Zalora Predicts Customer Preferences By Harvesting Big Data

Online shops has become somewhat essential in our lives, right? Sometimes, it even feels like you’re shopping with a good friend even though you’re just adding stuff into your online cart. Many e-commerce websites never fail to give you product recommendations that surprisingly suits your taste. Although everyone has a different preference from one another, they try to do something that is actually amazing; Experience.

Zalora is one of the biggest online fashion retailers that will give you that special experience when you shop at their website. They’re not psychic, but they can predict customers’ most desired goods and give them references that suits them the most. Ever wondered how they know us so well? It’s all because of big data analytics.

The company is aware that big data will change the landscape of the retail industry. When Zalora successfully predicts a customer’s preference, the level of customer satisfaction improves, which will most likely increase the engagement level too. When this happens, Zalora helps the buyer to feel empowered by connecting to the buyer, elevating the buyer and seller relationship into a more personal one.

Understanding Customer Behavior to Predict Customer Preference

Zalora’s analytic technology is backed up by data explosion that has been taking place for the past few years. According to Abhishek Vats, Regional Associate Director, Business Intelligence, and Payments of the Zalora Group, 90% of data in the world has been created in the last two years alone. The company is aware that people are living in a world of data nowadays, where everything is recorded and codified into data sets that define the meaning in our lives.

In Zalora’s case, data helps them predict their customers’ preferences by tracking their transactions. This allows Zalora to have a good understanding of customer’s interests which may result in alternative experiences for the customer. On the other hand, it may drive them away, assuming that they only buy certain things as a one time purchase, maybe as a gift for a friend or because the items were on sale, or simply because they probably just need to buy it once for a special occasion. That’s why Zalora needs to leverage customer data both inside and outside the company. For instance, they would optimize a personalized marketing strategy for different customers, not more than one different strategies targetting the same customers.

However, the change of landscape in the retail industry didn’t just happen because of big data alone but also because the customers. Yes, they actually play a big part in this change, too. Most of the sales are driven by technology because consumers are becoming more tech-savvy day by day. In fact, at least 40% of Zalora’s customers access the website through mobile channels.

Faster, Better Decisions Making

Ever heard this saying, “With great data, comes great responsibility”? Well, let’s just say that many companies have access to a mountain of data but not all of them have the ability to harvest and make sense out of it. Differentiating between the useful bits is already a big task for many organizations. That’s why Zalora has partnered with Birst, a cloud business intelligence and analytics company.

Birst helps Zalora to put business intelligence on the cloud, which enables the company to handle more information. The aim is to leverage data gain deeper to the edge and execute faster. It seems like the hard work has paid off. By partnering with Birst, Zalora has been able to align its’ strategies to provide a more customer-centric experience for their 600 million customers.

Using Evergage to Support Real-Time Personalization Initiatives

Zalora doesn’t want to stop there. Besides Birst, Zalora also uses Evergage, a real-time personalization platform company, to support their real-time personalization initiative across all of the company’s digital properties. This deployment started in July 2015.

Prior to that deployment, Zalora was working with multiple vendors, each provides a specific element of personalization for the company’s website. According to Evergage’s official statement, this made tailoring the customer experience in real time a challenge for the marketing team as they could access only a fragmented view of each customer versus a holistic perspective encompass of each interaction with the brand.

By using Evergage, Zalora can deliver personalized experience by tracking and interpreting visitors’ historical preferences, in-the-moment both in behaviour and intent across all platforms. Evergage provides a well-rounded and actionable view of visitors. This is actually in line with Zalora’s efforts to streamline processes and improve efficiency. They need to unify their personalization program into one single platform.

It seems like Zalora is really pleased with the Evergage deployment. Within the first three months of using Evergage, Zalora had launched several personalization campaigns. They wanted to communicate and capture email addresses at optimal times during shoppers’ visits. The results were quite amazing since Zalora saw a significant increase in their conversion rate and revenue per user for its web-based customers.

Evergage has managed to help Zalora better understand each individual visitor and provide a tailored shopping experience to drive more sales.

Also Applicable to Zalora’s Public Relations

Other than customer preference, Zalora also uses big data technology for public relations.

Christopher Daguimol, Regional PR Director at Zalora Group spoke to marketing-interactive.com, explaining that using data for PR campaigns can help them craft the right message for the right people with the right channel. It gives Zalora’s PR team a higher chance to engage with their audience. These data provides them with information that shows patterns, habits, past results, and even sentiments which allows them to craft a more targeted and relevant messages.

For Zalora, data is not only about looking at the habits of their customers, but also to have measurable results that they can review after every campaign. These include factors that drive customers to hit the buy button, which color do they find attractive, and what do they like about a product. Basically, it’s about understanding what makes them click on the website and app.

However, please keep in mind that big data hasn’t changed the overall PR landscape in a drastic way. Daguimol believes that PR will always be about engagement and storytelling. What changed is how they engage and craft their stories. Big data allows PR professionals to create more targeted and engaging content.

There are tons of benefits that big data could bring to businesses. As for Zalora, big data has helped them create a more personal relationship between buyers and sellers by giving customers’ suggestions that suit their taste or preferences. We’re excited to see what other positive things Zalora might have in store for its customers!

Sarah is a social media content writer for Sonar Platform, currently majoring in Public Relations at the London School of Public Relations, Jakarta

About Sarah Putri 102 Articles
Sarah is a social media content writer for Sonar Platform, currently majoring in Public Relations at the London School of Public Relations, Jakarta

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