The path to purchase for a modern, digitally-native consumer is winding and unpredictable. With so many different ways to shop and new channels emerging regularly, it’s become increasingly difficult for retailers to track consumer activity and leverage the insights in real time.

According to SAP’s recent Global Consumer Propensity Study, three out of four shoppers do not regularly see product recommendations that interest them. Compounding this issue is the fact that 79 percent of consumers would be willing to share their personal data for a clear personal benefit.

Evidently, retailers are missing out on a big market opportunity. The good news? Providing personalized online shopping experiences is more within reach for brands than it’s ever been.

To help brands revamp their commerce strategy, SAP is introducing new context-driven services (CDS) available within our SAP Commerce Cloud solution. CDS is a suite of products offered as services that retailers can implement on their commerce website. Within the suite are various pieces that each focus on different parts of the customer journey.

These services help online retailers to better understand customer needs and provide product recommendations or incentives to guide consumers to purchase before abandoning their shopping cart.

Specifically, context-driven services manage the following retail operations:

  • Foundation: This is the real-time customer behavior tracking piece. Foundation captures customer behavior, manages both anonymous and known customer identities and provides real-time insights. This is the fuel for segmentation, personalization and product placement.
  • Segmentation: Segmentation is for creating (you guessed it) customer segments on ecommerce websites. It uses the real-time activity from foundation to assign customers to relevant segments and then deliver specific content based on assigned conditions. For example, if the customer is female, has over $1,000 in her shopping cart and logged in through Facebook, the system will send that person relevant products and promotions that push them closer to a purchase.
  • Customer Recovery: This piece of the solution creates automated email campaigns for abandoned shopping sessions or carts. The emails dynamically recommend other relevant products as well, not only increasing conversions but also average order value.
  • Merchandising: Using the data collected throughout the customer journey, merchandising will deliver tailored product carousels on any page of the website. These can either be curated by hand or by using specific business metrics like overall product page views, add-to-cart rate, conversion rate, units sold and revenue.

Each piece, whether as a standalone service or when combined with others in the suite, boosts the customer experience and increases loyalty by helping retailers to understand their customers from the first click.

Chris Hauca is head of Strategy and Go-to-Market for SAP Commerce Cloud at SAP Customer Experience.