After a great inaugural event in Berlin in September, Dynamic Yield brought our Personalization Pioneers Summit to Singapore on January 18. Alongside world-class dim sum, participants were treated to content that ranged from a discussion on the hype cycle of AI to the future of omnichannel retail in India.
More than 100 eCommerce and technology leaders from Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan and Hong Kong joined us for a great day of thought leadership, practical presentations, and all-around good fun. Here’s what we learned:
The APAC Market is Ready for Personalization at Scale
Just a couple of years ago, personalization was such a nascent concept in Asia that this summit simply would not have been possible. No longer. Both the savviest legacy brands in the region and forward-thinking new players are thinking about how to fit their experience to the idiosyncrasies of each user across all channels.
According to Dynamic Yield’s Personalization Maturity Survey, more than 88% of marketers in APAC believe there is value in personalization and many of the region’s largest brands are putting personalization at the heart of their digital strategies.
For marketers in APAC, it all begins with mobile. However, while mobile accounts for 64% of traffic, it accounts for only 35% of eCommerce revenue. Desktop visitors are also more than twice as likely to convert. Thus, closing the mobile conversion gap and delivering a personalized mobile app to create the best possible experience for high-value customers is paramount. Thus it’s no surprise that much of the day was devoted to discussing how to do just that.
Great Experiences Illicit True Emotion from Users
As a kid growing up in New York, I thought it was impossible to imagine a larger than life brand than the New York Yankees. I couldn’t imagine a more powerful moment in sport than 55,000+ rising to the sound of Enter Sandman as Mariano Rivera came in to slam the door on an opponent.
However, my bombers are dwarfed by Liverpool Football Club which boasts 770 million fans worldwide. The power of the LFC brand was on full display when eCommerce team lead Mark Quaile played a video of 95,000 fans belting “You’ll Never Walk Alone” in Sydney, Austrailia. Sydney is more than 17,000 kilometers from Liverpool.
To delight supporters wordlwide, LFC invests heavily in personalization, constantly testing experiences and using Dynamic Yield to run targeted promotions to fans around the world. The club continuously optimizes the homepage, player page and deploys predictive targeting to uncover hidden opportunities to boost revenue and engagement.
LFC’s work with Dynamic Yield is summed up by a single mantra delivered by Mark on stage:
“All of our fans should feel like they are a part of LFC, whether they live five minutes or five time zones from Anfield.
The Best Personalization Teams Possess Insatiable Curiosity
“A customer does not see us as a retail store or as an eCommerce. They see us as Sephora.”
Nandini Joshi, Head of eCommerce and VP of Marketing, at Sephora Digital SEA opened the afternoon session walking through the company’s omnichannel strategy the skills and mindset it takes to build a world-class eCommerce team. First and foremost, Nandini looks for team members with a passion for problem solving, obsession with data and an innate desire to learn more.
The case study was sitting in the stands. Sephora Digital SEA had representatives from onsite, mobile, email, CRM and loyalty groups in the crowd, a team that works across functions to power a unified experience for the customer.
We’re All Trying to Separate AI Hype From Reality
Daisy Cai of Baidu Capital kicked off the day with a presentation on the state of artificial intelligence and what Baidu looks for in companies in their AI investment portfolio.
Baidu has set out to lead the AI revolution with deep investments in everything from self-driving cars to AI-driven healthcare. In October 2016, Baidu launched a $200 million fund focusing on AI, augmented reality and deep learning, followed by a $3B fund targeting mid to late-stage startups in those fields.
Low hanging applications of AI in retail lie in solving unsexy problems, such as which recommendations strategy to serve new visitors to an eCommerce website. While AI may not upend retail anytime soon, practical applications of machine learning to common eCommerce problems will proliferate in 2018, benefiting brands that adopt the technology.
eCommerce in APAC Presents an Unbridled Opportunity
Towards the end of the day, Maneesh Mittal gave an outstanding presentation, taking the audience on a journey through the history of eCommerce in India and the opportunity for brands that connect the online and offline experiences.
While North America braces for year three of the retail apocalypse, the brick and mortar store is still the lifeblood of large Indian retailers. To this end, Croma has developed a particularly innovative omnichannel experience using geolocation to encourage online customers to covert. As a user shops online, an overlay appears that looks like the usual Intercom customer service support. However, this is not a chatbot or a call-center rep. It is the store manager at the nearest location who is actively logged in to handle any user query. If the user then decides to complete the purchase in store, the manager has all requisite data and is ready to assist.
From industry titans like Alibaba, Zalora, Croma and JD to innovative start-ups like Forty-Two and The Closet Lover, the gold standard for eCommerce is largely being defined by Asian brands. We’re truly honored to count many of these companies as customers of Dynamic Yield.
Thanks to all who joined us and made the summit possible. We’ll see you again in Singapore next year.
Up next, New York on April 11-12!