What do Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Amazon all have in common? They all attended our recent webinar on how to out-personalize Amazon. Yep, even Amazon was interested in the topic!

Amazon popularized collaborative filtering, also known as others who bought this also bought that” style recommendations, a tactic many other retailers have since adopted… and improved upon. During our inaugural Retail Personalization Index last year, Amazon scored 55 points, behind 16 brands including Sephora, Walmart, eBay and Nordstrom.

During the second Retail Personalization Index, Amazon once again scored 55 points. But while that score was good enough for 17th place last year, the ecommerce juggernaut dropped to 50th on our second Index. This proves once and for all that Amazon can, indeed, be out-personalized. Here’s how:

Strategy #1 – Go Beyond Collaborative Filtering for Recommendations

While collaborative filtering is ideal for increasing basket size and value for anonymous online browsers, in your cart interface, and in post-purchase streams, there is so much more that can go into your recommendations strategy. Retailers can beat Amazon at their own game by testing and selecting the use of algorithms that consider popular or trending products, and those that personalize based on a customer’s specific interests and even predicted purchases.

amazon product recommendations

Strategy #2 – Think Cross-Channel, not Siloed Experiences

Ensuring that your customer experience is joined up across channels for individuals is key to building the long-term relationships you need to stay competitive with retailers both large and small. While Amazon uses personalization in all channels, there are gaps that you can take advantage of. By creating an individualized journey for your unique consumers regardless of the channel they are engaging on, you’ll create a platform for ongoing growth through stronger customer retention.

Strategy #3 – Personalize Beyond Recommendations

Personalization is so much more than recommendations. While Amazon spends a significant volume of resources developing personalization solutions for their merchants, you can out-personalize the ecommerce giant by personalizing multiple aspects of the customer experience, like email send time, the cadence in which you message, and promotional offers. Personalizing email send time is an easy win. With Marigold Engage by Sailthru, you can email your individual audience members at the time they are most likely to open the message based on their historic opens.

Personalized send time


Strategy #4 – Improve Acquisition Using Long-Term Data

The ultimate method for improving customer retention? Better acquisition. Not all CPAs are created equally, and we discuss why using your long-term retention data to improve acquisition campaigns is the key to long-term growth. Find out how Sailthru can help you predict your future highest value customers, and then build lookalike audiences in Facebook, Google, and additional acquisition platforms to fuel your customer acquisition programs.

View the webinar now!