Remember a time before ecommerce? When shopping choices were limited to local store offerings and large chains? Price or convenience may have drawn you to the nearest Walmart, but small businesses were the place to go for that personal touch.
The advent of ecommerce flipped this balance on its head. Suddenly, Amazon knew everything about your purchasing history and patterns, while small and medium sized businesses played catch up online. In the transition, many retailers lost that in-person connection with their customer – that relationship and affinity that had sustained their business and carved out their niche.
At Searchspring, we want to restore this balance. We want to give the power of personal touch back to independent retailers. We’re re-thinking the concept of ecommerce personalization in a way that’s not just another faceless, AI-powered algorithm. We want to put the merchandiser – with all of their personality, insight, and decision-making abilities – back at the helm of ecommerce personalization.
Personalized online shopping experiences are nothing new. A quick Google search will lead you to any number of solutions in this space. But if you look closely, you’ll usually find a clunky personalization engine with endless apps and integrations that make merchandising an afterthought.
As a retailer, this can lead to unexpected problems: your ecommerce team has a firm idea of what’s best for your customer in a given moment, but your personalization engine wants to override their intuition and creativity. Rather than eliminate the merchandiser from this process, we believe personalization should enhance their powers without taking away their control. It should remove manual processes and preclude the need for developer intervention, without resorting to a set-and-forget approach.
We like to think that by perfecting search and merchandising first, we have a better understanding of what retailers really need when it comes to personalization. That’s why we acquired 4-Tell’s personalization technology, which we’re now weaving into the foundations of our full suite of solutions.