Real-Time Personalization: Transforming Ecommerce Customer Engagement
Written by
Juhi Nath
Juhi Nath

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Real-Time Personalization: Transforming Ecommerce Customer Engagement

Published : November 28, 2022
Intelligent customer engagement

Does basic communication addressing your customer by their name hold up in the era of hyper-personalized marketing strategies? At a time when customers are perpetually flooded with marketing messages across channels, how can an ecommerce brand avoid being drowned out by the noise? ‘Personalization’ is creating a buzz in the ecommerce and retail industry, and brands are vying with each other to see how best they can manoeuvre this strategy. To respond to this demand for personalization, many martech brands have started offering solutions deemed as vanilla personalization. However, B2C brands today require real-time personalization that can deliver dynamic and personalized content at scale.

Run-of-the-mill personalization solutions are elementary at best and, at worst, they are detrimental to a brand’s marketing strategy. These solutions do not add to your marketing strategies, let alone make your brand stand out – which is essential for recall. The one-size-fits-all personalization approach does not make the cut in the current ecommerce and retail landscape. We call this rudimentary approach Vanilla Personalization – which is what many ecommerce brands have subscribed to because of limited awareness about more efficient solutions.

Vanilla Personalization does not resonate with customers, it is a way of pushing the products that you want to sell without a guarantee of the customer purchasing them. With Vanilla Personalization, your investment in the martech tool suffers and so do your sales. To explore more about the topic, download this ebook. It decodes the 7 half-truths that digital experience providers tell their customers.

Vanilla Personalization is not Personalization?

All Personalization suites are not the same. While industry leaders have leveraged the best personalization solutions to create outstanding campaigns, most solutions still face bottlenecks such as deliverability constraints, lack of segmentation and lacklustre insights.

Exemplary brands make use of real Personalization to deliver impactful campaigns. This is due to the fact that their personalization solution is adept at using previous interactions to display only the most accurate recommendations.

Consider leading beauty brand Sephora’s use of personalized recommendations. Their stellar campaigns are a great example of how real Personalization can curate 1:1 recommendations at scale with the help of their most current user interactions, and engage with users on their preferred touchpoints.

Sephora re-engagement strategy

Sephora’s re-engagement strategy is equally masterful. Based on user interactions, Sephora triggers personalized messages conveying discounts on similar products and bundles.


Retailers with strategies similar to Sephora’s can ensure that shoppers see more pages and products before making a purchase. This noticeable increase in page views promotes related purchases, which are attainable only through real-time personalization.

Irrespective of the industry, the boost in conversion rates across the board emphasizes the necessity for brands to go beyond vanilla personalization and choose real-time personalization.

This phenomenon is not just limited to conversion. Real-time personalization leads to profitable outcomes in average order value, revenue per user, and the 90-day customer retention rate. Cart abandonment rates, too, are observed to drop well below 50% for each retail category, with product recommendations at the right touchpoints encouraging customers to purchase more.

Switch to real-time Personalization

Real-time personalization is a powerful strategy that dynamically delivers personalized content to individual users based on their interactions with your brand. Personalization plays an integral part in the success of an ecommerce brand. As customers’ exposure to brands providing personalized engagement has increased, your brand can only prove valuable to your customers when it stands out from the marketing noise. A survey conducted by the ecommerce platform Kibo found that using personalization features across the entire online shopping experience led to an ROI of at least 200% for 70% of marketers surveyed.

Personalization has moved beyond addressing customers by their first names– it’s now an AI-powered technology that analyzes and predicts customer behavior based on real-time data.

Real-time personalization resonates with the user and provides a superior customer experience. When millions of website visitors perform different actions, creating segments based on geographical, demographic, and behavioral factors is impractical. But Netcore Cloud’s Predictive Segments allows you to do just that – in real-time. The new generation of predictive segments is more preventive than reactive; it runs continuously on every page. By doing this, it predicts the next steps a user is likely to take and if the patterns match, it can trigger web messages or communications to arrest churn by showing a discount on the spot.

Omnichannel is another vital aspect of real-time personalization. For example, a customer might click on a product page for a white dress but leave the ecommerce site before adding it to the cart. This action triggers follow-up actions targeting that individual, beginning with a personalized cart abandonment email. Ecommerce brands can further increase conversions by using AMP emails. The email includes links to the product and showcases related products the customer might also like. If the customer does not respond to the email, the sequence may trigger a push notification and an SMS offering a discount on the products they are most likely to purchase. Every interaction the user takes with the ecommerce brand triggers a real-time response supporting the buyer’s journey and engaging them with relevant content geared towards their interests and their current stage in the customer lifecycle.


Real-time location data can also be used for personalization. Once your territory or geofence has been defined and your target customers with an actual intent have been identified, you can use this data and send them relevant, personalized app push notifications, SMS, or emails. Read more about geofencing with Netcore Cloud.

How to start with Real-time Personalization

You need a multichannel marketing automation platform to deliver real-time personalization. The platform should be able to leverage data from highly segmented audiences to convey dynamic and personalized content at scale. Learn more about the most common half-truths to look out for when choosing a digital experience provider.

Automation alone will not enable the full benefits of personalization – to make the most out of your customer insights you need predictive elements in your marketing platform. This can be achieved by AI, which will not only furnish the most current information on user behaviours but also give you predictive insights to create memorable campaigns and optimize user journeys. 

Once you have garnered behavioural insights to support personalized messaging, a centralized dashboard is necessary to integrate all of the users’ attributes and create actionable audience profiles for timely customization and deployment of communication. The ideal solution will also gather information from your desktop site, your mobile app, your social media channels and your ecommerce platform, and all of the other channels where you engage with your audience. This data can instantaneously update customer profiles based on every new brand interaction, from link clicks to email opens and even eyeball interactions.

This is where the Netcore Cloud Intelligent Customer Engagement comes in. ICE brings all these features together to create a powerful marketing solution to add to your arsenal.

Personalization in its most basic form can garner names and elementary profile details, but with ICE you can develop real-time personalized content in response to every specific action across the user journey, like displaying an exit intent pop-up when the customer is about to leave their shopping cart.

With ICE, all lifecycle-based brand interactions can be used as action triggers for a new marketing sequence based on your user’s behavioral cues. ICE utilizes the user’s profile to integrate additional information to target customers with bespoke communication at relevant touchpoints.

ICE will generate dynamic content customized for individual users. The most effective tool deployed by this AI-powered solution are product recommendations based on the shopper’s behavior, browsing habits, and situational context.

With the help of ICE’s capabilities to create dynamic content best suited for your users’ exact needs across their preferred marketing channels, you can not only create a satisfying user journey but also improve CLV by proving to be valuable to your customers.

Why choose Intelligent Customer Engagement (ICE)?

Intelligent Customer Engagement (ICE) answers all ecommerce related Personalization needs. With ICE, marketers can showcase personalized content to each shopper using their browsing history and real-time behavior.

ICE is an effortless solution to increase engagement, reduce website bounce, and grow conversions like never before. The cornerstone of ICE is real-time personalization, a high-powered marketing strategy.

Our AI-enabled real-time personalization includes content across all channels:

  • Email marketing
  • Push notifications
  • SMS messages
  • In-app messages 
  • Direct mail
  • Custom landing pages

With options galore, engaging your customer at every step of the way along all relevant touchpoints is necessary. Additionally, showcasing related products through personalized widgets or emails will increase the likelihood of a potential customer taking favourable actions. 
If the user doesn’t respond to the email or interact with the popup, it can be followed up with another promotional message on a separate marketing channel, such as SMS or even push notifications. This effectively uses every brand interaction to establish real-time communication and creates memorable buyer journeys, conveying relevant content specific to their interests throughout the entire customer lifecycle.

How Top Brands boost their Conversions with Netcore Cloud’s Real-time Personalization

ICE’s real-time personalization goes beyond the website, it is the complete omnichannel customer engagement platform. From using real-time feedback to trigger marketing sequences to personalized widgets based on behaviourial and situational data, listed are some of the many feats top brands have accomplished with Netcore Cloud ICE’s real-time personalization capabilities.

Real-time positive and negative feedback for 1:1 personalized recommendations

With the help of ICE, the UK-based beauty brand ‘The Body Shop’ observed a 13.2% growth in online revenues. This was possible due to real-time positive and negative feedback. With the help of Netcore Cloud’s AI engine and Neural pathways, our ICE solution registered customer feedback to convey only the most relevant recommendations based on user interactions in real-time.


These preferences were reflected via personalized widgets, product display pages and even exit intent pop-ups to display customized recommendations for each user.

This enabled The Body Shop to curate and modify personalized journeys geared to each customer’s specific tastes.

Download The Body Shop success story to learn more


Cart abandonment messaging across channels

Global fashion brand ONLY gained 14-times their ROI using Netcore Cloud’s Personalization benefits. By monitoring individual users’ ‘Add to Cart’, ‘Payment’ and ‘Remove from Cart’ activity, Netcore’s Intelligent Customer Engagement solution enabled the brand to orchestrate user journeys with the help of an intuitive campaign flow management tool.


This allowed ONLY to trigger personalized messages at the moment of ‘Cart Abandonment’, with links and recommendations redirecting users to the products in their shopping cart. Armed with personalized omnichannel communication across web messages, SMS and email, ONLY was able to convert users on the verge of going inactive.

Download the ONLY success story to learn more


Personalized email journeys

The American casual footwear giant ‘Crocs’ experienced a 100% increase in purchases on their product listing page when they integrated the Netcore Cloud Intelligent Customer Engagement capabilities on their ecommerce website. Enabled by the Netcore AI-Engine, Crocs.Inc was able to trigger personalized emails to their customers at different stages of user interaction.

Personalized email journeys

The ‘Cart Abandonment’ messages aided customer retention by re-engaging customers who had defected from the website. Additionally, product recommendations based on historical data and unique customer behaviours were incorporated in emails giving the dual benefits of creating up-selling and cross-selling opportunities, while also reactivating dormant customers by displaying products aligned with their interests.

Download the Crocs success story to learn more

crocs success story

Bespoke product boutique pages

With the Netcore Cloud Personalization Suite, Danish fashion brand ‘Vero Moda’ boosted their ‘Add to Cart’ rates by 129%. This was achieved by using smart product recommendations to enable Intelligent Customer Engagement. Powered by the Netcore Cloud AI, Vero Moda created Personalized Boutique Pages. These ‘Boutique Pages’ catered to individual users and displayed dynamic recommendations based on the user’s real-time interactions. The ‘Boutique Pages’ helped promote conversions by displaying the products individual users were most likely to ‘click on’ and ‘buy’.

real-time feedback mechanism

To offer the most accurate and relevant recommendations, ICE enabled a real-time feedback mechanism by introducing ‘hearts’ and ‘crosses’ for each product on the page. The real-time feedback data combined with the user’s historical data created powerful recommendation pages irresistible to customers.

Download Vero Moda success story to learn more

Vero Moda

Personalized product recommendation widgets

On adopting the Netcore Cloud Intelligent Customer Engagement, Jack & Jones, one of Europte’s leading menswear brands, generated 2.6% more revenue through real-time personalization.

Personalized Product Recommendation Widgets

What led to this success was Netcore Cloud’s AI-engine and Neural Pathways which introduced ‘Personalized Product Recommendation Widgets’ across their ecommerce platform. The widgets were deployed across the customer journey, being present on their Home Page, Product Listing Page and even Product Display Pages.

Based on unique real-time customer-level insights, Netcore’s AI-engine displayed the most relevant recommendations through a ‘Recommended For You’ section and ‘Web Pop-ups’. Besides this, real-time user behavior was utilized to present personalized recommendations through ‘You May Also Like’ and ‘Recently Viewed Products’ widgets. These bestowed Jack & Jones with more opportunities to cross-sell and up-sell, and improved click-through rates and conversions.

Download the Jack & Jones success story to learn more

Jack and Jones

The countless Limitations of Vanilla Personalization

Martech platforms offering Vanilla Personalization are insufficient to cater to the needs of growing ecommerce brands. To begin with, any recommendations that they provide are not contextual. This means that the widgets are not personalized according to the preferences of each individual – it does not increase the likelihood of purchase. Vanilla platforms have RFM but a truly personalized experience needs AI. All the power lies in customer data.

AI-powered personalization engines take customer eyeball data as input and based on the behavioral patterns, predict the future actions of the users. These predictions form the basis of your personalization efforts. Here are a few examples wherein you can use AI based personalization to improve customer acquisition and engagement of your brand. 

When it comes to emails, there are many bases that brands ought to cover– not just cart abandonment. Artificial intelligence and machine learning have paved ways for smart marketers to make use of certain tools that can enable them to ensure higher inbox deliverability. Marketing platforms are constantly transforming their engines with AI/ML algorithms to learn from previous data and automate intelligent decision making to aid marketers in their quest for higher engagement and ROI.

There is also a need for better inboxing and sending out of highly interactive and engaging emails. Check out our guide on AMP emails.

Don’t sabotage your brand with Vanilla Personalization

The new era of ecommerce is seeing a greater need for personalization. The hyper-competitive retail landscape, changing customer expectations and compounding digital impatience require brands to adopt more personalized marketing strategies. But with more platforms adopting Personalization, ecommerce brands need cutting edge AI-powered Customer Engagement to truly stand out.

That is why our next-gen solution, Intelligent Customer Engagement is the need of the hour. No matter the size or industry, with the Netcore Cloud ICE you can stay ahead of the game. Our AI-enabled real-time personalization creates memorable user journeys with relevant dynamic messaging and recommendations in an instant.

Learn more about how ecommerce brands can use Personalization to boost sales this Holiday Season in our Ecommerce Holiday Guide 2022. To explore the full range of benefits, book a demo today.

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