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Improving The Online Experience

ATG introduces software that lets companies provide more personal online communications with their customers.
Art Technology Group Inc. this week introduces a pair of software products designed to help companies improve their customers' online experiences.

The vendor's Adaptive Customer Assistance tool combines natural-language search with a knowledge base, user profile data, and integration with a transactional engine to deliver search results that are customized for a user. For instance, a customer of a financial-services firm asking about 401(k) contribution limits would get an answer that takes into account the customer's balance and contributions to date, as well as the parameters of the employer's 401(k) program. "The answers are based on knowledge of you," says Cliff Conneighton, senior VP of marketing. "It's not just a site search."

ATG's Campaign Optimizer module is designed to let companies run comparative tests on elements of their Web sites without hosting duplicate sites. So if a clothing retailer wanted to find out whether a sweater sold better pictured alone or on a model, the campaign optimizer could be used to route customers randomly to the different views within the same Web site, thus removing the need for additional coding or load balancing. Similarly, the technology can be used to simplify the testing of search tools, navigation, or other site elements in refining a site to meet customer requirements.

Conneighton says the releases are the first in a string of additions to ATG's E-business suite, all of which will be designed to reduce marketing and merchandising costs.