In an article published by ActivMedia, over 1,000 web site executives were asked if they keep detailed profiles on their customers. These profiles are valuable because they can assist repeat buyers by providing information about past purchases, and assist in rapid checkout (witness the success of Amazon's very popular - and patented - One Click ordering scheme). More sophisticated sites even use past shopping histories and even real-time clickstream analysis to pro-actively assist shoppers by giving them relevant shopping choices.
ActivMedia's VP of Market Research stated
"In the offline world, companies do similar things - sales representatives review past inquiries and purchases prior to sales meetings, in-store sales personnel observe a shopper's behavior and inquire about their interests before volunteering specific information. Adaptive sites use similar information statistically to enhance the value of site visits for the visitor over time. Sites with the highest levels of consumer loyalty use consumer information to a greater degree than other sites. This suggests that Consumers are validating the idea that, in the end, the interests of the Consumer and those of the Web Site business are well served by these technologies. Adaptive functions add utility to the internet."
And yet, only about 26% of the sites responding reported that they maintained customer profiles.
ActivMedia Research LLC, a division of ActivMedia, Inc., conducts custom and syndicated research for clients worldwide to guide businesses to profitable online positions. ActivMedia Research began its first online market research in 1994.