Enterprise hits and misses - retailers raise their personalization game, the FBI gets an email hack, and the Metaverse gets an enterprise critique

Jon Reed Profile picture for user jreed November 15, 2021
This week - personalization is an commerce asset, but are retailers ready? The FBI's email servers get hacked, and the motivations are revealed. Another batch of hybrid events get reviewed. In the whiffs, the tech predictions game is already wearing thin.

Lead story - Getting closer to the customer - can retailers deliver on personalization?

MyPOV: I've seen some gaudy stats lately on the impact of personalization, but I'm still waiting to see retailers not-named-Amazon pull this off at scale. Madeline explores Adobe use cases in Getting close to the customer - personalization ploys in action at Boots and Real Madrid. As Madeline explains, Boots has a 25 year history with their loyalty card - and yet there's been a disconnect, in how to apply the data:

But what hasn’t been as straightforward for the retailer is how to use this data to change what each customer experiences. Communications are often common to all customers, and Boots has a limited understanding of how online and stores connect in the choices customers make. According to Robinson, these challenges have often been based on gaps in the firm’s technology, as well as organizational structures and working practices that have maintained silos rather than blending expertise within teams to deliver a common objective.

That strikes me as an apt summary for many retailers today - even those with aggressive digital strategies and mobile apps. So what's next? For Boots, it's a six point plan. I won't detail it all here, but changing from generalized demographics to serving customers based on needs is one key. And there's more:

Second, the retailer is strengthening its data foundation, working to discover new customers and connect the different data sets together into an accurate, accessible single customer view.

It is also transforming the technology it’s using to personalize customer experience, adopting Adobe Experience Cloud across channels to enable connected conversations.

It's encouraging to see a more comprehensive method for personalization emerging - one that includes AI components but doesn't claim that AI alone can solve for this, because it can't. But as we see in Mark's latest use case, H&M CTO Alan Boehme - how the retailer uses digital and data to fashion new business trends in retailing, now is not the time to fall behind on these pursuits, despite the degree of difficulty:

"Boehme says what keeps him awake night is thinking about companies that have mastered the use of data and information."

Also see: Stuart's Building out digital real estate - Sainsbury's scales up its omni-channel clout.

Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here's my three top choices from our vendor coverage:

Virtual (and hybrid) event season rolls on - vendors kept diginomica scribes on the move once again:

Meanwhile, Freshworks' hybrid Refresh show had the company on a buzz from its recent IPO. Derek filed his virtual 1:1: Freshworks CEO on scaling the Neo platform to enable the ‘art of easy’. Use cases to follow.

I was on the ground for Sage Intacct's recent analyst day, but in the virtual seats for the hybrid Transform user event:

A few more vendor picks, without the quotables:

Jon's grab bag - Derek continues his missives on tech confronting sustainability in COP26 - tech companies grapple with how to navigate climate crisis. Meanwhile, Mark filed a forward-thinking use case in Vertical farming pioneer IGS uses workflow automation to improve operations: "The organization is a major user of hi-tech, claiming to be 100% IOT-enabled and using Artificial Intelligence and machine learning as part of its mission to enhance indoor food-growing environments in either agricultural or commercial spaces." Now, there's an AI/IoT use case I can get behind...

Best of the enterprise web

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer

My top seven

Overworked businessman


So Iceland had fun with the Metaverse:

A piece on investing in the Metaverse made me wonder if I could bet against it:

Nice to know if I'm not on the ground at an event, someone else is on buzzword patrol:

Oh, and are you ready for the tech predictions game? Yawn:

Sorry Dan, I tried. But we'll find a way to get 'em somehow. Our annual unpredictions might be a good start....

If you find an #ensw piece that qualifies for hits and misses - in a good or bad way - let me know in the comments as Clive (almost) always does. Most Enterprise hits and misses articles are selected from my curated @jonerpnewsfeed.

A grey colored placeholder image