An equation cannot be solved without some values present and the same can be said of product recommendations. Without capturing the who, what, when, where or how of a shopper's behavior and history, it's more difficult to predict the "what" variable of which content works best.
The solution to the omnichannel problem becomes less absolute when a shopper's trail goes cold - like typically when they walk into a brick-and-mortar store. Knowing Episerver's impressive partner network could find the most innovative solutions to the industry's most common challenges, Episerver tasked partners to produce and present a proof-of-concept innovation that would improve customer experience using Episerver capabilities.
Valtech answered the call for Partner Innovation Spotlight participants and impressed Ascend 2018 attendees - taking home a co-win for the inaugural initiative. To learn more about Valtech's solution, check out our interview below with Casper Aagaard Rasmussen, Episerver Practice Lead at Valtech.
What initially interested you in Partner Innovation Spotlight?
Casper Aagaard Rasmussen, Valtech: Episerver's Partner Innovation Spotlight matched our core beliefs perfectly! We are an agency, who create experiences through technology. It is what the Innovation Spotlight was all about. Brands have to stay focused on orchestrating their customer experiences, where integrating them to a unified landscape greatly benefits both customers, consumers and the business itself.
[Casper Aagaard Rasmussen presenting Valtech's proof of concept at Ascend 2018 in Las Vegas.]
What did your team create for the challenge?
Rasmussen, Valtech: Increasing marketing and merchandising efficiency, through optimized product relevancy and data accuracy, are great desires for most companies driving revenue through ecommerce. It has been achievable for a while, by combining known online user behavior with machine-learning...but we have pushed the bar even further. By relying on the Valtech Vantage, we extended the visibility of the customer’s footprint beyond online, and into the physical space. By utilizing our cutting-edge smart beacon technology, we supplemented the Episerver omnichannel marketing capabilities – e.g., product recommendations via Episerver Perform, data visualization via Episerver Insight and marketing automation via Episerver Reach – with customer behavior captured in the customers' physical stores.
We presented benefits to digital merchandisers and commerce professionals, focused on increasing contribution margin and average order value, through true omnichannel customer insights and accurate product recommendations that lead to higher conversion rates. Our customer experience obviously also benefitted from the connectivity between digital and the physical space! Any customer now meets more relevant and up-to-date information, promoting customer loyalty and convenience.
[Valtech connected in-store and online data to get a more holistic view of a user's history.]
What void is this new solution filling?
Rasmussen, Valtech: Adding this tracking technology enables us to react to physical behavior, in the digital space – and vice versa. All the behavioral information from the physical space is merged into a well-connected Episerver eco-system. In other words, it brings online analytics and personalization capabilities to in-person situations.
Which new features of Episerver did you use and what were your thoughts?
Rasmussen, Valtech: Our innovation relies on key Episerver features, including Product recommendations through Episerver Perform, customer and behavior profile via Episerver Profile Store and data visualization and segmentation through Episerver Insights.
Our vast experience in working in true omnichannel setups enabled us to define a successful minimum viable product. It focused on the prerequisite for all this to come to life; associating physical behavior to a omnichannel ready customer profile. We were pleased to confirm that Episerver indeed did follow the industry best practice of powering their holistic digital marketing suite via one common understanding of customer preferences and behavior. It entailed that our efforts in enriching the Episerver Profile Store benefits the wide range of personalization and marketing capabilities offered as part of their Digital Experience Cloud™.
How would you like to see your creation be used in organizations?
Rasmussen, Valtech: Our innovation brings organizational efficiencies by embracing customer data accuracy, true omnichannel customer journey insights and direct marketing system connectivity – e.g., to marketing automation systems, assisting with product recommendation or marketing campaigns.