Psychological profiling IT boosts StudentStore sales

Academic IT equipment e-tailer is personalising its web store through its early adoption of new technology that maps online activity to language and behaviour using neural nets.

StudentStore, student and teacher IT equipment sales and support online retailer is using brand new web analytical software to improve its appeal to visitors based cognitive and psychological behaviour.

The software, launched Tuesday, by vendor 7 Billion People (7BP) uses behavioural psychology to give StudentStore management insight into its visitor and customer activity to help them optimise its outbound direct marketing and use of advertising through Google Adwords among others, as well as refine its website to increase sales conversion.

John Cummins, 7BP regional manager for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region said, while most web analytics software uses metrics linked to the design and architecture of websites, 7BP's MarketMaestro software maps web activity to the ways customers make purchasing decisions depending on the language of the site.

"When you consider the average 'close' rates for online sales from visitors to e-commerce sites is three per cent, it makes you think it should be better with all the analytical data retailers already have from their website systems," he said.

Mark Jordan, StudentStore chief executive agreed. He told IT PRO: " We were literally drowning in web data. But I wanted a 'heads-up' display of activity that could help with our understanding of what language and web experience were most appealing, so we could better match that on our site."

The StudentStore site offers students, teachers and academics discounted rate laptops, PCs and accessories. And, within two months of taking on the 7BP software, it is building a clearer picture of the motivations and expectations of visitors to the site so it can better match them in its marketing and site layout, design and content.

The software works by adding a single line of code to the website pages, which collects data on user activity before routing it to 7BP headquarters in Austin, Texas where it is run through neural net-based profiling models.

StudentStore then accesses the results through a portal that reflect the data as a series of characteristics according to seven profiles of common visitors to measure website performance.

"The data we're already getting is helping me answer the question of how do I convert more people who come to the site into a sale,' added Jordan. "We also build and run dedicated sites for universities as well, so we're also planning to use the software across those too."

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