4 Biggest Challenges of Personalization in Digital Commerce

Published On: April 6th, 20203 min read

For all the terabytes of consumer data brands collect around the clock, the personalization of shopping experiences can feel like an elusive goal.

Every time your mobile device delivers an ad for a product you already own, you’re seeing the limits of personalization. the brand knows you’re interested — they just don’t realize their timing is off.

Brands that want to eliminate these kinds of personalization foul-ups have to overcome four daunting challenges:

  1. Using data to gain a single view of the customer. Ideally, brands would have a unified view of the consumer across multiple channels. For instance, consumers who watch cooking shows on YouTube generate behavioral data about their habits and preferences. What if a brand could pull that data into their mobile phones while they’re in a brick-and-mortar store shopping for groceries and cookware?Alas, data silos often throw up obstacles to this kind of personalization. A sound data-personalization strategy works on breaking down these silos.
  2. Finding a sensible starting point. The questions stack up quickly: Which kinds of data should you gather? How many channels will you include in personalization efforts? How personal do you want to get — and how do you avoid invading shoppers’ personal space? What about data security and compliance?Brands may be tempted to take too large of a bite out of the personalization apple. Often, it’s best to start small on a single channel or pilot project, learn all you can and then use these insights to expand from there.
  3. Choosing technology for automation. Artificial intelligence and machine learning seem like obvious choices for personalization. The real challenge comes down to which AI/ML you use. You could develop tools like chatbots in-house or create an integrated shopping experience from third-party marketing technology software.There’s a rich ecosystem of software using AI/ML to automate tasks like market segmentation and customer relationship management. The trick is finding your optimum mix of in-house and third-party automation.
  4. Grappling with content personalization. Whether you’re producing videos, blog posts, e-books, podcasts or social media updates, you don’t want to send the same content to every customer. Instead, you want to take everything you’ve learned from data personalization and give each customer content that’s relevant to their life, location and buying behaviors (the more real-time, the better).Selecting the ideal content management software and integrating it into your customer experience is one of the core challenges of content personalization.

A Partner for Commerce Across the Entire Technology Stack

Personalization in commerce requires a broad spectrum of talents in system integration, data analytics, AI/ML, customer experience, user interfaces and high-level business strategy. DMI is unique in that we can bring all these talents to bear on your personalization challenges. We start from a strategic perspective based on a company’s unique marketplace challenges and skillsets. We also apply Agile and DevOps methodologies to accelerate the time-to-market of our technology solutions.

That’s the blend of skills, experience and insight you need to succeed with commerce personalization.

— Allison Lee, practice leader, digital marketing

— Paula Moniz, practice leader, customer experience