There’s no contest: 2017 will be “The Year of Personalization,” and now we have some direct insight to back up this claim. A recent survey distributed to all retailers attending SLI Connect NYC revealed all but one retailer at the show chose “personalization and relevance” as the top trend impacting e-commerce in the next year. What’s more, when asked about 2017 business priorities, all but one retailer chose “personalizing content and recommendations for the customer.” It’s time to make advances in personalization a priority.


In supporting more than 17.5 billion search queries this year (a 12% lift over last year), SLI has a wealth of insight into delivering a personalized experience for shoppers around the globe. The new SLI ESP instantly and dynamically personalizes the shopping experience – for both first-time visitors and loyal customers – providing results that match shoppers’ needs in real time.

Powered by the patented SLI Buyer Engine, SLI ESP adds contextual personalization to the industry-leading relevancy SLI is known for. We understand the same search term means different things for different people, which is why SLI ESP delivers different results to each shopper in real time. By continuously learning from user behavior and accurately predicting which products to present shoppers through their buying journey, SLI ESP acts as a personal shopper for your visitors, shortening the path to purchase, delighting customers and increasing revenues.

When personalized by gender, SLI ESP beta customer Footwear etc. saw a 10% increase in revenue per visitor to personalized search and navigation pages. They also saw a 5% increase in conversion rate and average order value (AOV).

The image on the left shows highly relevant results for “leather boots” based on SLI Learning Search. The image on the right shows how SLI ESP personalizes the results for “leather boots” in real-time based on the customer’s preference for women’s shoes.

Redefine Personalization as Relevance Summit Chief Artemis Berry sums it up well: “There’s not much better than a friend who ‘gets’ you. An e-commerce retailer that does can be a close second. You know the type: Anticipating your needs. Knowing your style. Giving you what you want, before you even know what it is (Medium article).

Berry wisely reminds retailers that while the task may seem daunting, it doesn’t have to be. Her suggestion? Redefine “personalization” as “relevance.”

This concept is more powerful than you might think. Rather than being overwhelmed by the personalization hype, it means you can start making it a reality right NOW.

Talbots executive Rob Schmults says, “If the value of personalization is achieved by relevance, that means personalization is a range rather than an absolute. So rather that being some binary state where either you are or you aren’t, we quickly got to a place where movement across a range was how you made progress… Personalization is not out of reach (NRF Think Tank).”

At SLI, we could not agree more. Not all shoppers are the same and neither are personalization solutions. It is time to delight your customers and keep them returning with the shopping experience that’s as unique as they are.

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