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Commerce Experience

Meeting Customers Where They Are in the Journey With Bloomreach and Merkle

By Billy Hanna

01/16/2024


The importance of meeting customers where they are in their journey with your brand cannot be understated in today’s uber-competitive digital commerce landscape. 

As e-commerce personalization becomes more important in recruiting and retaining customers online, brands must work harder than ever to stand out in a crowded digital marketplace and satisfy consumer expectations. 

Thankfully, e-commerce companies no longer have to struggle to meet the needs of their audience. Bloomreach Engagement provides solutions that modern businesses are search for, offering omnichannel marketing automation powered by real-time customer data. Alongside trusted partners like Merkle, specialists in meaningful and adaptive customer experiences, we can help brands create transformative customer journeys that make online shopping more personal. 

How, exactly? By creating what Merkle calls “unbound experiences,” which focus on making every moment count for a brand’s end consumer online. Let’s dive deeper. 

A Transformative Customer Experience Powered by AI 

Delivering an outstanding customer experience is truly a differentiator for e-commerce companies. 

As e-commerce strides into the customer experience era, artificial intelligence — specifically generative AI — has emerged as the factor that's set to revolutionize the way e-commerce companies serve their customers online. 

AI is reshaping the e-commerce landscape. AI can analyze past purchases, browsing history, and even the time spent looking at certain items to offer the most personalized shopping experience possible online. Brands that embrace the changes that AI is currently making to the digital commerce landscape will soon be the ones leading the way in offering transformative customer journeys. 

Bloomreach Engagement — powered by Loomi, AI for e-commerce — offers AI-powered marketing automation that orchestrates limitless customer experiences. And partners like Merkle help ensure that Engagement’s marketing automation use cases are tailored to the individual steps of each customer’s journey.

Those AI-powered marketing automation use cases include: 

  • Personalized product recommendations — Whether its personalizing based on browsing or purchase history, or for first-time visitors, being able to show personalized product recommendations to customers makes them feel valued and adds to the probability of purchase. 
  • Contextual personalization — Through the power of machine learning and AI, contextual personalization allows brands to pick the right customers for any message or campaign. While A/B testing serves every customer the overall best variant of a test, contextual personalization serves what is best for each customer based on the contexts in which they are found. 
  • Using AI to automatically determine campaign send times — Loomi will ensure your company is sending email or SMS campaigns at the best possible time for each individual customer. This helps generate more engagement on each campaign and is a great step in your brand using AI to save time and money.

By combining Merkle’s world-class services with Bloomreach’s best-of-breed technology, we not only drive our clients’ KPIs quickly and at scale, but with e-commerce personalization at the forefront of those customer-centric campaigns. 

E-Commerce Lacks a Linear Customer Journey

One thing rings true in nearly every e-commerce vertical: the buyer’s path to purchase is anything but linear. 

Customer journeys often wind up being an indirect path, filled with twists and turns as customers interact with various channels at different times and in different ways. Today's tech-savvy shoppers are explorers, journeying through different pages of websites, social media platforms, and review sites before making their purchasing decisions. 

But while these nonlinear journeys may seem daunting to navigate, they present incredible opportunities for businesses to engage customers in a more personal and meaningful way.

This is where AI-powered personalization can make its impact. With AI, you can transform the seemingly chaotic customer journey into a carefully curated experience, guiding your customers smoothly from discovery to purchase, and beyond.

As Merkle believes, this is truly the opportunity to make every moment count. This means evolving from simply curating experiences and waiting for the right moment to deliver them — you need to create a system that can curate experiences at any moment, meeting the customer where they are.

Winning with AI-powered personalization begins with the understanding that curating these aforementioned experiences means knowing each customer's unique preferences and behaviors. If you’re going to orchestrate tailor-made experiences for each customer, you have to understand who your customers are, and that’s where the compliant customer data collection abilities of a customer data platform (CDP) — abilities that Bloomreach Engagement offers — come into play. 

But it's not just about making the shopping experience personal; it's about making it engaging too. There is a key difference between “brand-initiated moments” and “customer-initiated moments,” and building the right experiences into the right portion of the journey helps ultimately lead customers to purchase. 

With artificial intelligence, you can deliver personalized content and recommendations at the right time and through the right channel, sparking interest and nudging customers towards making a purchase. While the non-linear customer journey in e-commerce can seem like a challenge, it's actually a chance to engage with your customers on a deeper level. 

Powering Personalization With Bloomreach and Merkle

In the rapidly evolving digital landscape, personalization is no longer a nice-to-have — it's a must-have. That's why Bloomreach and Merkle work together to ensure joint customers are able to offer truly personalized experiences to their end customers.

Bloomreach Engagement allows companies to drive limitless growth through omnichannel marketing automation — including personalized email, SMS, web, and mobile campaigns — all from a single platform.  

By combining the capabilities of Bloomreach Engagement with Merkle's customer data expertise, businesses can gain a deeper understanding of their customers' preferences and behaviors, enabling them to deliver personalized experiences across all touchpoints. Plus, this partnership empowers marketers to take action on insights that drive better performance and help them understand their IT investments and make the most of them.

Learn more about the benefits of combining Bloomreach Engagement with the customer data expertise offered by Merkle and start meeting your customers in the right place on their customer journey with your business today.

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Billy Hanna

Experience Platforms Practice Lead, Merkle

Billy Hanna works with clients looking to transform their overall customer experience marketing capabilities and helps them by bringing data, content, commerce, and transformation together. He joined Merkle in 2019 to establish and grow the experience platforms practice within the UK after previously working in solution architecture, technology transformation, delivery leadership, digital strategy, business development, and user experience. 

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