September 29, 2010, 4:09 PM

Getting personal with m-commerce sites

MyBuys goes mobile, offering a complete m-commerce site customized for each shopper.

Lead Photo

MyBuys builds m-commerce sites that provide a customized mobile shopping experience for each shopper.

More technology providers continue to enter mobile commerce, offering products and services that help retailers create m-commerce sites, mobile apps or text messaging programs. Providers typically fall into one of two categories: a company devoted solely to mobile technology, or an e-commerce platform company adding m-commerce to its array of offerings.

Today, however, MyBuys, a provider that specializes in online personalization and product recommendations technology, is jumping into m-commerce. Its pitch? A complete m-commerce site that boasts a mobile shopping experience customized to each shopper.

MyBuys has teamed with m-commerce technology provider BrandingBrand to build the m-commerce sites. Every shopper who visits one of these mobile sites is recognized via a MyBuys-placed cookie as an individual with unique preferences and shopping behaviors. What she sees is based on her cookie-based profile, information about her preferences, purchase history and site activity.

MyBuys has collected more than 200 million profiles from its more than 300 retail clients, including more than 70 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, the company says. MyBuys doesn’t know the shopper’s name, but knows her tastes, or at least those of someone who used her computer. And of the 200 million profiles, there may be multiple for a shopper who has deleted her cookies or purchased a new computer, and thus assigned a new MyBuys cookie on her next visit to a MyBuys site.

For a new shopper, MyBuys assigns her a cookie and begins tracking from the first click. But even before the shopper clicks on an item or category, MyBuys personalizes what she sees based on how she arrived at the site, such as from a paid search keyword, which the vendor calls an indicator of intent. Intent creates the first set of recommendations; each successive click refines recommendations.

The MyBuys software-as-a-service technology uses templates in its site design to showcase products. The technology also displays real-time changes in content and inventory. There are no I.T. requirements for current MyBuys clients, the company says, and minimal requirements for new clients. MyBuys takes the data feed of a retailer to fill the templates of the retailer’s m-commerce site. It links m-commerce functionality, such as payment and checkout, to a retailer’s existing e-commerce platform so the mobile site can use the same back-end technology as the e-commerce site.

“People have more personal relationships with their phones than they do with their computers.  And they expect the experience to be more personalized,” says MyBuys president Robert Cell. “MyBuys comes at the mobile challenge thinking of the consumer first; personalizing the experience well is critical to deploying a mobile experience that consumers will embrace.”

Personalization is a key driver of e-commerce, Cell states, citing the success of the highly personalized shopping experience on Amazon.com. He also points to MyBuys’s recently released 3rd Annual Personalization Survey, which found that 67% of online shoppers expect their shopping experiences to be more personalized than what they’ve experienced in the past and stated that personalization would lead to additional purchases.

“Our goal is to leverage the power of personalization to make the shopping experiences, whether online or on a mobile site, easier and better for consumers,” Cell says. “We know a lot about a lot of consumers’ shopping behaviors and can use these profiles to provide the most personalized experiences across channels, resulting in increased consumer engagement and online purchases.”

The personalization provider is launching with three retailer clients: Steve Madden, Jelly Belly and BabyPhat. As for the cost, MyBuys says it does not publicly discuss pricing.

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