We recently had a visit from Apptus, a Swedish company with a product called eSales Manager, which is a personalisation and recommendation engine based on collecting behavioural data from the eCommerce web solution. We will be using the Apptus eSales Manager in an upcoming project. The majority of Apptus’ customers are using the eSales Manager for B2C solutions, but they are also growing in the B2B segment. The solution is currently existing in two versions; an on-premise solution and as a SAAS solution.
The most important point to keep in mind when working with Apptus eSales Manager, is to find the right balance between lifetime value and short-time gain. From product descriptions (quality is key here) combined with behavioural data (how the users click on or views the products), the Apptus solution can generate various lists of products. These lists can be used by the eCommerce site for:
- Top sellers
- Recommendations based on product, shopping cart and customer identity
- Those who…
- viewed … also viewed …
- bought … also bought …
- views … actually bought …
- Ads & banners
As Apptus sees it, a product in an eCommerce solution consist of a unique entity with attributes, user behaviour, order value and possibly multiple variants. A panel is a container for content, and usually one can start out with the various pre-built panels that come with Apptus, and tweek these to the specific customer needs. Panels can be used for product listings, category pages, brand pages and landing pages, as well as to display facets and categories. The advice from Apptus is to break everything up into as small components as possible, using panels within panels, and re-using panels and logic wherever possible.
There are two main integration steps to consider; data integration and site integration. Data integration consist of finding out what products and fields to export, what attributes to create in the eSales Manager, and how this integration should be scheduled. Site integration consists of setting up the varioius panels in the eSales Manager, integrating these in the eCommerce web app, and collect the right user behaviour from the web app.
Apptus will gladly help during the whole process, from technical training, via the integration steps and extensive testing of the solution, until the following go-live.