Originally posted on Gigaom:
On Tuesday, for example, software-as-a-service startup BloomReach announced a new product that tries to give marketing and merchandising experts more control over their websites. Called SNAP (short for search, navigation and personalization) it lets the people in charge of product placement on retail websites exercise their judgment over BloomReach’s machine learning algorithms via a visual interface for determining what content is shown and whether personalization is turned on at all.
We have covered BloomReach’s service before, but the short explanation is that it’s a cloud service for determining what content retail websites should show visitors. That might mean displaying a sponsored search result that more closely matches what someone is seeking, or recommending new product terminology that’s in line with how competitors are describing their wares. Underpinning the service is an expansive data pipeline that analyzes billions of behavioral data points per day to learn what consumers want and how websites are delivering it to them.
Previous incarnations of the BloomReach service acted like a “black box,” BloomReach head of marketing Joelle Kaufman said, whereas SNAP is designed to give users much more input. Tuned to maximum personalization and automation, it will recommend personalized content across devices (BloomReach analyzes web behavior to determine if someone is likely the same person) and use its huge set of synonym pairs to intelligently match what users are looking for with other products. However, merchandising specialists have the option of tuning down personalization all the way down to deciding what products are displayed and where in search results.