Episerver Personalization is a suite of cloud-based products, combining machine learning, artificial intelligence, and statistical analysis.
The Personalization suite includes these features.
The personalization functionality is based on a back-end service, tracking and UI components added to the website, and configuration keys for service access. As part of the onboarding, Episerver sends the required scripts, configuration keys and credentials to the technical contact for your project. Use the keys to configure the tracking for your websites. Contact Episerver for questions regarding the onboarding process.
Episerver Content Recommendations uses a recommendation service and tracking scripts for content processing and interest profiling. Content recommendations are defined through sections and delivered in widgets added to the page templates. See Content Recommendations how to install and implement content recommendations.
Episerver Product Recommendations are based on a tracking component, a core personalization system, and general or product-specific integrations. The personalization system has a recommendation service that is fed with visitor tracking data from Commerce for product recommendations, and Search & Navigation for personalized search results. The personalization engine processes visitor data and predicts intent.
With Episerver Email Product Recommendations, you can trigger personalized emails based on visitors' website actions. Tracking data can be stored in Episerver Profile Store (Customer Data Platform), or any other source. Episerver Visitor Intelligence is used for visualizing and analyzing profile data, and to create segments for targeted campaigns. See Personalization in the Episerver User Guide how to work with these features.
To get the personalization running for a site, configure access to the tracking API, so you can post usage data and get recommendations back.
Native integrations provide Episerver product-specific access to the core personalization Server-to-Server API for managing JSON tracking data and JSON-formatted content. It is recommended to use native integrations for the Episerver platform, to simplify implementation of basic tracking and the product catalog feed. See Native integrations.
The Server-to-Server API lets you integrate any website or application with products in the Episerver Personalization suite. In response to the tracking data sent, recommendations are returned with the Server-to-Server API response payload, based on JSON tracking data and JSON-formatted content. See Server-to-Server API.
A widget is a block displaying recommendations, either on a web page or in an email message. Widgets provide an automated way to add recommendations based on visitor interaction and other visitors' purchasing behavior. The recommendations are configured in the strategy defined for each widget, and are calculated by specific algorithms based on visitor tracking data.
During onboarding and personalization implementation, Episerver works with the customer to define KPIs and recommendation strategies, and customize algorithms based on this. Widgets are set up for example for the "home" and "product" pages, and recommendations will be automatically served based on these default configurations. This default "product strategy" can be manually overridden from the Personalization Portal, by "handpicked" strategies.
The Episerver Personalization suite is based on a service, and a set of NuGet packages providing access to the APIs.
The service onboarding and solution setup typically involves these steps:
Personalization has key components that you should not alter. If you need to alter the following components, co-ordinate with Episerver.
Changes to user tracking needs can result in loss of behavior and core functionality, such as if you switched from tracking plain email addresses to pseudonymized user IDs or vice versa.
Recommendations. To prevent user behavior from being lost, you need to send Episerver an up-to-date mapping between email addresses and pseudonymized user IDs. This only needs to be provided once so that Episerver Personalization can replace existing customer email addresses with their corresponding pseudonymized user ID.
Mail. You need to continually provide your ESP (Email Service Provider) an up-to-date mapping between email addresses and pseudonymized user IDs. Your ESP needs to create a new placeholder (mail merge variable) that represents the pseudonymized user ID. You then replace the email address placeholder from all your Mail campaigns with this new placeholder.
Triggers. Your ESP must handle pseudonymized user IDs. Currently, in Triggers, this functionality is provided only by Episerver Campaign. Alternatively, you need to advise your ESP to provide an API extension that lets Episerver call methods that accept the pseudonymized user ID instead of email address. Also, provide and maintain a mapping between pseudonymized user ID and customer email address that your ESP can use to lookup, to send the email to the appropriate customer based on their pseudonymized user ID.
Promote. If provided, Episerver Personalization can use the visitor's IP address, within their session, to do a geolocation lookup to identify the approximate location of the visitor for a personalized online experience. IP addresses if provided will no longer be stored, so cannot be used for analytics and reporting.
When you provide and test a user mapping, co-ordinate with Episerver to schedule a deployment and receive further instructions.
The product reference (productId) serves as an important connector between your data and the Episerver recommendations engine; changes to this identifier breaks a connection between collected behavior and your product catalog. To prevent this connection from breaking, inform Episerver of any plans to change the format of product references in your feed and tracking implementation. Provide a mapping from the old to the new product references and co-ordinate a deployment with Episerver.
See Install and configure personalization how to install and configure the NuGet packages needed to access the API, and start working with personalization.
Last updated: Apr 29, 2019