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Problems of personalisation in ecommerce

Problems with personalisation in ecommerce

Most consumers don’t want brands to passively push their products. They don’t trust brands that are faceless corporations and they don’t want to be treated the same as everyone else. Nope – consumers today are a whole lot more savvy! They want two-way engagement and personalisation. Not just any personalisation, since the advent of AI they mean hyper-personalisation, as it’s on a 1:1 ratio with zero segmenting. They value strong, consistent brand identity (and brands with integrity, and they enjoy rich, customised content.

The demand for personalisation shouldn’t come as a surprise, given the sheer volume of content on online platforms and sprawling touchpoints along the customer journey. 

Tired of choice fatigue

Choice isn’t always a good thing. For many, the novelty of the internet’s endless shopping aisles has given way to ‘choice fatigue’, with well over half of consumers – according to a recent study – saying there’s too much choice online.

Marketers too are facing a similar problem. The number of channels, consumers and regions brands now sell across has created an equally massive number of digital assets which must be created, managed, edited, distributed, localised, archived and deleted. Just as consumers will jump from one touchpoint to the next to find what they want, marketers too have to engage with various and multiple parties to access and leverage assets. 

That’s the problem with personalisation. Delivering tailored content effectively and efficiently to consumers requires marketing tools that provide an equally effective and efficient means of locating and using a brand’s digital assets. SwiftERM is personalised product selection software for email marketing. It only sends consumers products personally selected for each consumer, based on their own unique personal buying history and impressions, that are calculated to be the most likely for that individual to buy.

But what about the power of personalisation? Using digital asset management (DAM) software, here’s what the shopping experience can look like for consumers – and how workflow can be improved for marketing teams.

Ask questions, give answers

Data is digital gold. Asking shoppers questions during an initial engagement allows brands to personalise the experience and deliver tailored content. Beauty brand Clinique, for instance, takes into consideration its customers’ complexion, skin problems and beauty needs, and curates recommendations. Another beauty brand, Sephora, takes this one step further and allows shoppers to see what personalised product recommendations look like on their skin, using its Virtual Artist app. 

In addition to images, other brands have chosen to speak to their consumers directly through written content. Boots Parenting Club, for example, creates personalised messages for parents-to-be, based on data processed during the app users’ registration. Sadly it doesn’t change perpetually throughout the customer’s lifetime, as hyper-personalisation software does.

One-to-one experiences such as these can be enjoyed by millions of customers globally. However, we also need to take a step back. Whilst one-to-one personalisation is important, marketers must be careful not to compromise on consistent brand identity. Brand values are conveyed through inconsistent messaging, colours, logos, and visuals (i.e. digital assets). So, in addition to personalising content for individuals, it must also remain relevant for larger sets of consumers. Shoppers in London, for instance, would want UK delivery information, to shop in pound sterling, and for the content of the website to reflect seasonal and regional trends. 

One-to-one to one-to-millions

Delivering this kind of personalisation at scale would be prohibitively time-consuming (and pretty much impossible for a team of humans alone) without the support of a fully leveraged DAM solution. This allows generic content to be syndicated, and the most relevant content to be served via the most relevant channel. Using templates, for example, marketing teams can personalise their brand’s content in the language, voice, and context that’s right for their unique audiences without changing locked brand elements like fonts, colours, and logos. So, shoppers in London would see the same ads and consistent logos and colour scheme as shoppers in Sydney – but assets concerning currency, delivery, seasons, trends (and so on), would be localised.

DAM gives marketers control over the way its brand is used, whilst also enabling the personalisation of its digital assets.  What is the future of personalisation how to get ready for it, and what else does personalisation look like for marketers?


You’ll be pleased to read that it’s also characterised by effective, streamlined engagement – between different brand departments, as well as with external stakeholders. A DAM solution should act as a centralised library of all a brand’s assets. It should provide on-demand access to whichever and whenever team members require it (and have the necessary permissions to do so). 

This speeds up the creative workflow, ensuring all team members, from marketing and sales to social media, analytics and web development teams, benefit from an integrated workflow and will adhere to brand guidelines. 

Using effective marketing tools, retailers can overcome problems with personalised shopping experiences, deliver on their promises, and enable their brands to capitalise on the power of personalisation. Personalisation is the most lucrative marketing system currently available, if you haven’t got it today, then you should have. Beware though, segmentation is not personalisation.

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