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Power delivers effective product recommendations in different phases of the customer journey

Power International AS is the leading electronics retailer in the Nordics since 2015. Their strategy of relying heavily on the omnichannel business has always been successful with a considerable market position and a turnover of 1.1B Eur. 

For a retailer like Power with 20,000 different items to sell, it’s crucial to have personalized and relevant product recommendations for every step in the customer journey. 

Creating an optimal customer journey with so many products is not an easy job. Customer journeys are far from linear but rather a maze of repeated visits, a variety of consumed content, and other actions. The final conversion is seldom gotten during the first website visit. Every customer comes from different circumstances and has different ways to discover products and make purchase decisions.  

All these mean that the whole customer journey needs to be personalized, not just the page where we think the conversion will happen. For example, it doesn’t make sense to show a static front page for the visitor who has previously engaged with the website and is likely to complete the purchase. With this complexity, Power wanted to have the best personalization software in the market. 

The Frosmo personalization software brings product recommendations to a whole new level by using different data points about the customer to select the perfect AI-based recommendation strategies to support the customer journey in the best possible way. These data points include the customer’s location on the site, the phase in the customer journey, segment information based on historical behavior, and customer affinity. Taking the whole customer journey into account makes Frosmo the most versatile personalization software in the market.

The cooperation with Frosmo and Power started when Frosmo got a chance to prove our product recommendation capabilities against a leading competitor, increasing the overall conversion which is their most important KPI to follow.

To support the whole customer journey, we implemented Frosmo’s AI-driven product recommendations strategies for the following pages in their online store: frontpage, category page, product detail page, add to cart pop-up, and search page results.

 

Great results in conversion rates and average order value

With product recommendation strategies implemented on the pages, the results have been proven strong and effective. Purchase conversion rates have gone up by 170% compared to the group who didn’t see recommendations. The average order value got up by 41% compared to the group who didn’t see the recommendations.

“We’re very satisfied with the increase in conversions and average order values that Frosmo brings us with AI-driven product recommendations. The overall experience of implementing the recommendation strategies and the cooperation with Frosmo has been straightforward and was surprisingly deployed as a turnkey project. I would highly recommend using Frosmo against other competitive solutions.”

Jarkko Lehtismäki, CTO, Power International AS

 

Different recommendations strategies for friction-free customer journey orchestration

Personalized and AI-driven product recommendations aim to perfect the customer experience by helping the visitors go through the customer journey as friction-free as possible. Here are the strategies implemented for different Power sites.

  1. The first strategy is to advance the customer journey towards better product discovery and conversion on the front page. Recommendations show the most popular products at the moment, based on most converted and most-visited products by all users. The second set of recommendations shows recently viewed products by the customer.
    Power recommendations- popular products
    Power recommendations- popular products

     

    Power recommendations- recently viewed products
    Power recommendations- recently viewed products

     

  2. In the category pages, the aim is to find the most relevant product to purchase. Two strategies were implemented to make the product discoverability easier. The first set of category page recommendations shows the trending products based on highly-converted and most popular products. To enforce product relevancy and increase average order value, behavioral data is also used to show recommendations based on particular user interests in a specific category and combine it with products viewed or bought together.
    Power recommendations- trending products
    Power recommendations- trending products

     

  3. The product page is all about making sure the conversion happens and that the average order value increases. Traditionally, customers put a lot of effort to choose the product that best suits their needs. To make the choice easier, Frosmo creates recommendation strategies based on relevant products viewed or bought by others and uses historical data of the visitor to recommend other related products.

    Power recommendation strategies based on relevant related products viewed
    Power recommendation strategies based on relevant related products viewed

     

  4. Basket pop-ups are being developed to include physical store data for recommendations used to raise the level of relevancy and effective cross-selling.
    Power basket pop-up recommendations
    Power basket pop-up recommendations

     

“We’ve skimmed the surface of Frosmo and have seen a great potential for our business in the near future. Some of the most interesting future aspirations include increasing AOV by tweaking the AI-recommendation strategies and gaining higher organic traffic by combining recommendations with content-crunching NLP”,  Jarkko Lehtismäki concludes.

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Product page personalization through AI-driven recommendations

Website personalization is incredibly important. We all know that customers are more likely to buy from an online store that provides personalized experiences than from one that does not. Personalization is the core part of the experience that online businesses provide and aims to perfect the customer experience.

Recommendations remain as one of the most powerful tactics to personalize product pages. Using recommendations on product pages aim to increase average order values (AOV), but also to keep the customers in the sales funnel.


Why personalize the product page? 

First, it’s important to understand how a customer arrives at a site. Data suggests that about 20-35% of retail website traffic lands on product pages since most people shopping online use search engines and follow ads. Hence, a product page is often the first step in a customer journey where they spend the most time browsing and choosing the products they want to purchase.

People who land on product pages have a clear need they are looking to fulfill, so this presents a good opportunity to begin a great relationship with them. Personalization on product pages enables retailers to reach out to customers in a way that directly and precisely meets their needs and desires. It’s about giving your customers more power, and reasons to come back for more.

Product pages are also an important part of SEO and SEM, and getting the best out of product pages will improve ROI of your campaigns. Personalization on product pages, combined with SEO best practices will improve the site’s visibility and ranking on search engines and will put it on the fast track to success.

Product pages have a significant long-tail impact on your business through products that are not best-sellers and usually not visible in standard recommendations. A clear strategy in personalization will keep you focused on your goal: whether to offer complimentary items to increase the average order value, or whether to offer alternatives to help improve conversions. Most companies use a hybrid of strategies that can be A/B-tested to achieve the best of both worlds.

Typical goals for product page personalization 

    • Aim for more product page clicks, views, conversions, and reduce bounce rates
    • Make it easy to view all comparable products in the category
    • Enrich product information with other useful insights
    • Create trust and affinity by presenting relevant content to start the customer journey
    • Present more options for customers who land on product pages

 

Recommendation strategies on product pages to maximize your success

Make sure you have the basics of a product page covered

Make sure you have the basics of a product page covered

  1. A great-looking product image on a white background that loads fast, with easy clicks to the next image and as many product images as are available
  2. Price should be seen immediately and clearly, with discounts highlighted, in numbers and percentages, if possible, also in the corner of the product image
  3. CTA (add-to-cart) should be visible and as high as possible, and sticky on mobile
  4. Product availability
  5. Delivery information is crucial so it has to be clear and visible
  6. Product rating and reviews by other customers, options and very short description next to the image on the desktop, below the image on mobile
  7. Product recommendations
  8. Further product information


Leverage the powerful features of a product page

Leverage the powerful features of a product page

  1. Product videos
  2. Links to the product catalog or information and other product reviews around the web
  3. Additional recommendations: complementary products if available, 
  4. Information about your company and why to choose you 
  5. Customer images and customer videos
  6. Articles, blog posts, other content about the product
  7. Sense of urgency or fear of missing out on some features, for example, prices or free shipping available only at a certain time, or only a limited number of products left
  8. Social proof features such as products that other customers have bought recently or  bestseller tags

 

Utilize the exit intent feature

Utilize the exit intent feature

If the customer is about to leave the product page, personalize the experience with the exit-intent feature. Use an exit popup when the customers attempt to leave without purchasing. Give them a reason to complete the checkout process. Offer discounts, a coupon code, or some freebies.

Exit intent can be:

  • A pop-up, ribbon, drop-down, etc.
  • Asking for an email address to let them know of the future similar offers.
  • An offer of a discount coupon for other products
  • Testing another recommendation, for example, a best-seller product within the category.


Take advantage of the 404 error page

Take advantage of the 404 error page

If your customers end up on a misspelled URL, a broken link, or a product page that doesn’t exist anymore, make something good out of an almost bad shopping experience. These 404 pages are still part of your online store, so create a nice-looking page and offer other products. Test different recommendation strategies, and add an image describing your brand and your value proposition. An optimized and well-strategized 404 page can help you convert visitors into customers and perhaps convince them to sign up on your email list.

 

Maximize the impact of the product page on the homepage

Maximize the impact of the product page on the homepage

Traditional customer journeys no longer exist. Today, customer journeys are non-linear and unpredictable. Customers don’t end up buying a certain product the first time they visit a particular site. Brands need to realize this new reality and take engagement to a deeper, more complex level.

One of the most unused personalization features is the impact that a product page visit should have on the homepage. Many customers are more interested in browsing than looking for a specific item. Even those who do have a particular product in mind may change their mind after learning more about it.

Customers will usually look at more than one product page during a single session so you can remind them of previously viewed items. For example, a customer has visited a product page and after a few hours or days, returns to or visits the same site, but this time, the front page. To increase conversion rate, the front page hero banner should scale and the last viewed product is visible on the right side of the homepage. This is a great way of targeting new potential customers with customized recommendations.

Front page recommendations should also change accordingly. You are in the best position to offer the most relevant content. For first-time visitors on your site, you can recommend the most viewed or trending products but for second visits, you should remember and show the products that the customers have viewed recently.

Use a strong call-to-action, say “Pick up where you left off” to remind the customer about the items from the last session and deliver an uninterrupted shopping experience. Recommending similar products, and other new brands, trending items, and other categories to explore, based on my recent browsing activity.

 

Ensure conversions of add-to-basket

Ensure conversions of add-to-basket

Directing the customer to a new page once a product has been added to the basket can increase AOV. On the top of the new page, there’s a summary of what has been added to the basket and a possibility to check out. The rest of the page is filled with different recommendations, about 5-8, of which the first ones should be complementing products/features. The others should show a broader set of products available. At the bottom of the page, there should be recommendations about previously viewed products.

You can recommend the bestsellers, or if the customer has purchased several dresses in the past, you can recommend other similar styles that she might like. The upsell could also be items that go with the products they want to purchase or have already purchased. By including category suggestions, you will broaden their choices as widely as possible, and increase the likelihood that they see an option they want to explore further.


Increasing customer lifetime value with personalized overlays

Increasing customer lifetime value with personalized overlays

A powerful alternative way to increase AOV is to load an overlay on top of the product page. This overlay confirms what has been added to the basket and recommends complementing/matching products. The overlays need to be relevant to the customer. Target each customer with something relevant to them to push them into the action you want them to take. You risk losing a potential customer if you interrupt the customer journey with a random ad about something they don’t really want. Learn more about your customer, and focus on driving the action that you want them to take.

Personalize every touchpoint through smart product recommendations

You don’t need to redesign your whole ecommerce site to offer customers personalized experiences. One of the best approaches is to add lots of small but powerful elements that together transform the way that new and existing customers interact with your website. Utilize personalization through recommendation tactics on product pages. Engagement will deepen, sales will grow, and revenues will increase.

It’s not easy to create messages and offers that feel truly personal and relevant to potential customers, but utilizing personalization through smart recommendation strategies can become a very powerful marketing tool with many benefits to both customers and businesses.

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The city of Helsinki – towards better digital user experiences

Paradigmatic change is ongoing in how digital user experiences are developed. The change is mainly driven by dynamic and growing user expectations that demand individual digital experiences, and fast and easy services with intuitive user interfaces. The timespan that people are willing to waste with poor digital user experience is getting all the time lower.

Big cities, like the Finnish capital Helsinki, is no exception. They need to interact with society and serve their citizens digitally. The challenges that cities usually face are the complex organizational structures in silos, many different APIs combined with little resources, and a vast variety of services they offer to serve all citizens. The whole digital user journey is often overlooked because of these complexities.  

For citizens, it’s important that the user experience is seamless, regardless of the different administrative boundaries. The usability should be great and all the information is easy to find according to the interests of the visitors. 

It has now become imperative to have actionable and highly utilized data to create relevant, personalized user experiences. Luckily, new personalization technologies enable and fuel the speed of digital changes.  

The goal for Mikko Rusama, CDO from the city of Helsinki, is to make the city of Helsinki the most functional city in the world utilizing opportunities enabled by digitalization. The journey with Frosmo started in fall 2019 with My personalized hel.fi digital service. 

“Helsinki aims to be the city in the world that makes the best use of digitalization. It’s been a pleasure to work with Frosmo. Their knowledge and technical expertise of personalized user journeys have helped us to get closer to our goal.”
Mika Lappalainen,  Editor-In-Chief, The city of Helsinki


My personalized hel.fi

My personalized hel.fi is a digital service where a visitor is able to search for local events, information, and news that are close to them. 

Frosmo’s solution combines different data points by utilizing different APIs and combining information that would normally be scattered in different parts of their website. By using the geolocation data, the service can recommend events and news that are happening in close proximity (up to 1 km) of the searcher. The service also allows the user to search by writing the address if the events of some other location are more interesting.  

The results are shown on the map as well as on the list. 

Goals for the solution: 

  • Make sure that the content is easier to find and more easily accessible
  • Better usability of the website
  • More personalized user experience 
  • Better engagement with different services 

 

The city of Helsinki- towards better digital user experiences

 

“We have validated the Frosmo personalization software and it has proven to be reliable as it satisfies the rigid requirements of the City of Helsinki technology.”
Kalle Mikkolainen, Service Manager, IT Department.


Frosmo works as a headless front-end technology that enables an easy way to combine multiple APIs, data points, and segmentation for one seamless user experience. It doesn’t require any changes to the back end making it easy to use by non-technical employees. 
Read more about how we help cities and government agencies give easier access to the information that people need. Reach out, we’re happy to help.

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How website personalization delivers effective communication in the public sector

The concept of personalization has been ongoing in the retail industry for years now. But for the public sector industry, municipal leaders are just starting to realize the potential of crafting customized customer experiences based on user behavior and context.

Many government websites host a vast variety of content, information, and news that is easily comparable to a big corporation operating in various businesses. Even a small local government site might host information about parking permits, daycare services, tourist attractions, and building permits while trying to attract new employees – just to mention a few. An unexpected situation like the COVID-19 crisis adds another layer of complexity for communication. 

Web visitors want to have the information they need without spending any extra time on the site. If the information is difficult to find or not interesting enough, web visitors will end up contacting the call centers which will then add up to the overall costs of the service. 

Personalization helps the users find the information according to their interests thus making the service relevant and more engaging. For citizens, it’s important that the user experience is seamless, regardless of the different administrative boundaries. The visitors seek great usability and the easiness to find information.

The benefits of personalization in the public sector:

  • More relevant messaging saves the resource of call centers and have a direct link to cost savings.
  • Employees are happier due to reduced routine work-load in support.
  • Make all information and content easily accessible across administrational boundaries for all citizens.
  • Better digital services bring more satisfied visitors that engage more with the content.
  • Allow rapid pervasive response to evolving situations by allowing targeting content to certain groups.
  • Achieve all these without expensive systems projects or adding manual labor.

    Personalized content block in public sector
    Personalized content block – Easy way to start providing the content that site visitors want and need


Easy way to start personalization

Personalization can take many forms, but to ease the adoption, we’re recommending to start with the following use cases that are very easy and fast to implement to any public sector site: 

  1. Content recommendations: Frosmo helps site visitors find the correct content by using AI algorithms to recommend relevant content. Recommendation strategies include  ‘Visitors who viewed this article also viewed’ and ‘Trending articles right now’.
  2. Local governments find location-specific personalization interesting as it consists of many geographical areas hosting their own services and events. Site visitors can select their area of interest or the technology can detect their approximate location. This has been popular because otherwise, the local content is buried under the general content or administrative categories. 
  3. Targeted pop-ups or ribbons to communicate urgent information like the COVID-19 related instructions and most recent updates.

 

Personalization and GDPR

Many are concerned about GDPR. Frosmo is fully GDPR-compliant. Personal data is not needed to provide dynamic and relevant website experiences.

Read more about the solution for the public sector and the privacy policy.

 


About the writer:

Maija Erkheikki has over 15 years of experience in the international software industry and is driven by a passion to use technology to improve the quality of life. This passion was best exemplified in her role as a consultant for healthcare companies, working on business processes and performance management. This led to a career in the partner-driven software business, where it is critical to build win-win-win models. Currently, she is fascinated by the digitalization of commerce and how artificial intelligence reshapes all industries.

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Personalization brings outstanding customer experiences in all touchpoints

Website personalization is a great way for travel providers to turn the data from customers into a great customer journey that will eventually increase conversions, improve ancillary revenue, and drive customer loyalty. The goal behind website personalization in travel is to help customers find what they need in planning the holiday of their lives. They expect a customized itinerary and other tips and tricks on what to do and what to explore while in the chosen travel destination.

Ruka ski resort is one of the leading ski resorts in Finland and the market leader in the ski travel industry with nearly 20% share of ski pass sales. 


For Ruka ski resort, personalization also starts with segmenting visitors: customers who show interest in going to Ruka and travelers who are already in the location. There are two seasons in Ruka, winter, and summer, that attract very different types of visitors. The customer data is then used to show personalized content to push events, ancillaries such as ski lift tickets, and different accommodation options. 

“We’re excited about all the possibilities that personalization brings to us to make the customer experience in all touchpoints of the travel customer journey outstanding — it brings happy customers but also great business results,” Jenni Ihatsu Director, Marketing & E-commerce, Rukakeskus Oy/Pyhätynturi Oy.

The travelers’ interests and needs may also vary based on where they depart. Segments based on geolocation are important to give the right kind of information from different kinds of travel options. The interest is also different in certain scenarios, for example, when the customer is already in the location or when he is still on his way. Mobile users who are already in Ruka receive special content exclusive for travelers such as current events, slope opening times, and snow situations.  

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Rajala delivers fast, easy, and relevant personalized experiences with Frosmo

Rajala is a privately owned photo specialist chain founded over 100 years ago. With online and physical stores in Finland and Sweden, they sell photo equipment and accessories. Rajala’s product selection and customer base have grown steadily, enabling the company to expand its operations.

Juhani Toppari, a photo enthusiast and a former photographer, found his calling in the real camera heaven, Rajala, the biggest camera retailer in Finland. He has been working at Rajala for 20 years now, at the same time they opened the online store called Rajala Pro Shop. Currently, he works as the marketing director and the ecommerce manager.

 

Why personalization is important for ecommerce businesses

Being in the business for over 100 years, Rajala has pretty good knowledge of what customers want, how to serve them, and how to make them happy. The camera industry has changed significantly since smartphones came, influenced by the availability of superior camera functions on these handy gadgets. Small digital cameras lost their charm and the business has shifted towards the high-end cameras for real photo enthusiasts.

The purchasing process of cameras is never linear. The planning phase for a new camera lasts about three months on average. Camera buyers will return to the website as many times as possible to see the latest offers and check out the best deals. They also visit the physical stores to have a look and feel of the cameras they plan to purchase. Lastly, they read reviews online on different forums and other websites before making their final decision.

Great omnichannel customer experience across different channels is very important and Rajala feels strongly that the level of the customer service has to be the same both in online and offline stores. They believe that creating more relevant experiences not only reduces the manual merchandising efforts but also increases conversions and the relevance of the customers’ shopping experiences. With personalization, Rajala has been able to grow their conversions by 38%.  In this article, we explain how this was achieved.

 

Why Frosmo

Rajala has acknowledged from a long time ago that product recommendations are really valuable for online businesses, with their previous experiences with other companies. After several rounds of reviews from different solutions, Rajala decided Frosmo can cater to their needs more effectively through its AI-driven recommendation engine and personalization capabilities.

Offering irrelevant recommendations was Rajala’s prominent pain point. To tackle this challenge, Rajala wanted a robust personalization strategy that’s easy to start, fast to implement, and would help them remain relevant to their diverse customers. With Rajala’s wide product assortment, Frosmo ensures that relevant products and content are recommended to each website visitor.

Frosmo combines AI and machine learning with creative human input. As Juhani puts it, “There isn’t an algorithm yet that would know customer behavior the same way we do. We appreciate the automation that AI provides, but also want to tweak it ourselves to give the human touch and execute business plans in with best practice.”

Rajala is happy with Frosmo for getting the help they need as fast as possible. Juhani also appreciates the fact that Frosmo does not slow the website, has great A/B testing and recommendations capabilities backed up with exceptionally good customer service. What else could an online retailer ask for? 

 

Proper segmentation is key to smart product recommendations

With different buyer groups, customer segmentation according to interests and behavior is a crucial step for planning the customer journey to deliver personalized customer experiences.  

At Rajala, there are 30 different segments. Among the popular ones are:

  • Segments related to products
  • Different levels of segments based on brands
  • Segments identifying people engaging with different marketing campaigns.

Recommending the right product at the right time of the buyer journey is key to a successful ecommerce business. Rajala has a lot of different products and brands so personalized recommendations make it easier for customers to navigate throughout the different product pages and make the experience much smoother.

Rajala canon recommendations

 

Ecommerce businesses find it challenging for buyers to add more items in the shopping cart as they usually would in physical stores. In physical stores, buyers rely heavily on the recommendations and feedback from competent salesmen. In online stores, Rajala replicates this customer experience through AI-driven personalized recommendations. They use automated product recommendations and banners to promote campaigns. Through smart recommendations, potential online buyers can see the products and accessories that would benefit them the most according to their profiles. 

There are customers who are interested in cheaper camera models hence showing expensive accessories during checkout can only distract their final purchase decision. It’s all about knowing the situation your buyers are in and their motives to get the purchase done as smoothly as possible. 

Here are some of Rajals’s recommendations strategies:

  1. Recommending products that are most viewed or purchased by a visitor segment or the most viewed or purchased items in a product category
  2. Last week’s or last month’s popular and trending items, or newly added products
  3. Products related to recent purchases 


It’s very important to show the right accessories to the returning customers, who have, for example, bought a camera already. Exceptional customer service extends to recommending accessories that the buyer would benefit the most. Personalized recommendations on the front page make the revisiting buyer feel more welcomed thus leading to a smoother buying process.

 

KPIs and benefits of personalization

KPI’s = Grow the average order values, increase revenues, and enhance loyalty

Effective personalization and smart recommendations are strategies to achieve the goals of an ecommerce business. The whole front page of Rajala is personalized by Frosmo. It shows the generic page for the first-time visitors but customized according to interests and behavior for returning visitors.

“We see personalization as the only way to reach ecommerce KPIs. Personalization makes the navigation easier for the visitor to find what they are looking for as friction-free as possible”, Juhani says. “Recommendations help the buyer to select the best products and accessories and have a direct link to the bigger average order value. Customers are satisfied with the bundles they buy and keep coming back for more accessories”, he adds.

 

Testing for better customer experience

With A/B testing, Rajala makes sure that the customer experience reflects customer expectations. At the same time, it gives the marketing team the information they need for data-driven decisions.

Rajala recently tested a feature by Frosmo where visitors can easily see the accessories associated with the product. They have not only the option to add them in the cart but they can also see the amount automatically calculated as they hover over the ‘add to cart’ option. This feature makes it easy for potential customers to make purchase decisions for the products they need.

Rajala is also experimenting with the place of product filtering. Juhani notes, “We have a gut feeling of what would be the best place for the product filtering bar but we let the data guide us to the right placement so it’s a data-driven decision and not just a hunch. The Frosmo Platform makes it easier for us to do testing and implement these changes directly on the website”.

 

Personalization takes time and resources

Frosmo recommendations can start showing good results immediately, but it shouldn’t just end there. To really get the best out of the personalization software, you need to allocate time and resources to effectively plan the strategies and constantly test and optimize the customer experiences. 

Frosmo has helped Rajala in building new strategies and ideas on how to finetune the personalization, ie. creating different segments to serve their different buyers better. 

Download the case study.

Rajala case study

 

 

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Better customer experiences through personalization in the travel industry

A holiday is so much more than just being on the actual destination. The customer journey consists of an active pre-travel phase which at times, can be more significant and time-consuming than the actual trip. 

Travel momentsSeveral studies indicate that travelers experience a significant boost in happiness during the planning stages of the trip as they look forward to the holiday experiences ahead of them. The travel customer journey stages include dreaming of the holiday, actively planning and booking the holiday, the actual holiday experience, and lastly, sharing the memories. 

All these micro-moments in the customer journey are important. They give travel providers a golden opportunity to create unforgettable customer experiences that turn website visitors into loyal customers. But during the delicate dreaming and planning phase of the holiday, many things can go wrong if the customer journey is not planned well. 

 

What is website personalization?

Personalization is a hot trend in the travel industry but it’s often referred to as how to tailor advertising and promotion in third party sites. Website personalization is creating a custom-tailored and seamless customer experience based on what you know about a person’s needs, wants, and preferences. With personalization, you can deepen your relationship with the customer by automating the delivery of relevant content for the right person at the right time.

Website personalization will not only improve customer relationships but also enhance customer retention and boost revenue. With businesses moving away from the one-size-fits-all approach, they can present relevant messages across all touchpoints along the customer journey. A seamless experience that responds to their specific travel needs keeps travelers happy and makes them come back for repeat purchases.

In the dreaming phase, web visits are regular and travelers need to have a variety of options to customize their holidays and enough content to learn more about the destinations available. Product recommendations play a big part to show what options and content are available during the desired timeline. It’s also critical that the web visitors are segmented according to their interests and are shown only personalized dynamic content and activity options that fit their holiday plans. 

The goal behind website personalization in travel is to help customers find what they need in planning the holiday of their lives. They expect a customized itinerary and other tips and tricks on what to do and what to explore while in the chosen travel destination.

 

Business benefits of personalization in travel

A case study done by Aurinkomatkat, the biggest travel provider in Finland, searched the value of personalization among Finnish travelers. Their findings were: 

66% of consumers say they appreciate individually tailored offers from travel companies

61% of consumers say they would appreciate recommendations in digital services, that are based on their relationship with the company

60% of consumers say it’s important that the company remembers their previous behavior and offer products and services based on that. 

Website personalization is a great way for travel providers to turn the data from customers and vacation dreamers into a great customer journey that will eventually increase conversions, improve ancillary revenue, and drive customer loyalty.
 

Case study: Aurinkomatkat

Segmenting website visitors is key to personalized customer experiences. Aurinkomatkat has almost 500 different segments based on clicks, searches, device types, geolocation, and booking data. An example of the segment would be families who booked a holiday that starts in less than 30 days — a great segment to start recommending extra activities during the holiday.

Another example of a segment is based on geolocation. Aurinkomatkat targets website visitors who live near the city of Oulu and offers holidays with direct flights from Oulu. This has proven to be a very successful segment with a 498% increase in conversion.

With the gathered data from different segments, Aurinkomatkat can show holiday offers to website visitors according to their interests: from adventurous packages for adrenaline junkies and family deals to travelers with kids. By keeping the content relevant, it becomes easier to find that perfect trip and as a result, conversions go up significantly. For example, by recommending the most viewed hotels, their conversion rates went up to 248%

Overall, 50% of bookings come from clicks through personalized elements. 


Case study: RUKA

Ruka ski resort is one of the leading ski resorts in Finland and the market leader in the ski travel industry with nearly 20% share of ski pass sales. 

For Ruka ski resort, personalization also starts with segmenting visitors: customers who show interest in going to Ruka and travelers who are already in the location. There are two seasons in Ruka, winter, and summer, that attract very different types of visitors. The customer data is then used to show personalized content to push events, ancillaries such as ski lift tickets, and different accommodation options. 

“We’re excited about all the possibilities that personalization brings to us to make the customer experience in all touchpoints of the travel customer journey outstanding — it brings happy customers but also great business results,” Jenni Ihatsu Director, Marketing & E-commerce, Rukakeskus Oy/Pyhätynturi Oy.

The travelers’ interests and needs may also vary based on where they depart. Segments based on geolocation are important to give the right kind of information from different kinds of travel options. The interest is also different in certain scenarios, for example, when the customer is already in the location or when he is still on his way. Mobile users who are already in Ruka receive special content exclusive for travelers such as current events, slope opening times, and snow situations.  

 

Testing and optimization is part of the customer experience

Testing is always crucial as many improvements can cumulatively turn into big conversion rate generators. Testing helps you gather data to show what should be developed next, reduce risks in costs, understand the audience on a deeper level, and solve the pain points that your visitors might have. Both Ruka and Aurinkomatkat use A/B/n testing to find out which variations of banners, recommendations, navigation, CTA’s, and content perform better. 


About the writer:

Wilfrid Kroath has been in sales for the past 15 years and worked with numerous global brands such as BT, DHL, H&M, Kone, Lego, Nokia, and UPM. He has a solid track record of technology, software, and business development. Besides his current position, he teaches business design and rapid prototyping courses to university students and SMEs.

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Is your marketing automation delivering great customer experiences?

The majority of purchase decisions nowadays are based on customer experiences (CX), not on prices. CX should be on top of every marketer’s agenda so it’s good to see that the importance of CX is finally getting noticed. In the Annual Digital Trends Report by Econsultancy and Adobe, marketers identified ‘optimizing the customer experience’ as the most exciting business opportunity in 2018.

Planning great customer experiences needs a holistic approach with personalized dynamic content to the entire customer journey. Do the tools we use now help us achieve great customer experiences? 

We’ve learned how to use marketing automation tools effectively to design customer journeys with engaging content up to the campaign landing page. If the conversion doesn’t happen at that point, we tend to rely on retargeting advertising to bring the customers back to the campaign site. But to truly transform customer interactions into customized experiences, website personalization is required, and this goes beyond marketing automation. 

In the real world, the customer journey doesn’t end on the campaign landing page but marks the start of the purchasing process. This is where website personalization comes in it helps the customer complete the desired task as efficiently as possible.

 

Personalization connects the dots for great CX

The exploring and evaluation phases of the customer journey start from the landing pages and this whole process is never linear. In practice, it means going back and forth different pages, exploring the content, and finally, building the confidence of making the right purchase decision. 

How we acknowledge revisiting customers and deliver more information about the products they’ve previously looked at is key to building up their confidence and making their customer journey as friction-free as possible. When effectively done, personalization helps customers progress through the customer journey better and easier. It connects the dots between marketing automation and the purchasing funnel on the website by creating personalized end-to-end customer journeys, thus enabling great customer experiences. 

Although marketing automation enables marketers to make the cross-channel experience a seamless journey for their customers, it shouldn’t stop there. To take marketing automation one step further, marketers should use website personalization to customize and optimize customer experiences. With website personalization and marketing automation, you can make customer experiences even more granular and focused. When combined, it is easier to deliver a full-lifecycle and create a cohesive customer experience across every channel. 

Marketing automation-website personalization

 

The benefits?

Personalization helps the brand to deliver more emotionally relevant content throughout the customer journey on an individual level. It’s easier to enhance customer satisfaction and drive impact to the bottom line when customer needs are anticipated. Loyalty is among many things that great customer experiences can help achieve. With loyalty comes another good thing, customers tell their amazing experiences to other people which then opens up to opportunities of gaining more customers. Read more about the benefits of personalization.

 

Interested to learn more?

If you’re interested to learn more about how personalization can help you achieve your customer experience goals, watch this 30-minute webinar with Weld. We’ll discuss the importance of creating meaningful customer journeys that also bring business results. We strongly believe that website personalization with scalable content creation is key to putting customer experience at the center of your digital service.

Webinar: Personalization with scalable content creation


About the writer:

Tanja Säde is the Chief of Marketing at Frosmo. With 20 years of experience in technology marketing, she is always curious about the latest technologies and marketing trends. She is enthusiastic about creating superior digital customer experiences through data, personalization, and AI. Outside of work, she is a yoga addict.

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How AI-driven personalization and human creativity make a winning pair

Artificial Intelligence (AI) provides opportunities for augmenting human creativity. You can now design campaigns that deliver the right experience in the right place and at the right time. Combining machine-driven analytics and human creativity holds the key to creating the best possible customer experience. The huge benefits from this collaboration mean value for businesses — more revenues, more profitability.

 

The power of the human mind and creativity

Machine learning is going to change every single aspect of technology, but no machine will be able to mimic the creative ability of the human mind.”
Shantanu Narayen
CEO, Adobe

When we imagine an AI-powered future, our biggest fear is dehumanization. New technologies have already revolutionized and disrupted digital marketing in many ways, and marketers sometimes worry that AI will eventually replace them. But even though AI can enable dynamic optimization and powerful personalization, it has limited capacity to create new ideas that truly resonate. The reason is simple — most of the best theories start from human experiences, past scenarios, and observations.

There will always be a need for intuition, which is largely part of the human creative process. Humans are way better at responding to extreme situations or unpredictable scenarios. Therefore, even at its most powerful, AI won’t replace human intelligence and creativity any time soon. It’s only by maintaining the human touch that AI can add value to businesses.

Humans have contextual information when reading results from machines, achieved by vast experiences with customers, understanding human behavior, familiarity with time-related insights such as seasonal events, holidays, festivals, and trends in the market as well as macro-economic information. For instance, a customer looking for a particular pair of shoes in your ecommerce store starts a conversation with a chatbot which immediately presents her with a range of available items and other options based on the description given and her previous shopping history. When the item was placed in the shopping cart, the chatbot tells her of a personal discount because of her nth time store visit and then offers some personalized recommendations for complementary items. 

Everything is going smoothly and the conversation is as human as possible when the customer suddenly asks a question about the store’s plans to have some items related to the upcoming Olympic Games. The event is in less than a year’s time and the customer wants to have a pair of shoes with the logo. The chatbot will find this too complex because it hasn’t been programmed into the system yet, so it passes the chat session seamlessly to a live agent who resolves the query. Algorithms are great at optimization and automation but have restrictions on interpreting findings held up against possible outcomes based on context.

AI helps you to get things done faster and more efficiently. It also opens the door to new and exciting ways to experiment, test, and learn from data to create better and improved customer experiences. But it’s essential that brands keep using the human touch to fully understand the nuances of human behavior.

 

Embracing the magic of AI-driven personalization

Customers have learned to expect personalized messages and offers delivered in every stage of their shopping journey, and they won’t settle for anything less. Their needs and preferences change all the time. By leveraging the power of AI, it’s easy to gather in-the-moment insights that are critical in predicting what customers want. AI helps create and deliver tailored customer experiences more effectively and transparently through highly targeted content. 

The problem with merely relying on gut feeling is that it doesn’t have numbers to back it up. That’s when data becomes crucial. For example, AI provides a careful analysis of your consumer’s past buying behavior hence giving you the opportunity to customize the way your ecommerce homepage should look and what products your customer should see. Instead of using an image that you prefer and feel would work, the AI-powered engine creates a dynamic website personalization that leads to higher conversions and greater customer retention with minimal effort. Machine learning does not hamper human intuition, but it can help differentiate between an inspired idea and a bad hunch.

Humans and machines can complement each other resulting in increasing productivity. This collaboration could increase revenue by 38 percent by 2022.
Accenture

In marketing, it’s already common to drive personalization programs or to enable predictive analytics. One of the greatest benefits of AI, however, is the ability to carry the workload and free up human time. Machine learning provides valuable insights on the behavioral patterns of the user base which help make business decisions. Because of automation, people get more time for strategic thinking and planning. With AI, it’s easier to scale, test, measure, and harness ideas, and instantly produce hundreds of iterations — something that would take ages for a human to do.

 

The dynamic duo: When AI gets creative

Data and tech only really fly when human thinking and vision are brought to bear on it.”
Paul Hughes, Founding Partner, and Strategist
Rothco (part of Accenture)

Marketing magic begins with technology-driven insights that enhance human creativity. When AI is done right, it can amplify and enhance human productivity, and open an exciting world of new possibilities. The idea is for humans to drive technology and for machine learning to heighten the capabilities of humans. 

AI can be used to validate and improve ideas by ensuring social relevance, while its human counterpart ensures that the idea retains its emotional resonance. This fusion drives business impact and marketing excellence. It’s a match made in heaven that can produce great results. But getting the most out of it requires good people and good tools.

For example, email marketing click-through rates can be hiked by over 50 % by using machine learning-based tools along with human intuition. Based on real-time user behavior and collected data, an AI model automatically pitches in a personalized message into the marketing content for each user, resulting in a higher click-through and open rate. Consequently, being informed about click-through patterns can help optimize future campaigns. Machine learning makes it possible with minimal effort and maximum accuracy.

AI can do its magic, but it needs to complement human intuition and creativity to reduce limitations and gain a higher level of control that lets you shape algorithm-based decisions and inform future activities. According to McKinsey, AI and machine learning will contribute a staggering USD 2.6 trillion in marketing and sales by 2020.

 

Enable human-centered, AI-powered personalization

Personalization should bring together interpersonal interaction and collective intelligence so connections become faster and computers smarter and more efficient. Human-centered, AI-powered personalization brings together human-curated signals and adaptive machine learning solutions. As a result, systems mature by learning from individual interactions and collective insights. In this way, humans have the ability to outplay certain limitations and restrictions posed by algorithms.

By 2020, businesses that use AI and related technologies like machine learning and deep learning to uncover new insights will take $1.2 trillion each year from competitors that don’t.
-Forrester

The intelligent insights are used in product and content recommendations to better engage customers, improve overall satisfaction, enhance customer experience, and encourage loyalty. And although AI helps optimize customer journeys and make better predictions on what is most likely to sell, human intervention is still critical and relevant, especially in some unexpected scenarios.

Let’s say that three customers buy a TV and a kids’ My Little Pony shirt in an ecommerce store. The machine algorithms interpret this as common behavior, and end up recommending My Little Pony shirts every time a user purchases a TV. But a human brain will be able to identify these unusual situations and make decisions accordingly, for example isolating some categories or subcategories for smarter recommendations.

At the same time, when it comes to testing, traditional methods such as multi-armed bandit are effective in test automation, but there are limitations. You need to test multiple content variations but when there’s a variation that’s constantly failing, the machine won’t be able to create new content to automatically replace it. Only a human can see these failures and come up with new content to test. So, even in test automation, the killer combo is machine automation combined with the logical thinking of humans.

At Frosmo, even though we’re continuously developing our platform’s AI capabilities, we know that human creativity is still the beating heart and the focal point of our product vision. When combined with the proper use of AI, these two make the perfect winning pair.

The idea is to not replace good human intuition, but use smart technologies to facilitate the inception and development of creative ideas that will enhance and further improve marketing efforts and strategies.

 

Download the personalization ebook for some insights, examples, and practical tips for different industries, such as retail, media, and iGaming.

personalization ebook


About the writer:

Tiina Krokfors is a multilingual ecommerce/SaaS professional with experience supporting international clients in a variety of business sectors. Her degree in Engineering and experience in front-end development allows her to combine deep-seated technical knowledge with a value-based approach to customer success. The biggest motivators for her are translating business strategies into innovative and intelligent digital solutions and delighting customers.

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Great customer experience starts with segmentation

As marketers and ecommerce professionals we know that there’s a positive impact on website KPIs when our content matches what visitors are looking for. The conversion rates are higher, retention rates see an uplift, and the customer lifetime value increases, just to name a few. 

Consider the needs of a family of four from rural Canada, looking for a new vehicle on a comparison site. Then, think of the retired couple from Finland browsing the website of their favorite travel agent for a winter getaway. And what about the dad, kitting out his sons for the new soccer season? In the gear of their favorite teams, of course. All of them are looking for something specific. Through segmentation, you can increase their customer experience by greatly reducing the amount of noise, products, and content that’s not relevant to them, and increase the likelihood of conversion in the process.

All of their characteristics, such as family size, location, and preferences, can be translated into data points. And these data points can be turned into criteria. When visitors meet certain criteria they can be segmented, creating visitor journeys with personalized and relevant content that perfectly match their needs.

What is segmentation?

From Frosmo’s perspective, segmentation is a building block, a cornerstone even, for effective personalization. And personalization in itself provides visitors with relevant content at the right time and in the right place. Personalized content is powered by the unique combination of segments.

To expand on the example above, let’s take the Canadian family who’s looking for a new car and turn their characteristics into segments. 

To start, you can deduct that they are from rural Canada either because of their IP address or because they used a search query and provided a location. This data can be used as a segment to, for example, prefill the search form when they revisit. Car purchases are rarely impulse decisions, after all.

One aspect worth mentioning is that you should consider including “surprising results”. In the case where they’re looking for a particular car and there’s a listing that seems like a good deal but is outside their search range, show it anyway because it might be worth the long drive.

So how do we know that they’re looking for a new car and what can we do with this information? If the website offers multiple segments, one hint could be which category they visit first. In our case, that would be cars rather than boats. But what if they misclicked? A better way to set segment criteria would then be to use time spent within a category or pages visited within a category.

Ideally, you use as precise information as possible. So rather than “interested in a new car” you should use segments such as “interested in compact SUVs” and/or “midsize SUVs”. Note that these two do not exclude each other. People can be interested in more than one category, topic, or product type at a time. This knowledge can then be used to, for example, show personalized recommendations on the main page, or to suggest that they sign up for daily emails that provide new listings that fall within their interests. 

Then the big one; what gives it away that they’re a family of four? Perhaps they’re only looking at large cars with four or five doors. But people can have many reasons why they’d like a big car. You could also deduct that they’re a family from other products that they’ve looked at although you’d still be working with assumptions. 

To figure family makeup you can cross-reference their address or insurance information if provided. It could also be something you can find out through testing. By showing the same products with different images, for example. Perhaps one shows the car with a couple standing next to it and the other shows the same car with a family. Whichever they show more interest in is most likely the one that they relate to the most (That could be the hypothesis, anyway).

Alternatively, you could just ask. A simple prompt of “Hi, what are you looking for today?” may give you all the info you need to add a visitor to several segments at once. 

Using segments goes beyond improving the customer experience on your website. Segments can also be used to advertise through ad networks. In the case of car shoppers, interesting offers can be shared with them across the web. If you do personalize like this, just make sure to move them from “is interested in buying a car” to “has purchased a car” whenever you can. 

No-one likes seeing ads of products that they’ve already purchased. Besides, that too is good info to help them find the next product that can improve their life. A child seat, perhaps? A cover to keep the car clear of snow? Would they be interested in a caravan? Test, learn, segment, and personalize.

How does segmentation work with Frosmo

The more fine-grained segmentation is applied, the more effective it becomes. For reference, some Frosmo users have created hundreds of segments so that they can create one-to-one experiences across their network of websites. Luckily, Frosmo supports an unlimited number of segments.

Broadly speaking, there are 4 segment types: demographics, context, behavior and life cycle, and psychographics.

Segment typeDescription and examples
DemographicsInformation that can be tied to the visitor’s climate, culture, gender, and age group.

Examples: Age, gender, location (city, region, country), weather forecast.
ContextContext refers to the technology the visitor is using. Related attributes are used to ensure compatibility and to ensure that the content is optimized.

Examples: Browser, device type.
Behavior and life cycleSegmenting based on behavior helps establish where a visitor is in the purchasing process. The info helps gain insights into what they’re trying to do next.

Examples: Pages visited, number of visits, recent purchases, viewed products, potential value, website logins.
PsychographicsData about psychographics is harder to capture and relies heavily on your expertise to get right. How well do you know your customers? However, getting it right is also going to have the biggest impact on your bottom line.

Exampes: Interests, lifestyle, moral values.

In Frosmo, you can use any of the criteria above (or any other ones that you can come up with) by defining what action a visitor needs to perform to get included in a segment. This can be as simple as “visited the homepage for the first time” to more complex cases such as “has searched for ‘Cadillac’ but has not visited ‘Cadillac SUV page’ in the past 7 days”.

Then you use the segment, or a combination of segments, to define who you want to show a particular website modification to. Like the segmentation rules, these modifications can be anything and shown anywhere on your website. 

By showing multiple modifications (think recommendations, messages, CTAs, etc.) on several pages, you effectively personalize your entire website. And since segments are dynamic, each action that a visitor takes can potentially add or remove them from a segment, altering what they see accordingly and improving conversions.

Conclusion

Segments are must-haves for marketers as they enable targeting and tending to an individual’s needs. Software shouldn’t limit the manner in which this is possible. If anything, quality software, especially personalization software, encourages its users to come up with clever ways to reach the right audience.  And by following that philosophy, Frosmo empowers marketers to think creatively, rather than think about rule limitations, of what they wish to do on the website and enable them to effortlessly execute their ideas. 

Download the ebook The power of personalization and learn from loads of examples, know the practical tips, and get the standard best practices for different industries, such as retail, media, and iGaming.

The power of personalization


About the writer:

frosmo

Tom de Raad is the Product Marketing Manager at Frosmo. With 9 years of marketing experience for Finnish software startups, he’s business-educated and tech-curious. Tom joined as a Copywriter and is now using his skills to analyze and translate market needs into product features and vice versa. He’s currently exploring and mapping out the brave new world of personalization. He’s also winning the company’s Fantasy Football league.

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