factors-to-consider-when-choosing-personalization-softwareWebsite personalization software can transform a stagnate shopping experience into one that is dynamic and unique. Online shoppers today expect a personalized shopping experience on every visit.

In the online retail environment, delivering on this expectation can mean the difference between success and failure. But choosing the right e-commerce personalization software for your company can be a daunting process. With so many options on the market that offer varying degrees of features and support, it’s worth taking a hard look at what you need, and what you’ll get out of personalization software.

In this article we’ll discuss some of the key features you should consider when choosing e-commerce personalization software. While this list will by no means be exhaustive, it will help you zero in on critical features that your personalization software package should include, and hopefully lead you to make a more informed, intelligent decision.

 Robust, machine-driven learning

Is the foundation of your potential e-commerce personalization software based on an intelligent, machine-driven learning system? If not, it won’t be able to deliver search results and product recommendations tailored to your shopper and that continually improve without your intervention.

Machine-driven personalization software can more quickly and accurately assess your customer’s needs and provide dynamic search and navigation results, as well as product recommendations based on past shopping history, search history, and seasonal trends.

Machine-driven analytics are necessary to provide the unique shopping experience your customers’ desire in real-time.

Customizable for your needs

Your website personalization software should be customizable for your specific industry and needs. One-size-fits-all software packages fail to deliver the customizability that allows consistent application in different markets.

A customizable software package allows you to tune your personalization software in the ways that best serve you. The result is a sleeker, more tailored software package that offers better support for your products and brand.

Powerful navigation options

Simply having a search function on your site is no longer adequate for providing the customized shopping experience your customers demand. Seek out e-commerce personalization software that includes smart site navigation tools to help your customers quickly and efficiently find the products they want. Intelligent search functionality that provides targeted, personalized product recommendations is a key feature that will allow you to step past the stale search functionality of your competitors.

Additionally, website personalization software that offers smart filtering options will increase ease of site navigation, both for desktop and mobile users. Filtering options should not only include filtering by product, but also filtering by brand or similar products, which will result in larger transactions per visit and higher customer retention.

Desktop and mobile support

It is critical that your e-commerce personalization software includes support for both desktop and mobile shoppers. With more shopping being done on mobile or handheld devices than ever before, it is imperative that your E-Commerce platform taps into these markets.

Having one personalization software provider for both also creates greater continuity between shopping experiences on both types of devices. This allows your customers to have a consistent, customized shopping experience regardless of the device they are accessing your content from.

Ensure that your personalization software platform includes navigation tools that aid both users. Autocomplete is especially important, as screen sizes and on-screen keyboards become smaller and smaller, and shoppers are less likely to type out lengthy search terms to find the products they want.

Cloud-based systems

Seek out an e-commerce personalization platform that relies on cloud-based infrastructure.  Cloud-based software analytics and hardware provides additional redundancy in case of hardware failures or system outages. This ensures that your e-commerce site will have greater depth and breadth of coverage, and that you are less likely to be affected by local issues such as a power outage or ISP failure.

Secondly, cloud-based systems give your personalization software the ability to easily expand with your company’s needs.  If you experience a pre-holiday rush of sales, cloud-based systems can meet the demand for short-term expansion. If you are experiencing rapid growth as an e-commerce site, you will be secure in knowing that your personalization software will be able to keep up with your growth over time.

Both of these factors combined result in a greater continuity of service for your customers, both on a day-to-day basis and in the years to come.

As you search for the e-commerce personalization software that is right for your business, look for one that provides robust site search based on machine learning. For help, read our white paper, 10 Top Considerations for Choosing a Site Search Provider.