Event Updates, Digital Workplace

ACTIVATE 2019 Furthers Discussion on Search, AI, and Personalization in Ecommerce

At Activate Now in NYC this Spring, Fortune 500 brands had the chance to share strategies with each other. They discussed ways for building a hyper-personalized shopping experience for customers and the impact artificial intelligence is having on the role of merchandising. 

Audience member and journalist Jackie Mallon sums up the problem perfectly in her coverage of the event for Fashion United: 

The million-dollar question? “How do we make the user feel like one in a million rather than one of a million?”

This is the number one challenge brands are wrestling with - how to create personalized shopping experiences using search, AI, and data analytics to understand customer intent, deliver relevant recommendations, and increase add-to-cart and conversion rates.

The answers aren’t easy as many noted. Much of the AI is done offline and in siloed efforts, and product search is always tricky as customers rarely describe things the same way. But there were three top takeaways brands should note:

Keep the soul factor.

“Companies currently succeeding are big on data but lack soul. Nobody cares about your data, and most of those data collecting initiatives fail to move the needle on how business is done, and indeed can even be detrimental. We have to shift our mentality, move away from boosting, blocking, ranking; move from pushing out product to pulling in people.”

— Will Hayes, Lucidworks CEO 

No need to reinvent the wheel. 

“Be truthful and honest about your product and what the market thinks it is. Be firm in your brand equity but how you wish to view your product can be unhelpful and lead to missed opportunity. For example, if no one calls your lip gloss a lip glaze, it’s pointless to continue using that term in search engine description.”

— Katharine McKee, Digital Consultancy Founder

Get the whole picture before you personalize the experience.  

“You may have intelligent analysts doing a great job of poring over the data acquired from a program and they take all their learnings from that. Unfortunately it’s not a complete picture, even though it is correct. Insights may be both correct and deceptive. Single-sourced data may reflect the perfect sunglasses but only for that one moment in time, that does not mean they will become the sunglasses of the summer.”

— Diane Burley, Lucidworks VP Content

More Strategic Discussions at ACTIVATE 2019 

Hungry for more? Leading retailers lululemon, priceline.com, Foot Locker, Home Depot, and more will be discussing their strategies for building a hyper-personalized customer experience at Activate 2019 in Washington, D.C. from September 9-12. 

Be sure to register before July 26th and get $400 off your pass. 

Activate Now will be hitting the road again in October. Check the agenda to see if we’re headed to a city near you. 


Learn How to Build a Personalized Experience with Relevant Search at ACTIVATE

We hope to see you there.

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