August 2021

View all on this date written articles further down below.

Mastering Personalisation

Photo by Levi Saunders on Unsplash

Personalising products, services, and digital commerce is increasingly a key to creating a rewarding experience for the customer, but requires the right mix of data that goes beyond just demographic and behavioural information to what is genuinely personalised, relevant and in context. At the heart of this is understanding who the customer is and what the customer needs.

Think of how happy you are when you walk into a bar, are acknowledged by the staff, and they already know your favourite drink. It’s good for you, and it’s more efficient for them. Everybody wins. This is what personalisation is seeking to achieve online.

The days of forcing customers down a narrowly defined sales funnel, and expecting results, are over. “Personalisation is compelling for customers,” Vish Ganapathy, Managing Director and Global Retail Technology lead at Accenture said, “because a company has taken a process that can be tedious and simplified it to fit customers’ needs… Not only are customers satisfied with the results, but with each customer interaction, the brand gains insights into how to improve its product and targeted marketing techniques.” 

According to Janrain, over 74% of customers get frustrated with non-personalised promotions. However, it is essential to strike the right balance between being targeted and being invasive. “There’s a clear dividing line between smart, savvy, and cool, on the one hand,” Ganapathy added, “and intrusive and creepy on the other.”

Correctly implemented, personalisation will not only enhance the customer experience but also increase revenue. A report by Segment on personalisation showed that 40 per cent of United States customers bought something more expensive than originally planned, due to personalisation, while 49 per cent of customers bought something other than what they originally intended. Gartner analysts have predicted that by this year personalisation will “enable digital businesses to increase their profits by up to 15%.”

When implementing personalisation, here are six factors to consider:

– Segmentation

You need to know who your customer is. You need data on whether they are new or returning, what’s their location, what are their buying preferences and online behaviour. Tracking this information allows for individual product and pricing offerings. 

– Omni-channel Engagement

You need unified interaction across channels, providing a consistent customer experience regardless of how or where they interact with the brand. By combining offline and online data, where relevant, businesses can create comprehensive customer profiles that deliver better, personalised experiences across all touch points. 

– Machine Learning

Machine learning will increasingly assist retailers in personalisation, learning from customer behaviour to provide a personalised experience. The implementation of machine learning into real-time applications remains a challenge, but is the future and is achieving success with its implementation on platforms such as Spotify.

– Keep Shopping

When a customer is returning to your site, it is important that it lets them continue shopping where they left off. In the same way that Netflix lets you pick up halfway through the movie you were watching last night, eCommerce personalisation allows returning customers to rejoin their previous sessions seamlessly. 

– Personalised Pricing

This is an emerging trend in personalisation. By analysing customer buying behaviour, it is possible to anticipate price sensitivity and buying propensity. Feeding this information into your CRM allows for customised promotions and incentives to increase conversion rates.

– Smarter Recommendations

Social retargeting is a proven method of conversion. However, what is necessary are smarter recommendations. There is nothing worse than being served up countless ads for a product that you’ve already purchased, especially when the ads are coming from the retailer you purchased from. Personalisation avoids this and allows for the presentation of complementary ads.

Get in touch with our team and we can talk to you about this or any eCommerce questions you may have.

Progressive Web Apps

Photo by Carlos Muza on Unsplash

The use of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) is continuing to grow, to the point where leading research and advisory company Gartner is predicting that come next year they’ll replace 50% of general-purpose, consumer-facing mobile apps.

Forrester Consulting found that last year the majority of worldwide web traffic had shifted to mobile devices. While these interactions have long been supported by existing technologies, PWAs are set to vastly expand this customer interaction, keeping pace with consumer expectations of lightning fast, app-like browsing experiences.

Analyst Jason Wong summarises: “Progressive web apps aim to disrupt the mobile app paradigm by bridging the web experience with native app functionality. Application leaders responsible for mobile app strategies must determine when — not if — they need to factor in PWAs as part of their overall mobile development strategy.”

PWAs are the next step. According to Jason Woosley, VP of Commerce Platform & Product at Adobe, “We have gone from static web pages to desktop web pages, and then to responsive mobile web pages… A PWA is the next evolution of this. It’s basically saying: there is no reason for you to even have a mobile application. You can do it all on the web.” 

Companies like Twitter and Starbucks are using PWAs to offer customers access to their services and things like push notifications, even when offline. “If you go to Starbucks.com, you can actually put their PWA on your home screen as an icon and use it exactly the same way you would the Starbuck’s app. You probably wouldn’t know the difference, and, in my opinion, it’s faster,” Woosley said.

Not only do PWAs ensure high-speed interaction, they also shield service delivery from the hazards of poor or non-existent internet connection, especially in emerging economies such as Africa or India, or importantly to us, in regional areas of Australia where connectivity is an ongoing issue. 

“With full websites or traditional apps,” Woosley adds, “you have to essentially scrunch down all of the information into your phone to send it along. With PWAs, you actually only deliver the assets that you need. This makes PWAs way better in terms of being a good citizen for low-bandwidth countries.”

An additional advantage of PWAs is their universal use across operating systems, like webpages, meaning that specialised iOS or Android code, for example, is not necessary. This is why PWAs are being so widely adopted for all new projects, especially on the commerce side of the house.

To address the growth in PWAs, Magento has created PWA Studio, a suite of tools for building online stores with app-like experiences that help merchants solve the mobile conversion dilemma and delivery highly personalised cross-channel experiences. The latest release of Magento, which dropped last month, has also increased Page Builder and PWA Studio compatibility, allowing content created in Page Builder to be rendered in PWA Studio’s Venia reference storefront.

Adobe explains, “With PWA Studio in Magento Commerce, you can transform the mobile experience and help merchants gain new customers, improve conversion rates, search rankings (SEO) and lower their development costs. PWAs use a variety of performance optimisation and responsive design strategies to load content fast on any network and thereby provide a consistent experience across desktops, tablets and smartphones.”

In short, PWAs deliver faster browsing, instant “app” gratification, push notifications, and rapid re-engagement. They are the future.

Get in touch with our team and we can talk to you about this or any eCommerce questions you may have.