Personalization and Mobility are key to eCommerce success: Sharat Singh, CTO, MakeMyTrip

With customers’ demand for personalized experiences and mobile apps on the rise, personalization and mobility are emerging as crucial factors for ensuring the success of an eCommerce business

Big data has been around for decades but it is only recently that businesses have begun to understand how it helps glean insights into customer behavior, improve supply-chain efficiency, and positively impact other areas of business performance. For a travel company, like MakeMyTrip, big data serves as the key enabler to engage better with customers and deliver service efficiently and intelligently. Analytics enhances efficiency at the business-end and experience at the customer-end by developing new approaches to customer management, revenue management, and internal operations. At the same time, big data also offers the chance to ‘put the fun back into travel,’ which at its very heart is about improving the customer experience.

PERSONAL EXPERIENCES ON THE RISE

Personalization will be a big part of eCommerce moving forward as guest expectations for more personal experiences are on the rise. The focus for the next few years is building a solid foundation for personalization, which will help in providing a better experience to customers. All this will make people feel special by catering to their individual needs. For example, from a CRM stand-point, the companies send targeted mailers and offers on the basis of customer purchase patterns and behavior to drive better conversions and personalize their interactions with customers.

At MakeMyTrip, data from multiple sources is consolidated and analyzed using different parameters to improve sales and marketing effectiveness. Part of the data is already available in the organizational data store. However, when this data is combined with numerous external sources its value increases significantly, giving greater insights into customer behavior patterns. This information helps analyze trends and customer preferences—their likes, dislikes, and sentiments.

Travelers want a particular, authentic experience that they can call their own. They don’t want to feel part of a mass experience. For example, a businessman who regularly travels to Bengaluru is now saying that ‘I am an individual and I want my hotel to recognize that I have certain preferences and needs.’ Hence, this is something that has to be put at the heart of an experience and how to make it native to the brand proposition needs to be considered. It also acts as a powerful tool for devising strategies and uncovering hidden sales opportunities with the right decision making strategies, and also, in identifying unknown risks in the market segments.

FROM ANALOGUE TO DIGITAL

Also, digital data has played an essential role in the growth of eCommerce sector, offering deep insights into customer behavior and letting companies make smarter decisions. The world is rapidly shifting from analogue to digital. People are consuming more and more digital content on a daily basis—on mobile phones, laptops, desktop computers at work, and more.

Mobile has become an integral part of our daily lives. Consumers now browse for information, use price comparison sites, and involve friends and family in purchasing decisions—all from their mobile handset.

Mobile apps are becoming the ‘new way’ of doing things—be it search, communication, buying or commuting—they are changing the way people shop and go about their lives. People have their mobile device while they are watching television, traveling, etc. Mobility and digital are the key growth drivers and we, at MakeMyTrip, are effectively using big data analytics to create compelling propositions for our customers.