5 tips to personalize digital customer experiences


At the online “flash sale” retailer Gilt, success comes from breaking through the clutter, and from ensuring that their offers matter in the grand scheme of their customers' lives. And with more than 8 million "members" (potential customers), they've managed to create a culture where customers are the company’s biggest advocates and evangelists.

So how are they doing it? They are operating in a market where consumers are more informed and empowered than ever. And it's not uncommon for customers nowadays to reference a half-dozen or more sources to make a purchase decision. One thing's for sure - they're not backing away from the fray. In fact, they create their own fray - several times a day. Every. Single. Day.

Gilt has elevated online shopping to a competitive sport by:

  • Starting with a coveted set of products, hand-picked to entice – luxury goods for women, men, kids and home.
  • Sourcing them directly from more than 6,000 partner brands, as well as unique local experiences.
  • Offering them in limited quantities, discounted up to 60 percent – but only to an exclusive audience and only for a limited time.
  • Tamara Gruzbarg is Senior Director of Analytics and Research at Gilt.

    Tamara Gruzbarg

    Starting new sales at a designated time each day – more than 200 sales a week.

Their approach to applying marketing analytics to customer data and processes is at the heart of how they can operate so nimbly, and personalize the digital customer experience for so many people.

This repeated success and the story behind it have been captured in a webinar conclusions paper that includes 5 tips from Tamara Gruzbarg, Gilt's Senior Director of Analytics and Research, on how to use analytics to personalize digital customer experiences:

  1. Know your data sources. Marketers have many more data sources available now than we could have ever imagined. Before you start developing specific analytical tools, it’s important to understand how those various data sources can be used and how to optimize the predictive value of the data.
  2. Focus on quick wins. There’s no need to wait until you have all the most perfect data and analytical tools available to you. A lot of what is now built out at Gilt started as an experiment four or five years ago. Initial insights can be incorporated into future comprehensive strategies.”
  3. Test and measure. You should always expect questions about incremental gains, or how a particular initiative moved the needle. So it is important to have appropriate test designs for all of your analytics initiatives, for accurate and meaningful measurement of results.
  4. Continue to monitor, refine and optimize. Our work is never done. Even when we have developed something that we think is optimal at this point, our customers and market environment are always changing over time, which requires us to be dynamic and agile.
  5. Start somewhere, but start now. Even if you’re not in a position to think about a holistic and sophisticated loyalty program, there are always things you can do improve the customer experience and start that cycle of loyalty. Never be afraid to start.

To get the whole story, download the conclusions paper, Build Loyalty with a Personalized Digital Experience. Let me know what you think!


About Author

John Balla

Principal Marketing Strategist

Hi, I'm John Balla - a Digital Marketing Principal here at SAS focused on Content Strategy. I co-founded the SAS Customer Intelligence blog and served as Editor for five years. I like to find and share content and experiences that open doors, answer questions and maybe even challenge assumptions so better questions can be asked. Outside of work I stay busy with my wife and I keeping up with my 2 awesome college-age kids, volunteering for the Boy Scouts, keeping my garden green, striving for green living, expressing myself with puns, and making my own café con leche every morning. I’ve lived and worked on 3 contents and can communicate fluently in Spanish, Portuguese, Hungarian and passable English. Prior to SAS, my experience in marketing ranges from Fortune 100 companies to co-founding two start ups. I studied economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and got an MBA from Georgetown. Follow me on Twitter. Connect with me on LinkedIn.

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