Blog Archives

Three Pitfalls of Home-grown Product Recommenders

By Dan Darnell in Featured, Personalization, Recommendations, Retail on November 20, 2015

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Here is how the story usually goes. You have been paying a vendor to provide product recommendations for your website. Someone from the technology team says that they can develop that technology internally. Their project will not only save money, but will be more innovative than the vendor. It’s a win-win! The truth is simple product-to-product recommenders are conceptually easy to build. The collaborative filtering techniques like “people who ... Read More »

The Dirty Secrets of Product Recommenders

By Dan Darnell in eCommerce, Featured, Personalization, Recommendations on November 6, 2015

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Product recommendations are a common feature of many commerce websites and commerce systems. While simple product recommenders are an important technology, the recommendations themselves are not related to the individual customer. People often think product recommenders and personalization engines are one and the same. There are very distinct differences between the two and how they work. Let’s take a look at few of the ways that simple product recommenders ... Read More »

Human Algorithms – Three Key Ways that People Drive Automated Personalization

By Dan Darnell in eCommerce Merchandising, Featured, Machine Learning, Personalization on October 19, 2015

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In my last post I wrote about the 5 key differences between targeting and personalization. Several comments were made about the distrust of automated systems. While I understand the concerns, I think it is important to know that automated personalization systems using machine learning are still under human control…at least for now. First of all, I find it helpful to think of a personalization system as a combination of ... Read More »

Targeting vs. Personalization – 5 Key Differences You Should Know

By Dan Darnell in Big Data, eCommerce, Engagement & Conversion, Featured, Machine Learning, Personalization on September 30, 2015

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Any system that uses rules to determine the content being displayed to a segment, persona or audience is a targeting system and not a personalization system. The goal of personalization is to surface the most relevant items to each customer based on their current needs and what you know about them as individuals. The more you know, the more you should be able to personalize the experience to drive ... Read More »

4 Ways to Personalize for Anonymous Visitors

By Dan Darnell in eCommerce, Featured, Personalization, Retail on September 10, 2015

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Personalization means different things to different people. Many people think you can’t “personalize” for anonymous site visitors. The goal of any personalization effort is to surface the most relevant items to each customer based on what you know about them. The more you know, the more you should be able to personalize the experience. However, just because you don’t know the customer, doesn’t mean you can’t showcase relevant items. ... Read More »

Mobile's Travel Impact - Key Takeaways

By Dan Darnell in Featured, Mobile Commerce, Travel on September 22, 2014

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Mobile devices are having a huge impact in travel, but how. In the September Travel Flash Report put out by Criteo there are some great stats and insights. It’s a quick read that I recommend. Here are my key takeaways.

Targeting versus Personalization Explained

By Dan Darnell in Featured, Personalization on September 9, 2014

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In my conversations with customers and partners there is an issue which frequently comes up – the difference between targeting and personalization. I have heard the terms used interchangeably, so it only seems fair to explain the key differences as I see them. To sum it up, targeting is about marketer needs and personalization is about consumer needs. Both techniques can increase revenue but they come at it from ... Read More »

Get the most out of Big Data NOW

By Dan Darnell in Big Data, Customer Experience on June 2, 2014

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There are several common data mistakes that retailers make in the effort to lead consumers down the path towards making a purchase. Because consumers can now discover, research and buy products online, retailers have access to a wealth of data on their shoppers. Unfortunately, many retailers miss the mark in their attempts to leverage this data and drive conversions.

February Personalization Round Up

By Dan Darnell in Personalization on March 4, 2014

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February is the month where the post-holiday luster diminishes and stories of the new year begin to coalesce. One of the more pressing concerns in retail lately has been consumer security. Data thieves are increasingly sophisticated in their ability to bypass retail security systems. We’re also starting to see old-guard retailers make bold strategic moves to expand their brands. The demands of the retail world require brands to adopt ... Read More »

Retail Analytics: Winners vs. Laggards – Marketing & Merchandising by Blending Art and Science

By Dan Darnell in eCommerce, Featured on February 25, 2014

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My earlier blog discussed some of the interesting insights in the January 2014 report by RSR, Retail Analytics Moves to the Frontline. The strengths of winning retail companies that really stood out to me included driving a more data driven decision making process, focusing on customers and putting information in the hands of front-line employees.