Pillars of delivering a Tailored Customer Experience on Optimizely DXP- Post 1 of 4

New Era Cap has been manufacturing baseball caps for American sports teams since the early 1930s. They are a heritage brand with their roots firmly laid in Baseball, one of America’s most popular sports. Over their considerable history they have expanded to new sporting domains and evolved into a popular culture lifestyle brand with their products worn by some worlds most famous celebrities.

A brand like New Era Cap can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people whether you are a passionate New York Yankees baseball fan or somebody who likes to keep up with the latest fashion trends. Because of that, it is so important that the brand E-Commerce experience and communications talk to customers in a personalised and familiar way.

This blog series will demonstrate how brands like New Era Cap are using Optimizely DXP technologies to provide their customers with consistent familiar omnichannel experiences.

The Three Pillars of Tailored Customer Experiences

Working in collaboration with New Era, we used Optimizely DXP technology to implement the three pillars to delivering a Tailored Customers Experience.

Pillar 1 – Segmentation

To effectively personalise a customer experience, you need to understand who individual customers are – their profile, interests and the behaviours while interacting with your brand.

ODP (Optimizely Data Platform) is used to captures unified customer profiles and behaviours. Using ODP you can create Segments grouping customers based on engagement with your brand or any other profile/behavioural criteria you define.

Pillar 2 – Personalisation

ODP Segments can be used to personalise web and email content for your customers using Optimizely Content Cloud Visitor Groups. There are a number of methods that ODP segments can trigger personalised Email campaigns with the most appropriate depending on your Email Marketing solution provider.

Pillar 3 – Experimentation

How do you know the personalised content you are serving your visitors is converting? The next step is to Experiment with variations of your content.

This will inform you strategically what is working best within customer Segments and allow you to iterate effectively. Optimizely Experimentation has prebuilt integrations with the Content Cloud to test what exactly is converting with your real world customers.

Next Post

In the next post, I will delve into Pillar 1 – Segmentation using Optimizely technologies. We’ll look at how to build effective customer profiles and use that to effectively segment your audience.

Integrating Optimizely Data Platform (ODP) for GDPR compliance

The most common concern I’ve seen raised in Europe is how best to integrate ODP with your website in accordance with GDPR compliance data protection regulations.

Some ODP Background

ODP consists of the following key data entities that will be synced between your website and ODP.

Products Product catalog structure and master data

Customers The Visitors profile data telling us who this customer is such as Name, DOB, Language etc

Events A visitors various interactions with the website such as page views, login, add to cart, orders

Orders Orders that the visitor has placed in your E-Commerce system

Out of these 4 entities, all but the synchronisation of the Product feed is typically subject to GDPR compliance regulations.

Commerce Cloud Connector

Optimizely’s Commerce Cloud connector is a no code add on that can be used Optimizely Commerce Cloud’s Service API to synchronise Product, Customer Contact and Order data entities.

In Europe you would be best advised to enable Product imports but disable Contacts and Orders so that you can do the relevant checks to make sure that your customers have first agreed to the relevant cookie policies.

Note: ODP’s Commerce Cloud Connector is due for release in EU H1 2022

GDPR Friendly Integration

My advice is to separate your ODP tracking implementation from your websites code base by using a Tag Manager that forwards data to ODP only for requests that adhere to the relevant cookie policies.

I’ll assume you are using Google Tag Manager for the rest of this post.

Use your Cookie Opt In Trigger

You will likely already have an Opt-In performance cookie trigger set up in GTM to manage the execution of your Tags. The set up of your trigger will depend on the product you use to manage cookies but it should look like something similar to the below.

All ODP Tags should use this trigger to make sure that only customers who agree to share their data are synced to ODP.

Load the ODP JS Tag

As you are tracking a session, you need to load the ODP JS tag on each page. The JS tag will include the PageView event by default.

Log into your instance of ODP and copy the ODP Integrations -> Javascript Tag option .

Then in Google Tag Manager you can simply add a custom HTML Tag using the Opt-In Performance trigger

This will load the ODP JS script and fire the “pageview” event for customers who have accepted the configured cookie policies.

Using the Tag Manager Data Layer

Using this approach you can push any Tag Manager data layer events you are already firing to ODP and push new data layer events for any other data you want to track.

Customer Profile

As you learn new profile information on your customer, push a “CustomerProfile” event to the data layer with the customer profile object.

Then create a Tag to push that data onto ODP as demonstrated below.

Note the timeout wrapping the ODP API push. This is because of an intermittent issue with a race condition that sometimes caused this event to fire before the JS script was loaded resulting in the event failing to fire.

Event Tracking

Events are actions the customer takes on your website. They can be anything from page views to keyword searches or completing a checkout.

The below example triggers the Tag when a “Search” event is pushed to the data layer and the customer has accepted the relevant cookie policies.

Conclusion

Using a Tag Manager is a great low code option for integrating ODP into your website while maintaining your GDPR compliance.

Manually Importing Products from Commerce Cloud to Optimizely Data Platform (ODP)

ODP has a turn key Integration app called the Commerce Cloud Connector which can be responsible for the synchronisation of Contact, Order and Product data between your Optimizely Commerce Cloud instance and ODP.

However in Europe the Commerce Cloud Connector is not due to be released until the end of June 2022.

In Europe, due to GDPR guideline compliance you may not ever be able to turn on the connector for Customer Contact or Order data . I can cover that in a separate blog post but you will need to make sure that the relevant cookie policies have been selected by the customer.

While waiting for the connectors release in Europe, a manual product data export and import to ODP is a low cost interim solution. The key is to make sure that the schema you choose to save the products in ODP will be maintained when you turn on the connectors product import.

Key Product Data Schema Import Considerations

ODP currently supports 1 currency with that currency in the UI showing as USD. It is on the product roadmap to support additional currencies but for the moment you will have to choose whatever you determine to be the default currency on your website for the product export.

ODP is flexible with regard to your product data structure. However if you intend to use the connector, it’s best to follow a Product->Variant model to match your Commerce catalog so that the consistency of your data will be maintained.

Exporting Product data

Assuming your default market is GB, the following script will export your products from the catalog in GBP£.

SELECT
CN.[Name] as category,
CE.[Name] AS [name],
(
       CASE
              WHEN Charindex('_',CE.Code)> 0 THEN CE.Code
              ELSE CE.Code
       END
)AS sku,
min(PD.UnitPrice)AS price
,
(
       CASE
              WHEN CEChild.Code IS NOT NULL THEN CEChild.Code
              ELSE CE.Code
       END
)AS parent_product_id
FROM [dbo].[CatalogEntry] CE
		INNER JOIN NodeEntryRelation NR ON NR.CatalogEntryId = CE.CatalogEntryId 
		INNER JOIN CatalogNode CN ON CN.CatalogNodeId = NR.CatalogNodeId
       LEFT OUTER JOIN [dbo].[CatalogEntryRelation] ER ON ER.ChildEntryId = CE.CatalogEntryId
       LEFT OUTER JOIN [dbo].[CatalogEntry] CEParent ON ER.ParentEntryId = CE.CatalogEntryId
          LEFT OUTER JOIN [dbo].[CatalogEntry] CEChild ON ER.ParentEntryId = CEChild.CatalogEntryId
       LEFT OUTER JOIN [PriceDetail] PD ON PD.CatalogEntryCode = CE.Code
WHERE (PD.MarketId ='GB'OR PD.MarketId IS NULL)
GROUP BY  CE.CatalogEntryId, NR.CatalogNodeId, CN.[Name], CE.ClassTypeId, CE.Code, CEParent.Code, CE.MetaClassId, CEParent.MetaClassId, CE.Name, CEParent.Name, CEParent.CatalogEntryId, CEChild.Code, CEChild.MetaClassId
Order BY CE.CatalogEntryId

The output of the script can be copied to a CSV file for import to ODP.

Row 1 of the above export is the product with the variants linked by the parent_product_id

Price in this example is pound price for the GB market. You can update the Where clause to isolate the prices for your default market of choice. Support for multi-market & multi-currency pricing is on the roadmap for ODP so i look forward to hearing more on that in the coming months.

Importing to ODP

Copy the output of this script to Excel to convert to a CSV file before doing the following:

  • Do a Find/Replace to convert any “NULL” values in the price column to empty
  • Update price values to 2 decimal places

The name the file odp_products.csv and drop into the ODP Integration CSV Upload interface

Conclusion

While you’re waiting for the ODP Commerce Cloud connector to be released in Europe, this simple Export/Import process will help you migrate product data into ODP in a way that will be consistent with the connector schema.