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In the ever-evolving world of e-commerce, there are plenty of optimization opportunities within online merchandising.
For several years, personalization has been the preferred term that has used to describe the most desirable e-commerce experiences. This is not strange since personalization possesses a great enticement which makes it desirable to use in marketing and sales communication. Regardless of how enticing it may be to market a personalization solution, it is very hard to measure how personalized something is, especially in comparison to everything else that could be presented to the user in every single interaction. Given the unclear effect of personalization and its lack of focus in creating the best value for the customer and the business owner, it’s also a problematic starting point when optimizing product exposures.
When evaluating a solution that handles product exposures (search, navigation, and recommendations), focusing on maximizing customer value should be aligned with maximizing results business results. Using customer value as your starting point clarifies several techniques that are useful in different scenarios. Wisdom of the crowd holds tremendous value when it comes to ranking and presenting facets’ to present the most relevant information in large samples, being extremely trend sensitive helps your customers purchase trending products as the endless possibilities to do so appear and disappear, recommendations based on the product(s) is very valuable as they create better experiences and/or prevents potential bad experiences for your customers, personalization assist’s returning visitors feeling noticed as well as to understand critical attributes for decision making, etc. Personalization is one technique that can assist in achieving a greater purpose together with other techniques, as such, it should not be the objective of an investment, but rather one part of a well-orchestrated solution. All of these techniques need to be conducted in real-time, so automation is essential to optimize customer value. Furthermore, your communication should be optimized towards a uniform goal through whole-site optimization (including search, navigation, recommendations, and ads), rather than a series of independent services that aren’t able to interact and respond coherently to every action in real-time. The benefit of this whole-site optimization is that all areas contribute towards your business goals, instead of several subareas cannibalizing on the overall result as they are optimizing the value of their respective subarea.
The highest possible customer value is quite a fuzzy definition of success. That’s because different organizations have different (and altering) needs to attend to achieve the highest possible customer value. A company with presence in several markets may very well be in different maturity stages, having highest possible profit as the objective in the mature markets with low possibilities of benefiting from further growth, growth markets may focus on highest possible turnover to reach desired market share quickly while the newly launched markets focus on attracting as many first time buyers as possible by optimizing for highest possible conversion rate. Choosing an automated merchandising solution that enables whole-site product exposure coherent to your business objectives is highly beneficial for both you and your customers.