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How Personalization Engines Supercharge eCommerce Discovery

eCommerce Best Practices
UX and Digital Marketing
Sarah HillelSarah Hillel | July 16, 2020

Successful brands and retailers understand, anticipate, and deliver everything their customers need. Personalization engines enable them to do this on the individual level at scale.It makes the shopping experience not only seamless but also meaningful and relevant. When customers feel connected to brands, loyalty is easy to sustain.

BCG found that personalized experiences powered by digital technologies and data increase brand revenues from 6% to 10%. Moreover, the research also projected a revenue shift of $800 billion to 15% of companies that get personalization right. 

Without a doubt, personalization is essential, if not the top differentiator among brands today. Brands who are keen on surviving retail’s online and offline battlegrounds need personalization to deliver the right experience to the right customer at the right moment.

personalization engines help shoppers find the right items

What is a personalization engine?

One way to ace personalized experiences in retail is through a personalization engine. As Gartner explains, personalization engines are “software that applies context about individual users to select, tailor and deliver messaging such as content, offers, and other interactions through digital channels in support of three use cases: marketing, digital commerce, and customer experience (CX).”

When it comes to eCommerce discovery, an effective website personalization engine transforms the shopping journey into a frictionless experience. It ensures that every interaction, from product search to purchase, is tailored to your customers.

What are the key features of website personalization engines?

Creating personalized experiences is a topmost priority for brands and retailers, as it should be. Google revealed that more than 50% of shoppers are interested in seeing personalized content when shopping. In particular, customers expect personalization that:

  • Saves them time
  • Offers them a relevant discount
  • Displays the right products

With that said, here are two key features to look for when choosing and implementing a personalization engine for eCommerce:

Usability and scalability

A website personalization engine should be integrated with existing systems without any difficulty. Once that’s done, it must be easy to use so brands can immediately deploy campaigns such as suggesting similar products and surfacing products that are popular with similar customers.

In addition, a robust personalization engine should be able to scale when brands and retailers experience a spike in traffic or add more stock-keeping units. All products in a brand’s catalogue should have the chance to be seen by the right customers. And that’s possible with a personalization engine.

woman shopping clothes

Real-time data processing and smart automation 

Data is the most important element in a personalization engine, as it enables relevant eCommerce discovery. Without data, personalized experiences wouldn’t be possible. But to use data, it must first be turned into actionable insights.

A personalization engine for eCommerce has to contextualize data — both behavioral data from shoppers and product data — such as identifying not only all products in a photo but also brand names and categories. It should also continuously learn based on new data and refine suggestions for customers. 

Personalized experiences rely on timing and relevance. Thus, an excellent website personalization engine needs to dynamically adjust to offer the most suitable products, simplifying the shopping experience.

What are examples of personalization engines in eCommerce?

Product discovery happens throughout the shopping journey, making personalization a crucial feature in eCommerce. Here are examples of how that works:

  • With a personalization engine that’s powered by visual AI, brands can satisfy even the most unique aesthetic tastes of customers. How? It understands what shoppers like down to the smallest visual detail. With that data, brands can recommend products based on an item selected in an image. They can also send personalized emails that feature coupons based on user interactions with the site’s visual content to entice customers to shop again.
  • Based on shoppers’ browsing behavior, a website personalization engine can enhance product recommendations. For example, it can surface relevant content and products on the homepage based on previous purchases or items added to cart. It can also suggest related items or complementary products that are popular among customers with a similar buyer persona.
  • Brands can surface more suitable content based on shoppers’ location or demographic with a personalization engine. For instance, prioritizing flowy tops for customers based in tropical places, or TikTok-popular pieces for young shoppers visiting from social media.

By tailoring customer experiences down to the individual level, personalization engines not only make eCommerce discovery flawless, but also, and more importantly, they connect customers to the brands and products they love with convenience and ease.

shopping cart and shopping bag, personalized shopping exeprience

A powerful website personalization engine that’s smart, intuitive, and scalable is a must-have today. Customers have come to expect personalized experiences, and surfacing the most relevant products at the perfect moment delights and engages buyers throughout the shopping journey.

In short, seamless eCommerce discovery driven by a personalization engine can help brands stand out in a very competitive retail landscape.


Sarah Hillel

Sarah Hillel

Sarah is the Global Events and Marketing Manager at Syte. From conception to evaluation, Sarah is passionate about delivering impactful events that enhance the organization's image and brand to client experience.

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