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The Big Personalization Movement Taking Over Tech

July 26, 2019

Call it narcissism, or call it knowing exactly what you like – either way, today’s consumers crave products that fit nicely into personal preference buckets. These may be functional, ideological, or taste-based, pick your poison.

To demonstrate, take a look at LikeFolio trend data on consumer demand for “personalized” and “just for me” products…

As advertisers amp up their targeting game and search gets smarter, the new expectation is for brands and products to know the consumer and pitch products right in the sweet spot on an individualized level.

Companies are positioning themselves to truly know their consumer, with true technology leaders developing tools that facilitate match-making between their repeat customers and the products on their (often virtual) shelves.

Two companies knocking personalization out of the park? Pinterest ($PINS) and Wayfair ($W).

Pinterest is social meets search – delivering recommendations users actually want

Someone described Pinterest as a mashup of Google and Facebook -- honestly that's brilliant.

Pinterest is a personalized news feed of things consumers can buy (and search for). This is great for individuals cultivating a taste profile AND for advertisers - think of how targeted they can get. People are voluntarily creating pages of highly specific things they want to or plan to buy... gold mine.

This guy gets it:

You can think of Pinterest as a hybrid social search.

The basic purpose of the platform (product discovery) ties so seamlessly into advertising potential with brands and products it’s mindboggling. And unlike with Facebook, it’s not creepy, it’s actually DESIRED.

Check out mentions of consumers utilizing the personalization and discovery ability of Pinterest:

Pinterest is doubling down on this potential, and using tech to leverage this brand to consumer relationship.

Consider the Shop the Look (i.e. “directly buy the things you like without leaving our site” and discovery (i.e. “find other similar products”) feature…

That’s Pinterest not just knowing what its user is likely to want, but actually delivering it to them via shopping links that the company can monetize.  Brilliant!

Pinterest currently claims over 250 million monthly active users who have “pinned” over 2 BILLION datapoints of the things, movements and ideas that they like.   And it’s paying off.  In Q1, Pinterest saw revenues grow at an astonishing rate of 54% on a year-over year basis.

Wayfair is developing incredible technology to capitalize on personalization

Wayfair is like a brilliant combination of Amazon and Home Depot, except they are using data to identify functional consumer needs they can actually satisfy…and prioritizing said needs.

They are also giving consumers tools to actually envision products in their own space.

Object detection is key, and they know this. Jane Doe doesn’t even need a tape measurer to map out her room, and she can virtually try out as many couches as her heart desires…facilitating the ease of that credit card swipe at the end of the process.

And all this tech is working, really well.

Check out LikeFolio Purchase Intent Mentions of Wayfair (people talking about shopping with the company) over time:

Not only are more and more people talking about their shopping experience with Wayfair, but the stock has been following suit.  That’s a winning combination.

What to watch for next in personalization

At LikeFolio, we’re all about spotting major consumer trends and identifying actionable investment ideas around them.

While it’s clear that the personalization trend is very real, we will continue to be watching the data for a truly exponential increase in consumer demand for personalized shopping, dining, and entertainment experiences.

When that happens, it’s all about finding the companies that are best primed to ride the wave, and cash in on big profits along the way.

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LikeFolio analyzes social media data to accurately predict shifts in consumer behavior. We sell data and insights to professional investors, corporate research teams, and software providers.

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