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Metageni and AO.com announced as finalists for the 2020 London eCommerce Awards

https://www.ecommerceawards.london/

We were delighted learn this week that Metageni, working as data analytics and AI partners for AO.com, have been selected as finalists for the 2020 eCommmerce Awards, in two award categories – 

‘Best Use Of AI’ and also for ‘Best eCommerce in Lockdown’

Metageni and AO have been working on data analytics using AI / machine learning since 2018. Now in 2020 the combined Metageni and AO team have been selected as finalists for eCommerce awards in the categories of ‘Best Use Of AI’ and ‘Best eCommerce in Lockdown’, specifically for AI based personalisation and conversion optimisation solutions in the UK and Germany in the midst of upheaval and huge growth in online retail sales linked to the global pandemic.

Responding to customer signals in real time

Online retail giant AO has a market leading position supplying an expanding range of electricals throughout the UK and Europe, and in 2019 decided to develop solutions to provide visitors to their eCommerce site personalised shopping experiences. More specifically, they tasked Metageni to create a machine learning solution which could identify types of customers to the website in real time based on their predicted purchase behaviour.

When a customer walks into a typical bricks and mortar store there are salespeople to assist towards making a purchase. A salesperson does this by watching and talking to them, in order to understand the customer. What the salesperson is attempting to do is ‘classify’ the customer to understand what the customers purchasing needs are. Customers may be window shoppers, impulse buyers, bargain hunters, researchers, new customers or regular repeat customers, and more.  

The idea here was to use online customer data signals to predict conversion behaviour with machine learning and respond accordingly. The Metageni team used data signals from web and sales and explored trillions of possible model and data variants using genetic algorithms to find the best models. Working with AO engineers allowed rapid deployment into live eCommerce production. Rapid iteration of the models was been possible leading to ever stronger results.

Results: proven commercial success  

In recent weeks AO conducted independent robust A/B tests to measure conversion uplift due to the AI versus the underlying conversion activity which has increased due the pandemic related shifts in customer buying –


These A/B tests showed an impressive and significant increase in the AO conversion rate over and above a matched control group in the UK. Furthermore the result was replicated in Germany with an even big jump in conversion rate compared to the control group. Both tests are statistically significant, and while AO.com do not wish to share specific numbers for reasons of commercial interest, the results translate into long term revenue potential worth millions of pounds.  


A better outcome for AO and for AO customers 

As well as yielding great results, the approach used has allowed AO to understand more about their customers to improve the online purchase experience for everyone. The whole team at AO and Metageni have worked closely together to achieve this success – 


” Metageni have done and continue to do a fantastic job in using machine based learning to give AO.com substantial ROI.

The last few months have been an unprecedented time for us and many retailers. In this period, Metageni has delivered again, completely retraining our custom machine learning models both UK and German markets, responding to the dramatic shifts in customer behaviour.

I wish the Metageni team every success with this award entry. They’re a great partner for our eCommerce function.”

David Lawson, Managing Director, AO.com


The teams at AO and Metageni continue to look for ways to use AI technology to better improve commercial and customer outcomes. Meanwhile our fingers are crossed for the London eCommerce awards! – the event will be virtual this year and runs on September 29th to October 1st 2020.

More information including the full list of finalists is given here.

Thank-you for reading about our success. Can Metageni help unlock the value of your analytics and marketing data? Feel free to email us at hello@metageni.com for advice on how you can use data analytics and AI to grow online. 

Your attribution model is unique

‘What attribution model should we use?’ is now a question being asked not just by marketing analysts, but by the CMO and even the CDO, CFO and CEO.

It would be fantastic if there was a simple formula to answer that question but of course, life is never so easy. Here are some simple guidelines you can follow to help you answer this question.

Differences in attribution reflect differences in your business

If your business offers a higher value considered purchase, like a holiday or a financial product, then you should expect a longer more complex research to purchase journey, and therefore a higher value given to the earlier touch points. This means attribution models with longer ‘look back’ windows and rules favouring earlier clicks.

If your product is in an especially competitive market, with lots of similar alternatives available to your customers, then you need to focus on the research and comparison phase, again valuing earlier clicks, and also thinking about how to address the cross-device attribution challenge. Users who shop around research on their phones and tablets, and flip through several options, before settling on their final choice. Your product needs to be part of that journey so if you are to have a chance of being selected then leaving it all to the last click is leaving it too late.

If your business relies heavily on repeat custom, then you should attach higher attributed value to new customer acquisition and retention, exploring a cautious application of lifetime value. You cannot assume customers will stay loyal without work, but a repeat purchase is almost always easier and less costly to achieve than the first one.  

Do you have a diverse portfolio of different products, targeting different customer needs and with a wide range of price points? In this case, you may need different models for different product categories. It sounds complex, but if you think about it makes no sense to treat the buyer of (say) an expensive hi-fi system the same as the buyer of a replacement phone charger. Different customers also behave in different ways. Customer segmentation should therefore map on to differences in marketing attribution.

Is your market heavily driven by brand perception and do you invest in TV, outdoor or print? In this case, you will need to explore how to link above the line analysis to your digital attribution.

And so it goes on…. The truth is, each business is unique, with unique complexity around the product offer, their customers, how they engage, and the value of each sale. The only way to address the uniqueness of your business is to develop appropriate unique attribution models.

Incorporate these unique features into your model

Once you accept that your attribution challenge and therefore your attribution model is unique, everything becomes easier. For example, instead of plugging into a standard tag or data collection framework, you can leverage the special and unique features of your data as inputs into your model.

You can structure your attribution model to reflect the different customer journeys that you see for each customer segment and product group. As you learn more and more about your customer journeys, your data-driven modelling can adapt.

At Metageni we believe a customised data-driven approach unique to your business is the only way to get to grips with this complex business challenge and turn it into opportunities to increase marketing efficiencies and grow sales. You won’t look back!

Gabriel Hughes PhD


Can we help you with your custom attribution model? We collaborate with our clients’ organisations, helping marketing & data science teams create integrated on & offline investment analytics solutions for optimising sales growth.

Please email us at hello@metageni.com