Are you an e-commerce consultant helping a brick-and-mortar client make a successful transition to the Web? Your client must provide personalized content—content based on their previous behavior on the site or demographic information they provide about themselves—to offset the extreme costs of launching an e-commerce site and achieve an adequate return on their investment. By providing fast exposure to the services or products in which their visitors are interested, your client stands a much better chance of converting a browser to a buyer.

Why reinvent the wheel? Although content personalization software and technology is improving daily, consultants can draw valuable insights from those who blazed a trail of customized content. If you want to learn more about the tools and methods used by e-commerce leaders like Amazon and Eddie Bauer, check out TechRepublic’s Research Index.

Use TechRepublic’s Research Index to improve your e-commerce model
TechRepublic’s Research Index provides white papers, case studies, market research, and analyses on pivotal industry topics, such as e-commerce, security, and retention. Listed below are several selections that provide the inside story on the creation of successful e-commerce sites. Some of these resources are free, but some require membership in the research service or a fee for viewing and printing.

  • “Elevate Your State of Find”
    Providing people with easy access to the information they want has built industry giants like AOL and Yahoo. Will your clients’ corporate portals provide that same ease of use? The free white paper, “Elevate Your State of Find,” published by Semio Corporation, discusses the “strategies and guidelines for successfully implementing a corporate portal, referencing industry research, as well as Semio’s own experience” with customers.
  • “Customer Intelligence Drives Next-generation Web Personalization”
    What will the next generation of personalization engines provide? According to “Customer Intelligence Drives Next-generation Web Personalization,” an analysis published by the Patricia Seybold Group, they will “overcome current accuracy and scalability problems and deliver highly tailored offers based on a 360-degree view of individual customers.” The report goes on to describe how these “robust” personalization efforts can be implemented and their effectiveness measured through partnerships with business intelligence vendors. Accessing this nine-page report requires membership to Seybold’s Strategic Planning Service.
  • “Building Valuable Customer Relationships”
    What’s the future of personalization, and what strategies can your clients implement tomorrow? How are leading e-businesses like Eddie Bauer and American Airlines implementing key technologies—like collaborative filtering and business rules—to provide customized content? If you’re interested to know what those “ahead of the curve” are doing to increase their level of e-commerce success, read “Building Valuable Customer Relationships,” a collection of nine research reports published by the Patricia Seybold Group. The report is available from Seybold for $995.
  • “Case study:”
    Case study:,” a free two-page document published by Broadvision Inc., describes’s efforts to personalize their medical and healthcare information using Broadvision’s One-To-One Retail Commerce and One-To-One Knowledge applications. The tools allow visitors to locate requested information, change the layout of the home page, and browse products and services in line with their interests.
  • “Personalized Electronic Commerce vs. Business-to-Business Customization”
    Business-to-consumer sites like Amazon and eToys pioneered personalization. Now those customized content strategies must be extended to include business-to-business e-commerce. In “Personalized Electronic Commerce vs. Business-to-Business Customization,” a free white paper published by Luna Information Systems, John Rymer of Upstream Consulting discusses the complications of business-to-business customization caused by “contractual relationships between corporations, consultative selling, online lotteries, and financial trading.”

TechRepublic member CHRISL posted a question in the Technical Q&A asking for input regarding “implementing commercial Web content management and personalization solutions.” He requests information regarding “time, money, resources, impact, etc.” to help “frame the initiative and determine its scope.” What advice can you offer? Send us your response to share with the IT Consultant community or post your comments below.