Open Letter from the CEO to Benjamin Laker

I don’t often feel compelled to write these types of letters. However, in a time when the nation and world is struggling to recover from the pandemic, I couldn’t help but put my fingers to the keyboard and express my feelings.

Benjamin Laker recently wrote an article for Forbes that eloquently and persuasively discusses the importance of personalization and AI in commerce. As the Founder & CEO of Reflektion, this is something that I feel passionately about – I have spent the last 9 years of my career focused on building AI technology that understands consumer behavior and builds predictive models for future behavior, helping my customers deliver the most relevant experience on every channel. 

One thing that I have talked about in conversations with peers, my team, and even friends, is the idea that people – consumers – WANT relevance and are even willing to give up a bit of their information to get it as Laker says:

“When they open your website or interact with you, they have read and explicitly accepted your Cookie Disclaimer popup. ‘Can we collect data on you?’, you ask them. ‘Sure,’ they say and click ‘Agree.’ They connect with your brand in personal settings, and they have consented to data collection; now they expect you to do something sensible with that data and give them a personalized experience in return.”

Long gone are the days of irrelevance in the commerce experience. If you, as an online retailer, are delivering frustrating experiences to your shoppers, you are at risk. This is because our friends at Google and Amazon have changed the landscape forever – they have redefined relevance and have conditioned consumers that no matter what they want or how they search for it, they will find it. As Laker explains, “[consumers’] expectation around a personalized experience is strongly shaped by the excellence of the big consumer technology brands. Due to the competitive market space, consumers may take the high relevancy of personalized recommendations as a must-have.”

As back-to-school is approaching and with the holidays close behind, now is the time to heed Laker’s advice and start looking at building the most relevant digital experiences that you can for consumers. “Commerce giants that implement AI are better equipped at focusing on enriching their retail engagement with customers while allowing the technical experts to focus on the training of machine learning models with real-time customer data to achieve truly personalized experiences,” says Laker.

Consumers are asking for personalization and relevance and there are companies like Reflektion who enable large retailers to create these experiences with minimal effort, yet full control. As consumers start well, consuming more, give them what they want with relevant and personalized landing pages, email, recommendations, and content as well as predictive, visual search, with the ability to test and optimize as you go. 

Thank you Mr. Laker for publishing this article.



Amar Chokhawala

Founder & CEO, Reflektion

Amar Chokhawala

As an early employee at Google, where he spent 11 years, Amar held key leadership roles in the development of several successful businesses and platforms.

An original member of the Google AdSense team, he designed and developed core technologies that are critical to its widespread use today.

He was also one of the founding engineers for Google Books, which is now part of Google Play. Additionally, he did foundational work on Gmail user modeling by using semantic learning and other advanced technologies to improve search results and other applications for millions of users.

Amar began his career in software development at Oracle, and is an expert in distributed systems and large-scale computing.