Having read the article “Why Websites Still Can’t Predict Exactly What You Want” by Kaiser Fung, I am inclined to agree with his conclusion that companies are looking at their data the wrong way.
Instead of looking for commonality between groups of customers and making generic offers based on that, companies should be looking at the individual’s transaction history and profile to make offers that are better suited to individuals. In this case, offers do not have to be specials or discounts in the traditional sense, but simply suggestions that might be useful in the context of the transaction.
Where to next?
As to Kaiser’s point – Is it being ignore because it’s too simple? It’s not like the data doesn’t exist to make this possible. I believe it’s simply a case of companies not looking at personalisation through the eye of the customer.
The few good examples I have come across are in the travel industry, but these customised offers are generally made via email instead of online at the time of transacting. But there are more and more companies investing in personalising offers to customers, more notably in the retail space.