Enhancing Customer Loyalty
through Personalization
- with Tina Nelson of Optimizely

Tina Nelson has been empowering organizations with tools to help accelerate their digital transformation for decades. In her role as Product Strategy Director, she works closely with product to drive innovation and strategy across our Optimizely solutions.

At Optimizely, we’re on a mission to help people unlock their digital potential. We do that by reinventing how marketing and product teams work to create and optimize digital experiences across all channels. With Optimizely One, our industry-first operating system for marketers, we offer teams flexibility and choice to build their stack their way with our fully SaaS, fully decoupled, and highly composable solution. We help companies around the world orchestrate their entire content lifecycle, monetize every digital experience, and experiment across all customer touchpoints – all through Optimizely One, the leading digital experience platform that powers every phase of the marketing lifecycle through a single, AI-accelerated workflow.

Optimizely has nearly 1500 employees across our 21 global offices and has 700+ partners. We are proud to help more than 10,000 businesses, including H&M, PayPal, Zoom, and Toyota, enrich their customer lifetime value, increase revenue, and grow their brands. At Optimizely, we live each day with a simple philosophy: large enough to serve, small enough to care. Learn more at optimizely.com.

EPISODE SNAPSHOT

[02:39] – Tina’s Background and Optimizely’s Evolution: Tina shares her extensive experience in the digital space and discusses the evolution of Optimizely from an AV testing platform to a comprehensive digital experience platform.

[09:50] – The Evolution of Personalization: Tina describes the shift in personalization over the past five years, highlighting its transition from a competitive advantage to a consumer expectation.

[12:08] – Impact of Personalization on Customer Loyalty: Scott and Tina discuss how personalization drives customer loyalty and retention, using examples like Spotify and Nike to illustrate the benefits.

[15:38] – Leveraging Experimentation for Personalization: Tina explains how brands can use experimentation to improve personalization strategies, measure impact, and make data-driven decisions.

[29:27] – Preparing for the Phase-Out of Third-Party Cookies: Tina provides insights on how brands can prepare for the impact of third-party cookie phase-out by focusing on first-party and zero-party data to maintain personalization efforts.

[45:43] – Real-World Example of Personalization Success: Tina shares a case study from the hospitality industry, illustrating how personalization and experimentation led to a significant increase in revenue and bookings.

[49:30] – The Power of Simple Personalization: Tina emphasizes that effective personalization doesn’t have to be overly complex, using simple changes like personalized imagery and customer-specific content to drive engagement and loyalty.

EPISODE DESCRIPTION

In this episode of the Ecommerce Optimizers Show, host Scott Reid sits down with Tina Nelson, Product Strategy Director at Optimizely, to discuss the transformative power of personalization for ecommerce brands. Tina shares her extensive experience in the digital space, detailing how personalization strategies can significantly enhance customer loyalty and drive business growth. She explains the evolution of personalization, from its early days as a competitive advantage to its current status as a necessary component of customer engagement.

Throughout the conversation, Scott and Tina explore practical examples of personalization, including how brands like Spotify and Nike leverage data to create deeply personalized experiences. Tina also highlights the importance of first-party and zero-party data in building trust and ensuring data privacy. The episode provides valuable insights into how brands can implement and optimize personalization strategies to foster customer loyalty and increase revenue.

MENTIONED DURING THIS EPISODE

SPONSOR

This episode is sponsored by Ecommerce Optimizers.

At Ecommerce Optimizers, we take a unique approach to optimizing Ecommerce brands by fine-tuning the conversation between your website and your visitors. 

We think about it this way. When someone interacts with your website, they’re having a conversation with your business. 

They’re assessing trust, quality, and reliability. They’re asking questions. 

Through our Purchase Optimization System™, we precision-engineer every micro point of interaction to make that conversation smoother and more effective. As a result, more people make more purchases, boosting your business’s bottom line.

You can learn more by visiting our website at ecommerceoptimizers.com

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Scott Reid 00:00
Welcome to the E commerce optimizer Show. I’m your host, Scott Reid. So on today’s episode, we have Tina Nelson with Optimizely. Tina is a product strategy director at the company, and we have a wonderful conversation. And it’s primarily focuses on personalization for E commerce brands. So, if you are with an E commerce brand that has an interest in personalization, and the benefits that it can deliver to your business, this is an episode that you’re definitely gonna want to listen to. Tina is extremely knowledgeable about the subject, and we’d get into a really good in depth detailed discussion about the benefits and the way that personalization can be leveraged to grow your business over and above where you’re at currently. So, without any further ado, let’s get into the episode. This episode is sponsored by ecommerce optimizers. At ecommerce optimizers, we take a unique approach to optimizing ecommerce brands, by fine tuning the conversation between your website and your visitors. When we think about it this way, when someone interacts with your website, they’re having a conversation with your business. They’re assessing things like trust, quality and reliability. They’re asking questions. Through our purchase optimization system, we precision engineer every micro point of interaction to make that conversation smoother and more effective. As a result, more people make more purchases, boosting your business’s bottom line. You can learn more by visiting our website at ecommerce optimizers.com. All right, on today’s episode, we have Tina Nelson from Optimizely. She is the product strategy director for the company. Are you the product strategy director for the company? Are you a product strategy director for the company? Because I know it’s a pretty big company these days, Tina, if I’m not mistaken, that it is I am a product strategy director at Optimizely. Okay, and I say that because when we met a couple months ago is like two months in a day, March 29, I think was the last time we spoke, I thought incorrectly as we’re gonna find out that Optimizely was an AV testing platform. And that’s not the case anymore. So much more, it is so much more. And it was it really blew my mind. As we spoke, we had a great conversation. I was like, wow, this is really a lot more than I thought Optimizely was, why don’t we start out with some introductions seen if you could tell me about your background, your role at Optimizely. And then maybe we can get into a little bit of background of the company, some of the recent acquisitions, all that exciting stuff. Absolutely. So

Tina Nelson 02:39
I have been in the digital space for many years focusing on content, commerce, and frankly, everything in between. I spent decades in the consulting space Prior to working at Optimizely. And really helping customers to get the most out of their tools. And so now I’m in the product strategy director role at Optimizely, as you mentioned, and I’m able to help evangelize and provide direction on our products. So it’s a really fun roll a little bit about the background and the history of Optimizely. Because to your point, it is so much more than experimentation these days. So if we kind of go all the way back to the beginning, and I’ll keep the short and brief, but EPA server was a CMS and a commerce organization, it was bought by a PE firm insight partners back in 2018. Since then, as you mentioned, we’ve acquired a number of organizations, IDEO insights, Optimizely, as we are called, and they’ll talk about that in a moment. This is a CDP, and welcome as a marketing platform as well. So the combination of all of those products has really allowed us to become a full DSP solution. And an operating system for marketers. The Rename, and the rebrand, just to kind of talk about that for a moment is back in 2020. EPA server was rebranded to Optimizely. And so that was part of that name change. So while Optimizely, historically had been experimentation focused, the rebranding expanded us to now include content and commerce, personalization, content and product recommendations, etc. So when you hear Optimizely, as we were talking about earlier, right, know that we do experimentation, that is definitely still in our wheelhouse, but we also do content management, we do content marketing, and we do commerce.

Scott Reid 04:30
Excellent. And the company elected to retain the Optimizely brand and rebranded as Optimizely due to the market perception, perhaps the name as well. Absolutely. That was the most recent acquisition, is that is that correct? That is correct. Okay. So last year, one of the things that we that we talked we talked about was that Optimizely published some survey results around the evolution of personalization. Can you share a bit more and how you define

Tina Nelson 05:00
virtualization and how it has changed over the years because this is an area that is definitely top of mind for many people. And I think that this will be very instructive for our listeners. Absolutely. It says we think about what is the definition of personalization, the most simplest way I can describe it is that personalization is really about the act of individualizing, a digital experience. So it’s that practice of identifying your visitors, enriching that visitor profile with attributes, and behavior based data, and then creating and delivering experiences based on that profile. That’s really what personalization is all about. As we think about the evolution, it’s kind of a fun story, honestly, when you when you think back about how far we’ve come. In those early years, right of the digital space, a lot of people, including myself, frankly, we’re just getting comfortable with using the web as a tool, and expectations of personalization seemed so far off. And honestly a little scary, right? We were all kind of like, what would ever happen? I don’t know. But I would say in the past five years or so, there has been a very big shift. As people have become more comfortable online companies mature in the digital space, there is this enormous opportunity to connect more with customers. And we also know, as part of that storyline, the cost to acquire customers has only increased as well. Yeah, right. So being able to focus on loyalty and retention has become a big focus for a lot of organizations. And one of the best techniques for retention and loyalty is personalization. I would say also, in those early years, personalization, frankly, was a competitive advantage. Right? You not many in the market, were doing it. Now, in today’s space, it’s really table stakes. And we as customers, and consumers have really come to expect that. I think if if organizations don’t have a level of personalization, we all look at it and say that’s fine. But we have a harder time connecting and feeling any loyalty to that organization. Or to that, that store. So So what of personalization strategies look like currently, in today’s market for E commerce brands? Yeah. So I’ll talk about a little bit of a general story, because I think this one’s really good as we think about personalization, Spotify, right, as we think about personalization, so think about some of the early days of Spotify, and we think about what does Spotify do they generate playlists for you, you can listen to music, podcasts, etc. But playlists at the end of the day are kind of in its simple form, it could be made up of just a list of songs that they’ve put together for you based on you know, whatever you’ve done and provided to them at your login. So it might just be attribute based on where you live, what you identified as your your favorite music, genre, etc. So it’s targeted, which is great, but it doesn’t really feel personal. It’s just really data and information. But that’s not what Spotify does today. When you think about it, they actually curate a playlist for you. Yeah. So when you see that, that work from home playlists, which for myself, I play pretty often. It’s not just a generic playlist that they’ve put together, it’s really based on what I’ve been listening to what I’ve been interacting with, through their application. So there really, at the end of the day, generating millions of different experiences that are deeply personalized to individuals wants and needs in their platform. You know, they do great marketing around that personalization as well, you know, each December if it for those of you who are listening who have a Spotify account, each December, you get that fun email that says here’s your highlights of the year. And you could see what your top song was, you could see how long you’ve been listening, you know, in a variety of other highlights, and then they encourage you to share that on social media. So if they’re making it into more of a movement, and they really are taking the time to focus on you. And I think that’s what people appreciate. When I know I can go out there and I can hear music I really want to listen to I don’t have to go dig for it. Yeah, makes it easy, makes me come keeps coming back. It allows them to show a level of caring that was otherwise unavailable to them. So they’re able to connect with that customer on a deeper level. Absolutely. And that’s where that loyalty and retention really comes into play. Right? So how does that how does personalization impact customer loyalty? I mean, what’s that? What’s that next?

Scott Reid 09:50
You know, yes, we can personalize but customer loyalty, brand loyalty, that’s something that that can really move the needle for for brands increased profitability, increased revenue

Unknown Speaker 10:00
with

Tina Nelson 10:01
a whole host of benefits, how does personalization impact customer loyalty? Yeah, so I saw a Gartner statistic recently. That said 49% of customers agree that they would switch brands for a coupon. You think about that’s half your customer base, a coupon? Wow. Right over a simple coupon. So in a same same vein, Forrester has reported that 50% of companies with loyalty programs report a significant growth in average customer spends. Okay, so let’s take one more step, it can cost five times more to attract a new customer than retain an existing one. All of this that we just spoke about, leads you back to the importance of loyalty and retention being such a key piece to the puzzle. And when you really think about, how does it impact it? I mean, think about the brands you trust. Why do you trust them? Right, what’s drawing you back? I mean, we talked about Spotify earlier, but you feel like they know you. They make your tasks easier, right? Or they’re going to provide you with content or promotions that are based on your needs and your interests. Yeah, that’s what keeps us coming back. For me, Nikes, a really good example of that. I’m a member of their Nike rewards. So I’ll get the deals via the emails and in through the app. The cool thing is, if I’m in the store, I can I find a pair of shoes, and I don’t see my size, you know, so I’m wondering, gosh, do you even have any? Do you have anything back, I can go on the app, scan the barcode. And based on my location, it uses the the app technology or technology Sydney in the app to know where my location is. It then says, here’s the inventory they have at of that size I’m looking for in that store. So it’s very cool, because then I can walk up to an associate and say, Hey, listen, I know you have two pairs, can you help me find that

Scott Reid 12:08
makes it much easier. I’ve also used it for returns, right? In terms of, hey, listen, I need make an exchange, you’ve had a problem with a pair of shoes, or if I just needed to return them. Because, you know, we decided on something else. I don’t need to keep receipts, it’s all in the app, they’ve made it very easy. You walk into the store store, you pull up the app, they scan it, they have all the information, you’re done, you’re in and out in minutes. So as we think about what the impacts are, think about the experience that we all have. It’s that that simplicity of time savings, and ease of use, frankly, that’s going to keep people coming back, and empowerment as well as what I’m hearing and translating that what you that those stories that you just said. And I’m hearing empowerment. And that’s something that I honestly haven’t really thought about from a personalization standpoint. But that is powerful, because it gives them that level of control that they wouldn’t have with another brand that isn’t providing that higher level of personalization, it just making it easier. It’s reducing the friction, streamlining the whole customer experience. That’s huge. And you can see when, especially when we’re talking about the rising customer ever rising, they’re not it’s not gonna go down is unless you’re going to a country that has significantly lower customer acquisition costs halfway, halfway around the world, the customer acquisition costs are not going down. So it makes so much more sense to yes, you have to focus on acquiring new customers. But equally, if not more important, it’s developing those relationships with existing customers. And one great way to do that is through enhanced personalization. Absolutely, I mean, think about what we talked about at the beginning of the question, you were just asking, if you have half your customers are willing to make a switch, just based on a coupon. And that’s because I bet the companies that they’re pulling to the customers that they’re pulling, they’re not thinking about relationships that are deeper that come through personalization, they’re just thinking about a transactional relationship. And so we move away from that transactional relationship, and you increase the level of depth, you’re going to really build a moat around people leaving that easily just for us a simple coupon. Exactly. It becomes a feeling, right, you’ve made an impact on my life. Now, you know, you can decide at what level that impact is. But I think you know, the time savings element alone, whether it’s airlines, right, and the apps we use to fly.

Tina Nelson 14:45
I use the Delta out. Awesome, right? Super easy to interact with. You’re in you can find your bags, everything’s right there. Yeah, they make it easy. Exactly.

Unknown Speaker 14:59
And

Tina Nelson 15:00
It makes an impact, right? I mean, so you take that, and then you you layer in customer service. Yeah. And like Collectively, these are the areas that for anyone, they just inherently you, you go back to the things that that feel good to you, that help you. And that you know you, they understand who you are. Yeah. Well, they’re taking the time. And they’re more thoughtful around their communication with you via that personalization, that personalized experience. Exactly. So how can brands leverage experimentation?

Scott Reid 15:38
To improve personalization and loyalty?

Tina Nelson 15:42
Yeah, so as, as we’re talking about making it easy, right? We all make a lot of assumptions. So from an organization standpoint, there’s there’s a lot of easy assumptions as to what customers need or what customers are expecting from personalization. But it’s always the question of, is it really hitting the mark? Are we are we really making the impact that we want, and that’s where experimentation comes into play. So being able to leverage experimentation is going to allow you to deliver on those targeted experiences for customers may be in real time. So while you’re actively engaging in the site, being able to change and dynamically move from that personalized experience, you know, to different site visitors, based on those behaviors, and really measure the impact. And that is a key piece of this, that last part looked at last part, which is measure the impact, right? Because as we talked about experimentation, you know, it’s the tool that’s going to bring, that brings the value, and personalization to know if those strategies are actually working or not. It also provides you an unbiased opinion, provided in data, right? To know what’s actually working. So it allows us to really kind of take that step back and remove that assumption and the bias that we may have and get straight to data driven decisions about what’s going to move the needle from a personalization standpoint. So a few examples could be abandoned cart, right customers who’ve added items to their carts, but they haven’t completed their purchase, and they’ve left the site. That’s a good example of an area that you should go and experiment on trying to see what what ways we could reengage them. It’s also returning customers, right? If a customer is has made a purchase previously, give them an experience that’s going to relate to their prior purchase. And again, test out some variation to that. mean, the goal at the end of the day is to measure that impact, and really get a good handle on whether your assumptions are on point, or whether you need to make some adjustments. So the Optimizely platform allows you to measure the the impact across the customer journey and do the full suite of testing, as we would know with a typical AV testing experimentation software. Yes, I mean, we at Optimizely absolutely has the experimentation tools, whether it’s through your web site that you’re looking to test, or other, you know, other channels, we also have feature experimentation for things like mobile, etc. In addition, that we’ve got personalization tools that are going to help you in identifying what that target segment might be. Right, as well as let’s let’s determine how many variations of that personalization content do we want to try? Right. So it’s, that’s part of the experimentation. So all of that is is offerings that Optimizely has in our portfolio. One of the things that I see with many ecommerce brands, is that they kind of treat everybody the same, because they have to well, not because they have to, but that’s that they have limitations around how much they can segment. And so what they kind of do, by default is they just throw everybody into the same bucket. And what you’re saying with the Optimizely suite of products that you’re able to segment, your customer list down much more specifically, discreetly so that you can deliver very personalized experiences across or throughout your entire customer, entire customer list, which is, in many respects kind of the Holy Grail, is it not? Absolutely. We have a data platform Optimizely data platform, which allows you to really ingest content from a variety of sources. So not just behaviors on the website, but it might be CRM data, etc, that you can bring into the solution. Having that that first party data, right that you can then look, understand your customer number one, use that to identify what are those targeted segments and then use what we call real time segmentation. I’m sure you probably have heard the term and that’s that’s that inaction behavior, right. So as I’m engaging on a website, it’s able to predict, again based on a set of a tivities I belong in that segment, once it identifies that it’s able to provide me then that experience that’s associated to it. So again, it’s it’s a very quick process of identifying exactly of identifying that customer, and then being able to provide them very quickly with that experience, to kind of build to, frankly, get that connection right from the start, right, you don’t have to wait anymore, which is kind of the old way of thinking that you do this, you sign up for an email, you wait for the email, like it’s so much faster now, to say, Hey, listen, you’re a first time customer coming out to the site. Maybe this is your second time visiting, but you’ve looked at the same shirt. Yeah, the few times that you’ve come out, here’s a coupon that’s here, right? Being able to capture what I like to call the magic moment, right? The context and that time that the the visitors on the site, those are the kind of experiences that you’re now able to provide that really, again, start to build that relationship, hence, building the loyalty? How quickly can brands implement personalization and experimentation strategies? And where do they start? Yeah, I mean, I think let’s break it down into kind of what I look at as kind of four key pillars. There’s always planning that goes into this upfront, right, you’re never just going to want to deep dive into something without thinking through, what are you’re trying to achieve from a goal perspective. But the four pillars really break it down into data logic, experiences and measurement. So data being building that customer profile, using zero and first party data, okay, logic being bringing together that content, and that customer data to create those proper segments, the targeted segments. And that’s really where you get that ability to marry the customer and the content in the most relevant way. The experience is reaching that customer in the right context at the right time. That’s exactly what we were just talking about. That’s the magic moment, that experience. And then there’s the measurement side, which is understanding what is working as, obviously as fast as we can, so that we can look at the benchmarks to know is that really meeting the needs of what we were trying to achieve? Or do we need to make some adjustments and, and kind of redo our hypothesis. So if we look at those pillars, and then apply that to a bit of a process less than slash methodology, you know, it’s coming down to you need to understand your customers. That’s kind of step one, make sure that you have the ability to collect that data, to be able to use it to personalize. So as you think about your, your personalization, don’t overcomplicate it right, you don’t have to start with these words, you and I were talking earlier about kind of the these big dynamic, you know, that could be step three or four in your plan. Think about the simple ways to to, you know, engage with your customer, it might be just changing content on the homepage, it doesn’t have to be overly complicated as you search. But the goal is you need to understand your customers. And so gathering that data up behind the scenes is really step one. And then obviously, once you have an understanding of that customer data thinking about, okay, what are some hypothesis? On what are we trying to personalize? Let’s, let’s put together some ideas and some themes about what are we trying to achieve? And then being able to, you know, ideate, on those to work and collaborate, right to understand that piece? The plan and activate, of course, is the actual bringing in experimentation into the mix, to build out potential variations as part of that hypothesis. And then of course, there’s the measurement and the review of how did it actually perform? So as you get started, in customer data being number one, that is absolutely what you need to focus on in terms of where you can, what data do you need in your organization, to drive the segment, to be able to move it into the the area of personalization that you’re looking to achieve? Because it could be things like demographic, right? Just the basic information about your customer? It could be more behavioral terms of how are they interacting? It could be more contextual. Are you on the website? Are you using a mobile app? Where are you coming from? You know, it could be predictive to So based on those other categories I was just mentioning here recently, it could be more about I’m going to predict what this customer is doing, what’s their likelihood to buy. They maybe have come back out four times I’m capturing that data about that visitor, that predictive side is thinking about the likelihood that they might take another action. So all based around customer data to get started. But I’ve kind of laid out kind of the the four key pillars and kind of the process behind that methodology that you can think through to help you get started.

Scott Reid 25:05
So data logic, experience and measurement, DL em, and it’s what you’re proposing, which I agree with 100%. It reminds me of my what my good friend Chris Mercer of measurement, marketing God IO, he says, which is just good enough to get going. But you don’t have to do it all, at the beginning, be good enough to get going take small steps. And that’s going to allow you to start and initiate a personalization program that you can then expand upon moving forward into the future. But but that’s the key because it can be an I gotta believe, for many listeners that just thinking about personalizing everything and delivering that out to a unique experience to every visitor, that that’s kind of sounds overwhelming, but what you’re saying is, it’s it doesn’t have to be, and you can get going by just taking some some smaller steps again, good enough to get going. So absolutely. And understanding that methodology and think about crawl, walk, run. Right, yeah, right. Same same approach, just applying it to the the pillars, and that methodology I just described. Excellent. So I know one of the things that we spoke about last time was the evolution of experimentation report that Optimizely published, theirs ended last year, if I’m not mistaken. And

Tina Nelson 26:27
and there was over 125,000 experiments that were run on your platform. I don’t know if that’s the exact number. I just remember, it was a lot. Can you share some highlights from that? And what the results of the report means for E commerce brands and personalization, like, what were those big takeaways that that that report uncovered? Absolutely. So a couple of big takeaways that we got from that. Around commerce in particular, right, digital commerce, we know overwhelmingly, is prioritizing revenue as a primary metric. So what this has shown us is that there are big, early funnel optimization after opportunities in areas like search, an Add to cart that really are probably under explored, and things that we can, you know, learn from from that perspective. So that’s the big takeaway. personalized experience, drive 41%, or expected impact? Is that right? 40%. Wow. So as we talk about personalization, right, I think everybody on the podcast that’s listening would agree, it’s important. But as you start to hear some of these metrics, it really, really hones in on exactly how important it really is to be able to be a competitor in today’s brand space. As I mentioned earlier, the way we look at personalization today is it’s table stakes. Right? Right. Like it’s, it’s, it’s no longer a competitive advantage to doing it. Unless you’re doing again, like more of that hyper personalization that we talked about that very, you’re really you’ve got a good, digital mature organization that’s able to, you know, put more of a larger team behind that. So yeah, it’s it’s an interesting time. I think what other highlights from that report that I would love to share is is about CDP is. And so it also mentions that companies with an integrated CDP appear to be more secure, much more successful with experimentation. So the heart of that statement comes back to data. And then customer data that we were speaking about earlier, right? The value of the CDP is it allows you to really know your customer, you know, that information that you’re collecting, as that zero party or first party data is invaluable to your organization as you really look to provide that personalized experience to your customers. So something to keep in mind. Can you define CDP for the listeners that are absolutely sorry about that customer data platforms? Excellent. Thank you. Yep, absolutely. So that being said, when we’re talking about first party data, I mean, the other thought is, cookies. That’s the next thing that comes to my mind is how will the phase out of

Scott Reid 29:27
cookies over time impact personalization strategies moving forward? Number one, and then how can brands prepare so that their experiences aren’t significantly impacted as the cookies are phased out?

Tina Nelson 29:44
Yeah, the impact of the phase out of these third party cookies, obviously is going to have a significant impact on personalization strategies moving ahead. The reason is because advertisers are not going to have access to it Individual browsing histories. So it’s gonna be difficult for them to provide data to personalize, unless you have access to that history and that that interaction insight, right. Safari and Firefox have already blocked third party cookies. Google Chrome, it’s, it’s had plans for a while they’ve bumped it out again, to 2025. So that was a little bit more delayed. But think about even on our, you know, Apple iOS devices, right, as of April of 2021. Mobile App providers right are now required to ask you for your approval to gather that data. So I’m sure we’ve all seen that, as you’re, you know, interacting with an app that comes up and basically has to ask you, or you have to allow it or disallow it in terms of that tracking. So a lot of this has been in motion. You know, they’ve also like Google’s announced some privacy updates that limit the ability of advertisers to track as well. So there’s a lot there. How can brands prepare? is a great question. It really is all about focusing in on that zero and first party data, you need to build that relationship yourself with your customer base. So it could be, you know, collected on your website, through your app through emails, you’re not sharing that data with other partners or with other companies. So when we think about what is first party data, just to put some definition to it, it could be things like data in your CRM, so your customer relationship management system, it could be data that you collect from customer surveys, or feedback, because that’s directly to you. It could be data from your loyalty program, online chat transcripts, right, thinking about your learning something about that customer, or in store purchases, right, capturing orders, history and things of that nature. Zero party data is very similar. But that’s the data that you think about that they are intentionally sharing with you. So this can also come from things like surveys that you might have on your site, account creation, right, creating an account, or, you know, when you sometimes head out to some websites, and they ask you kind of to self segment, right, you’re you’re selecting what’s important, and it really kind of helps direct you. Yeah, you are giving them first or zero party data, excuse me about yourself, right? Again, it’s anonymous, at that point, unless you’ve already interacted with them and shared other information. But you’re essentially giving them insights about you and what you care about. Directly, right. So they’re not getting it from any external third party source. All of that data is data that you can own, you don’t need to guess at how to then connect with your customers, right, you’re able to understand those customers better, and build out that customer profile. Understanding that allows you to better predict buying patterns in the commerce space, as well as just learn more about, you know, some of the attribute based information about that customer. So that’s really how brands can prepare, start thinking about the ways that you’re interacting with your customers. And those real simple things that you’ve probably are already doing today. But you’re just not thinking about using the data in that fashion. Right. Those are great opportunities.

Scott Reid 33:21
And so through the Optimizely platform, you can leverage that zero party third party data to enrich the overall customer experience and drive a higher level of personalization. Is that correct? That is absolutely correct. Yeah, and so so it’s really going to be imperative for companies to mitigate the effect of third party cookies, that whole, you know, challenge, right? That that’s, that is being impacted. It’s going to behoove them to become much more proficient with zero party and first party data. Okay. It really is all about driving that connection, right. And it’s such an interesting story, when you think about,

Tina Nelson 34:05
we’re talking about personalization, but the impact of that is driving that retention, and loyalty. And all of that comes back to understanding your customers. So it’s a giant connection between all of those different elements that we need to be thinking through. Let’s see, what’s my what’s the next logical question here, Tina, for thinking about brands, how can they? How can they use that zero and first party data personalized, like, what are those things that they that they can do? And we touched on a little bit, but I don’t know if you want to go into that a little bit more. Let’s talk about a few more examples. Right? We hit on a few of these earlier, but good to dive in. So think about purchase history. Yeah. Right. This is kind of an obvious reason, right? You’re able to now be able to cross sell to that customer or maybe upsell that customer. Think about using that data with predictive analytics.

Scott Reid 35:00
have to anticipate the next time that they’re going to come back based on how they’ve been interacting on the site. And so anticipate, or you can probably cross reference it with seasonality, whether, you know, all sorts of being really I’m sure. I’m sure that I don’t know. But I’m guessing that Optimizely has the has the capability to, to predict things like along those lines, as well as a correct assumption. That is correct. We definitely have predictive analytics, because you know, just just to be able to set it well, maybe unquote, set it and forget it. But to have that be automated,

Tina Nelson 35:36
to a certain degree, has got to increase average order value, it’s got to increase lifetime value, revenue, profit, of course, because then you’re not having to go out and spend money to acquire new customers, you’re getting more money from existing customers. So I don’t want to steal your thunder. But it was exciting talking about it. It is exciting. And frankly, as we talk through this, it’s really about that magic moment, right, as we think about not understanding and using predictive analytics allows us to more quickly pinpoint what that magic moment might be, to get that customer to make that purchase. And again, whether it’s, you know, is we think about purchase history in this example we’re talking about, it could be just getting them to buy another item, right? It could be about free shipping, it could be, you know, a promotion or a discount, like you get them to choose your adventure, right on how you want that action to take place. But you’re able to identify that moment. And again, this is where the variations come into play. Maybe free shipping was more important than the dollar discount that you offered. And so being able to test out, what actually is going to move the needle is really powerful when it comes to that data, or using machine learning to to, to arrive at some of these models, and get the most out of it. Yes, we have machine learning, as well, as you know, obviously with the the AI trend, we are well underway today, that’s obviously being incorporated into our products as well, that’s going to also help with that prediction down the road. Obviously everyone is we’re all working to bring AI into our solutions. And so we’re really at the beginning stages. Obviously always expanding every every release, we do, it is all talking about really looking to improve and provide more for our customers around AI.

Scott Reid 37:42
So then, in terms of average order value as well, is that an area that you can use their own first party data to personalize as well? Absolutely. Because it is all about those predictive analytics, and it’s about the data you’re capturing. So

Tina Nelson 37:57
it’s still you know, your ability to predict is only as good as the data you’ve collected, right to be able to run that against. So understanding average order value, customer lifetime value. All of those are metrics that you could use to drive engagement. And back to the retention and loyalty that we talked about earlier. You know, other ones, we talked about online chat transcripts, which I was thinking is interesting. So thinking about how you can collect data and learn more about the customers maybe demographic information, maybe their interests, and then use that to personalize their experiences there they’re coming through, it could be as simple as they inquired about a particular product through the chat. Provide them a coupon, right, give them a discount. Look at those opportunities to help them save time, maybe whether it’s completing an order, you know, making a purchase. Those are great opportunities to to engage that a lot of organizations, they’re doing it more from the customer service aspect. But there’s there’s a wealth of information that can be learned, as we are engaging with with each of these brands. This is fascinating that you’ve been able to put together the suite of businesses and products to create this solution that touches on so many different aspects of what’s important to ecommerce brands. Yeah, there’s a lot of power. I think one last one that I’ll share is thinking about a call center experience. Right? You make a call, right? You’re having a review, you’re in store. And so looking at those opportunities to collect more information about the customer in your conversations, and then that that support that you’re giving the rep now is collecting some of that and as you bring all of that data together. It not only empowers the personalized experience, but it makes the conversation you might have with a call center rep much more easy, right? So If you’re hitting both sides, right we are in this, we are in the stage where a lot of folks don’t want to make a phone call. Yeah, we all just want to do it online self service is a very big, big aspect of the commerce business today. But sometimes you do want to make a phone call. But think of how painful it can be. When you call into a call center there, they ask you the same thing three times. And all you want is a really simple answer. But why did my order not ship? Right? It’s like, if they could very quickly identify, you pull up that order information, understand all of the data behind it, you could be in and out. And that conversation would be great. And it would absolutely build your trust with that brand. And I guarantee you’d go back, customer loyalty, brand loyalty, the whole the whole nine yards, right? So these are all opportunities for you to use that zero and first party data that you’re using to personalize their experience. And again, it doesn’t just have to be online, we’re talking about that. It’s kind of the main channel today. But there’s other ways that you collect that data that you can use it to personalize and experience. Absolutely. So it’s it’s very much online and offline is what you’re saying. Correct.

Scott Reid 41:12
A big thing these days is data privacy. You know, we have HIPAA, my wife’s in health care, as we were talking about earlier. And you have a family member who’s in healthcare. So HIPAA is a big thing. You know, data privacy is top of mind for everybody. How can brands create personalized experiences, while respecting the customer’s desire for data privacy? How does that work in today’s paranoid world?

Tina Nelson 41:41
So we know, the excellent question. Data privacy, I think is of the utmost importance these days, it can you know, consumers and customers are really looking for brands to build trust with them, they really would prefer that you get information directly from them for the third party. Right, that that is a preferred preference by

Scott Reid 42:04
my own standards included. Right? We we know, it’s creepy. Otherwise, I mean, you know, you you think about Cambridge Analytica, and it’s like, you know, right, that’s where you get a little uncomfortable. Yeah, you do. You do. And when you think about, and let me just interject. And what that does is it reduces trust. Exactly, does it? Yeah, I mean, which is 100% killer. And that’s really what we started talking about at the beginning was having this level of of loyalty and trust and loyalty is built on trust. So you use practices that reduce that trust or erode that trust, by using third party data as a for instance, that is not a good thing. Right. And as we all know, even from our own experiences,

Tina Nelson 42:51
that one bad experience, could be all it takes is a duck. So it’s your competitors. One click away, as we said before, exactly, is that a coupon? Is we think about consumer privacy regulations that exists today. Right? You know, the European Union’s got GDPR. Yeah, California has their own CCPA laws, that were all implemented, to increase that online privacy and provide transparency to consumers about how their data is being used. You know, the US as a whole doesn’t have a federal privacy law. You don’t have anything across the board. Right. I hope we get there soon. And more and more states, though, on their own, are starting to introduce this, like California has done. And so I think what you see happening is that consumers are beginning to become much more proactive about that privacy. And the industry is now having to react to that, right? We need to now have parameters and guidelines and restrictions in place to allow the consumer to make an educated decision about what you’re comfortable providing, which is why it comes back to building that trust, go get the data from the source. Right? They’re willing to give that data, right, it’s a give and take relationship. I as a consumer give a brand information like my Nike example I talked about earlier. I’ve bought into the rewards like I’ve signed up. They know a lot of my purchases, like I mentioned, they track them. I have a lot of trust in that. If I saw that they had gone and given that information to someone else, or they had gotten information from another source. Absolutely. It would question How, where did that come from? And how did you get it? Right? Right. So just just ask, just ask the customers, many times they’re going to be willing, because it’s a trade off, right? It’s a trade off between, you know, the brands looking to make the connection. And me as the consumer saying I’m interested I want To learn more, yeah, so basically, I’m opening the door to building that trust.

Scott Reid 45:06
Excellent. So it’s not just just do it, it’s just ask. could be as simple as just ask. Because you like that is a great closer look good? Well, I do have one more question. Okay. So we’ve talked, we’ve spoken about a lot here. This has been a, it’s been a great episode, I’ve learned a ton. But can you? Maybe we can close on this unless you have anything else to talk about? Or that you’d like to share? Can you share a real world example of success for ecommerce or an E commerce brand in the personalization area? It personalization era?

Tina Nelson 45:43
Era? Yes. Let’s think about hospitality. As it relates to commerce, right. Big industry, you’re headed out? Looking at how many different resorts online trying to figure out where to stay? Yeah, right. There’s, there’s a ton out there. So I just went through that. And it’s like, you want to pull your hair out? Because you don’t know. So keep going. Please tell I’m Yes. So what we can do with us, you, we at Optimizely have worked with customers in the hospitality industry. And we have use cases that really talk through what they’ve done to revamp their site. They’ve leveraged personalization, with the experimentation. They’ve done different techniques throughout their site to further that engagement, to the point where the outcomes it’s driven, have shown, like 63%, higher revenue, really. And, like from a nights booked perspective, it increased 77%.

Unknown Speaker 46:51
mean those are those are very impactful. That’s huge for hotel lodging, because I forget what they what the metric is, for some reason it’s escaping me. But it’s whatever the vacancy rate is right to be able to max or reduce the vacancy rate is, that’s the holy grail for them. Right? Correct. And that’s their metric that matters is that vacancy rate? The hospitality industry is, is a tough industry in terms of connecting with customers, there’s a lot of options. And there’s a can be overwhelming, as you were just saying, right? Like,

Tina Nelson 47:27
which one’s better than another, you know, you’re looking at reviews, you’re looking at all of this other information. And so if you think about that industry, leveraging personalization and getting to know you,

Scott Reid 47:39
like you’re you’re in, how would that level of personalization.

Tina Nelson 47:45
In that experience, it could be as simple as, like, you’ve come back another time, let’s say, you know, hey, it looks like the last time you were here, you viewed this particular room for this particular set of dates.

Scott Reid 48:00
Is that still what you’re interested in? Yeah. Right, like, make it easy, they came back to the site, they want to reengage you’re not, you don’t have to offer anything, you’re just letting them start where they left off, you don’t have to go through the whole rigmarole, again, which, and that’s an interesting point, too, because, as I’m thinking about it, there were definitely some that that would allow you to pick up where you left off. And there are others that didn’t, and I wasn’t consciously thinking about that. I would have if we, if we, you know, the next time, I’m going to be consciously thinking about it because of this conversation. But it’s a pain in the neck to go through all that. And, and there was one I forget what it was, and I wouldn’t quote it necessarily on the show. But it was like every single time I had to keep going back through and inputting those dates, and I did I ended up not booking with that without a without vendor. So there you go. I mean, you get frustrated. Yeah, the other thing could be imagery.

Tina Nelson 48:57
Right. Depending on on where you’re coming from. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 49:03
Provide them Nusa. Yeah, imagery. Achlys analogy, when you’re looking if you’re going to say, You know what, I’m in New England, so New England in the fall. I’m gonna want to see leaves in the trees. I don’t want to see snow on the ground. Exactly. So it doesn’t this goes back to that crawl Walk Run that we talked about earlier. It does not have to be overly complicated. Right, just still see strong results. There’s just so much opportunity.

Tina Nelson 49:30
Think about, you know, just the simple, the simple imagery or again, trying to help someone and pick back up where they left off.

Scott Reid 49:41
I’m sure that we could talk for hours and hours and hours about this Tina, because it is it is so fascinating. It’s pretty clear to me that Optimizely as it stands today is a very, very unique company. In the marketplace. You offer a wide suite of products that could benefit most The ecommerce brand. And again, the crawl, walk run approach would be the one invariably to take. How should somebody learn more about,

Tina Nelson 50:11
about about the company and what it can do for them, I know that we’re going to attach some things. There was that personalization survey, we’re going to put that in the show notes. And we’re also going to drop in, there was an evolution of experimentation ebook. Do you want to talk about those at all? Because I know that those will be I’ve looked at them. And they’re, they’re wonderful resources. Yeah, absolutely. So the evolution of experimentation, definitely take a peek at we have run thing, it’s you mentioned this at the start of our conversation today, too. But it’s like 120 712 experiments through our platforms. And we’ve learned a few things. So you’re taking some key learnings from those 127,000 experiments and boiling them down. So it’s not to say that every single one of those takeaways is going to be applicable to your individual business. But there are definitely some solid takeaways in terms of trends and patterns that have worked throughout different industries. So that is exactly it. So the article is really great, because it talks through more of the characteristics of what makes a great experiment. What are some of the drivers of great cultures of experimentation? Because as we mentioned, it’s not a one and done. Yeah, this is an ongoing program and process that that really is what drives the effectiveness at the end of the day. So there’s a lot of good data in there to support some of the learnings that we’ve had as an organization. And then the personalized survey, the personalization survey, a personalized to personal is what the document is actually in the article, it’s actually called, starts to focus on a lot of the different aspects of personalization, whether it’s around where are we at from a maturity standpoint, we’ve done you know, interviews with a number of folks that helped to dry this survey, it surveyed 100, looking it up just to make sure I say this properly. 100, UK marketers were surveyed, working with personalization technologies at over 1000. UK with 1000 UK consumers. So that’s really where that article is based. from a data standpoint, there’s a lot of good takeaways around personalization, and there as well, for all of you to read at your leisure. Excellent. The best way to get more familiar with Optimizely is head out to our website, optimizely.com. Check us out, you can see all of the solutions that we offer that suite that I was mentioning, at the start of the call when I described more about Optimizely. through there, you can easily request a demo. We’ve got a lot of great

Scott Reid 52:43
demos online, throughout the site as well. If you want to learn more about some of the tools that we have, whether it’s commerce, content management, you know, the personalization, experimentation, kind of that digital optimization services that we offer, check out the website. Absolutely easy to contact us through there, we’d be happy to walk through a demo of any of our solutions with you. Excellent. Well, thank you very much, Tina. It’s been a pleasure. It’s been a wonderful episode, I learned a ton about Optimizely. And as I told you, I think I may have led this off at the beginning, I can’t remember because it’s been almost an hour now is that I just thought it was an AV testing platform. That’s it. And it’s a whole lot more. So I think we just scratched the surface, I know that a demo would be a great next step, I’m actually going to book a demo for myself so that I can be even more educated. Thank you very much. I really appreciate it. I hope you’ll come back in the future and keep us updated on changes to the platform enhancements and that type of thing. Because this, I can see as being an ongoing conversation, not just a one and done because I’m sure you got some other things in the hopper if I’m guessing correctly. Absolutely. I mean, there’s always the topic of AI. That’s right. Yeah. AI and personalization, another whole nother session. We could go down. Excellent. Well, we’ll, we’ll have you back soon. Thanks very much, Tina. I really appreciate your time and we’ll talk to you soon. Thank you so much. Thanks.