Consulting giant Accenture has expanded its strategic alliance with shopper marketing platform RichRelevance, a global leader in what the partners call “omnichannel personalization,” a mix of CRM, customer experience and purchase recommendation offerings.
As part of the expanded alliance, Accenture Ventures is taking a minority stake in the company, only the second firm to do so outside of venture capital concerns. Computer maker (and RichRelevance customer) Dell also has a minority stake in the firm.
For Accenture the deal is designed to strengthen the capabilities of its digital agency Accenture Interactive and boost the personalization services it delivers to global clients.
Building on an alliance that was formed in 2015, Accenture Interactive becomes the “preferred implementation partner" for the RichRelevance global personalization platform.
According to Eduardo Sanchez, President and CEO of RichRelevance, from the platform’s perspective, the agreement is designed to help the company’s mostly big retail and CPG clients optimize the technology offering with a service provider that can help them make sure that they are customizing the product to maximum advantage in the marketplace.
“The consumer experience has become the battleground to gain consumer loyalty,” Sanchez said. “And personalization is an increasingly important component of that.” But getting it right is complex and costly, or at least that’s the firm’s marketplace pitch. RichRelevance, Sanchez asserted, provides the technology to get the offering right while Accenture provides the knowhow to implement successfully.
More than 240 multinational brands around the globe use RichRelevance to power personalized content, search, offers, and product recommendations to shoppers across web, mobile, call center, and in-store channels in an integrated offering. Those clients include BestBuy, Costco, JC Penney, Macy’s, the UK’s Tesco, and, increasingly, travel and financial firms.
As the preferred implementation partner, Accenture Interactive becomes the go-to firm that RichRelvance will recommend to clients to guide them in implementing new iterations of the tech service offering, according to Jeriad Zoghby, Personalization Lead at Accenture Interactive.
Accenture Interactive recently unveiled a tool designed to help marketers understand why consumers purchase what they do called the “customer genome” platform. According to Zoghby, that tool will be the focus of “joint development” per the terms of the expanded alliance with RichRelevance.
Zoghby notes that recent research undertaken by the firm found that 40% of consumers left a site before making a recommended purchase. The reason? Consumers feel “overwhelmed by choices,” he said, noting that in part the alliance is designed to make recommendation offerings more accessible to consumers and easier to act on.
The firm’s research also found that half of consumers have never purchased a recommended product. Recommendations add lift to product sales, Zoghby said. But the process of offering recommendations to consumers is nuanced and complicated, he added, and it “has to be done right” if marketers expect to maximize returns on investments in the space.