SpringThis month, we’ve seen a lot of coverage around the topic of personalization and the important role it plays in increasing customer engagement, loyalty, average order value (AOV) and sales for online retailers. Below, are this month’s top articles discussing the drive toward and benefits of personalization. We  hope that they will inspire conversations, questions and feedback.

Make Customer Interactions Personal for More Loyalty and Sales,” RetailPro –With the eCommerce market growing, etailers are looking for better ways to personalize the experience for customers both in store and online. This article highlights research from Experian Marketing that finds that retailers incorporating personalization elements into their email marketing strategies can achieve significantly increased revenues. The article goes on to reference findings from Baynote’s Holiday Survey, which details the biggest influencers on purchase decisions —including paper catalogs and online reviews.

3 Technologies Leveling the Playing Field for Small Retailers,” Retail Online Integration – Until recently, larger retailers have had the upper hand over their smaller counterparts because of their ability to invest more in both talent and technologies to improve the shopping experience for consumers. Today, several new classes of technology have emerged, offering smaller retailers the ability to level the playing field against larger competitors. In this piece, I discuss three important technologies now available to small retailers: In-Store Digitization; BYOD and “Customer Aware” Technologies; and Recommendation Engines.

eBay Hires A VP of Data To Focus on Personalization Across the Marketplace and Other Properties,” TechCrunch –Leena Rao’s piece in TechCrunch reports that eBay has hired Zoher Karu as the company’s first Vice President of Customer Optimization and Data. His role is to  leverage customer data to offer more personalized and relevant experiences across all of eBay’s properties. Realizing the value of personalization in terms of driving engagement, AOV and sales, many companies are now actively hiring for these types of positions. The article quotes eBay’s CEO John Donahoe as saying: “Data will enable us to drive better experiences for our customers.”  Read the rest of the article.
“Email Segmentation and Targeting,” Chief Marketer – This piece quotes several executives from the eCommerce world and discusses the importance of properly segmenting email campaigns for optimized targeting. The author Jason Hahn draws from a recent study by Lyris that found 85% of marketers use list segmentation and targeting as part of their email marketing efforts. But it’s important to note that while many marketers do use these tactics, some of their strategies are outdated and ineffective. The article asks industry executives—myself included—about best practices for the most effective targeting.

Using Omni-Channel Personalization for eCommerce,” Practical eCommerce – Benefits of omni-channel personalization include increased customer loyalty, greater revenue, lowered cart abandonment rates and predictive personalization. This article details three ways to optimize personalization strategies and highlights the benefits of omni-channel personalization. The article also references five key steps to successfully implementing omni-channel personalization.