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Four Ways to Build Personalization in Your Commerce Program

While companies continue to win with customer experience, not every platform or piece of technology is created equal when it comes to meeting consumers in the context of their commerce journey. Even the best technology for your company won’t get you there right out of the box. Critical roadblocks to success include a siloed approach to commerce environments and capabilities, as well as complacency toward customer experience management (CXM) best practices. Obscured views of your customers, siloed systems, disjointed experiences delivered across different brands, regions, or channels, and poor governance are just a few of the problems that keep companies from delivering next-generation commerce experiences that fuel loyal customer relationships. Whatever the reasons, the results are the same: disconnected shopping journeys and bad CX. Let’s dive into a few ways to add personalization into your commerce program to drastically improve experiences.

1. Turn unknown shoppers into known customers

Many online shoppers are using guest checkouts, due to data privacy fears, and 40% of consumers say they are concerned about what happens to their data both during and after the ecommerce journey. Today, organizations are relying on retargeting ads to re-engage with users who have embarked on online shopping experiences without submitting their private information. But new legislation and the growth of walled gardens have caused an ongoing paradigm shift in data privacy. This phenomenon hinders brands’ ability to leverage third-party cookies to execute this type of maneuver. By injecting the currency of identity in the shopping experience, organizations can identify buyer personas and personalize the customer experience based on shopping behaviors.

2. Unify disparate commerce environments

By doing so, it is easier for the organization to run and update customer-facing experiences without disrupting inherently complex back-office commerce operations. This is accomplished with a “headless” architecture, which decouples backend systems, such as the commerce engine, product information management (PIM) systems, and order management system (OMS), from the experience layer that manages customer-facing interactions. A headless approach enables propagation of centralized commerce business logic that is managed as a single operational backbone across several different customer-facing environments that can be brand-specific, region-specific, or channel-specific. From an end user standpoint, this means that the information fetched from the back end, such as product availability, price, and shipping, is what brands need to unify disparate commerce environments. This allows for consistency, regardless of the entry point from which the information is accessed. From a business point of view, this means that marketing teams can focus on launching new experiences that are inspired by customer behaviors and emerging trends. They don’t have to depend on the teams that manage back-end operations to complete single-purpose system updates every time.

3. Unlock bespoke cross-sell and upsell opportunities

This entails anticipating customers’ needs, re-engaging them without creating fatigue, and applying learned insights to future interactions. To accomplish this, organizations need to unify disparate customer data sources in a single platform and then orchestrate omnichannel customer journeys. Real-time decisioning helps optimize those journeys, so that points of friction in the experience are detected and resolved for future interactions.

4. Extend customer journeys into value-based experiences

A purchase should be viewed as an inflection point in a prolonged relationship with the customer, rather than the end goal. Depending on a brand’s business model – B2C or B2B or B2B2C – and value proposition, the relationship between the organization and the customer may encompass other constituents (e.g., purchasing, legal, approvers, etc.), third-party organizations (e.g., a parts supplier), a restricted VIP experience (e.g., a loyalty program with its own point-based currency), or a special retail event (e.g., a pop-up store campaign run with a dedicated POS platform). Personalization at scale entails extending the commerce experience to encompass portals, marketplaces, and loyalty programs, creating cross-pollination between these environments and the purchasing funnel. This ensures that as many of the customers’ needs – no matter how specific they are – as possible are met through experiences owned and operated by the organization.

Want to learn more? Download our new playbook to learn how to reduce the time to value on your Adobe Experience Platform investment and accelerate your brand’s commerce path to personalization.