Guest post by Craig Smith of Trinity Insight
Within the Ecommerce marketplace, new technologies have been developed to assist online retailers in properly messaging content and promotions to different users. These "targeting" solutions help improve the "holy grail" metric of conversion and should be evaluated and potentially included within your store.
What these types of offerings provide is the ability to customize a user session based upon data that is stored within the user cookie. Without diving into the ins and outs of cookies and their functionality, essentially cookies allow a web browser to decipher the geo-location of a user, if a user has been to a site previously, as well as what pages the user has been to and where the user dropped off.
This information can be very powerful when properly leveraged. Here's an example:
Let's say you are ToysRus.com. You obviously have stores across the entire USA and a variety of products and brands to promote. How do you know which to utilize on the homepage and how do you proactively promote your stores within the user experience? Easy, use dynamic targeting!
So lets say a customer comes to the site and leaves from the "Elmo" category page. The customer is also from Philadelphia. By using dynamic targeting solutions, on that customer's subsequent visit, you can promote an Elmo promotion on the homepage for a hot item as well as message in-store promotions that correlate to the users closest store.
To the user, the targeting is not really comprehended - they likely think the site is just smart and better meeting their needs and desires. They have no idea of what is going on behind the scenes.
Dynamic targeting is best utilized for:
Search term targeting (branded terms versus non-branded)
New versus returning (offer promos or codes to new visitors)
Clickstream milestones (cart abandonment solutions)
Geographic IP (the "store location" example used above)
All of these components allow an eCommerce business to deliver a site presentation that is better suited to convert. With bounce rates at homepages exceeding 40% for most retailers, its painfully true that users have short attention spans.
By providing an approach of personalized content, you can capture their interest, and then work to make the sale through great site performance, clear messaging, engaging calls to action, and a seamless checkout process.
About Author: Craig Smith is the founder of Trinity Insight, a leading eCommerce consulting company