Nikhil Chandurkar, formerly of Kohl’s: Automating retention strategies in a world of machine learning

  • Nikhil Chandurkar was formerly a Director of Project Management at Kohl’s where he led teams to deliver personalized omni channel retail experiences leveraging Big Data and ML to drive incremental sales and user engagement. 
  • Prior to his experience at Kohl’s, Nikhil held high-level positions at companies including Yahoo, Symantec, eBay, and Oracle. Through these experiences, Nikhil has broadened his specialties such as Product Strategy, Product Management, E-commerce, E-marketplaces, Supply chain management, Customer experience, etc.

Key insights

(01:23) Recent technological shifts that have occurred

  • Nikhil opens by addressing how differentiated experiences are a transformative way to create a unique shopping experience for consumers
  • Nikhil identifies the importance of creating an efficient shopping process for consumers
  • According to Nikhil, a “dynamic real-time offers” is the ability to identify “a shopper who is not yet quite sure that they want to make a purchase, incentivizing them based on what we feel is their current shopping journey insights, and giving them a meaningful offer to have them convert”

(03:53) Creating differentiated experiences for each unique shopping journey

  • With Nikhil’s experience, he has found that consumers generally concern themselves with the value of either the pricing or the product itself
  • He utilizes historical and real-time assessments to further personalize the experience for individuals

(05:41) Predictive capabilities at the top of the funnel vs. mid-funnel

  • When analysing the top of the funnel, Nikhil makes it clear that there is less real-time data about the consumer except for “wisdom of the crowd personalization”
  • In the middle of the funnel, there is more historical and real-time data through the journey of the customer
  • For the top of the funnel, important data points include location and weather

(08:54) Automating retention strategies in a world of machine learning

  • Traditional marketing tends to utilize large sets of data to launch manual campaigns that lack feedback and neglect certain audiences
  • Automation and machine learning are now automatically managing lifestyle segments to understand a border consumer base

(11:07) The role of data for customer acquisition

  • Nikhil notes that personalization depends on the acquisition of data which can be difficult to obtain
  • Retention, on the other hand, is a more efficient means of time and energy and can allow you maintain customers

(13:14) Creating differentiated experiences

  • For Nikhil, the transition of marketing has moved from focusing on the current transaction, to the next transaction
  • Nikhil brings up the concept of differential experience where there is a focus on how he can influence the consumer to return in the future during the current transaction

(14:46) What does the next-generation marketing cloud look like?

  • Nikhil begins to identify the future of conversational experiences with voice recognition advancements
  • Nikhil brings about examples of this innovation through companies such as Amazon and CoverGirl

(16:10) Empathy at scale

  • Outside of machine learning, showing empathy to your customers before they experience negativity is crucial (ex. Refunding products that may not have been delivered, and suggesting similar products)

Session AI’s patent-pending ML models run on AWS’s highly resilient architecture using EC2, S3, WAF, CloudFront, Config, and CloudTrail to deliver a significant increase in conversion rates for eCommerce sites.

Last Updated: June 1, 2022

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