Amazon and its Predictive Recommendations in 1999: Was this magic?

Michael StoneAnalytics & Insights, Industry insights & trends, Innovation, Location-based, Market Intelligence, Retail, Shopper Insights, WiFi Analytics

Jeff Bezos Amazon founder predictive analytics predictive recommendations

That’s the data that allow us to predict or try to predict what books and music that you would like, that you haven’t discovered yet’ – JEFF BEZOS, founder

It feels like it’s been 50 years since this interview. The truth is that it’s been only 19 years. Nothing less than 19 years which prove that predictive recommendations and predictive analytics are not new. However, it’s now when predictive recommendations and predictive analytics are playing a significant role for physical retailers and the retail industry.

It’s particularly revealing in Bob Simon’s interview the moment he asked to Jeff Bezos:  BS: ‘You collect half of Gigabyte from your customers everyday […] What do you do with this information?’. Jeff Bezos looked at Bob with the look that only a genius with a clear goal in mind can give, and he answered: ‘That’s the data that allow us to predict or try to predict what books and music that you would like, that you haven’t discovered yet’. (You can see full interview here)

This is exactly where retailers should put all their efforts. They need to understand their customer´s behaviour in order to predict what ´books or music´their shoppers would like the most and they haven´t discovered yet.

One of the main reasons physical retailers are facing difficult times to remain competitive against e-commerce players is that Online space is able to ‘know more’ about us, our likes and our behaviour than the physical world. But this was the past (this interview was shot in 1999). By then it was inconceivable to think that we can monitor physical behaviour in the retail space. However, today physical retailers, brands, shopping malls, venues, hotels and others have the possibility to collect data from their customers that visit their commercial spaces, so they can learn from their shopper behaviours and optimise retail operations, personalise their marketing campaigns for every customer or identify new business opportunities in real-time.

The Invigor Predict module responds to retail industry needs and enable retailers to collect opt-in, personalised shopper data as well as understand the effectiveness of their campaigns in real-time to drive response, store visits and sales. For example, do you know how many of your shoppers are most likely to get a 30% discount offer on shoes?

Beyond insights, Predict integrates a predictive recommendation engine that delivers campaign and product recommendations for each customer. These recommendations power personalisation and location-based alert features to ensure the most relevant campaigns are delivered to each and every customer. As a result you will have the ability to deliver a highly personalised, relevant “Amazon-like” customer experience to your shoppers based on their immediate situation, past behaviours and profile information at scale.

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See full interview here