Two Reasons Why Amazon Offers the Best Personalised Customer Experience
E-commerce giant Amazon continues to set the pace in its enormous industry thanks in no small part to its ability to personalise consumer experiences.
Already turning over around $75 billion a year, the company does not appear to be letting up its dominance of the online shopping arena.
Rumours continue to circulate around its alleged interest in Asos, with talk alone enough to send the share price of the highly-successful fashion e-retailer upwards, such is the weight Amazon carries.
But why is it the best in the business when it comes to customer personalisation?
According to a survey conducted by BloomReach, Amazon is streets ahead on the technological side of e-commerce operations. Simple, yet highly-effective features such as one-click ordering provide a personal touch, which is simply built around the site remembering delivery addresses and card details, all of course, entirely securely.
Amazon also remembers what you have browsed and suggests relevant alternatives, also based on what other people have purchased. The review section is also excellent, clearly showing both positive and negative appraisals. The service is both customised and impartial at the same time.
A second factor explaining why other online retailers are falling behind comes in the underestimation of customer expectation.
The BloomReach report found that UK marketers fail to recognise the importance of personalisation. Around 34 percent of retailers said they thought that brand reputation was the most important factor when consumers choose a retailer and just two percent thought that personalised shopping experience was an important factor.
However, 31 percent of consumers said they would be more likely to make purchases if they were offered personalised experiences such as product recommendations or tailored content.
There is also a disbelief among retailers that online experiences can indeed be more personalised than those encountered on the high street, something which Amazon has blown out of the water.
Some 59 percent of consumers believe that online experiences are more unique to their needs, however, a massive 80 percent of retail marketers disagreed with this, saying that online could not offer a more personal experience.
Raj De Datta, co-founder and CEO of BloomReach said: “There is clearly a gap between what UK consumers are looking for in an online experience and what UK retail brands think consumers are looking for. Amazon has raised the bar in customer experience and the challenge is for retailers across the world to try to match that.
“The good news is that consumers are more open to competitor brands, placing little value in brand reputation but a lot of importance in the experience. Marketers need to recognise that brand reputation is not as important as they think it is and more on improving customer experience.”
SAS: Improving the British Army’s decision making with data
SAS’ long-standing relationship with the British Army is built on mutual respect and grounded by a reciprocal understanding of each others’ capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM for SAS UKI, states that the company’s thorough grasp of the defence sector makes it an ideal partner for the Army as it undergoes its own digital transformation.
“Major General Jon Cole told us that he wanted to enable better, faster decision-making in order to improve operational efficiency,” he explains. Therefore, SAS’ task was to help the British Army realise the “significant potential” of data through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks and conduct complex analysis.
In 2020, the Army invested in the SAS ‘Viya platform’ as an overture to embarking on its new digital roadmap. The goal was to deliver a new way of working that enabled agility, flexibility, faster deployment, and reduced risk and cost: “SAS put a commercial framework in place to free the Army of limits in terms of their access to our tech capabilities.”
Doing so was important not just in terms of facilitating faster innovation but also, in Crawford’s words, to “connect the unconnected.” This means structuring data in a simultaneously secure and accessible manner for all skill levels, from analysts to data engineers and military commanders. The result is that analytics and decision-making that drives innovation and increases collaboration.
Crawford also highlights the importance of the SAS platform’s open nature, “General Cole was very clear that the Army wanted a way to work with other data and analytics tools such as Python. We allow them to do that, but with improved governance and faster delivery capabilities.”
SAS realises that collaboration is at the heart of a strong partnership and has been closely developing a long-term roadmap with the Army. “Although we're separate organisations, we come together to work effectively as one,” says Crawford. “Companies usually find it very easy to partner with SAS because we're a very open, honest, and people-based business by nature.”
With digital technology itself changing with great regularity, it’s safe to imagine that SAS’ own relationship with the Army will become even closer and more diverse. As SAS assists it in enhancing its operational readiness and providing its commanders with a secure view of key data points, Crawford is certain that the company will have a continually valuable role to play.
“As warfare moves into what we might call ‘the grey-zone’, the need to understand, decide, and act on complex information streams and diverse sources has never been more important. AI, computer vision and natural language processing are technologies that we hope to exploit over the next three to five years in conjunction with the Army.”
Fundamentally, data analytics is a tool for gaining valuable insights and expediting the delivery of outcomes. The goal of the two parties’ partnership, concludes Crawford, will be to reach the point where both access to data and decision-making can be performed qualitatively and in real-time.
“SAS is absolutely delighted to have this relationship with the British Army, and across the MOD. It’s a great privilege to be part of the armed forces covenant.”