The Magic of Data-Driven Commerce Experiences
By Raj De Datta
It’s easy to overlook just how essential data is to the commerce experience. To see it as a driver of operational efficiency or useful in optimizing business results, rather than integral to building the experience itself. After all, commerce existed long before the age of digital. Throughout the history of commerce, haven’t businesses been able to connect consumers with the products and services they needed — no data required?
Not quite. In reality, successful commerce has never really existed without data. Even considering the earliest, most basic exchange of goods and services for money, customer data was at work. Put in a more modern context, consider this:
Picture any in-store interaction you’ve ever had. It probably went something like this:
A salesperson likely approached you and asked, “Hi, how can I help you today?”
You responded with, for example, “Well, I’m looking for an outfit for a job interview.”
They nodded knowingly, walking you toward a display of dress shirts.
“What size do you usually wear?” they may have asked. “What colors do you prefer? Will you wear this with a suit jacket? Do you need pants to match?”
With each answer, you shared a valuable piece of customer data. That salesperson was given information on the product you were searching for, your size, your style, and other items of clothing you may be interested in. And you were happy to give them that information. Because you knew, in return, they’d connect you with what you needed. They’d give you a better, more personalized shopping experience. They’d make your life easier; more enjoyable, even.
It's this conversation — this exchange of data — that is the building block of every commerce experience. Whether physical or digital, commerce experiences are driven by an understanding of the customer that only data can provide. And in today’s digital world, when nearly every commerce experience starts or ends with a digital touchpoint, businesses have the ability to take that understanding even further. Technology enables them to use data to unlock a level of real-time personalization that simply isn’t possible in the physical world. To build not just a commerce experience, but an incredible commerce experience.
Data can take that store you entered to find an interview outfit and rearrange its shelves, removing winter coats and replacing them with suit jackets in your style, your size, and your favorite color. On a more basic level, it can ensure you’re not seeing a pair of shoes that are out of stock in your size. It can make it so that you’re not being recommended a pair of pants you already own.
While data is always at work (even tangentially) within the commerce experience, it is at the very center of incredible commerce experiences. It is the foundation of the tech stack, powering an agile collection of solutions that can bring real-time insights into every customer touchpoint. It makes shopping enjoyable, yes, but it also unlocks the potential for something greater: the type of personalization that keeps a customer coming back to a brand again and again.
That’s why a customer data engine sits at the heart of our solutions at Bloomreach, and it’s why we’ve spent the past 13 years training our AI and machine learning on the incredible breadth of data (both customer and product) that we’ve amassed over the years. We believe that a real-time, in-depth understanding of who your customer is and what it is they’re seeking is more than just a “nice to have.” Today, when consumers have endless choice at their fingertips, businesses not only need to convince consumers to engage and purchase, they need to convince them to do that repeatedly. The personalization that real-time data powers is the difference between the businesses that will last and the ones that won’t.
The hundreds of businesses we work with here at Bloomreach are well aware of this. They’ve used our tools to empower their marketing and merchandising teams in their roles, allowing them to use their expertise to not only create the experiences that are right for their unique brand, but to do so with an unparalleled understanding of just who those experiences are serving. As a result, we’ve watched these businesses drive incredible, measurable success over the years — not only in engagement, but also in actual revenue growth.
With Bloomreach, our customers have put data at the center, and because of that they’re building commerce experiences that grow more incredible by the day — by the second, really. With real-time insights, they’re ensuring that the experience changes right alongside the customer. And that’s the promise of personalization finally being realized. A business can have millions of customers, and at the same time have each one experience a journey that is relevant, meaningful, and connected across channels.
To the consumer, it’s magic. To the brand, it’s the power of data, brought to life by practitioners who know best.
To Bloomreach, it’s a little bit of both.