August 18, 2020

Maximizing the Impact of Personalization

Personalization is a key part to the customer journey. Whenever a customer is searching for information or data online, in an application, or in a store, it is important for the business to understand the expectations. The search results are something the business must provide in order to deliver or enhance the visitors request. Maximize the recommendations offered as part of the search results is a keyway to enhance personalization.

At our annual HawkSearch Forum, Tim Ahlenius, VP of Strategic Initiatives and Lance Bohrnell, Senior Project Manager presented the importance of Maximizing the Impact of Personalization as it relates to the current industry landscape as well as how HawkSearch personalization provides an enhanced personalization strategy by leveraging data, machine learning and the ability to improve the customer journey while boosting sales with clients already on your site.

This post will cover the overview of the current landscape, HawkSearch Personalization, Platform Personalization, and touch on the next generation of the HawkSearch Roadmap.

Personalization and the Importance of On-Site Search

Let’s start by understanding the current industry landscape. Building a connection with your prospects is incredibly important and the more personalized the interaction is, the deeper the connection is made for the relationship.

We may believe this to be true, but, only 22% of customers are happy with the level of personalization in digital retail. However, conversational commerce could offer true 1:1 personalization at every stage of the customer journey, and at scale.

Yet, business leaders recognize this is necessary for the client’s overall experience. As we see above, only 8% of customers agree, and the business leaders feel they are providing the superior experience.

Personalization increases the overall effectiveness of the clients repeat business, referral business, as well as speaking positively about your organization. So why do we continue to see this disconnect? Because the tools and resources available do not always address how businesses should interact with prospects or clients. Gartner predicts 80% of Marketers will Abandon Personalization Efforts by 2025. And, 27% of marketers believe data is the key obstacle to personalization. Businesses will need to adopt personalization or will be left behind, and the competition will win.

A study out of the UK indicates that in 2019 only 25% viewed advertising favorably, down from almost 70% in the 1960s. This is due to the disconnect between the product offering and the connection to the buyer.

Data Privacy Impact and Personalization

Businesses already know the value of the data they collect. CCPA will be a good indicator of how much consumers value that same information.

When GDPR went into effect, most consumers did not even notice. Rarely is someone going to choose to browse anonymously and lose out on the benefits associated with data aggregation – unless that person finds out that data is being sold elsewhere.

A necessary plan of action must be addressed in terms of privacy, here are the three steps we recommend taking to get started.

  1. Instill Trust
  2. Use Alternative Collection Methods
  3. Explain the Benefits  

Let’s Talk Search and Personalization – HawkSearch Personalization

The robust HawkSearch platform offers the next level of personalization that adheres to the data privacy impacts mentioned, but also strengthens the relationship between the product offering and the prospects journey. How? HawkSearch uses the data you already have to offer visitor’s advice & alternative ideas. This is done by leveraging the HawkSearch machine learning core providing:

  • Boost sales with clients already onsite
  • Improve the Customer journey
  • Maximizing your businesses personalization strategy

To understand the depth of how HawkSearch personalization works, let’s first explain what is tracked to enhance the personalization journey for clients. Here is a list of items that we consider that will enhance the interactions with the clients.

  • Clicks
  • Pages that users visit
  • Add to cart
  • Purchased shopping cart data
  • Keywords searched
  • Rate
  • Member logins (if applicable)
  • Roadmap – custom events
  • Requires V2 tracking
  • Import order history data
  • And more…

This information is combined with user interactions and different strategies to provide the prospect with relevant information that can be personalized with specific recommendations.

HawkSearch ‘Mix & Match’ Strategies

These strategies are built into the HawkSearch platform and provide personalization as well as recommendations. The robust HawkSearch platform goes way beyond this as well with the enhanced functionality.

Proof is in the Execution

Don’t take my word for it. HawkSearch success stories explain where clients have exceeded results using personalization and recommendations. A couple of notable areas are focused on personalized recommendations. In this example, the client’s shopping cart leverages a combination of HawkSearch strategies, demonstrating how to cross sell items that are used with a hockey stick. This example shows boosting featured items but also personalizing the response base on the prospects interests.

Influencing the Search Results Through HawkSearch

The HawkSearch workbench provide functionality where the search will be impacted. This will allow the administrator to place a higher score, which will increase the greater impact to personalization results.

Understanding the expected results allows for learning or increasing the search multiplier. This will boost items based on the prospect’s engagement. And like personalization results, the higher the score, the greater the impact is on the boosting of the search multiplier.

The HawkSearch workbench has an easy-to-use interface that allows for simple click and real-time modification. Here is an example of the Learning Search Multiplier interface.

Some examples where the workbench can influence personalization would be:

  • Visitor Targets - Visitor targets can be used as triggers to personalize the UX
  • Campaigns – Highlight specific promotions with visitor target rule definitions
  • Product Spotlight - Feature Items on a search result or landing page
  • Boost Rules - Boost products based on visitor targets
  • Reporting Tools - Recommendation conversions, widget summary reports, daily report
  • HawkSearch Preview – Test different visitor targets, Test Product Spotlight & Campaigns, Pin Items, See Boost scores
  • Maximizing Platform Personalization – How CMS’s leverage Personalization

Content Management Systems and Web Content Management maximize the website conversion results by leveraging personalization.

HawkSearch strategically works with most of the industry leading CMS vendors such as Progress Sitefinity, Kentico, Sitecore, Wordpress, iDev platform and more.

Onsite search personalization allows for the optimal digital experience for CMS platforms increasing conversion rates and customer satisfaction. In this example, Pure Hockey is using the CMS and HawkSearch to provide detailed recommendations for the visitor to select and choose from.

HawkSearch’s Next Generation Search and Personalization Platform Roadmap

HawkSearch is on the leading edge in the industry by providing a complete, robust offering to drive results and conversions for websites and their client’s visitor experiences. HawkSearch is continuing to enhance the platform and recently released several new enhancements that will continue to drive results as discussed throughout this post. Several of the new and upcoming functionality includes custom events where clients can send us what they think is important to their site, content recommendations, auto curator, auto build tuned personas, ability to create your own models and build out your own recs strategies, build items sets to expand recommendations engine to account for set of items, AB testing and so much more.

HawkSearch is continuously evolving listing to our clients, their customers, analysts, the industry and our own internal review process to build the best and only intelligent search offering that strives to surpass any other in the industry. We aim to delight our customers and value all input and feedback to make the best offering available in the market – bar none.

We would be honored to show your why we feel the HawkSearch platform is the best and only search and recommendations offering in the industry. Let us show you the platform today.


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