Technology has given rise to a new era in commerce marketing. It’s now possible to automate highly personalized messages that target individual shoppers. This kind of one-to-one marketing requires deep data analysis and digital technology to deliver relevant, personal messages in near real-time. So how do you create a scalable commerce marketing stack that can automate highly personalized, one-to-one marketing campaigns? Here are three essential elements:

1) Solid Integration

Personalization requires big data. Disconnected systems purchased through several different vendors can cause functional silos and create process bottlenecks that can introduce errors. Thoughtful integration avoids that and makes it possible for you to gather and share data accurately and in real time. The key is to look for commerce marketing automation providers whose architecture promotes bi-directional sharing of data with your ecommerce application. Your systems should play well together to enhance the use of your existing data and accurately capture more data along the way. When you automate product recommendations, for example, you collect shopper behaviors and preferences today that will help you improve your marketing efforts a year or five years from now.

2) Deep Segmentation with Control Over Business Rules

Segmentation is a huge opportunity too many marketers pass up. Segmentation groups your contacts based on common attributes, such as last purchase, preferences or geolocation. Research shows consumers embrace personalization but they want to feel in control of their experiences. For example, Oracle Retail 2025 reports three in five consumers (58%) had a positive attitude about the idea of having their grocer suggest a shopping list for their approval based on purchase history and social and environmental data. If you are a marketer who is averse to segmentation, now’s the time to get comfortable with it. Creating the kind of personal experience consumers want requires gathering loads of data you can use for deep segmentation to separate and target consumer groups for special deals, higher-margin products and categories you haven’t had time to consider yet. Look for a solution that allows you to set the rules that send custom messages to shoppers so you can pursue your broader business goals. You know your business best, so you want to be able to include product content in your messages based on higher profit margin or products that are trending on your website, for example. Activewear retailer Brooks Sports grew email-generated revenue 60% in the past year by building segments based on popular web product, then creating automated reminders for shoe buyers based on how many miles they run. Brooks also uses triggered messaging tied to a user’s location. An integrated weather trigger powered by Moveable Ink includes a three-day weather forecast and points readers to products that correspond to the current weather condition.

3) Commitment to Innovation

For personalization to work, your marketing automation stack must capture, process and transfer huge amounts of data in seconds, repeatedly and continually. It is critical that your stack providers innovate constantly and fortify their systems to prepare for increased demand during high-volume selling periods. They also must maintain strong industry partnerships to ensure high deliverability for your messages across channels. Ask your commerce marketing automation providers about their cybersecurity protections against outages and data breaches, which will threaten the success of your personalization efforts. Ask about their history of down time and if they’ve had any history of problems on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Be sure to get clear answers about how each element of your marketing technology stack performs on these essentials. Ask informed questions as you evaluate offerings. Your choice will have a critical impact on your team’s productivity, revenue generation and the cost to market your products online. Interested in learning more? Download Bronto’s latest white paper: Critical Questions to Ask Your Marketing Automation Vendor.