Creating personalized e-commerce experiences with Bloomreach

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June 07, 2024
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Creating personalized e-commerce experiences with Bloomreach

In the evolving landscape of e-commerce, personalization is not just a trend; it's a necessity. Twilio has the privilege to work with some of the best builders in the customer engagement ecosystem and a key player is Bloomreach, a company with a mission to make online shopping personal.

We were lucky to sit down with Anirban Bardalaye, Chief Product Officer at Bloomreach to discuss their journey, their customers, and how they're leveraging Twilio to revolutionize the online shopping experience.

Q: Tell us about Bloomreach’s mission.

A: At Bloomreach, our mission is pretty simple: to make online shopping personal. Personalization has been a goal for businesses for many years, but there have been so many challenges in getting it right. This is usually because businesses approach it as a channel problem… personalizing email, then SMS, then onsite, and so on. But our perspective is that personalization isn’t about a channel, it's about a complete, continuous experience — a customer journey that adapts in real time, across every touchpoint, seamlessly. At Bloomreach, we’re using our Loomi AI to help businesses create that experience. 

Q: Tell us about your customers and what business problems they are looking to solve?

A: Bloomreach has more than 1,400 global brands across various sectors. Our customers, such as Williams-Sonoma, Bosch, Puma, and Marks & Spencer integrate real-time customer and product data that enables them to activate personalized marketing, product discovery, content, and conversational shopping in one solution, creating a true omnichannel personalization. Success for our customers means improved retention, loyalty, and increased average order value (AOV).

For years we have been working directly with marketers to create memorable and personalized engagement experiences. But if you are a marketer, you know that there have been significant changes to how you engage with your customers across digital channels. On top of those changes, marketing leaders are facing technology challenges:

  • Tech consolidation and legacy systems and being asked to do more with less. 

  • Non-digitally native large companies grapple with the complexities of e-commerce and customer acquisition through new channels.

  • Data-driven marketers are tasked with creating personalized omnichannel experiences. They often depend on other teams to get data, which leads to cross-functional delays and increased customer acquisition costs (CAC).

  • Dealing with price-sensitive shoppers who have plenty of options to choose from and struggling to differentiate and build brand loyalty in a saturated market. Brands want to improve customer experience with personalization, but are struggling due to data silos. As the number of channels increase, and with no way to attribute correctly, how can CMOs know which channels to invest more in?

Bloomreach addresses these issues with Loomi AI. This is AI engineered specifically for ecommerce, deeply embedded in our products for 15 years now. It’s trained on rich, real-time ecommerce data, has models and workflows built specifically for commerce and marketing teams, and orchestrates personalization across the entire customer journey. 

Q: How does Bloomreach and the platform you have built address these issues?

A: On top of creating a user-friendly platform to make customer engagement easier than ever, we have focused on three key areas to enhance our customer’s experience.

  • Richer Data: Bloomreach fuels e-commerce personalization by training our Loomi AI with the richest set of customer and product data. Our real-time customer data is up-to-the-millisecond fast, and we offer the largest product dataset in e-commerce.

  • AI Models and Workflows Fine Tuned for Commerce: Loomi AI is specifically engineered for commerce: it understands the intent of customers and buyers, it knows which business metrics to prioritize, it understands marketing workflows. And because it's trained on data specific to your business, you can protect customers' trust in your brand.

  • Full Journey Orchestration and Activation: Personalization isn’t about a single channel, it’s about an entire experience. Because Loomi AI can connect to every touchpoint in the shopping journey, personalization flows seamlessly throughout the customer experience. 

Q: How has the focus on intelligent customer data and AI changed the way the Bloomreach team has innovated in the e-commerce space?

A: Bloomreach was founded as an AI and data science company.  Our goal from the beginning was to use data and intelligence to solve the biggest challenges in e-commerce in a more automated, scalable way for retailers. Enriching our technology with customer data has been a huge level up and has allowed us to expand into utilizing AI for not only search and merchandising but into all channels where creating a personalized experience matters; email, sms, app, website, ads and more.

We have learned through the years that much of merchandising and retail strategy has been about optimizing for products — looking at low-performing categories and trying to increase sales. Now, with better customer data and the new AI models that add amazing levels of human-like, contextual understanding to our tech, brands that utilize Bloomreach (retail, travel, hospitality, telco, fintech) retailers can actually optimize around individuals and audiences at scale. The idea of being customer-obsessed has been a talking point in retail for years, but now we finally have all the pieces we need to make that a reality – real time customer data, deep product understanding, and the contextual AI to turn it into revenue-driving customer experiences.

Q: How did you start looking for a partner to help power your platform?

Scale and synergy were our primary drivers. Twilio is one of the eminent players in the communications and marketing ecosystem, and the pairing of that with Bloomreach’s world class personalization and marketing automation would allow our collective partnership to solve the key needs of midmarket and enterprise customers. 

We recognized the need to expand our platform to meet the demands of a rapidly changing digital landscape. By leveraging Twilio's powerful APIs, we have crafted a seamless integration with Twilio Segment, enhancing data quality and providing expansive integration capabilities. This synergy has empowered us to offer multi-channel automation, journey management, and campaign capabilities across SMS, Email, and WhatsApp, aligning perfectly with the vision and priorities of our customers.

Q: What’s on the horizon for the future of Bloomreach?

A: Looking ahead, Bloomreach is thrilled to announce major initiatives that underscore its commitment to innovation:

  • Innovation Fest: Summer of AI This June, Bloomreach will unveil a suite of new AI tools within its Composable Personalization Cloud. Loomi AI, engineered exclusively for eCommerce, will democratize AI for all users, enabling marketers and merchandisers to craft highly personalized experiences with ease.

  • Investment in Conversational Commerce – With the rise of digital and personalized engagement, consumers want more out of their shopping experiences. We have launched a new solution to meet your consumers on the channels they prefer, at the time they want, and with messages they care about, Bloomreach Clarity.

Bloomreach's journey is marked by impressive milestones, including over 30 patents in AI and eCommerce technology, serving more than 1,400 global brands, and powering over 445 million searches and 380 million email campaigns during Black Friday 2023. With Bloomreach, merchandisers have saved up to 50% more hours, a testament to the platform's efficiency and effectiveness.

As Bloomreach continues to innovate, its partnership with Twilio remains a cornerstone of its strategy to deliver personalized, scalable, and intelligent eCommerce solutions.