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How to personalize in eCommerce: 5 major eBusiness strategies to compile user profiles

Market segmentation and one-to-one marketing are important online marketing tools to facilitate optimization of your eCommerce processes. Here I would like to speak about one of the key issues related to one-to-one online marketing: personalization in eCommerce .

(Bron: Miller)

According to Turban, King and Lang (2009) refers personalization to the matching of services, products and advertising content to individuals (customers) and their preferences (information patterns). The matching process is based on what a eCommerce company knows about the individual customer and his information patterns. This knowledge is according to Turban, King and Lang usually referred to as a user profile. Personally I prefer, as a eBusiness driven person, customer profile. Because users are not necessarily customers and the word customers refers to action. The customer profile defines customer preferences, behaviors and demographics. Profiles can be generated in several ways. The major strategies to compile user profiles include the following:

  1. Solicit information directly from the user. Using surveys (preferably with the SYcommerce online survey tool :-)) or conducting interviews are common methods.
  2. Observe what people are doing online. Of course using cookies and tracking clicks are methods, but also eye tracking (SYcommerce prefers: Tobii ) and observations are methods
  3. Build from previous purchase patterns. Of course the perfect example is Amazon, they build customer profiles to recommend all kind of products to their customer.
  4. Perform marketing research. One of the problems here, too much data! Often called Business Intelligence, but I prefer to speak about eBusiness Intelligence. Problems are accuracy of responses, loss of respondents and ethics. Important issues are: identification of your target group, analysis of the environment of the target group, content of the research instrument and comparing your target group with your real life customer population.
  5. Make inferences. Infer from information provided by customers on other issues or by analyzing similar customers. when the ad matching is based on information collected about the customer’s behavior on the internet, it is called behavioral targeting

Once a customer profile is constructed, one should match the profile with a database of products, services or ads.

Good Luck!!

Jerry van Leeuwen

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