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BizReport : Ecommerce : July 23, 2012

How to improve personalized campaigns, website experiences

By now everyone has heard about the benefit of personalization to online campaigns. Relevant content, personalized ads, past-purchase targeting. This all feeds together to create a better online experience for shoppers and Baynote's platform helps marketers create better personalized campaigns.

by Kristina Knight

I recently chatted with Scott Brave about why personalization is important; you can learn more from Baynote's white paper on the subject. Today, more from Scott including his top tips for better personalization.

Kristina: Looking ahead to the back-to-school and holiday rushes, can personalization send a retail campaign over the top?

Scott Brave, Founder & CTO, Baynote: Absolutely. These are the critical times when automated, intent-based personalization strategies really shine. Forms of personalization that rely on rules, profiles and past purchases are worse than useless when you have large volumes of new and unknown visitors when known consumers shift into a new buying mode or are buying for others. Back to school shopping for the kids or buying gifts for the holidays are great examples. Trying to personalize based on history or profiles could actually detract from the buying experience and send the consumer to another site. Systems that use machine learning combined with understanding the consumer's intent will pick up on what the person is looking for in the moment --including both known and unknown visitors --and personalize for that. This will go a long way in sending a retail campaign over the top.

Kristina: What are your top 3 tips for creating a more personalized campaign?

Scott: Prioritize intent, not past purchase history. While social graph profiles and past purchase data provide insights into a customer's typical preferences, they cannot accurately predict what a customer wants in the moment. To do that, retailers must focus on the critical micro-behaviors of each visitor. By considering in-the-moment buyer intent, retailers will be in the best position to offer relevant and thoughtful experiences.

Be consistent across all touch points. Consistency is integral when personalizing content across multiple touch points. From your website, to emails, to native and web apps, a consistent, personalized user experience will lead to greater consumer engagement, and ultimately greater conversions.

Consider the Shopping Lifecycle. Customers engage with you at various points of their shopping experience --some to simply research products while others are ready to make a purchase. Paying attention to customer behaviors such as search terms, method of arrival to your site and micro behaviors once they get there, will help you gain insight into the current stage of a visitor's buying lifecycle from discovery to purchase and how to best serve their needs in that moment.

Tags: Baynote, ecommerce tips, online personalization, personalization tips, personalized experience

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