Hi Tjeerd, tell us about yourself, your background?
As EVP EMEA I overlook Bloomreach growth strategy, strategic alliances and operations in EMEA. Prior to Bloomreach, I co-founded Hippo and charted the marketing and sales strategy, focusing on the lead to revenue process and seeing the company continuously double in revenue year-on-year. In 2016, Hippo was acquired by Bloomreach to become the leading software platform for digital commerce experiences (currently powering brands representing 25% of retail eCommerce in the US and the UK).
As a thought leader in the DX space, I love to speak at industry events and in my spare time I contribute to the European tech community as a Startup Bootcamp mentor. I hold a Master in Business Economics from the University of Amsterdam.
Online commerce was booming in 2020, and so did consumer reviews. – How can brands better utilize this data to improve their customers’ experience?
Great commerce experiences start with Product Discovery. It is possible to offer relevant products and content to your customers using API-first, AI-powered digital experience platforms that are purpose-built for commerce.
At Bloomreach, we believe velocity comes from the ability to adapt quickly to the next touchpoints, channels, and expectations so we’ve designed our AI-driven search and merchandising tools (brSM), next-gen content management system (brXM), and digital experience platform (brX) and combined this with a CDP to Understand customer behavior, enrich customer data through AI, and immediately launch omnichannel campaigns with our Customer Data and Experience Platform
This way we solve everyday frustrations for marketers, developers, and eCommerce professionals, as well as the deeper technology issues sitting at a company’s digital core, so that businesses can deliver a fantastic digital experience to every visitor.
Tjeerd’s tips for personalization
What tips do you have for companies that want to improve their personalization strategies?
At Bloomreach, we help to create value in commerce experience with deep product data and AI to help people find the right product and deliver great experiences on eCommerce sites. On top of this, Exponea majors in customer data, a very deep understanding of customer profiles and marketing channels so that marketers can execute campaigns across all marketing channels to create impact on conversion, customer activation, and marketing efficiency. For the marketer, this is gold.
The combination of Bloomreach and Exponea gets to the heart of what eCommerce, digital marketing and merchandising is all about: getting the right product in front of the right customer at the right time in the right channel – to drive business growth.
The only way to predict customer behaviors is through data and AI. AI makes sense of the non-linear loops that consumers are traversing and, in doing so, helps us identify the next experiences that we need to put in front of them.
Our combined offering will deliver a personalized journey end-to-end, from the marketing touchpoint through the conversion funnel until a customer decides to buy.
Do you think personalization and customer-centricity are going to become increasingly more relevant in the coming year? How so?
Our State of Commerce Experience: Data, Analysis and Insights conducted by Forrester Consulting shows that digital commerce will keep on accelerating in the future.
This data helps business leaders prioritize what is important to customers right now, understand what their competitors are doing, and assess how the Covid-19 crisis plays out in commerce.
Forrester conducted surveys with B2C and B2B customers and global decision-makers running eCommerce programs and technology purchases (businesses).
Business growth comes from great commerce experiences and great commerce experiences all have one thing in common: exceptional product and content discovery with a deep understanding of the customer. This will be the case in B2B and B2C Digital Commerce
Social media pages have become crucial for companies in most industries, especially in eCommerce. What’s the most common mistake you see in a company’s social media strategy?
This year, social media influencer marketing is a must-have. Whether you are doing it or not, you should know that you already have all the data needed to propel your conversion rate. All it takes is to look closely at your incoming traffic from social media – and unlock the potential of those who influence and those who follow.
One mistake that brands make is not understanding that micro beats macro. With more than 100,000 followers, engagement starts to thin out and users are more fond of someone they can interact with and relate to more closely. Someone who fits your brand style perfectly with between five to ten thousand followers. Micro-influencers might not have the same reach as a celebrity, but their audience will have a greater level of trust in them and they engage the audience best.
What’s the most insightful book you read in 2020?
I got a sneak preview at the new book which is being launched in 2021‘The Digital Seeker: A Guide for Digital Teams to Build Winning Experiences’. It offers an actionable playbook for companies looking to deliver better digital experiences. The key insight is that exceptional digital experiences are much more than marketplaces. They don’t just serve customers’ transactional needs but rather address the deeper problems for which they seek solutions. They are built on a digital-experience platform that provides agile, personalized, scalable performance. And they are created by product-centric digital teams, not traditional organizations.
It looks like working from home is going to stay with us for the foreseeable future. How should Executives gear up to the changing times?
We’re a virtual first company. Currently, everybody is working from home, but when more and more people are vaccinated and borders open up, we expect that colleagues would love to meet each other at QBR’s to plan, brainstorm and socialize.
Last but not least, what is your favorite CX metric?
My two favorite CX metrics are:
- With our CDP, campaign and Marketing automation software we notice how the e-commerce industry has been slowly wising up to the importance of one KPI in particular when measuring company success: customer lifetime value (CLV). As the industry moves away from growth through acquisition and toward growth through customer loyalty, understanding CLV and how to use it has become increasingly essential.
- Product discovery revenue is another KPI I love. For example if you look at the Revenue per Visitor: A searchers convert 3X better than browsers. You want shoppers to search.