Guides / Personalization / Personalizing results

Planning Which User Behavior to Track

The first step to implementing Personalization is understanding what behaviors your users engage in on your site or app. Then, you can decide which of them to send events for and use in your Personalization strategy. Planning requires an understanding of your users’ behavior and doesn’t require any coding. This first analysis stage is as important as the steps that follow.

Determining meaningful user behavior

Any user behavior on your site or app—for example, viewing a product or category page, clicking a link, scrolling to the bottom of an article—is a potential signal of their affinities. Put yourself in your users’ shoes. What behaviors on your site or app signal their affinities? Start by creating a comprehensive list of these behaviors. Then, decide which of these hold relevant information about their affinities in regards to your ultimate business objectives.

For example, if your end goal is to have larger cart sizes, consider each of the behaviors in the user journey that could lead to this: viewing a product or category page, adding a product to a wishlist, adding a product to cart, and actually purchasing the product are all good indicators, though of course some are stronger signals than others.

If your end goal is to have users spend longer on your site or app, viewing an article, scrolling to the bottom of an article, watching a video, and following a contributor could signal a user’s affinities.

When making your list of behavior to track, include any that could be useful. You can later exclude those you decide aren’t relevant after all when configuring your Personalization strategy.

Classifying and naming user behavior

Once you’ve created a list of potentially meaningful behavior, classify each behavior based on three criteria:

  1. Is the behavior a view, click, or conversion?
  2. Does the behavior occur on a specific item or items or a category of items?
  3. Does the behavior occur in relation to a search or outside of the context of search?

For more on these classification criteria, consult the guide on capturing user behavior as events.

Classifying your events in these ways makes the next step, sending the events that correspond to the behavior, much more manageable. Finally, give each behavior a name, using the naming guidelines.

Don’t worry too much about weighting the importance of these events now. That’s something you can consider further once you’ve collected your events.

With this list of classified and named behaviors, you’re ready to start sending the events.

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