Many firms are chasing after the Holy Grail of predictive software. Retailers want to know who will buy the next thing they sell–and make all the right moves to cause that sale to happen. Sales make data. Data should make more sales.
In the case of Jetlore, any data can be just as informative as sales data alone. Jetlore’s approach is to “rank” potential shoppers, based on their preferences, past purchases, and “passive data”—the web pages they do nothing with.
“The fundamental approach is that any content on the retail side has to be ranked for the individual user,” said Eldar Sadikov, Jetlore’s co-founder and CEO. “A rank is different from a recommendation,” Sadikov continued. The typical online transaction will show some merchandise, a blender for example, listing its price, brand name, feature set, color and style. If the online shopper does not buy this particular blender, a similar one will be recommended by the web site. That’s pretty much it.
Consumer intent is not limited to the transaction above, Sadikov noted. “We believe a lot of signals the consumer provides across the channels,” he said. You can look at previous purchases, un-purchased items left in the shopping cart, browser clicks, search queries, categories browsed, and “implicit signals”–those instances when a user is presented with a web page, and he does not engage with the content. That non-signal is also a signal.
Jetlore will take in all these signals—used and unused—and bundle them to form an anonymized customer profile. Then “we do personal rankings of content on the retail side,” Sadikov said. Ranking means showing items that are more likely to get an online shopper’s attention because the web site has a better idea of what that particular consumer wants. This should build a more personal relationship between the online retailer and the online shopper.
Such a strategy is a necessity in an age when Amazon dominates online retail. Amazon operates by the recommendation model, offering online shoppers alternatives based on past purchases or similar purchases by others. Jetlore offers retailers is a chance to build a relationship with the online shopper through creating a unique experience tailored to his preferences, every time he or she logs on to the web site. This helps the retailer retain that customer for repeat business, Sadikov explained. . “The user has the incentive to keep coming back to the web site.”
“The consumer is increasingly expecting the brand and the retailer to have an understanding of them,” Sadikov continued. Ironically, this personalized experienced is delivered to a number, not a name. “We have a way to encrypt the identity of the user. By encrypting the identity, you cannot say who the user is,” Sadikov said. No two users have the same encryption form, so every one is unique and becomes the basis for the preference profile. “We don’t want to know who the consumer is,” Sadikov added. “We are not in the business of surveillance.” That encrypted profile will flag that user, regardless of whatever platform he or she uses to access the web site.
“The more data, the better this system gets,” Sadikov said. A few interactions are enough to begin building a profile, and none of those interactions requires a purchase. Even passive data counts.
“We’re probably the first company looking at passive data in so much detail,” Sadikov continued. Passive data tells a retailer what not do to. And it is abundant. There will be 20 times as much passive data as active data in a web site visit. Passive data “drives adaptability,” he said. “The brand is listening to me and adapts to me.”
Customizing what gets presented to an online shopper, coupled with relationship building, should add up to a competitive advantage. Jetlore claims its clients have experienced a 12 percent increase in online revenue, a 50 percenet incease in customer interactions and an 80 percent increase in CRN-based program revenue.
Jetlore is a software-as-a-service company whose leased applications, they say, are used by the top 100 omni-channel companies. “Four or five years from now, every single user experience will be highly personalized.” Sadikov said. “You’re going to see all sections and home pages personalized for you the same way Facebook is personalized for you.”
Jetlore’s name pretty much sums up the company’s mission, a single-word mash-up of jet (engine) with lore (wisdom), Sadikov said. “We thought of our system as an engine to turn petabytes of raw data into wisdom.”