eCommerce Growth Show

eCommerce Growth Show Ep.15: Progressive Personalization: Getting Strategic with CVO

This week’s eCommerce Growth talk centered on our favorite topic: Customer Value Optimization (CVO). Our esteemed guest, Jeffrey MacIntyre, the founder of Bucket Studio, brought to life a truly interesting concept of “progressive personalization” and answered two important questions:

  1. What is the thinking CRO brought to UX?
  2. How is CVO’s approach different?

Before we start, here’s a real-life backdrop from Jeffrey MacIntyre:

“Prime Day has been repeatedly delayed by Amazon in 2020. Walmart will close on Thanksgiving, likely creating more pent-up demand for Black Friday. The back-half of 2020 will be wild as tentpole eCommerce events in the US like Black Friday and Prime Day collide with the overarching effects of COVID-19 on the eCommerce ecosystem. We are looking at a wild season and year-end for eCommerce and heightened stakes for those who can provide the most effortless, trustworthy, and robust UX in the online and offline touchpoints of their customer experience.”

Who is Jeffrey MacIntyre?

Jeffrey MacIntyre is a personalization consultant who also specializes in experience optimization and content operations. He writes Bucket List, a newsletter of tales from the trenches of connected experience read by folks at Shopify, Nike, McDonald’s, and Lowe’s. He runs Bucket Studio, a personalization agency dedicated to better results and richer orchestration from customer experiences.Jeff is a widely published writer, speaker, and founding fellow of the Consortium of Personalization Professionals. His clients include Best Buy, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Condé Nast, Consumer Reports, JP Morgan Chase, Mailchimp, Mastercard, NBCUniversal, News Corporation, Philips, Thomson Reuters, UNICEF, Universal Music, University of Michigan, Viacom, Vimeo, and Yahoo!

Key takeaways from this episode


Why CVO is an upgrade of CRO

CVO is a chance to do genuine strategy work that CRO never gave us.

Here, my background in starting and running personalization programs at scale comes into play: oftentimes I find an organization that has done a lot of CRO, but never productionalized the more sweeping and pervasive UX changes that will differentiate a brand’s experience.) More often than not, retaining customers and driving LTV = better UX.

I have a methodology for using test-and-learn tools to drive outsize results: it’s called Progressive Personalization and it’s an iterative approach to growing your customer intimacy.

“CVO provides a strategic focus on personalized experiences.”

Improving UX focusing on behavioral cohorts with the help of Reveal

Reveal‘s segmentation is like a skeleton key: it opens the door for operators to focus on improving their UX with a pinpoint focus on behavioral cohorts. (Too often, customer journey exercises are too high-altitude or cursory.) Focus gives you permission to be much more granular in mapping the patterns of use and types of user behaviors you see even within a cohort. You’ll start seeing patterns in user flows that you want to measure and enhance more closely.

Automation, customization and personalization tactics: a successful mix of user flow “recipes”

High-impact results come from a mix of user flow “recipes”: automation, customization, and personalization tactics. The good news is this often serves a business benefit also. Save customers’ time, delight them, and super-charge their CX by:

  • heightening discovery
  • rewarding loyalty
  • serving the right “recipes” at the right time

I have prototyped a card game for organizations to generate and groom their own progressive personalization backlog. It helps organizations find the sweet spot for themselves in advancing from experience optimization to scaled personalization programs – and to rally around a common vernacular that is meaningful to their experiences, users, content, and data.


Episode 16 of the eCommerce Growth Show brings fresh forces from Jill Liliedahl, Business Development Manager at Inventory Planner.

She will be discussing the topic of improving profits and cash flow using demand forecasting, so stay tuned for next week’s show, at the same time!

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