The four categories of personalization and recommendations services
The website personalization tools we recommend in this article enable you to segment visitors and then deliver personalized messages of the ‘next best product’ or ‘next best content’ within containers on your website as with the classic Amazon personalized recommendations (read their published methodology from this fascinating whitepaper from back in 2003). I originally wrote this post in 2010 when there were fewer personalization options. I have updated it annually since with recommendations provided via social media – do get in touch if you have a suggestion – TIA!
This is the latest 2017 update where we compare the full range of options from free personalization tools to low-cost and enterprise services across these four categories:
- 1. Analytics tools based personalization
- 2. Retail personalization
- 3. Content or commerce management system personalization
- 4. B2B website personalization as part of marketing automation
The opportunities for applying personalization are now much wider than the initial retail product recommendations. This definition of personalization from my Digital Business and Ecommerce management book shows the opportunities for applying personalization in all types of business.
Category 1. Personalization integrated with web analytics
When web personalization services first appeared, they were part of expensive analytics solutions only available to the largest businesses, but today there are many services suitable for small businesses. These are two of the original services which are available today in a new guise and then a completely ‘new kid on the block’.
- Adobe Target is one of the most established personalization engines evolving from the original Touch Clarity back in 2004 and then integrated into the Omniture analytics suite as Test and Target
- IBM product recommendations – Coremetrics Intelligent Offer was widely used by retailers for analytics, but since acquisition by IBM has been offered as a separate product.
- Google Optimize 360 – This is the most recent analytics service offer added in the latest update to this page. Optimize is available free as AB Testing to all GA users, with some personalization features, but the full version of this Personalization option is only available to enterprise subscribers currently.
Category 2. Personalization Software as Service (SaaS) for Ecommerce
The second category we review here is specifically for Ecommerce merchandising giving automated product placements using aggregated behavioural data (those that viewed this, also viewed that) and personal recommendations (you previously bought this and might like that).
These options can be considered the top 10 retail personalization services that should be on your long-list for comparing if you’re looking for a service which is separate from your ecommerce or content management solution.
- Barilliance – SaaS Personalisation for Ecommerce
- Bunting Website Personalisation
- Dynamic Yield
- Monetate Intelligent Personalization Engine