Personalization has emerged as a key trend that is shaping the future of the online and physical retail world, where customer experience is now seen as a crucial competitive factor by many companies. The rapidly growing amount of data combined with new technologies and tools like artificial intelligence and machine learning enable companies to increasingly focus their marketing communications on individual customer experiences rather than customer segments.
“Personalization puts the customer at the center. It’s about providing a tailored customer experience by understanding how customers’ purchase paths differ from each other. Through personalization, companies aim to serve individuals seamlessly at the different stages of the purchasing process and across different devices and channels,” explains Simo Heiskanen, Program Manager, eCom Growth at Finpro.
Personalization can include a wide range of measures that improve service and customer experience, including personalized recommendations, location information as well as marketing communications on a website, online store, social media and even a physical store.
“In the long term, a personalized customer experience reduces churn and improves customer loyalty. The winners will be the companies with the most data and the ability to utilize it to the full,” says Heiskanen.
Different angles to personalization
Finland is producing many innovative products and solutions for personalization. Leading the field is Nosto, whose software solution for online retailers is currently the fastest-growing personalization tool globally, with over 20,000 customers in more than 100 countries.
“Finnish companies offer different angles to personalization and for the various stages of the customer’s path to purchase. Nosto’s global success speaks for itself but the younger Finnish companies are also growing so fast that they may become the next big thing in a few years’ time,” says Heiskanen.
“As part of the eCom Growth program, we have introduced companies like Nosto, Custobar and Giosg to top brands and retail houses in the UK, Sweden and the United States, and they have all recognised how advanced the Finnish companies’ solutions are.”
New martech superpower in the making
According to a recent study by Avaus Marketing Innovations Oy, Finland is becoming a major martech developer and now has twice as many martech companies per capita as the United States. The study reveals that there are at least 120 martech companies headquartered in Finland. A third of the companies have received average funding of USD 5.7 million. Significantly, as many as 45% of these companies have ex-Nokia employees in key roles, demonstrating the ongoing contribution of the former mobile phone giant in Finland’s growth into tech superpower.
“Finland’s vibrant retail tech and martech ecosystem comprises several hundred companies, including many promising startups, and thousands of skilled employees with high-level know-how. It has produced companies like Smartly, which is now a leading company for Facebook and Instagram marketing, used by Zalando among others,” says Heiskanen.
Discover more about Finland’s retail expertise at the techhubfinland.fi website.