Web Personalization

Ron Swift, a vice-president with Teradata, recently spoke to the Data Management class at The Terry School of Business’ Gwinnett campus.  Mr. Swift is an internationally known consultant, author and strategist in the areas of customer management systems, enterprise data warehousing, analytical marketing and electronic commerce (source: Teradata).  He spoke on the power of Web page personalization and its impact to increase conversion rates and subsequently revenues.

What is web page personalization?  According to Christian Ricci in the September, 2009 issue of boxesandarrows, “Web personalization is a strategy, a marketing tool, and an art.  Personalization requires implicitly or explicitly collecting visitor information and leveraging that knowledge in your content delivery framework to manipulate what information you present to your users and how you present it.”  To achieve effective personalization, organizations must rely on both web analytics, the usage and click-stream data, along with user supplied data.

Mr. Swift examined in detail the success of Travelocity.com and its web personalization.  Travelocity explicitly collects user information by allowing registered users to view and save their trips and store travel preferences including favorite destinations.  It implicitly collects user information by mining its web analytics including usage and click stream data.  These actions result in a personal experience for the Travelocity user and within a second of logging on to Travelocity.com, registered users are greeted with offers tailored to their unique travel history and preferences.  Additionally, even non-registered users instantly see offers based on their location, which Travelocity determines from the visitor’s IP address  (source:  Kelly).

Since deploying its current web personalization strategy in 2006, Travelocity has seen a significant increase on the click-through rates on its website and bookings have increased to four times what they were before implementation (source:  Kelly).   Travelocity has proven that investment into a web personalization strategy can have a significant payoff.


About Susan
I'm a wife, mother and student living in the suburbs of Atlanta. After 20 years in corporate IT, I am currently working for a non-profit as Director of Operations.

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