SalesTech Star

SalesTechStar Interview with Lara Menendez, Product Director and Member of the Executive Board at Empathy.co

Lara Menendez, Product Director and Member of the Executive Board at Empathy.co chats about the benefits of pursuing ethical practices to drive user experiences:

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Welcome to this SalesTechStar chat Lara, tell us about yourself and your role at Empathy.co…

I’ve been at Empathy.co for three years now, following previous roles in data engineering and analytics at Merkle and Pull & Bear

My role as Product Director at Empathy.co sees me lead on product strategy and global product management. I coordinate efforts across the business but also with our partners and customers to build, improve and develop enjoyable and trustworthy commerce search experiences.

We’d love to hear more about Empathy’s new Search and Discovery platform: how does this new platform help boost ethical practices?

We’re thrilled to be launching our new Search and Discovery platform, in what is a real landmark moment not just for us but the whole sector. The new platform will utilise ethical and privacy-lead AI to deliver privacy first personalisation and 1:1 recommendations, moving away from invasive, tracking-based personalisation. These latest innovations give consumers the power to decide what data they share, and how and when they share it with retailers whilst providing an intuitive user experience.

In an industry first, the platform will provide merchandisers with an overview of privacy-focused insights so they’re able to review and make adjustments depending on customers’ needs and their business requirements. This privacy board adds value for brands and customers by analysing performance, potential risks and highlighting areas for improvement when it comes to protecting consumers’ data privacy.

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How is the marketplace changing today in terms of data privacy and ethics and why is it more crucial for B2B teams to pursue more ethical e-commerce and data privacy practices? What should they be doing more of to ensure this across the board?

There’s a definite shift in attitudes towards data privacy with both Government and large tech companies such as Apple and Google making significant changes to regulation and privacy policies over the past few years.

However, businesses are still not doing enough to assure their customer base that they’re handling their private data in a way that can be trusted. Still communication from business is either overly lengthy or difficult to understand and there does need to be a wider shift in approach. Businesses ultimately need to adopt a strategy where there is no room for violating customer privacy and they need to build relationships with their customers that are built on transparency, trust and value.

In addition, how can ethical practices boost the overall end user experience as well?

For too long invasive tracking practices that harvest personal customer data were seen as a necessary evil to deliver personalised and enjoyable online experiences. However, that’s no longer the case as through AI driven technology personalisation is possible without invading customer privacy. Additionally, a user experience that is transparent will generate greater trust and deliver long term loyalty that enables businesses to thrive and sustain growth.

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A few thoughts on the top trends you feel will shape this evolving trend in B2B?

Business ethics are also becoming increasingly important. As the corporate world embraces ESG, acting in an ethical manner in all aspects of business will be crucial. Without demonstrating this, businesses will suffer, they’ll not only lose customers but become a less attractive prospect for potential investors or future partners. It’s crucial now that the handling of customers’ data, as with any business ethics issue.  is not just seen as a chore or afterthought, but is tackled head on.

Some last thoughts, takeaways, before we wrap up!

Despite the challenges that industry faces when it comes to data privacy, I am tremendously optimistic for the future. The strides we are making when it comes to technological advancements mean that we’re now able to provide more intuitive as well as transparent user experiences. This will only continue to evolve as we’re seeing huge innovation across the tech sector and I’m incredibly excited to see how this continues to develop and progress.

Read More: Future-Ready B2B Sales: Digital Customer Experience Takes Center Stage

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Empathy.co is a leading innovator in commerce Search and Discovery with over 200 Developers and Search Engineers, it has headquarters in London (UK) and Asturias (ES).

Lara Menendez is Product Director and Member of the Executive Board at Empathy.co

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