By Andrew Hackett
When migrating to a composable platform, organisations are provided with a tremendous opportunity to offer truly personalised experiences to their customers, but only if they are capable of utilising carefully handled data and cross-company thinking to drive personalisation.
Composable platforms offer best of breed as a genericised benefit which is often labelled as the source of success for a brand’s successful personalisation efforts. This is true to an extent, without best-of-breed technology enabling each part of an experience, it can be difficult to take that experience to the next level. however simply having the capability does not guarantee your customer a better experience. without a robust approach to data and firm understanding of what personalisation means to your organisation across the entire business it’s still very easy to provide your customer a broken journey.
But why worry about personalisation in the first place? Well, customers are far fickler than they were five or even two years ago. Covid greatly impacted every kind of retail and the opportunities presented to a customer to go away and buy from someone else are significant. So, without your messaging to a customer being very attractive by being very personalised it’s unlikely you’ll be able to drive them to engage.
Understanding Your Data
When you consider shifting to composable as part of a re-platforming journey, perhaps one of the most impactful things to consider is which systems you want to use in that composable architecture you are building and what those platforms give you not just in terms of capabilities but also ease of use in order to support your business strategies such as personalisation. Businesses need to look at the capability of the tools they select, and what data they need to provide it to best utilise those capabilities, as without this data, the new tools provide nothing more than the old tools.
Organisations have to consider where their data is coming from, or rather, is going to come from. Best of breed composable systems have advanced capabilities but in order to make best use to those capabilities you have to consider how are you best utilise those systems and where the right data to fuel them comes from. A good example is event and behaviour data, is that going to come from the commerce engine and then flow out into outlying systems? and if so, then how is it going to feed out? Can the eCommerce platform you’re looking at easily connect to those outlying systems in order to be able to provide that data? Or are you going to place that data into a central location which then pushes data out to those systems like a CDP. More on CDPs and data centralisation here
In order to consider the above effectively you also need to understand how much data you are bringing over during your migration. If you pick a specific time period, such as 12 months’ worth of data, then it’s likely some customers will be left out or be unable to view some past orders. That data you decide to migrate also has to be worthwhile for the new systems to ingest, and so some degree of data cleaning and quality checking is worthwhile. It’s not just a consideration of what you capture going forward but also what data you choose to bring with you or leave behind.
Lastly, it’s crucial to centralize your product data. To ensure the experience a customer has online matches the one they’d have in store, on the app, using a standalone kiosk, talking to Alexa, or any other way your brand may be interacting with your customers, each of those touchpoints need to connect to a central data hub.
A Centralised Experience
it’s important for organisations to define what personalization means to them and define it in a way which is centralised. This requires examining how you do personalisation as an organisation across all of your customer touchpoints. Organisations often have different teams working in different silos doing their own personalisation efforts separately from one another but unless an organisations operational teams work together on personalisation it won’t work as a complete journey. An organisation could have access to enormous amounts of high-quality customer data, but unless its operational teams work together on personalisation it will still fail to create a complete journey. customer experience doesn’t live in neat and tidy little silos; it happens at every level and at all times.
To enable this complete experience your personalisation needs to occur consistently on every level, across product, content, and marketing. For example, if you use some event data such as a customer browsing through red t-shirts to then send that customer a 10% off on t shirts alongside a link back to your site, then once they follow that link back to your site there’s nothing promoting red t shirts anywhere to that customer on the home page. In this case the marketing personalisation is in no way connected to the product personalisation on site. This is because these two elements come from different systems in different silos, and in some cases use different data pools. This naturally causes a broken customer journey because of that separation in the personalisation strategy.
Finally, it also requires an understanding of your segmentation model. If you’re targeting customers with personalised messaging and products based on segments then once again this needs to be consistent across touchpoints. If a customer is marketed to based upon their segment, then that needs to remain consistent in their product, content, and marketing personalization once they actually reach your website.
Data-informed customised experiences offer real value to your consumers, but it requires interconnectivity between systems, teams, and data. This is all part of the opportunity presented by a composable migration, restructuring to enable that interconnectivity benefits your business and rewards you with the ability to offer those personalised journeys to your consumers across a variety of different customer touchpoints. Want to get started on your own composable journey? Get in touch with Ayata today!