MarTech Interview with Meyar Sheik, President and Chief Commerce Officer at Kibo

Personalization is going to become far more integral to eCommerce businesses as they compete with new players in order for them to drive better sales and revenue; Meyar Sheik, President and Chief Commerce Officer at Kibo shares some industry trends and observations in this chat:

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Welcome to this MarTech Series chat Meyar, tell us more about Kibo’s journey and take us through some latest innovations? 

Thanks for having me! In 2015, Kibo was formed by the merger of three companies with the goal of bringing unified commerce to multichannel and digitally native retailers and brands who were not having their needs met by the existing tech provider giants. Kibo set out to offer something different, by combining modern technology and immense flexibility in ecommerce. The team spent over three years developing a unified, data-driven product that was easy-to-use, API-first, and could seamlessly integrate with the retailer’s existing technology stack. Then, in 2019, Kibo acquired two personalization software leaders, Certona and Monetate, to create Kibo’s Personalized Commerce Cloud Platform. 

Just last month we announced our latest offering in the personalization realm, Personalized Search. With this, Kibo clients can benefit from hyper-relevant search results, personalized category pages for shoppers, and predictive visual searches. These benefits give customers the ability to efficiently leverage data and insights across the customer journey and streamline the number of different solutions they need to drive results and create a seamless customer experience.

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Why are personalization capabilities now becoming crucial in ecommerce? In the future, how do you feel this trend will shape up? 

Customers today can be ‘in and out’ of your ecommerce store, and onto your competitor’s site, in seconds if they don’t see something they like. With almost every retailer and brand just a touch away, you need to make sure your business stands out quickly. By leaning into personalization and making data-driven decisions on what items to promote, when to send newsletters, what recommendations to share with each customer, you’re increasing the likelihood that they’ll buy into your brand. This trend is not going anywhere as ecommerce competition increases and customers can be reached by numerous brands every minute. I expect more and more retailers to incorporate omnichannel personalization to strengthen the customer experience online and in-store. 

How have you been seeing ecommerce marketers drive reengagement through their platforms with better personalization capabilities today? 

One major strategy that retailers are prioritizing now is engaging with shoppers after the sale. Personalization doesn’t stop after the initial recommendations – it’s about anticipating what products they might return to your store for and highlighting that in their search or giving a coupon for the product category in a personalized email. Data-driven personalization matters at every step of the customer journey and understanding that across all brand touchpoints is a great way to ensure reengagement. 

Can you talk about the top trends redefining the ecommerce sector in today’s environment? 

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, retailers and customers obviously experienced tremendous industry disruption and we’re just now able to see how these trends will impact retail long-term as customers return to stores and normalize their shopping patterns. One trend we noticed during the pandemic was a higher reliance on omnichannel options. Some quarters mobile visits were up and in other quarters desktop views were a major contender again. This flexibility proved the need for a truly omnichannel customer experience. We also saw a trend towards shorter customer journeys on digital channels which could reflect a stronger understanding of online shopping, enhanced personalization, or just a quicker rate of customer exits if they aren’t finding what they want.

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We’d love to hear your thoughts on the future impact these trends will have on retail and in your view, how retail and retail tech will be influenced? 

In 2020, we saw increased bounce rates, suggesting that COVID-19 had a negative impact on customer loyalty. As customers became more fluid across brands, channels, and products, their priorities shifted – some towards lower prices, more convenient delivery, or a contactless experience. As a result of these trends, data and analytics will become increasingly important for retailers and marketers as they strategize on how to truly engage each customer. 

Can you talk about the top best practices that ecommerce marketers should always be keeping in mind? 

Ecommerce marketers should ensure that their websites are completely optimized for all formats. Customers today shop from social media, from websites, from physical stores – anywhere they can. So, it’s important for retailers and marketers to recognize the individual across all platforms and create an experience that fits their needs and shopping behaviors. To succeed today, customers need to be met with one consistent brand message and a personally curated selection of items across all touchpoints to build loyalty and increase sales.

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Kibo is the only extensible, unified commerce platform that delivers personalized, omnichannel experiences. The platform combines AI-driven personalization from industry leaders Monetate and Certona, omnichannel commerce for B2C and B2B models, enterprise-grade order management, and customer data-enhanced point of sale. Global clients like Office Depot, Taco Bell, and Patagonia rely on Kibo’s API-first, microservices-based architecture to support a wide range of commerce strategies, including headless commerce, that meet high growth goals and deliver on customer expectations at a manageable cost of ownership.

Meyar Sheik is the President and Chief Commerce Officer at Kibo. Prior to Certona, Meyar was the CMO and COO of web analytics leader WebSideStory (now part of Omniture/Adobe). Before joining WebSideStory, Meyar was the Vice President of Worldwide Marketing and Strategic Alliances for the Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) software vendor SuperNova, Inc. Meyar has a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from New York Institute of Technology and an MBA from Rochester Institute of Technology. 

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