January 30, 2001, 5:16 PM

Lands' End sells its personal shopper technology to QuickDog

Don Davis

Editor in Chief

Lands' End is selling the patent application, technology and intellectual property rights of its "My Personal Shopper" preference engine to QuickDog Inc. in return for a minority share in the company. The San Francisco based e-commerce software company will incorporate the technology into a suite of products designed to transform personalization efforts for online merchants. "We chose QuickDog as a partner for the ongoing development of the personal shopper technology because of their understanding of retail merchandising strategies, technical development skills and strong management team," says Bill Bass, senior vice president of e-commerce and international operations at Lands' End. "Quickdog's compelling vision will take personalization on the Web to a whole new level."
The "My Personal Shopper" feature debuted at LandsEnd.com in early November. Lands' End developed it internally for specific use in the apparel retail industry. Using a form of conjoint analysis, the technology assesses shoppers' taste preferences, such as color and style, through a series of paired comparisons and noted likes and dislikes. The software then immediately recommends products like an expert personal shopper or sales consultant would in a retail store.
Enhancements made by QuickDog should not only make it easier for merchants to categorize their products by assigning relevant attributes to their merchandise, it should also continue to learn about customer preferences through further analysis of their shopping behavior. "We believe that the QuickDog Personal Shopper will revolutionize online merchandising practices, especially in applications where style and personal taste drive the purchase decision," says Scott Metcalf, QuickDog's CEO. QuickDog plans to expand the application to benefit a wide variety of e-retailing categories characterized by fluctuating dynamics like frequent product turnover, changing trends and seasonal merchandise. Industries QuickDog plans to target include home furnishings, leisure travel services, specialty foods and gifts, consumer electronics and toys.

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