virtual assistant says this to the consumer? Won’t be won’t the consumer be happy? I mean, he’ll be an absolute understanding that okay, this guy worries at all. They’ll be psyched. Yeah, yeah. They’ll be like, okay, there is human being talking to me. So no worries, right. But that can be an absolute virtual assistant experience. This is what we’ll be doing to every small, medium, large and enterprise customers. And this allows them to share save a greater ROI. When it comes to both sales and customer retention also, because from business to business, that personal virtual assistant is personalized as per their business needs and pitch. Right. And this is where artificial intelligence led commerce or retail selling is being powering at least five to 10x scale in revenues for consumers for those businesses.
Correct. Yeah. Okay, my next question is for Bhavna and it’s, it’s tied to the whole omni channel conversation, right? So Let’s just say I decided to go through, you know, I have a certain plan in place, I have the management buy in. We are all systems go. But for me, one of the biggest questions still remains is like how do I how do I measure the effectiveness? Or how do I measure the performance of my omni channel strategy? How do I know I’ve practiced but rarely done this, right.
So I think, you know, it’s a progression, again, which is you start with, you know, you start seeing higher conversion rates, you start seeing higher engagement where people are coming not just to buy, but also to learn about products and so on, and which translates to revenues. But for me, anybody who’s in this for the long term, right, and he was looking at this as a sustainable strategy, the ultimate performance metric for me is customer satisfaction, right? Because you might do something which is going to spike your revenues for maybe one quarter, two quarters, but if your customers are happy with you, they’re going to come back to you, and this is going to, you know, they’re going to be loyal to you. And the ultimate metric is customer lifetime value, which is so tightly integrated with customer satisfaction. And you know, that that comes back to omni channel. So if there is an omni channel to me is not just, you know, your mobile app and, and website and, you know, chat and other channels that you’re talking about. And also is the same thing replicated in store, right, basically every interaction point that you have with people, but also different touchpoints. Right. So if you’re on an E commerce site, is your search also aligned to the content, right, so if I search for maybe a shirt, and you search for a shirt, we should be getting very different results. Because, you know, we, we’ve got different preferences, and we, you know, based on whatever the behavioural data that we have shown, is the system able to pick up the results and not just give you those recommendations and sent you those, you know, abandoned cart notifications, and so on, but also personalize something like a search result, or the banner that you see on the website, or, you know, the products that you see on a category page, and so on. So, and all of that comes together to make a great customer experience and customer satisfaction. So that’s, that’s in a way, you know, the ultimate, ultimate quantitative metrics to my mind. And the second one, which is a little more qualitative, I would say, is that what is the recall of your brand? So if you are in a particular category is your name the first one that comes to mind for customers, when they are looking to make a purchase in say, you know, the skincare category or the electronics category? Are you the leader there, right, and that kind of dictates, and that takes away so much burden from your customer acquisition costs, right, because you’re just known and people will, by default come to you. So the brand recall is extremely important as a performer performance criteria. 100%. And I think with retail, I think FMCG has made some rapid progress and you know, optimizing the, you know, their brand and optimizing their user experience, big basket is an immediate example, it comes to mind like these guys have done really well. You know, I’m a big basket user. And more often than not, wherever I you know, I’m going through my purchasing lists my grocery list, if there’s a certain item that I, you know, tend to order again and again, and in case I miss out on that big basket will send me a quite prompt. Hey, do you want to add this to your cart? And, and I’m like, Thank you big basket. Yes, I want to add it. Say I like good customer. Actually, I have one more. I think I have to move, rosiest, but I tend to go towards big basket. And within retail I think I think
You know, I, some players have already started that movement, Nika for one. And then there are some of the other players. But one brand that I particularly like one brand that I think I’ve cracked. You know, personalization program is Starbucks. I’m a huge fan of Starbucks. And I’ve read a very lengthy case study on, you know, how they leverage data to produce real tailored experiences. They started this crazy good, you know, customer loyalty program in 2011, which by the way, right now has 11 million active users in the US alone.
They have a mobile app, which works like an absolute charm. The program integrates with third party vendors, the data points that they capture to you to create these curated experiences. It’s just incredible.
You know, app users, they earn two stars for every dollar that they spend. And then they also get other benefits like free in store refills, super member offers events, event invites, and even the the ability to pay by phone and order ahead. So if you reach the store like that’s in 30 minutes, you could very easily order on the phone and then just go in your order will be ready with and it’s all with the click of a single button.
And this loyalty program as has been really successful for Starbucks, they, I think they registered some 40% or 39% growth in the entire channel sales in quarter 2018. So question to both of you, because you would have seen a lot of similar brands.
Can you give us, you know, examples of a few brands who have like really cracked personalization who like to, like nail their optimization strategy? Any examples that you’d like to share? We go with you first. I mean, I mean, we have seen great amount of brands, right? And who personally work with us as well, expensive retail, because we’re speaking about prosody. Right. I think during this COVID, they were one of the biggest brands who have enabled that enter to omni channel, that’s one of the favourite channels of consumers WhatsApp. And they have seen incredible growth in the direct to consumer, increasing sales, right? I mean, the amount of sale which has increased, and the retention experience with the workforce to provide, right, where in if I go back the next month to buy something it has made this year typical buying list? Would you like something to hear? Or would you just like to work and process? I mean, with the click of a button, and don’t even need to chat, right? If I’m able to just place the entire order? In what a couple of minutes, then why not? I mean, what can be a better experience than that? Right? And if you go a bit International, I think the likes of sufferers, Elora. I think all these great brands have already started, you know, bringing in this greatest Playstation and I mean, most of the brands, we ourselves powered the entire digital transformation initiatives when it comes to customer service or sales automation. And I think overall, that has been creating a great impact and summarizing the entire thing which have told if there is an aspect where you can talk to a consumer and give him a human touch in the language. He wants to speak and communicate with a child he wants. I think that that together brings in a great experience.
Great, great. How about you have now any examples that you can think of? Oh, yeah, I think, you know, you spoke about big basket and did you forget and you know, things like products that you bought, bought in the past that that’s shown to you. I think that’s a great example, something similar that one of our customers in the Middle East, which was Carrefour hypermarket chain is doing as well. And they are predominantly brick and mortar retailer, right? They have expanded to the digital channels. And you know, it’s they start with for new users, they start with things like trending products, top sellers, and so on. Right and the moment they start getting data about individuals, they’re able to personalize on granular preferences, right. So if there is somebody who was who’s shown an intent towards buying organic products, for example, they would immediately cache that signal and show you organic products and other categories as well. And even when you have not specified in the search bar, for example, that you’re looking for organic, they just know that if you’ve searched for tomatoes, organic is what you would prefer to buy. I think that’s the next level of you know, using granular signals. And there are a lot of other cool use cases in grocery, for example, you know, people are cooking at home so much this year, and you know, pizza, if somebody has just added pizza base to their cart, immediately, can you show them recommendations for the entire recipe if because chances are now they want to buy pizza cheese, they want to buy spices, you know, they want to buy toppings and sauce. So instead of having them to kind of go back to the category and add the pizza sausage cheese again, which is such a hassle, right? Nobody wants to do that in grocery you just want to make it so efficient. It’s a mundane task. So how do you kind of bring that entire thing together and give them everything? So it’s almost like you know, imagine that you walk to a walk into a grocery store. And instead of the cheese aisle, there’s the pizza aisle, right? That’s how people are rethinking You know how people buy and just replicating you know, the fashion experience in grocery for example doesn’t work. So each of these verticals are so different. I think so Carrefour is definitely one name.
I think the Lord has got a great vision when it comes to the full lifecycle personalization. So what we are seeing is that you know, the common thread is big basket, Nika all of these are kind of you know, new wage digital bond companies. But the next step really is bringing it to you know the traditional brick and mortar companies that are expanding into omni channel so the likes of Carrefour is one, you know, there are a few other names that come to mind tech zone in India. You know, I think they have great data science team and they are using their data and algorithms very well and they’ve got a great vision. So yeah, I think I think I’m excited about bringing that you know, making the traditional retail companies into partly technology company.
Nice. Yeah. You mentioned Nike, right? So it’s interesting because Nike has been a customer for the past many years.
We’d like to see ourselves as a as a small partner in the success and the growth that they achieved, which is phenomenal. And I think the differentiator that Nika started with was this entire was the, you know, how they were fanatical with optimizing user experience. So one particular example that I can think of as you know, Nika would kind of start promoting ethic we are, you know, for, for a certain section for a certain demographic, they will start promoting ethnic beer for September or October, because that’s when most of the sales happen. So, you know, like the other vendors that you mentioned, I think they also have a very strong data science team, and that actually applying all that data into creating these curated experiences for their customers, which is incredible. So yeah, big fan of Nika. Oh, cool. I think we’ve already like we’ve addressed a lot of different trades, a lot of different questions that we had around personalization, and, you know, AI, led commerce and retail, I can already see there are a lot of questions that have come in from our attendees. We’ll take that one by one.
I can start with them now.
Good. So one of the questions that we’ve got from our attendees is,
They say we are we get high, high abandonment on our checkout pages? How can we apply data and personalization to improve checkout completion rates are in do you want to take this?
Yeah, I’ll just quickly repeat the question around. So they’re saying that they get a lot of the checkout abandonment rates are really high. And they’re asking if they can apply data and personalization to improve their checkout completion rates? Yeah, I think that’s a that’s a good question right. So, every every automation or every omni channel are every digital experience that you provide to the consumer needs to be tracked and analyzed, right? It as, as important it is, to have a you know, a platform or a Flow Builder to build that experience of natural talking to the consumer, it is equally important to track the entire life cycle also, like Barbara was mentioning that the entire sale lifecycle. Now, like for example, yellow vests in this platform, right has an analytics module, which allows you to measure where exactly our customer is dropping in terms of the entire buying process. Now, whether it if it is if somebody is reaching is dropping around 10 40% of the cycle, that means there is some problem with the the way the product catalogue is being shown in one of the few channels, if somebody is exactly dropping at the mid level, right? Barriers to decide or add, add, you know, purchase to the cart. And maybe that process is not seamless, then there might be people talking about that are the most important or where people complained a lot is that you know people purchase to everything, but exactly the the time of year doing the payment or something that off, right? That is very important, because we have seen a lot of virtual assistants are these omni channel solutions, which trigger I mean, whenever you whenever you reach a stage of payment, it triggers you to some other webpage, right?
Some other payment gateway completely out of the channel and creates a very awkward experience, frankly, but if you can maintain that experience in all the channels where you’re providing, and if the customer feels that okay, paying doing payment also is seamless, then maybe there is a high chances of going ahead, right. And second thing from a virtual assistant point of view, or from a flow flow point of view, if you are able to show some offers exactly at the time where he’s going to do a purchase, right? Which is that, okay, add something more to get where you 30% off, right? And that’s where the personalization or attraction of discounting sort of thing should come in place. Right, that that will motivate people to make the purchase quicker and faster, right. I think keeping that in mind is very relevant. There has done a lot of integrations and out of the box integrations, I could say Right, like for payment gateways, we have integrated with say two midterms, razorpay and PayTM, and all these providers, right, I mean, in I mean, we went to a state, I mean a scale where we decided that you know, not only the purchase, but the delivery and logistics will also be tracked at our level or the Amazon experience level. So we have out of the box integrations with the logistics partners as well, making the Intuit sale and delivery seamless for customers.
We have another question for Haren.
The question is Haren talked about multi channel presence for large for larger business by How’s yellow messenger helping in building that scale with E commerce marketplaces. Okay, I think al Khattab considers that to be the same point, right? But in short, we know this was coming, right? When we knew that we could create a direct to consumer channel for businesses, we also knew that, why not expedite or increase its sale through, you know, marketplaces. So keeping that in mind, yellow messenger has broken partnerships with a lot of out of the box inventory or order management systems, which includes the likes of, you know, Shopify, you know, Magento, right. All the systems, we have talked about integration barrier messenger, bot platform is available for different retailers to use, and, and make sure their commerce can happen to industry through those marketplaces. So we are available as technology in these marketplace channels as well, for retailers or businesses to adapt to our technology.
Our next question is for Bhavna. And the question is, how should I decide? How should I decide the tech stack to use? If I want to take my brand omni channel channel? What kind of tools would I need? Okay, so I would say, you know, before you go to the tools, think about your strategy, right? So are you looking at just, you know, tactical play over there? Or are you looking at using your, you know, customer data across different channels? Or do you have a data strategy to start with? You know, what is it that you are, you know, what are the different based foundationally? Right, do you have just the demographics, do you have behavioral data? Do you have all of these components across different, you know, touch points that a person has with you together, and you’re able to use that in a Gothic, Gothic manner? Right? So I think you spoke about personalization at scale, right? As buzz buzz body as it sounds, you know, this is something which is becoming a reality. Because if you think about, you know, the old times, mom and pop stores, and how the shopkeeper knows each individual, and they know that you know, what they are likely to buy, they’re going to talk to them in a very personal manner. And you can’t, of course, do that when you have a million customers, right? So what are you looking at? To do? So we thought techstack should take care have a solid customer data Foundation, and then you should look at, you know, different pieces that sit on top of it based on if stores are important to you? Are you able to bring together the store data with the online data, and in real time and able to activate it for different channels? So So I think it’s kind of a bottom up approach that I would suggest to people. Yeah. And also, I think what is super important is like, how do all the tools within your tech stack speak to each other? So that integration has to be deep? And you know, layer? Yeah, there’s no, there’s no loss of information across your entire stack? Right? Yeah, the silos problem is a big problem. For sure. Yeah. Yeah.
The next question is from raid. And this is, this is actually quite interesting. So the question is, how can we best humanize the views code? How can we better humanize our conversations with our customers? So they look less artificial? Despite being AI driven? Very simple. One is the I think, as I already spoke, experience of training the NLP with a lot of data again and again, right. And the one which will help us seal the deal is that businesses pass data with consumers. So a lot of businesses would have these live chat systems or, you know, different systems where they would have collected a lot a lot of data on our consumer behavior is right because contribute with consumer behaviors typically change from business to business? Correct. If we get a hold of all the data in, we use that to train the virtual assistant again and again on the same data, including the different Schottky shortform, including every buzzword used in that specific industry, or that Juno’s was related to that specific company itself, that will actually allow us to, you know, make the path more and more efficient. I mean, today we see those enterprises who are our customers, where there are no live live chat agent available at all because there is no such scenario, which the board doesn’t is not aware about when it comes to that business. So that is the level of efficiency which we have reached. Just through training the NLP. With the past data more accurately with short piece and short forms, in language of the business’s choice, color and color.
Like, you know, great application of NLP is it’s a constantly learning engineering process. So it will keep learning from your interactions, your conversations, and then build more personalized, personalized, more enriching conversations for directly.
Yeah, I think we have one more question that we’d like to take. And yeah, this is very generic, and we get this a lot. So this question is, what is the difference between multi channel and omni channel? I can’t tell you the number of times we get this question. Why don’t you take this? Yeah, I think it’s straightforward, right? I think. I mean, multi channel was, I think, this is my point of view, right? Multi Channel has always been that traditional, I mean, having an alternate to the traditional way of doing business. I mean, we see a lot of companies who have a store or a physical store in place, and then a website or website, channel to back it up. Correct. That’s, it’s just two way purchase channels, which businesses have I had always and, and because of that, again, that problem of investing a lot of marketing, you know, traditional, into divert, people aren’t replacing channels, right? TV advertising, everything came into picture, because they had only two places to divert the traffic. And no matter whether it was the customer’s choice or not, I mean, just imagine I’m sitting in X place in one city, and that retail is present somewhere across the city. Why would I even think of traveling right? Then I’m forced to go to the other channel, which is website, I liked it or not.
Now, the difference omni channel brings is is your omnipresent, you are there everywhere. Every piece of you opens a whatsapp chat, you’re there, right? He opens the Facebook Messenger. You’re there. Twitter, you’re there. I mean, now Instagram has also opened, availability to integrate virtual assistant, so your Instagram also there. So I think in a day, it’s mandatory, it has become mandatory for anyone, every one of us to open one of these apps for short. And then means every day, if he thinks of you, the, if the user wants to buy any of your products, he has to be on these channels, and we’ll pay you, right. I mean, I don’t even know how, what is the multiplication factor, I should even put it 100,000 acts of increase of business, because it’s just not this multi channel spirit, you’re available. You’re omnipresent. Now. In you go 10 10x 100x For the next, right, because there’s a lot of traffic which is diverted towards your business. Yeah, true.
Bhavna, in your experience, what are some of the what? I’m sorry? What are some of the data points that marketers tend to overlook? In their personalization campaigns? What are some? I think what they mean is, what are some of the data points that marketers must pay attention to when when creating a personalization campaign when planning a personalization campaign? What are some of the most important data points, which marketers may kind of overlook?
Have you have you come across data points like these?
I’m not particularly I mean, I would say that, you know, marketers are becoming data driven. But that’s still a very small percentage, right? It’s, it’s mostly gut feel, based decisions that happen, right, or it’s dictated by your, you know, top down because somebody is asking you to promote a particular brand, or, you know, you have partnerships with, with certain brands, you have margin commitments, which is, you know, promoting your private labels, and so on. So that kind of overrides the data aspect of it in terms of, you know, what is it that that actually, an individual is looking for, or, you know, I think even things like, marketers are moving to something like A B testing, right, which is a common concept that we hear about. But what really happens over there is that it’s done in a very manual manner. So I wouldn’t say it’s a data point that’s overlooked, that they overlooked. But I would say that, you know, they need, they need new techniques to do this at scale, because you can’t, you know, test variant A versus B, and you have the, the winner after five days, and then you implement it, that’s not how it works. It’s not going to scale that way. It needs to happen in real time. So I would say, you know, pay attention to some of those things that are just eating your bandwidth, but resulting in very, very little incremental returns. Yeah, I think marketers and AV testing practitioners tend to, you know, rush or speed up their, their hypo the stage where they have to form hypothesis. Yes, when especially you.
When creating a B test, or when planning a B test, it’s very important to come come up with a with an observation and then a hypothesis, both of which are like driven by data. So one aspect where marketers rushes, forming this hypothesis. And, and then the other thing what he said, right, that if you run a, if you run a test, you have to let it to enough visitors for it to actually make sense. So, business, you know, marketing teams often tends not have that patience, and they, like still go ahead with the test and then probably not get the same results as expected. So sorry, so and it comes back to the entire personalization conversation, right? If a B test, you are splitting the traffic two ways, and you’re saying this variant is better, it’s not better for the entire population, right? So the better has to be for every individual and AV testing is not going to yield that. But I think just coming back to the probably the intent of the question, I think a lot of marketers are stuck in what we call vanity metrics, right? So there’s things like, you know, impressions and click through rates, it’s a good start, but it’s not leading to anything tangible, or what your management really cares for. Right? So there has there there is really a need to elevate the conversation from some of those vanity metrics that that momentarily make you happy to really go to something that actually matters in business, and that’s conversions and revenue.
There’s just one last question that we’ll be able to squeeze in.
For Bhavna personalization is a game for the big players? How is Algonomy priced for the SME MSME? Or high growth transport? You’re getting a direct business inquiry?
Oh, no, I think I would say that it’s kind of a myth. That personalization is for the big daddies, we have seen a lot of small players, you know, direct to customer brands, and so on, which are emerging now that are that are able to do personalization. And, and, you know, that’s where our entire value proposition is that if you were to have your own team, hire data scientist, figure out this entire, you know, build your own models, it’s going to take you very, very long, and you know, the time to market is too much. And if you were to choose a personalization provider, and you know, just as an input, you know, how we base our pricing is based on your total revenue. So if you your revenue is small today, you know, the price is going to be proportionately lower for you. And I think we been doing some running some, some campaigns for, you know, this this market, which is Asia market, because what I see this is a market where personalization is not yet being used in its fullest value. So right, so for anybody who’s kind of looking to invest in this, I think there are some really lucrative opportunities, that options that we can give to even small or medium sized players right now. 100%. Yeah, yeah, totally with you on that, like personalization is at scale is one thing, but that does not mean that, you know, personalization is not for smaller players. So regardless of what your scale is, as a business, personalization is something i You just cannot afford to ignore. So yeah, when I think about think about the the value and the ROI, rather than the prices, what I would say, if you’re getting 20x returns, it’s absolutely worth the investment. Right. Absolutely. Cool. So I think we, I think it’s about time. Yes, we’ve done on time.
And we’ve been through all the questions. I’m sure there are several other questions that, you know, our attendees will continue sending, we will try to answer as many as we can remember, if you have to make a business inquiry for any of the product, please just send a quick hello to Hello at vinculum group.com with your phone number. And we’ll get back to you. Once again. Thank you so much Bhavna and Haren. This was a fun, interesting and enriching conversation for me.
And I’m sure it was likewise for our attendees.
I cannot thank you enough for taking the time and sharing your experiences with us and asking and answering all the questions that we had.
We’ll try to do you know, these roundtables more often. And yeah. Great session. Thank you so much. And thank you. Thank you to the audience. You know, we joined us today, and yeah, see you in the next webinar. Thank you guys. Thank you. Thank you for hosting.
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