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Customer story

Top Internet Retailer Deploys Smart Algorithms For Quicker Customer Response

Top-three e-tailer in the Netherlands unifies customer data, personalizes shoppers’ experience and improves organizational culture with a new digital strategy

Related services
Data and AI, Machine Learning

Industry
Retail

Company
GoDataDriven | Part of Xebia

The customer is a top-three internet retailer in the Netherlands that serves 1.7 million customers per year and records a total of 145 million site visits.
Additional customer interactions and engagement for the retailer take the form of online reviews, calls to its contact center, and email communications, where email communications open and clickthrough rates are measured.

Why
Increase click-through and conversion from recommendations and shoppers
What
Modernize e-commerce platform with personalized recommendations and improve search functionality for a data-driven marketing approach
How
Combine data from legacy systems into a consolidated platform using open-source and internally developed applications and implement smart personalization algorithms

Generating Greater Value by Personalizing Shoppers’ Experience

Personalized customer journeys can deliver sustained business value for internet retailers. As an early adopter of this transactional mapping process, the e-tailer found success in creating static profiles for groups of similar customers. But as technology and shopping behavior have evolved, the algorithms that power retail platforms can now be individually tailored to each customer’s journey. The more finely tuned these algorithms, the better they will be able to respond to individual customer interactions such as increased search and click-throughs, and then influence purchase decisions. For the e-tailer to maintain its leadership and retain customers, it was essential to develop a new platform that collects and analyzes this customer data in real-time and at a low cost.

Building a single analytics platform using a three-plank approach

The retailer wanted to personalize customer journeys using smart algorithms on a single platform, soXebiacreated a three-pronged strategy: technology upgrades, new methods of working, and skilled human resources. The first step was consolidating shoppers’ data from assorted existing legacy systems, many of which had been developed in-house. A new platform would then need to be built to make sure that all data from the underlying systems was made available in the distributed file system Hadoop. At the same time, new ways of working were required to speed up product development. Finally, the retailer would need to recruit and train new staff, pivoting from business intelligence professionals to data scientists.

“As soon as the foundation of the new e-commerce platform was laid out, a data team of internal specialists and data scientists began developing personalized algorithms to help us analyze our customers’ behavior. We gained a better understanding and insight into individual customer needs right away, including ideas for products our customer had not thought of before.”
Marketing Technology Manager

A Hybrid Solution of Agile, Scrum, and DevOps

Open-source solutions were the first software option for the new platform. For example, to capture clickstreams from the website, the retailer opted to use Divolte. Where open-source applications were not available, programs were developed in-house. Once the platform was built, the resulting smart algorithms offered an insight into customer needs based on data, such as order history and real-time site interactions. The organization now uses Agile, Scrum, and DevOps to develop its software. Teams act as product owners and are responsible for tracking and furthering progress. This culture shift started at the IT department and has since spread to other departments, underpinning the retailer’s new approach to customer journeys.

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