3 Companies Redefining Personalization and What This Means for You


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Findings from VoC Research our firm has conducted among BtoC and BtoB marketers such as MassMutual, Gilt, IBM and QVC indicate that buyers now expect unprecedented levels of personalization. Key to these findings is that personalization has been redefined to include highly personalized experiences;

  • To be truly relevant, experiences have to be based on more than transactional, overlay and inferential data.
  • Personalized experiences must be based on customer’s self defined personality types, attitudes and life stages.
  • Access to these personalized experiences must be available across all elements of the company’s multichannel mix.

Redefining Web Personalization

Wal-Mart upgraded its website to further personalize and provide a unique online shopping experience for each web visitor. Homepages are customized for each shopper based on location, local weather, search, and purchase history. A “My Local Store” feature provides visitors with information pertinent to their local brick and mortar store.

According to Ben Galbraith, VP, Global Products, Walmart Global eCommerce (on his blog,) “[The website] tailors itself much more to our individual customers, personalizing much more of the content than ever before based on many aspects of a customer’s history with us…We’re able to deliver much more relevant suggestions…”

Rethinking a One-to-One Experience

Online retailer, Zulilly, also upgraded its website for new functionality that provides a complete one-to-one experience for each customer. Specific Highlights Include: Customized Home Page and Enhanced Discovery with a completely individualized homepage view, sales events, and product selection based upon customer’s preferences and how they navigate through the site. The homepage provides unique relevant sales events and information for meaningful shopping. Even first time visors have a dedicated area of the homepage.

Incorporate Experience into Customer Lifestyles

Lowe’s Innovation Labs, a division of Lowe’s Companies, Inc., has introduced an in-store and online 3D service enabling homeowners a simple, fun experience designing and researching items for personal expression throughout their home.

Shoppers can customize the color, shape and material of products, and they can also scan certain items, such as out of production antique home accents, to create 3D models for customized production.

“The home is very personal and 3D printing gives homeowners unprecedented access to build items that reflect their individuality,” said Kyle Nel, executive director of Lowe’s Innovation Labs.


1. Understanding customers by more than just their purchase history enables companies to connect on a deeper level and provide experiences rooted in personal value versus just transactions.

2. It is critical to learn how your customers self define their personality types, attitudes and life stages. This deeply personal information, when overlaid on top of traditional transactional, behavioral and inferential data will drive significant increases in response and engagement.

3. Access to this highly personal self defined information must be earned through brand trust. Marketers do not have the inherent right to request this data just because someone is a customer.

Sophisticated customers today expect unprecedented value and service. These are reasonable demands. The marketers that meet these demands are seeing unprecedented response and retention rates.

Ernan Roman
Ernan Roman (@ernanroman) is president of ERDM Corp. and author of Voice of the Customer Marketing. He was inducted into the DMA Marketing Hall of Fame due to the results his VoC research-based CX strategies achieve for clients such as IBM, Microsoft, QVC, Gilt and HP. ERDM conducts deep qualitative research to help companies understand how customers articulate their feelings and expectations for high value CX and personalization. Named one of the Top 40 Digital Luminaries and one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Marketing.


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