Tag: alibaba

Conversational Commerce, Hyperpersonalization and Deep Product Information for the Win!

Conversational Commerce, Hyperpersonalization and Deep Product Information for the Win!

With new apps and smart speakers being released with even more smart assistants almost every quarter, and with the continuous expansion of ecommerce goliaths, conversational commerce is going to be the next big hurdle for manufacturers and non-market-leading brands.

Let’s take a deeper look into the conversational elements of voice assistants and smart speakers that are quickly making their way into every home.

Big brands are going to increase their advantage in the conversational commerce corner simply because they are market leaders. So, how can you make it to the top as a non-market-leading brand and/or product?

Taking Amazon as the leading example, there are a couple of key elements that you need to arrange, such as having your product prime-authorized, putting up a choice badge (which will help for sure), increasing shipping speed and some other important elements.

Secondly, you need to get the attention of the potential customer, which is not going to be easy as they might not even see your product when searching online. But once they found your product, your product might get ordered over and over again, which will prompt the commerce hubs to push your product harder to your network.

But the question “how do you get that ball rolling?” remains.

They are several ways of doing this, for sure hyperpersonalization will be a big part of this as the fight for the customer will continue. The commerce hubs will have several ways of promoting their own products and your products, mainly through trustworthy channels like email marketing and their own online platforms, next to conversational channels like chat and voice. If you are able to feed those platforms via deep integrations with your product information systems you are enabling them to more easily and oftenly push your product. This also depends on the maturity of the commerce channels used, but for the sake of this blogpost, let’s leave that to a blogpost for another time.

The challenge of hyperpersonalization with customer experience and deep product information is that it can only be as successful as the information available. And getting this deep level of information disclosed to the goliath platforms isn’t always an easy thing – but with connectors, APIs and microservices rapidly evolving, this becomes easier every year.

As a colleague of mine often says, “Amazon and product information can be fascinating!” He showed me this example where if you go to Amazon and you search for “Chocolate”, you get like >50.000 results. But if you then search for “Chocolate that does not contain alcohol” it drops to just shy of 800 (Now if that would be true a lot of evenings would be even more fun and let’s not go into the mornings;).

The difference can simply be found in complete product information (and inheritance rules and smart product experience platforms will go a long way here).

With each touchpoint, the commerce goliath will learn more about the customer and this will be connected to the customer’s profile so that future offers, both non-conversational as well as conversational can be personalized to the person’s profile going forward. Where whoever has their ducks and data in a row the best will get on top of the ever evolving and future challenging channel called “commerce”.

Customer and Product Experience at 350,000 Transactions Per Second

Online shopping

Singles Day Burns Up the Wires

With “Singles Day” breaking another year of all-time records it’s a unique repeatable situation that stretches the imagination of many commerce organizations. Where the basecamp for this year over year growth success can be found in positive customer and product experiences.

In terms of numbers, last year was already mindboggling with over 800 million transactions in 24 hours. This year the number even excelled itself as more than $31b was generated – of which alone the first 10% in the first 5 minutes! But it doesn´t only refer to a monetary aspect. When you take a look on all this from a technical perspective, just imagine the pressure on the tech stack and the organizations behind all this. Fascinating!

It´s All About the Experience

Not even 10 years ago Alibaba connected the singles day to the commercial success we know today. The year over year growth could only be as successful as it is if the overall customer experience is positive and people get the product experience they are after. Without these two main factors Singles Day would never become as successful as it is today.

Thus, what makes a great customer experience? It’s actually more about the perception that the customer has with the brand. In many of the big commerce hubs like Alibaba, Amazon and local others the customer connects through these hubs because of the brand experience they offer. Where the context of each customer interaction plays a tremendous role in shaping the customer experience. This starts often at the first touchpoints with the brand and ends with the product experience, where if this last point isn’t managed correctly it will get returned.

All that leading to one decisive fact: Managing the product experience is key! How often haven’t we all ordered something online (with and/or without proper vetting the options) only to get disappointed when delivery takes place. Commerce hubs and their suppliers are on the hook for shaping the experience. And offering a contextual product experience can not only create a better customer experience, it can reduce costs greatly.

What happens if you don’t offer a great experience?

Roughly 30% of all orders get shipped back, simple because they don’t live up to the expected product experience – which according to a study from UPS can eat into 20-65% of the costs of an organization. Apart from the financial position, consider the effect on the consumers. Although returning products gets easier every year, as an organization you can only get away with this bad experience so many times before your customer chooses an ecommerce shop that makes good on the end-to-end experience.

Being in Marketing Operations myself with a love for technology on how it can help the business, of course we will take a look at the technology supporting all this. But it comes down to the main following:

  • Alibaba’s Cloud solution including autonomous scaling
  • AI and machine learning for display advertising
  • Several solutions to optimize the customer and product experience, including
    • AI powered fashion mix-and-match suggestions based on product images and deep product information
    • Virtual fitting rooms to try the product before purchasing

Over the years Alibaba made full use of futurized technologies, always focused on delivering amazing customer and product experiences. By overdelivering year over year on the experience Alibaba was able to again pull of a smooth Singles Day obliviating previous years and offering a great experience to returning customers and a whole new generation of long lasting new customers.