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Who knows you better than yourself? Amazon and Nike to name a few

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Open up Amazon. Immediately suggested items pop up based on
your profile and past purchases. Open up any website. Ads pop up based on your
previous Internet searches. Open up an item purchase page, and suggested
complementary items are found just below.
Years ago, I thought customizing your Nike's was outlandish,
but now, it seems the Internet is being customized for me. It it amazing how
tailored the Internet has become to enable users the most efficient and
effective shopping experience. As if online shopping was not already convenient
enough, we now have customized interfaces that narrow down to items of your
interest with no effort on your part involved. So long brick and mortar; online
shopping is paving the way with advancements day in and day out.
As data becomes more and more available, companies are
taking the opportunity to take advantage of this and use it as a weapon for
mass shopping. Not only does this customized interface make it easier for you
to shop based on your [assumed] preferences, but it also makes the consumer
feel as if the brand knows them and increases brand loyalty. This type of
customized experience, known as prescriptive personalization, is becoming more
and more popular as online retailers compete for the huge online audience that
will only continue to expand.
This type of assumed personalization does can become a bit
scary when it begins to predict our life. Think: Target'pregnancy.. ring a
bell? How futuristic did that sound and that was only back in 2012 when Target
was able to predict a teen's pregnancy using purchase history and predictive
analytics? While it can become a bit daunting to know the internet may be
better at picking your preferences and knowing about your life than you do
yourself, it is only fair for them to do with the abundance of publically
available free data.
The topic of customization has continued to take forefront
in the consumer world for many years now. I am interested to see how this
continues to develop and impact our purchase decisions.

Janel Parker, Market
Research Consultant at SKIM, an international consultancy and marketing
research agency, has a background in Marketing and Psychology from Cornell
University. Her previous experience at a social media agency combined with her
knowledge from SKIM provide for a unique understanding of the relationships
between social media and marketing. She can be reached at j.parker@skimgroup.com

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