Commentary

More Like This



Do you ever find yourself browsing through one of your favorite retail Web sites and come across a really great feature, only to find that the next time you visit the site the feature no longer exists? It happened to me recently. I want the search feature back.

I may have been part of a test phase, because the search feature arrived via an email Neiman Marcus newsletter promo. Click through the email promo to the retailer's Web site to find three images across the page, about 10 deep. In the top corners of each image the retailer placed one button on both top corners. One button -- a butterfly, Neiman's logo -- gave you searches for similar items, "more like this," while the other gave less, removing the style from future searches.

It reminds me of Amazon's "more like this feature." It won't surprise me if Neiman adds in the future a section on their home page that tells me "What Other Customers Are Looking at right now," similar to Amazon. Earlier this month, Google announced a feature in Real Time Analytics that allows brands to see demand for specific content or pages in real-time. The family-owned vacation rental site, Twiddy, has been testing the application programming interface (API) to understand what visitors look for on the site.

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A tool like this could help Neiman Marcus to determine the type of items that should go into future promotional emails geared toward a specific consumer. The retailer also began using online pre-orders more often to determine the demand for a specific product, style, or brand.

And while the site offers a ton of products, not all are available in stores. The Web site added an "in store" feature allowing consumers to know what products they can pick up at their local (physical) Neiman Marcus store.

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