What role does personalization play in content commerce?

Norman Nielsen is Director Organic Growth at the online travel booking platform omio.com. He previously served as Head of Content Marketing at Zalando for several years. In the DMEXCO interview, he tells us why large platforms have to create personalized experiences to be successful.

What role does personalization play in content commerce?
Norman Nielsen, Director Organic Growth at the online travel booking platform omio.com

How do you rate the current situation in e-commerce? What development do you see?

I have seen consolidation in several industries, especially where e-commerce has not been focused on. Today’s customers can mainly be reached online, in a variety of ways and at different moments. Those who have not yet realized that customers are no longer moving linearly through the funnel towards a single purchase are already roughly on the right track. Marketers should analyze these “micro moments” to create personalized brand experiences.

"I call this approach the content lake."

Norman Nielsen

Particularly with regard to content and online marketing, the following is true: get ever more personal, create ever better content and establish meaningful communication with the customer before, during and after a transaction. In the future, content will be distributed even more selectively and across all devices. I call this approach the content lake.

What do you see as the current top trends in e-commerce?

I am afraid that my children will not only be able to call up music, jokes, weather and geography homework via voice input, but will also be able to order things right to the house. Voice search now has an incredibly low error rate. Another trend is progressive web apps, which will shake up the e-commerce market once again and offer users even more online shopping convenience and personalized moments.

How is your company adjusting to this? And how do you manage to filter out the relevant trends from the abundance of buzzwords?

I am a big fan of being in active exchange with friends, colleagues and business partners. Team leaders as well as team members should regularly go to good, relevant conferences and trade fairs and continue their education.

Why are these personalized moments important for online merchants or e-commerce platforms?

In particular large platforms have the possibility to make their own, often confusing assortment more attractive by personalization at all levels and thus to increase the classical KPIs such as conversion rate, shopping basket size or long-term satisfaction.

Make or buy? How do you organize content marketing at omio.com?

In the last 12 years I have tried practically every form of content creation. First of all it is important to know which content I need where. A/B/C clustering can help, i.e. determining where I need a lot of content and where I need other media types like videos.

"Outsourcing always makes sense when your own professional competence is not yet large enough or is not needed at all."

Norman Nielsen

And implementation – in-house or with the help of service providers?

Outsourcing always makes sense when your own professional competence is not yet large enough or is not needed at all. There are various agencies, some of which specialize in niches in order to be able to offer expert content. Finally, you should also see if there is not even content that can be created automatically. Text machines such as AX Semantics have also become an alternative for simple, structured data.

Growth drivers in e-commerce: Asia and sustainability

Do you have any idea what the e-commerce world could look like in say five or ten years?

Large suppliers from Asia will also finally gain a foothold in Europe. Some of them will even have their own warehouses. This will increase pressure on the other market participants. Suppliers of ecologically sensible products will grow strongly, especially those who are not only able to shape the production chain in a sustainable manner, but also align their entire business activities with basic ecological values.

What takeaways from your previous work for Zalando are you implementing at Omio.com?

I have had the very rare luck of always being able to work with founders and employees, with whom I liked to create change. If you spend most of your time every day with these people, you should think carefully about what collaboration can look like. Inspiring each other every day to learn new things, having fun and always wanting to achieve a little more, can’t hurt.

The bottom line

Personalized moments play an increasingly important role in the e-commerce world. Consumers want content, products and experiences that are tailored to their individual needs and offer added value. Technologies and intelligent tools are already helping large platforms, as well as retailers and smaller online shops, to automate and personalize their own offerings.

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