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16 Website Personalization and Recommendations Software Tools

Product, offer and content recommendation services to help retailers and other businesses nurture and increase conversion

These website personalisation tools enable you to segment visitors and then deliver personalised messages within containers 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 options. I have updated annually since with the help added by commenters - thanks! This is the latest 2016 update.

Category 1. Personalization integrated with web analytics

When web personalization service 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 service offer added in the latest update to this page. Optimize is available as AB Testing to all GA users, but the 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 E-Commerce merchandising giving automated product placements using aggregated behavioral data (those that viewed this, also viewed that) and personal recommendations (you previously bought this and might like that).

I’m indebted to an anonymous contributor who has originally reviewed and recommended these for the original article several years ago now - the updated list is below.  He says: “The following offer enterprise level SaaS solutions to deliver increased sales and a better customer experience“.

Category 3. Personalisation features available as part of CMS or Commerce management systems

The third category wasn’t mentioned in the original post since personalisation features were limited in CMS when the post was originally written in 2010, but I have updated in line with a suggestion in the comments.

According to the comment from Damien of Digicon, EpiserverSitecoreKentico and Adobe with Target have built in tools to personalise content based on various rules, such as geo-location, search terms, referrers, lead scores and also provide more advanced personalisation based on user behaviour and profiles.

Episerver have an interesting approach to personalisation which they describe as 'No-rules personalisation: more intelligence, less-work'. Rather than traditional rules-based personalisation used by many of the specialist services, this applies machine learning and statistical analysis to visitor behavioral data to tailor category and product pages without the need for rules configuration.

Magento also has personalisation extensions available such as Product Personalisation, Commerce Stack.

B2B and publisher personalisation tools

Evergage is recommended as a tool that fits best in this category that has a wide range of options for serving personalisation for content marketing in different placements on a site.

Of course, Recommendations aren’t limited to websites only, as you will know from Amazons’ newsletters. To learn more, I recommend this article explaining the inner workings of email marketing recommendation engines which reportedly boost click rates by 50-400%. It shows what to look for when finding the right tool to serve the recommendations inside your newsletter.

Thanks for all the comments sharing options in the post so far, please share others you recommend to build this list.

By Dave Chaffey

Dave is CEO and co-founder of Smart Insights. He is editor of the 100 templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ Digital Marketing experts. Our resources used by our Expert members in more than 80 countries to Map, Plan and Manage their digital marketing. For my full profile, or to connect on LinkedIn or other social networks, see the About Dave Chaffey profile page on Smart Insights. Dave is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Emarketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing.

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