March 4, 2009, 12:00 AM

To get personal, focus on shopping behavior, not demographics, expert says

For effective web site personalization, online retailers should seek real-time updates of customer shopping behavior rather than relying on stored information on consumer demographics and classifications, says Meyar Sheik, CEO of Certona.

For effective web site personalization, e-retailers should seek real-time updates of customer shopping behavior rather than stored information on consumer demographics and classifications, says Meyar Sheik, CEO of Certona. a provider of personalization technology.

Early versions of web site personalization applications use customer demographic and classification information gathered in surveys and online registration forms to devise product recommendations and targeted offers, he adds. But new versions are designed to capture real-time shopping and browsing activity and generate product offers based on that data, Sheik says.

“These dynamic systems automatically generate representations of visitors, content and products solely from what the visitor has just done on the web site,” he says. “Self-optimizing tools leverage the traffic patterns of users to provide the most relevant web experience possible without the need for any personal information, third-party cookies or special interaction with the individual shopper.”

One retailer that has deployed such technology, Sheik says, has experienced a 30% growth in average order value and an increase of more than 70% in the number of items per order. The retailer has also seen a higher conversion rate and an increase in repeat buyers while eliminating the task of manually generating product recommendations and personalized promotions, he adds.

 

 

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