Retail in Asia

In People

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Insider explains how AI can support retail business


Insider is a SaaS company, AI-powered Growth Management Platform that enables enterprise marketers to connect customer data across channels and systems, predict their future behavior with an AI-powered intent engine, and orchestrate and deliver individualized experiences to customers.

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Insider takes a unique approach to Multichannel Experience Orchestration. Trusted by more than 800 global enterprise brands, including industry powerhouses such as UNIQLO, Singapore Airlines, Marks & Spencer, Estée Lauder, Virgin, Samsung, Carrefour, Dominos, Toyota, Newsweek, Avon, MediaMarkt, AVIS, Allianz, BBVA, IKEA and CNN, Insider has been growing exponentially globally. With teams on the ground in 24 countries, Insider ensures deep localization and unparalleled support for their clients.  

Insider has been recently featured in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Multichannel Marketing Hubs 2020 and became the #1 leader on G2Crowd’s Mobile Marketing Software Grid with a 4.7/5 rating based on 100% user reviews, 14 quarters in a row. Insider is a heavily women-led organization with 50% of top executives in the company, including the CEO, CMO, CFO, and CPO, being women. Hande Cilingir was selected as one of the top women CEOs outside of the US by Crunchbase.

g2crowd insider
Source: Insider

Retail in Asia had the pleasure to meet with Giovanni Musillo, Commercial Director of INSIDER Hong Kong, the newly opened branch aimed at further expanding the company’s operations. 

RiA: How is Hong Kong positioned within your company’s strategy as a market? 

Giovanni: Hong Kong is a key market for Insider. As an economic powerhouse in the region with great companies being headquartered here with an added strong presence for many, we are quite excited for what’s to come, moreover we are able to further support brands that expand their digital presence to innovate faster across APAC in over 8 regions.

RiA: As the former ex GM of leading eCommerce brand Zalora, what made you go from Retail to tech start up at Insider? What did you gain from your past experience to fit your new role? 

Giovanni: At Zalora I gained exposure on how a fully-fledged e-commerce platform runs and what are the key strengths and weaknesses of driving success in the digital space.

I came across Insider’s technology during my Zalora days and now my mission lies in helping leading companies grow their digital presence and e-Commerce capabilities carrying with me all the critical experiences. 

RiA: In the age of omnichannel, in what way can businesses enhance interaction across channels?

Giovanni: When we talk about a customer journey, creating consistent customer experiences is what we strive to support across multiple touchpoints.

The main issue in the market is that most of the channels are siloed. This contributes to scattered communication that leads to a very mediocre customer experience, therefore companies need to be prepared and willing to go above and beyond on their channels and invest on this to foresee future success. 

Removing those barriers is key to enhancing interactions across digital channels.

RiA: In which way AI can support retail? 

Giovanni: AI is the most sought-after technology among retailers because of its efficiency, providing an enhanced online experience with personalized recommendations, offers and product support, that can also be further segmented by age, gender, location and analyzing the behaviour of customers we are able to target the right customers based on the product type. AI also helps customers make smarter decisions with better accuracy and real-time forecasting. Good forecasts also help retailers optimize supply chain, create impactful promotion strategies and improve customer experience.

We are at the forefront of allowing retailers to offer an improved shopping eCommerce experience, and we believe AI will be at the forefront and control for most of the retail industry in the coming years.

RiA: Digital boosted the importance of festival campaigns, how to fully leverage them? 

Giovanni: Festival campaigns have been a great occasion to boost sales and acquire new users.

Nevertheless, it comes with a great cost. Brands are bidding higher and higher to secure more traffic and more users. Hence, customer acquisition cost rises and the most difficult part is to transform those new users (perhaps acquired through deep discounts) into loyal customers. 

It’s crucial to treat these cohorts differently and craft a strategic plan to retain and nurture them. 

Get the e-book on how to make the most out of festive seasons. 

Source: Insider

RiA: What’s next for Insider in terms of business strategy in APAC? 

Giovanni: We have a strong footprint across APAC with active local teams of consultants that ensure the support of organizations that are willing to double down on their e-commerce business and digital touchpoints. We are actively upgrading and innovating our technology in order to keep up with the new trends, new demands and also partner up with other tech brands to achieve a greater goal together in order to lead in the APAC market.  

RiA: What success stories can you share from your current partners? 

Giovanni: Insider’s AI-powered hyper personalized campaigns allowed Asia’s leading Health & Beauty Retailer Watsons to implement online merchandising strategies swiftly, reducing the human effort to put together a pre-defined customer journey. More importantly, Watson’s resulted in an overall +7% conversion uplift to their website and mobile apps across APAC in over 8 regions. 

“Insider is not just a vendor but our partner. Our 3 year relationship has marked a sufficient milestone that is worthy to highlight their efforts in taking AI digital transformation across 8 different regions in APAC to new heights. With their attentive and proactive attitude the team is able to understand our core business goals by tailor making AI personalisation, smart recommendation and web push that boosted our online conversions to +7% I look forward to what lies ahead with adapting in the current environment and taking our partnership global.”

— Chief Digital Officer, Freda Ng

RiA: What would you say are your top 3 star products & features at Insider? 

Giovanni: Conversion Suite to make the most of your traffic on the website; AI-augmented Product Recommendations to show relevant products to relevant users; Award-winning Mobile Application Engagement Suite to boost stickiness and customer lifetime value.

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With the increasing interest into technology in support of businesses to make informed decisions, Retail in Asia will keep the conversation on with Insider across channels, from  content to events to understand how AI and other solutions can support retailers boosting efficiency and accelerating growth.  

In the meantime, along with other events happening, on 19th November, Insider will bring together 1000+ senior executives from the top 25 brands in APAC to your screen. The 6 hour summit will revolve around raising the bar on individualized customer experiences, the evolving landscape of multichannel marketing, innovative mobile engagement, customer journeys and personalized experiences at scale.

UPLIFT APAC VIRTUAL SUMMIT will be brought to you by Insider, and partners AWS, Dentsu and Deloitte Digital, the virtual event is free and available to everyone.

Former Minister of Communications and Information of Indonesia, Rudiantar will open the summit by sharing his insight on how to accelerate innovation by learning from the past. Following with more exceptional talks and panel discussions with leaders from Maybank, Forrester, Dentsu, Deloitte Digital, Decathlon, Domino’s. Closing keynote “Rethinking Storytelling with TIk Tok” will be delivered by Head of Business Marketing Chew Wee Ng.

During the 6 hours on the screen, you will discover the secrets of how the top brands are doing to stay current to the trend and to give what customers really need. The summit is about raising the bar for individualized ecommerce experience. Join the UPLIFT allegiance, together we stand and share our strategies for success.

Free tickets to the summit are available online now.