E-commerce Expert Christopher Cowger of Dell: Balancing Hyper-Personalization with Customer Trust

E-commerce Expert Christopher Cowger of Dell

Every e-commerce brand wants to offer its customers personalized experiences.

But can it go too far?

In this episode of The E-commerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives, host Kailin Noivo is joined by Christopher Cowger, Senior Vice President of Global E-commerce & Online Experience at Dell. Together, they explore what makes a strong, well-rounded e-commerce team, how generative AI is taking e-commerce into a new paradigm, and how to balance personalization with building customer trust and a brand identity.

Building a Strong E-commerce Team

Christopher focuses his leadership approach on assembling a strong team.

To him, the key to a successful team is a high level of intellect and a wide diversity of backgrounds, experiences, and opinions. This is what will keep the team driving innovation forward and keep the brand working on unique ideas.

With so many differing opinions, the early stages of innovation can get quite heated, and the team has to work longer to filter the variety of views into one strategy. But it’s worth the extra time as the end product ends up as something completely fresh.

“I think that time we sometimes lose in just vetting through the diversity of backgrounds and opinions that everyone has ultimately ended up being well worth it because it usually ends up putting us in a position where the direction is something truly unique.”

A New Paradigm for E-commerce

Historically, Dell struggled with the typical chatbot type of experience that traditional AI capabilities allowed for. While they weren’t necessarily bad, they never yielded the right experience for their customers.

Thus, when generative AI became widely available, they thought they could use it to uplevel these experiences and improve their customer interactions. They were correct in this, but it was quickly clear that the capabilities of generative AI were far more widely applicable than they thought.

With its ability to personalize experiences and streamline operations, the team at Dell envisions the entirety of the e-commerce industry changing to a more flexible, dynamic, and personalized canvas over the coming years. While it’s not imminent, Dell is factoring this into their strategy, preparing for whatever the next paradigm may be.

Christopher Cowger on the shift in e-commerce due to generative AI

Connecting Front End and Back End Operations

For several years, Dell has been developing an intelligent, optimized front end and back end independently of one another. While both were good, they didn’t communicate directly, instead relying on humans and ‘offline processes’.

Now, the brand is leveraging generative AI capabilities to seamlessly connect the two. This will allow the e-commerce engine to become a forecasting engine for the operations teams 95% of the time, with human intelligence leveraged where necessary.

Approaching Hyper-Personalization

AI has made it possible to create bespoke experiences at scale, and it’s an incredibly tempting prospect.

But just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.

Of course, there are positives to bespoke experiences, like more margin capture and demand velocity, but there are also potentially severe consequences.

By catering too much to each individual customer, you can put your brand identity at risk, and even your customer’s trust. Is catering to everyone really worth losing your brand?

It’s important to be judicious and find the balance between personalization and establish identity and trust.

 “We really need to think about where to be judicious and where experiences that could be different need to be the same to establish our identity and establish trust.”

Listen to the Full Episode Below!

Tune in to this episode of The E-commerce Toolbox: Expert Perspectives with Christopher Cowger and Kailin Noivo to learn more about the effects of generative AI on e-commerce at Dell and within the wider industry.

👉 Apple: https://bit.ly/4aWvIq1

👉 Spotify: https://bit.ly/3JEIs8S

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