Sunday, February 12, 2006

Intelligent Cross-Sell

On February 7th, Howard Burrows and I had the pleasure of announcing CNET Channel’s Intelligent Cross-Sell (ICS) at the DEMO 2006 conference. (“Cross-selling” is the practice of offering complementary products to a primary item of interest, such as a travel mouse and carrying case in conjunction with a notebook computer. Most online retailers do some form of cross-selling, and all of them want to do it better.)

Along with transitioning the ExactChoice computer recommender to run within CNET, ICS has been my main focus since CNET acquired ExactChoice at the end of 2004. As part of that deal, Howard and I formed the core of something like a start-up within CNET Channel, a property of CNET that syndicates detailed product data to e-tailers, portals, and the like. As the Vice President of Analytic Products, my job is to define and implement new businesses based on the use of that data. ICS is the first result.

Here is the one-paragraph summary:

Intelligent Cross-Sell (ICS) helps retailers identify and cross-sell complementary products, such as the best accessories for a notebook computer. ICS works like a good salesperson thinks: Is this accessory compatible? Is it by a featured manufacturer? Is it popular? Is it profitable? Retailers can target cross-sells by these and many other factors. Based on the targeting, ICS selects, delivers, and measures the resulting cross-sells—allowing retailers to sell more by providing customers with better choices.

If you’re looking for a quick intro on why ICS exists and how it works, I recommend the six-minute video of our DEMO 2006 presentation.

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