SOURCE: Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

September 06, 2007 13:07 ET

Online Personalization Increases Conversion Rates

The Secrets of Successful Online Customer Experiences

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - September 6, 2007) - Companies that actively personalize the online experience with established business processes demonstrate an improvement in online conversion rates, average order value, and revenue per visit. In a recent survey conducted by Aberdeen, a Harte-Hanks company (NYSE: HHS), 88% of Best-in-Class companies agree that they will recognize a return on their investment in personalization technologies, and 76% agree that the economic gains from personalization will outweigh the costs of implementation.

Increasing overall sales, both online and offline, was identified as a top pressure by 60% of leading companies and the primary reason for personalizing the online experience. Best-in-Class companies indicated that they deploy personalization tactics across multiple areas of their web site functionality, such as email (76%), cross-sell/up-sell (50%), newsletters (40%), homepages (31%) and site search results (29%). These efforts contributed to the 91% of Best-in-Class companies who demonstrated improvement in online conversion rates.

"Online personalization is not a technique to deploy with expectations of immediate big-bang impact and results. The benefits of personalization surface with careful planning and by gradually introducing personalization techniques in a calculated manner," explains Andrew Boyd, Chief Research Officer at Aberdeen. "Sites that reveal the depths of their knowledge about a customer's behavior will invoke privacy concerns and potentially undermine the benefits of revenue and loyalty they seek to gain. Effective personalization requires subtle use of implicit information and opportunities for site visitors to offer explicit information to guide their online experience."

The report highlights the essential ingredients of a well-designed personalization strategy. By utilizing segmentation and unique user profiles and applying key technologies to them, such as predictive analysis and personalized recommendations, companies can create an online experience that is unobtrusive to the consumer yet ultimately moves them towards checkout more efficiently.

The research educates readers on how to gain an advantage in the competitive world of online retail by utilizing different personalization strategies. The report also provides the results that Best-in-Class companies achieve across key metrics after employing online personalization processes and compares these companies to the Industry Average and Laggards who have not yet pursued a similar strategy.

A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part by the following underwriters: Criteo, Offermatica, and Optimost. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=4129

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen is a leading provider of fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having benchmarked more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen™ for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen http://www.aberdeen.com or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to http://www.harte-hanks.com.

© 2007 Aberdeen Group, Inc., a Harte-Hanks Company
260 Franklin Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02110-3112
Telephone: (617) 723-7890
Fax: (617) 723-7897
www.aberdeen.com

Contact Information