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Strategy Fundamentals

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before:
We need on-site personalization. But our page load times are in double digits.
Or this one: We need click & collect - but we have no idea how much inventory is in the stores!
Or this one: We need to launch a loyalty program. But our data is in silos!

In the pursuit of these shiny attention grabbing features, businesses tend to forget their fundamentals. There is an evolution of features - forcing an evolution by launching the next big thing only leads to poor CX and negative ROI.

Consider on-site personalization. For this to work (i.e. generate tangible ROI), a tonne of things need to work in tandem:
1. Web/App architecture (fast load times, swapping, fallbacks, etc.)
2. Content development and deployment cycle (streamlining the cycle for efficiency and reliability)
3. ML capabilities (deploying models, correcting drift, etc. )
4. Data Centralization (leveraging customer insights)

If you consider an organization as a player in an RPG (Roll Playing Games) - like Diablo or even Last of Us (which has skill trees), they need to be great at a few things (like Customer Experience, Resilience, Research & Development, etc), good at many things and work in progress on others.
For the On-site personalization as a skill to be unlocked, there is a progression that the stakeholders should understand and direct efforts into…

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A classic example of a business doing this is Amazon. Back in 2011 they decided to expand into India. Instead of diving head first into the region and solving problems as they come (and launch crazy levels of features), they spend time earning points in their skill tree. They launched to understand how logistics in India works, what are the sentiments of the sellers, what is the real market size, regulatory landscape, possible challenges and so on… till they reached a level where they were confident they could assert their dominance.
Instead of launching their website with mobile apps and a tonne of products, they made sure they could win at every category - won those territories, earning them skill points - which they used to skill-up. Within a few years, they had almost equal marketshare:

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What about competitors? They’re moving fast and breaking things!

Sure - they are… and they’re loosing customers in the process. In an e-commerce business, specifically, if your price, product and delivery are competitive, you should be seeing soaring revenues. Every other feature is a basis point increase in your revenue.

Understand your orgs skill tree and how these shiny features you want unlock - you just might find a better way to spend that money and deliver actual value!