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Personalization Software and Real-Time Optimization

Personalization Software and Real-Time Optimization

Not all personalization software offers a complete look at customers. Those based on historical data alone ignore real time shopping behaviors essential to the equation.

Personalization software is more than just a means to show off a few choice items from your online catalog. It is a platform from which your business can customize the entire shopping experience. For the landing page to purchase to communications to return visits, each encounter with your customer can be a personal experience. Real-time optimization makes this possible.

Historical data adds to your customer’s profile. His previous purchases, reviews of products and browsing history give your business a foundation upon which to start building a profile. Demographics and preferences add to this foundation.

Past behavior is an excellent indicator of future actions, but your customer isn’t always shopping for the same item. He may be shopping for multiple items or just browsing on any given visit. Ecommerce moves quickly and historical data may not remain an accurate representation of your customer’s needs. If you only use historical data to influence recommendations, the options offered by your personalization engine may not be relevant to his current interests.

Online Merchandising

Many ecommerce sites use their own internal merchandising rules to generate product recommendations. Promotional items are frequently showcased and slow-moving or overstocked products are featured. While this type of online merchandising is a good way to manage inventory, these items are not chosen specifically for the individual shopper. Personalization software can make these offers more enticing by highlighting items that reflect the customer’s current shopping patterns.

Real-Time Optimization With Personalization Software

Using data gathered in real-time make a more complete profile of the customer. Real-time data consists of information drawn from the current session like site behavior and the referring site. It also takes into account the customer’s geo-location and the time of day there. With historical data as a foundation and merchandising rules as a guide, real-time data from your personalization software can present current and relevant recommendations to the customer as he shops.

A personalization software platform should use all three of these indicators in order to put the most attractive options in front of your customer. Historical data, merchandising rules and real-time data should be used in combination to make the most relevant recommendations. It can also personalize the landing page for your customer, integrate personalization into email communication and call center interactions and assist with mobile marketing. Your provider should also be able to provide accurate reporting of the results and advice on how to use them to optimize your sales.