Building trust and increasing sales in e-commerce with FORTYEIGHT

Cutting-edge hyper-personalisation is common part of the online shopping experience, combining everything from customer purchase history to weather forecasts, fashion trend books and social media analysis. Varyingly viewed by consumers as helpful, frustrating or downright intrusive, today’s recommendation systems often share one common flaw - at its core, it’s all guess work.

Hyper-personalisation has become a common part of the online shopping experience, evolving from the days of recommendations based on basic customer demographic data like gender and age, to today’s cutting edge recommendation algorithms that combine everything from customer purchase history to weather forecasts, fashion trend books and social media analysis.

Varyingly viewed by consumers as helpful, frustrating or downright intrusive, today’s recommendation systems often share one common flaw - at its core, it’s all guess work.

How e-commerce personalisation works

When a user accesses an online retailer, they’re typically asked to give their consent to the website tracking their shopping or browsing activity. The website takes the data that is collected and builds a profile of the user, making a series of assumptions about them so that the site can offer them recommendations for similar products or send them offers when brands they like are on sale. If the user logs in for a faster checkout, the site can store additional data about them such as their demographics, home address or previous purchase history.

But throw a few presents for your niece or nephew into the shopping cart and the recommendation algorithms go wild, trying to determine if you’re pregnant, recently had a child, or have had a child for some time but never purchased their clothes from this specific website. 

In today’s world, the solution is to just keep showing those recommendations until there is enough conflicting user activity data to override it.

Most consumers are aware of this practice but have little concern about how it all works, most likely being drawn to the sites that offer the best recommendations without thinking about why that shopping experience is just more enjoyable. Despite Amazon’s market dominance, in large part a result of how smart their recommendation engine is, online retailers rarely empower their users to play a meaningful role in how this technology affects their online shopping experience, missing out on potential sales.

This is about to change.

How FORTYEIGHT can help

FORTYEIGHT acts as a communication interface between you and your website visitors, letting those users know what observations are being made about them by you and your technology, and giving them the option to review and verify the accuracy of those observations.

Step 1: When a user visits your website or app, you observe their interest in ‘Paw Patrol’ as a result of them having viewed multiple Paw Patrol toys and adding 1 to their cart. 

Step 2: For each observation you make about the user, your system notifies FORTYEIGHT using our RESTful API or by uploading a CSV of these observations. 

Step 3: We inform the user in real-time, providing them with a simple interface to view and understand the observation(s) you have made about them, and to review their accuracy.

Image: e-commerce platform monitors user browsing and cart activity, creates an observation about this user based on their activity which is notified to FORTYEIGHT and used to inform the user in real-time.

By providing users with real-time profiling information, you can start to rebuild trust in the accuracy and value of customer personalisation technology that drives the majority of on-site purchasing decisions. Instead of analysing users’ browsing activity ‘behind closed doors’, FORTYEIGHT brings this out into the open, creating a two-way dialogue with users which helps them build confidence in how their data has been processed and what it is being used for. 

Building trust with your customers through a more transparent, informed and accurate online shopping experience can drive customer loyalty, higher spend and repeat purchasing. 

Why you should use FORTYEIGHT

The benefits of integrating FORTYEIGHT with your website or app are to show your site visitors that you value transparency and want to give them the autonomy to see, review and control the profile you are building of them. 

This not only improves the user experience but also helps ensure the personalised content you are targeting them with is appropriate and accurate, while putting the user at the centre of the automated individual decision-making. 

This novel approach also helps address the mounting concern over the implementation of Article 22 of GDPR within the e-commerce industry. FORTYEIGHT’s transparency-as-a-service API ensures users are given the means to express their point of view over the data collected about them. You can read more about using FORTYEIGHT to address Article 22 in this article.

“the data controller shall implement suitable measures to safeguard the data subject’s rights and freedoms and legitimate interests, at least the right to obtain human intervention on the part of the controller, to express his or her point of view and to contest the decision.”
Article 22. GDPR

Getting started with FORTYEIGHT

From your end it’s simple - once you sign up with FORTYEIGHT, you connect with our API to notify us each time a new observation has been made about a user. We use that notification to inform the user, who then decides what to do with it.

With privacy and brand transparency becoming key battlegrounds in the fight for customer loyalty, don’t get left behind and let us help you reduce risk, build trust and increase accuracy.

Book a demo with our team to learn more about FORTYEIGHT.

Nicholas Oliver

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