Baynote Lends an Ear to the Silent Majority

Baynote, the provider of content guidance software for the Web, has released its new application, Community-Guided eCommerce. Purchasing decisions can often be difficult to make online and e-commerce companies know the pain of fickle consumers. Baynote's new solution promises to ease customers through the online buying process while improving companies' click-through rates via live product and content recommendations. Community-Guided eCommerce leverages buying and navigation paths cut out by like-minded customers to help lead consumers to the pages and product offerings that they will find most helpful. Baynote automates the process of using the behavior of similar customers to inform other customers' buying decisions without the use of written peer reviews. "A user review is better than nothing, but it's starting to get more contaminated these days. They are highly biased," says Mike Svatek, director of marketing and product management for Baynote. Instead of leveraging the recommendations of only those who take the time to assert their opinions, Baynote uses the buying and clicking behavior, or what Svatek calls the "silent majority." Community-Guided eCommerce offers a number of features to help companies realize a higher click-through rate. These features include seasonality and fad detection to uncover slow, mass changes in customer preference over time, product gaps to show what products customers want to but cannot find on the site, and dynamic landing page optimization to help land customers on pages best suited to their preferences. The solution also includes implicit folksonomy to help distinguish popular keywords through tagging and built-in A/B measurement to measure revenue lift. Baynote claims that its new product has provided an average instant lift of 20 percent for e-commerce revenue for its customers. No matter what the lift is, says Dan Keldsen, senior analyst and chief technology officer at the Delphi Group, it is a positive move. "Anything you can do to satisfy and tweak your customers, no matter what it may be, is a win all around," he says. The product can be likened to the familiar Amazon.com format of "customers who bought this item also bought," but Keldsen says that Baynote's solution appears to promise a higher level of sophistication. Keldsen says that although Baynote is not the only vendor developing tailored search solutions, this release marks a larger trend toward more personalized Web experiences for customers. "All the big boys in search are starting to realize that they really need to go way beyond what we now have as search and navigation and make it a much more meaningful experience," he says. "It is happening, but I hope it continues, because it would be good stuff for all of us." Related articles: Fine-Tuning Search
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