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2. Select Products and Transact with E-Service Providers

Customers are faced with a lot of choices when they go to a Web site. They will make selections to personalize their experience and the services and products they receive. That selection will comprise the choices they make to get around your site and identification of the things that they want or that particularly interest them. This may involve choosing a particular product there and then or setting themselves up to receive information and services later.

And sometimes, that selection will lead to a transaction. This transaction may or may not be financial. When customers transact with you, they give you something in return for a service. Sometimes that is simply information, for example, when they register to receive particular information online.

Customers have to select the path they take through your site as much as the particular services and products they want. They are using your Web site to create a context that is relevant to them personally. Selection, then, is the process of personalization.

When making their selections, customers rely heavily on tools to seek out personally relevant information, such as site maps, search functions, indexes, and shortcuts. They also use tools that help them receive personally relevant information and services, such as entering personal information to create profiles and receive personalized content.

Personalization is an all or nothing proposition. Personalization should allow e-customers to modify the information and functionality they receive on Web sites, based on facts related to their own particular situation. E-customers will find Web sites irrelevant and intrusive if they do not receive something personally relevant and useful in return for the information they have provided. E-customers are more likely to provide personal information on Web sites that clearly offer valuable and useful information and functionality in return for the information they have provided.

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