September 22, 2016 | Eric Feinberg

Etsy understands the value of investing in technology to improve CX

For retail companies, providing a stellar customer experience translates to improved sales, higher loyalty, and more return business. But creating — and maintaining — a great CX can prove difficult, confusing, and hard to manage without the proper tools.

I see proof of this almost everyday, especially whenever business leaders get interviewed on television about their successes. For instance, just yesterday Etsy CFO Kristina Salen appeared on CNBC to discuss how the company’s success relates back to investments in technology.

While Etsy is an online pure-play retailer, it’s business is much different than others in the same space. Etsy offers a much wider variety of products, handmade and vintage items you can’t find in big box stores — or even on online retail giant Amazon. That means its approach to customer experience can’t necessarily rely on what’s worked for competitors in the online retail industry.

Etsy recently acquired machine learning company Blackbird to help improve search and product targeting for its digital channels. Due to the difficulty of matching the over 40 million items on Etsy’s marketplace with its 26 million global customers, the acquisition, as Salen says, is expected to help continue business growth in the years to come. She also said that Etsy will leverage Blackbird’s technology in ways that other companies couldn’t — and that line stuck with me.

How did Etsy know that improvements to search would help bolster its ability to grow the business effectively? For my money, the answer is because Etsy is hyper focused on measuring the customer experience in ways that revealed the most important elements that will boost overall satisfaction. That’s not something you can do by simply looking at the site and taking notes on what should work more efficiently versus what isn’t a priority. You have to look at customer behavior, collect customer feedback, and track how changes to your digital channels are affecting overall satisfaction.

Without understanding what drives satisfaction, all the artificial intelligence tech in the world won’t reliably help improve a company’s bottom line. But for Etsy, its investments in technology with CX in mind have helped give it a competitive edge over competitors.

Want to know how ForeSee’s technology can help you measure your company’s customer experience to gain valuable insights? Contact us today.

Categories: Retail

About the Author

Eric drives ForeSee’s marketing strategy, working closely with the company’s product, client service, and sales teams to infuse innovation and operational excellence into its offerings. Since joining ForeSee in 2004, he has contributed to the organization’s strategic growth, particularly providing leadership around mobile solutions. He is the author of several of the company’s thought leadership studies, including the 11th annual ForeSee Experience Index (FXI) and the American Employee Study. Eric is a frequent speaker on customer experience analytics, and marketing best practices. He is a board member of the Digital Analytics Association (DAA) and an adjunct professor of mobile marketing at the University of California, Irvine Extension. Previously, he worked as a web analyst, multichannel strategy consultant, usability specialist and focus group moderator. Eric is a graduate of the University of Michigan.

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