Stay Ahead of the Curve in 2024: 3 Ways Retailers Win Big by Investing in Relevance

In the world of retail, personalization and relevance are dominating conversations. But what exactly do these buzzwords mean? And how can marketers leverage these trends to improve the customer experience and set themselves up for long-term success? 

Beyond personalization: The importance of investing in relevance

Retailers today are increasingly focused on tapping into personalization and relevance – two distinct strategies for improving the shopper experience. Personalization is the process of leveraging fundamental first-party and contextual data to customize the shopper’s connected experience and messages, curate product recommendations, and motivate specific customer behaviors. 

Relevance takes a deeper approach. It harnesses machine learning to process robust data attributes to determine the most valuable and most engaging message to show to each shopper at each stage of the buying journey. By leveraging first-party data, relevance enables retailers to more authentically connect with shoppers by delivering not just personalized or contextual messages but messages that truly cater to – and resonate with – their unique interests. Personalization allows for the right messages to be shown whereas relevance ensures the best message is shown. This is precisely why relevance can be highly valuable to a business strategy.

Here are three ways investing in relevance can unlock exceptional guest experiences that drive more value for your brand:

1.Decluttering the shopping experience

A core aspect of relevance is understanding less is more when it comes to showing offers to your guests. The Paradox of Choice suggests that too much choice and a lack of relevance ultimately makes a guest feel overwhelmed and less likely to engage. Retailers can streamline the customer experience and generate more brand engagement by ensuring that guests are only exposed to the messages and offers that are most relevant to them. This proves to be a more valuable long-term strategy than simply bombarding them with everything you have all at once. 

By using first-party customer data to understand guest behavior, needs, and preferences, you can avoid overwhelming your guests with competing messages, leading to better business outcomes such as: 

    • Increased cart conversions 
    • Higher Value per Transaction (VPT)
    • Improved repeat purchase rate and loyalty

This approach also helps eliminate friction caused by impersonal, irrelevant messages and experiences. For example, if a guest has previously opted out of your brand’s loyalty program, continuing to promote the program to that guest is likely to negatively impact their perception of your brand.

2. Understanding shopping behavior to improve loyalty

Creating an enticing and unique loyalty program is crucial for customer retention and driving lifetime value. However, these programs often compete with other business initiatives vying for guest attention, especially during the buying moment. By leveraging machine learning, retailers can tailor the experience for each guest in real time, understanding how they will respond best. This could mean offering a private label credit card (PLCC), a loyalty program, an app download, or something else entirely. 

With first-party data and by adopting relevance, retailers can avoid showing their PLCC offerings to customers who are likely to be rejected in the first place, reducing decline rates and negative shopper experiences. This approach ensures customers are presented with offers that are more likely to be accepted, enhancing their overall shopping experience. 

3. Be proactive in the wake of third-party cookie deprecation

The deprecation of third-party cookies is forcing retailers to reimagine their data strategy and relationship with their customers. To address this, retailers need to establish new relationships with their guests, built on trust and a mutual value exchange. First-party data can provide rich insights, but it’s what retailers do with these insights that’s crucial for maintaining relevance in customer engagement, particularly amidst ongoing concerns regarding data privacy. Prioritizing investments in solutions aimed at safeguarding user data will be essential.


First-party data can provide rich insights, but it’s what retailers do with these insights that’s crucial for maintaining relevance in customer engagement, particularly amidst ongoing concerns regarding data privacy.”

– Laura Cosgrove, Rokt


Technology like Rokt serves as a trusted intermediary between retailers and advertisers, eliminating the need to manage multiple partnerships and invest heavily in tech resources. Both retailers and advertisers integrate and maintain full control of their first-party data, avoiding hidden costs that arise from numerous intermediaries. 

Relevance is more than just an ecommerce trend and allows retailers to go beyond personalization. It’s the catalyst for deeper connections with your guests that lead to stronger brand loyalty. Learn more about the importance of relevance and the impact of machine learning in this report from The Harris Poll and Rokt. And to gain insight on how Rokt’s solutions can help your business reach their goals, talk to an expert here