Live from DMA: Micro Behaviors, Macro Sales

Oct 15, 2008 4:09 AM  By

Las Vegas—A cash register in a store provides limited information on your customers. Your Website, however, offers insight into customer microbehaviors by telling you what users are clicking on and zooming in on, according to Sheldon Gilbert, founder/CEO of e-commerce marketing and merchandising technology provider Proclivity Systems.

In his Oct. 13 DMA session titled “Monetizing Your E-commerce Data for Maximized Revenue” Gilbert noted that “birds of a feather buy together.” In other words, people who are associated with each other tend to buy in similar patterns.

So you need to mine your data for friendships and other patterns, he said. For example, a women’s apparel merchant can determine the cluster of people interested in a particular dress via how many users are e-mailing it to each other.

“Everyone is leaving a tremendous amount of money on the table by carpet-bombing their customers” rather than predictive behavior to target buyers, Gilbert said. You have to be able to monetize your consumer behavior bank.

The tools to optimize data and find out what customers are looking for are already happening on your Website, Gilbert said: Each customer click is a request for data. But you do need a timeline and process for accumulating data, namely a universal customer ID and at least a year or two of transactional data.

Gilbert, who prior to founding Proclivity Systems in 2006 worked for apparel Web merchant Bluefly.com, also has a degree in molecular biochemistry and biophysics. He warned the audience as he started to touch on the fragility of third-party cookie IDs that he could “geek out” about the technology all day. Happily, he didn’t.