By Yaron Assabi, CEO of DigitalMall.com
Savvy customers want personalised experiences, but not at the expense of their privacy. AI can help companies strike the right balance between these two conflicting demands.
Increasing customer awareness
Customers today are increasingly aware that those who are willing to disclose personal information to companies are likely to obtain improved levels of service for their efforts. However, while most are happy to have their information used by an organisation in this manner, they still want reassurance that the business has processes in place to protect their individual privacy.
The Protection of Personal Information Act (PoPIA) seeks to codify in law these customers’ demands for transparency and the desire to confirm that enterprises will protect their private data, even while using it to deliver personalised customer experiences.
Personalising the customer experience
According to Yaron Assabi, CEO of DigitalMall.com, the recent e-Commerce Personalisation Benchmark Report 2021, undertaken by Netcore Cloud, noted that an overwhelming 91% of shoppers would abandon an online retailer over a poor shopping experience. It is for this reason, he adds, that it is crucial for retailers to focus on personalising the experience to ﬁt individual preferences.
“This same report outlines how half of retailers say that gathering customer data presents challenges to personalisation since, with privacy paramount to many customers today, switched-on consumers want to know what, exactly, is being done with their information,” he says.
“DigitalMall.com was one of the very first local businesses to offer e-commerce retailing in the market. The increasing demand for both personalisation and privacy has added urgency to our consistent examination of ways in which to improve customer engagement and increase online purchases. We are fully aware of the need to protect customer data and remain onside with the law.”
Operating within Legal Frameworks
He suggests that with POPIA now coming into the mix, we are going to see a fundamental shift in the way in which retailers will need to start using customer information, as they will have to use it correctly and within legal frameworks, while still trying to differentiate themselves.
“For many, this will mean reducing personalisation to focus on compliance, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Those retailers that create an effective transactional relationship – one where data is traded for additional value, but not at the cost of the consumer – will be the ones to succeed.”
AI plays a vital role in the shopping experience
Assabi explains that DigitalMall.com has concluded that the answer lies in utilising a gamut of artificial intelligence (AI) enabled products that make it much easier to personalise the shopping experience, by delivering AI-powered intelligent customer experiences across all touchpoints of the user journey.
“An advanced AI engine is ideal for helping businesses to define a strong customer experience, while keeping their data safe from abuse. On our site, shoppers can easily discover products that they love with personalised widgets across the website – based on their unique tastes and affinities.”
Curated product selections
This, he notes, is because a curated, cross-category list of products that each of these shoppers is most likely to view or buy is made accessible via a single click on DigitalMall.com, elevating their overall experience.
“We know that today, relevant and reliable data is one of the most important aspects of a business strategy. AI and machine learning are expected to generate exponential value by solving marketing and sales problems over the next three years, which afford brands a massive opportunity to capitalise on this technology and deliver a truly personalised channel experience.”
“In fact, I believe AI is going to become one of the most dominant trends in our market in the near future and is one I would recommend to all businesses struggling with the ‘personalisation vs privacy’ challenge. For our part, DigitalMall.com has already embraced the benefits of AI, and partnered with NetCore Cloud, to bring both the purchasing and privacy of our vendors and shoppers,” concludes Assabi.
*Check out the latest edition of the Public Sector Leaders publication here.
For enquiries, regarding being profiled or showcased in the next edition of the Public Sector Leaders publication, please contact National Project Manager, Emlyn Dunn:
Telephone: 086 000 9590 | Mobile: 072 126 3962 | e-Mail: [email protected]