24/03/11

By Richard Jackson, director, Session Digital

It’s always interesting to read about new developments in e-commerce technology, and there are plenty now appearing on the market. Retailers should always be encouraged to strive for a detailed understanding of their customer behaviours — and then to provide relevant content, personalised for each individual visitor. That degree of personalisation has to be the goal, regardless of the size of nature of the retailer.

To achieve this requires gaining a deeper intelligence into customer behaviour and then aligning your online presence to their individual needs. Therefore collating information not just on what your customers buy, but when and how they search and subsequently bought is absolutely crucial. Behavioural merchandising is by no means a magic bullet but certainly should be part of a site owners search & merchandising strategy. This ensures retailers continually offer the best possible user experience and the most appropriate product selections - which in turn increases profits and loyalty.

All well and good, but doesn’t that sound expensive to implement? Perhaps not; we’re now entering a third wave of e-commerce where open source technology like Magento Ecommerce and easy to integrate third party merchandising solutions enables retailers to do much more for much less. It means that sophisticated solutions, previously restricted to the Amazons of the world, can now be delivered at a fraction of the cost, and it doesn’t require huge investment to keep shoppers online and engaged with your offering. Great news for retailers; even better for their customers.