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How to personalize and optimize category pages to maximize profitability

How to personalize and optimize category pages to maximize profitability

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In a supermarket, it can take you an hour to go around the endless rows of products – even with the large square signs hanging above every aisle – to find the pasta sauce you want. In digital retail, category listing pages act as virtual aisle signs. After the front page, they are usually the very next step in the shopping journey.

Category pages are crucial to product discovery, serving as sources of traffic from search engines or paid ads. But most category pages are not effectively optimized and use simple sorting methods that don’t cater to multiple audiences. You may be tempted to display all your products on a single page, but showing everything on this limited screen real estate can also backfire. Visitors who can’t find the right products effortlessly will leave the site.

Category pages play a critical role for any ecommerce business. Therefore an effectively optimized and personalized category page:

  • Offers a relevant experience to every visitor and tailors content to specific preferences and intent.
  • Improves the visitors’ overall shopping experience and shortens their time to purchase.
  • Delivers a good foundation for SEO to generate traffic from landing pages.
  • Increases product discovery.
  • Enables visitors to narrow down the number of interesting products, making decision-making easier and the likelihood of purchase higher.

Optimizing category pages

Before personalizing a category page we need to optimize the aspects of the page. This means grouping and presenting products in such a way that a visitor can easily find what they’re looking for and immediately get the relevant information about the products.

So how do we achieve an ideal category page? Let’s go through these aspects:

Optimizing category pages

    1. Listing of products and narrowing down the lists
      When you list the products, emphasize on what the visitors see first. There should be a good wide range to choose from between products, such as budget, size, or other features.
      Give the visitors easy accessibility on narrowing down the product list so they can quickly choose which product to purchase. They should also be able to sort products according to their needs and requirements. Some sorting examples usually used in ecommerce stores include bestsellers, customer ratings, new arrivals, and price. You can use these tools to narrow down the product lists: 
      • Categorization
        Categorization means grouping products in broad and generic categories. For example, women’s clothes categories can comprise dresses, skirts, and tops. You can divide categories further to subcategories. For example, dresses can be further divided into party dresses, casual dresses, and office dresses. Effective categorization enables visitors to easily choose the best option. 
      • Filtering
        Once your categories and subcategories are in place, you can apply filtering. It allows visitors to refine their search based on various properties, such as size, color, and price, as well as more specific product attributes, such as material, style, or length.
      • Search
        Keep the search function simple, specific, and intuitive, so that visitors can easily find the exact product they want. Customers can find nearly any product imaginable online and get it delivered to their home within the week. The search box should be prominent enough for a visitor to easily enter their query and double-check that the query is error-free.


    2. Clear product photos
      Using clear photos that showcase the products well gives your visitors a better idea of the product. The style of the photos should be consistent  across all product categories as much as possible.
      • An appropriate number of products in a row and on a page
        To avoid confusion, keep the number of products to a minimum if the products require a lot of space or information.  On the other hand, fewer products may also indicate a lack of variety, so try to gauge the number that works best on each category page, depending on the products you want to showcase. You can also provide a drop-down list to let visitors choose how many products are shown on a page.
      • Highlight special offers and promotions
        To entice customers with good deals, highlight products on discount. You can add icons to indicate free shipping, or emphasize products that are on ‘buy 1 take 1’ offers. Show the sale price or the discount percentage in a different color so that it stands out.
      • Display product ratings and customer reviews
        If a product is highly rated or recommended by other visitors, you can use an icon, such as a number of stars, to show the rating of the product. A high rating adds credibility and makes visitors more inclined to purchase the product.
      • Add calls-to-action (CTA) that create a sense of urgency
        To create more demand for your product, add a CTA that encourages visitors to buy immediately. For example, you can use urgent CTAs on your category pages indicating that time is running out for a great deal, such as ‘limited supply’, or ‘few products left, or ‘free shipping only today’.
      • Allow visitors to add to cart easily
        Make it easy for visitors to add a product to their cart or wish list with a single button click. Visitors not wanting to spend a lot of time shopping will thank you.

Personalizing the category pages

Once your ideal category page is ready, it’s time to start building a relationship that goes beyond the computer screen. You achieve this by making the digital journey focused and clear through personalization. Here are some best practices for category page personalization:

    1. Reorder thumbnail images to create personalized category pages based on user affinity and behavior
      If a visitor has viewed particular brands, colors, or styles on your site prior to landing on a category page, you can use this information to reorder the category page just for them. Instead of showing the most popular products, you can leverage the visitor’s behavioral data to place the products they are interested in at the top of the page in the most visible position.
      Reorder thumbnail images to create personalized category pages based on user affinity and behaviorWith limited screen real estate, it’s critical to immediately show relevant products, especially on mobile, where the visitors’ attention span is usually very limited. Tailor the product listing pages (PLPs) according to each visitor’s behavior and preferences. Strategies can include:
      • Color variants based on visitor preference
      • Abandoned items
      • Recently viewed
      • Popular items from visitors’ favorite subcategories
      • Category variety for new visitors
      • Bestsellers
    2. Utilize past purchase information to automatically recommend the most relevant products
      When a visitor connects with your brand for the second time, they’ll feel valued if you recognize them. If there was a previous purchase, the next challenge is to trigger another one, be it a  replenishment product or a complementary item. Use the combination of AI, context, and insights to understand visitor behavior.
      Utilize past purchase information to automatically recommend the most relevant productsRecommend items complementary to the products that the visitor has already purchased. Use recommendation strategies, such as “Customers who bought this also bought” or “Shoppers who viewed this also viewed”.If a visitor comes to your site and looks at several summer dresses, when they return, it shouldn’t be on a generic category page filled with your most popular dresses. Instead, they should return to a category page that ranks dresses based on the style they looked at or purchased previously. In this case, summer dresses should be at the top of the page.                                                                                            
    3. Use A/B testing on category page filters and sorting tools
      Use A/B testing on category page filters and sorting tools
      For retail ecommerce businesses with a large inventory, optimizing product discovery is important to help visitors find exactly what they’re looking for. Continuous testing can better facilitate the user experience. Experiment on different menu styles, number and order of the filters, placement, and so on. Find out which solution showcases more products and make it easier for your visitors to find them.                           
    4. Optimize the navigation of the page
      Optimize the navigation of the page

      With thousands of brand offerings, finding the perfect product effectively can be tedious. Navigation becomes an essential element of the website, and that goes for category pages as well. A search menu on category pages can improve product discovery and increase add-to-carts and purchases. Add search filters to improve product discoverability and help the visitor navigate more easily through the product categories. By monitoring their site behavior such as product views and search queries, you get insights that you can use to personalize category pages based on visitor preferences.                                                                               
    5. Highlight product feed filters based on visitor affinity
      Browsing a category page can be overwhelming with so many filters and sorting options. To optimize the visitor experience and increase visibility on relevant products on category pages, use affinity data to highlight the visitor’s most popular filter type. You can use a dynamic banner prompting them if they’d like to reapply the previously used filters, such as color, price, or style.
      Highlight product feed filters based on visitor affinity                           
    6. Create personalized filters based on visitor affinity to simplify the navigation
      When visitors aren’t sure of what they want, going through several category pages and filters can be time-consuming. Reduce the barrier between searching and buying by personalizing the navigation experience through personalized filters for each site visitor based on their unique affinity.
      Create personalized filters based on visitor affinity to simplify the navigation                           
    7. Personalize the category pages for first-time visitors
      How do you personalize a page if you don’t know the visitor, or don’t have behavioral information about them? Leveraging the popularity of products has been proven to yield great results for first-time visitors who haven’t yet expressed any interest in a specific product line.
      Personalize the category pages for first-time visitorsAt the same time, you can use these contextual signals to create a relevant experience the minute a visitor lands on your page: 
      • IP address, which provides their most likely geographical location
      • Operating system
      • Inbound link
      • Season and time of day

With the ecommerce marketplace becoming more crowded plus increased expectations of today’s consumers, ecommerce businesses must keep up with the competition by providing websites that are easy and enjoyable to browse. Personalized category pages can help you stand out from the competition by capturing the micro-moments of ecommerce shopping. And with today’s technology, category pages can offer an engaging and unique experience by responding to each visitor’s intent in real time.

The category pages also receive a big share of your site’s traffic, especially from Google search. Therefore, improving category pages that list various products is crucial for ecommerce companies. Ecommerce businesses should provide websites that are enjoyable to browse and ensure that the category pages are simple, clean, and easy to navigate.

With an AI-powered personalization solution that uses numerous data points, ecommerce businesses can create individualized category pages, learn more about their visitors with each interaction, and improve the customer experience in real time, leading to impressive results. Visitors are more likely to spend money and return to a site that makes them feel valued with personalized offers that are tailored to their needs. Start delivering personalized experiences on front pages and product pages.


Give your customers the best personalization that delivers amazing results

Most engagements with Frosmo start with a demo, and we’d be glad to discuss one with you. Fill in your email below, and one of our personalization experts will reach out to you.

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Optimizing and personalizing your website front page

Optimizing and personalizing your website front page

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The front page of your website is the gateway to your business, the virtual front door where visitors decide if you are worth their time or not. Because you only have a few seconds to impress them, think of the front page as an applicant interviewing for a job. People put their best foot forward to land their dream job, and so should you with your visitors. When a new visitor arrives at your front page and proceeds to browse through it, they start questioning what you can offer, criticizing every detail they see, and trying to identify if you are the best fit for them and worth their money.

The front page gets the majority of a website’s traffic, but many businesses still find it challenging to effectively optimize and personalize them. The front page may be just the first step in the shopping funnel, but it can lead to a lasting impression on whether a visitor should stay engaged or leave the site.

So the question now is:

Is your front page making the right lasting impression?

To ensure that it is and that your visitors are engaged from the start and stay on your site, your front page should be both optimized and personalized.

Optimizing the front page

The basic elements of an optimized front page are:
Front-page optimization

  1. Unique value proposition supported by visuals
    Your value proposition is your elevator pitch. Short and precise, it needs to immediately communicate what you can offer to your visitors and why they should choose you. A picture is worth a thousand words, so make sure that your photos and images resonate: for example, choose engaging photos that add credibility, such as a person wearing your clothes or using your products.
  2. Call-to-action (CTA)
    The front page should pique the visitors’ interest, prompt them to explore your site, and ultimately make a purchase. A good CTA pulls visitors in, sends them deeper into your site, and drives them to the end of the shopping funnel. It’s the ultimate action that converts a visitor into a customer.
  3. Promotions/offers/inspiration
    With most retail stores having almost the same offerings, how can you stand out? Highlight your product collections and showcase inspirational looks of the main product offerings to entice visitors to start shopping. Promotions are also a great way to encourage visitors to stay on your site instead of jumping to your competitors’ websites.
  4. Key categories
    Help your visitors find exactly what they want on your website. Showing your key product categories on the front page will give visitors a glimpse of what they can purchase from your site. Make the categories compelling and visible, and make it easy for visitors to reach individual product pages.
  5. Popular/trending products
    Product recommendations on the front page should both inform and engage new visitors, so recommend the hottest products or ones that stand out from the competition, those that have ranked best on your site in different categories, bestsellers, or trending.
  6. Easy-to-locate search feature
    A search box is a valuable asset to include on your front page, especially if your website has a lot of content. Use a standard and clearly visible search icon to allow your visitors to easily find the products they’re looking for.
  7. Clear-to-follow navigational structure
    The navigation menu should be straightforward, intuitive, and easy to locate. Think of it as a road map that visitors use to find the shortest route through your site. A good and thorough navigational structure gives the visitors an overall view of the content and a clear path into your website and helps them easily locate the information they want. A good structure also helps reduce bounce rates and increase conversions.
  8. Trust and social proof
    Today, a good social media presence is a prerequisite for a successful ecommerce business. People want to see that you are visible online. Providing links to social media accounts is a great way to encourage visitors to engage with your company through another channel.
  9. Footer: About us, delivery, and other information
    When your visitors reach the end of your front page, they should see a little bit more than your headline or your value proposition. It could be something about how the company started or a short story of how it was founded. Contact information encourages the visitors to get in touch with you and gives them more security and assurance, knowing that if anything goes wrong, they can easily reach you. At the same time, delivery information should also be easily accessible, so potential customers know their delivery and refund options.

Personalizing the front page

The front page is often a landing page from marketing ads, which marketers spend so much time and money on. According to a report done by Marketing Charts, front-page personalization has remained the second most popular type of personalized experience. The front page should be designed to serve different audiences from different origins. It cannot just be a generic landing page built around one message for all visitors.

Personalization by segments
The problem that most businesses share is that they have only one version of the front page catering to all visitors. But every visitor is unique: each comes to your website with their particular background, expectations, and needs. Their experiences with your website should reflect this uniqueness. Instead of a one-size-fits-all solution, the content on your front page should vary based on who’s viewing it and what you know about them based on the data you’re tracking. Personalizing the page for your visitors makes them feel like you know them and what they want.

A properly personalized front page will yield the following benefits:

  • Improve engagement
    The visitor wants to quickly find the products that they are interested in, while you want to engage the visitor and make the awareness journey easy, relatable, and intuitive. With personalization, you will both strengthen the relationship with returning visitors and find out faster what works the best for new ones. Your visitors want a sense of belonging and a reason to buy from you. Part of front-page personalization is a sense of connection – providing the right kind of content and balance for each customer about your brand, your credibility, and social proof. With the right personalization tactics, you can immediately capture the visitor’s attention and engage with personalized content based on past shopping behavior.
  • Increase conversions
    The visitor wants to quickly find the products that they are interested in, while you want to engage the visitor and make the awareness journey easy, relatable, and intuitive. With personalization, you will both strengthen the relationship with returning visitors and find out faster what works the best for new ones. Your visitors want a sense of belonging and a reason to buy from you. Part of front-page personalization is a sense of connection – providing the right kind of content and balance for each customer about your brand, your credibility, and social proof. With the right personalization tactics, you can immediately capture the visitor’s attention and engage with personalized content based on past shopping behavior.
  • Improve lead quality and support ABM (account-based marketing)
    Using personalized campaigns that focus on highly tailored experiences can drive engagement with targeted accounts and increase the number of quality leads.

Optimization and personalization work best together

Once you’ve optimized your front page, you’re ready to personalize it. Implementing personalization strategies may seem tedious but considering the tools that exist today, it’s no longer impossible to achieve.

From dynamically updating a hero banner based on recently viewed or previous purchases to showing a recommendation slider or carousel with relevant products, efficient optimization combined with effective personalization is the key to unlocking the most revenue from your front page. Since you can now collect a lot of data about your visitors and really get to know how they behave on your site, it’s vital to make use of this possibility. Landing every visitor to the same generic front page limits your ability to convert more visitors and increase revenue.

Here are the best practices for optimizing personalization on the front page:
Front-page personalization

  1. Automated segment-based optimization of the hero banner
    The hero banner on your front page shouldn’t be the same for all visitors. The banner should be customized according to each visitor’s current phase on their customer journey. With second-time visitors, for example, you already have some behavior data available, so you can personalize the banner for them on an individual level.
  2. Returning user last viewed product
    For returning visitors, since you already have data about their shopping behavior and browsing history, use personalized product recommendations. For example, if a visitor previously bought a dress, try recommending an item that complements the dress, such as a pair of shoes or a bag. To boost sales, when visitors browsed your website previously but didn’t make a purchase, help them pick up where they left off by showing their recently viewed products.
  3. Best performing offer within the segment/category
    You can group your visitors into segments based on their preferences and customize your offers for each segment. Personalize according to the contextual segment, that is, gender, location, interests, weather, and so on. Use contextual recommendations such as “Trending in your area”, “What’s new”, or “You might like”. Test out different versions to see which one works best. Conduct A/B testing regularly so you can bring in more targeted leads by doing what works and changing what doesn’t.
  4. Automated optimization per segment searching for the best-performing inspiration
    Utilize AI-driven optimization to dynamically search for the best-performing inspiration or recommendation strategy for a specific visitor segment and automatically verify its performance.
  5. Product recommendation strategy according to customer phase and affinity
    Product recommendation strategies on the front page mainly consist of highlighting the most popular products, but with the data on hand, you can then find the best products to present to each customer accordingly in every phase of the customer journey. Every visitor is exposed to the most relevant product recommendations at the top of the front page when using an affinity-based strategy.

Non-linear purchase process

The front page plays a key role in customer journeys. The image above visualizes a three-session customer journey on a content-driven website, where registration is the end goal. The beginning of the second and third sessions are the most underserved points of the customer journey. When a customer returns to your site, you should help them pick up where they left off instead of showing the standard home page. Try providing content that is popular among other visitors, currently trending content, or even pieces of content the visitor has previously read.

Optimized vs personalized front page

Success for any brand that wants to acquire and retain customers now lies in the ability to tap into and understand the needs of website visitors throughout the whole customer journey. But for truly one-to-one customer experience, personalization should extend far beyond the front page. Category and product pages can also be personalized to reflect each visitor’s interests and lifecycle stage. Your customers will be happy, which also means your conversion rates will soar.

Ready to start your personalization journey?


Give your customers the best personalization that delivers amazing results

Most engagements with Frosmo start with a demo, and we’d be glad to discuss one with you. Fill in your email below, and one of our personalization experts will reach out to you.

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Add value with Frosmo Email recommendations

The customer journey doesn’t end when the customer leaves the website. You must continue delivering value after the visit and even after the purchase. Effective email recommendations complete customer journeys by connecting the last touchpoint, be it a Google search or a paid ad, to actual conversions. Relevant recommendations included in email marketing campaigns can increase customer engagement and encourage visitors to revisit a website again and to purchase products or services.

Frosmo Email recommendations allow marketers to extend the use of the Frosmo Platform beyond their websites. You can segment your visitors according to their interests, browsing behavior, recent purchases, visit source, and more. Getting recommendations for popular products, visitors are likely to convert and existing customers are more likely to purchase again. Effective email recommendations can significantly boost average order value and increase click-through-rate (CTR) by up to 300%.

How do Frosmo email recommendations work?

In the Frosmo Platform, an email recommendation is a piece of dynamically generated content delivered through an email which can display two to three products. The product displayed is technically a static image created by the Frosmo Platform and displayed in an email. The image features the product image as well as product information, such as name and price. When the recipient opens the message and clicks on one of the images, the link takes them to the corresponding product page on the retail site, where they can see more details about the product.

Add value with Frosmo Email recommendations

Frosmo Email recommendations can be easily implemented and require zero coding skills when there are recommendations already configured for the site. You can include email recommendations to any type of email you send to your customers. Here are some common examples:

  • Welcome email after a visitor has registered as a user
  • Newsletters or other regular emails
  • Order confirmation emails

Frosmo Email recommendations include built-in tracking that allows you to check the most important KPIs at a glance in the Frosmo Control Panel. Watch this video to learn more about how you can extend the use of the Frosmo Platform beyond your website, into the marketing emails you use to communicate with your customers.

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Product page personalization through AI-driven recommendations

Product page personalization through AI-driven recommendations

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Website personalization is incredibly important. We all know that customers are more likely to buy from an online store that provides personalized experiences than from one that does not. Personalization is the core part of the experience that online businesses provide and aims to perfect the customer experience.

Recommendations remain as one of the most powerful tactics to personalize product pages. Using recommendations on product pages aim to increase average order values (AOV), but also to keep the customers in the sales funnel.

Why personalize the product page? 

First, it’s important to understand how a customer arrives at a site. Data suggests that about 20-35% of retail website traffic lands on product pages since most people shopping online use search engines and follow ads. Hence, a product page is often the first step in a customer journey where they spend the most time browsing and choosing the products they want to purchase.

People who land on product pages have a clear need they are looking to fulfill, so this presents a good opportunity to begin a great relationship with them. Personalization on product pages enables retailers to reach out to customers in a way that directly and precisely meets their needs and desires. It’s about giving your customers more power, and reasons to come back for more.

Product pages are also an important part of SEO and SEM, and getting the best out of product pages will improve ROI of your campaigns. Personalization on product pages, combined with SEO best practices will improve the site’s visibility and ranking on search engines and will put it on the fast track to success.

Product pages have a significant long-tail impact on your business through products that are not best-sellers and usually not visible in standard recommendations. A clear strategy in personalization will keep you focused on your goal: whether to offer complimentary items to increase the average order value, or whether to offer alternatives to help improve conversions. Most companies use a hybrid of strategies that can be A/B-tested to achieve the best of both worlds.

Typical goals for product page personalization 

    • Aim for more product page clicks, views, conversions, and reduce bounce rates
    • Make it easy to view all comparable products in the category
    • Enrich product information with other useful insights
    • Create trust and affinity by presenting relevant content to start the customer journey
    • Present more options for customers who land on product pages


Recommendation strategies on product pages to maximize your success

Make sure you have the basics of a product page covered

Make sure you have the basics of a product page covered

  1. A great-looking product image on a white background that loads fast, with easy clicks to the next image and as many product images as are available
  2. Price should be seen immediately and clearly, with discounts highlighted, in numbers and percentages, if possible, also in the corner of the product image
  3. CTA (add-to-cart) should be visible and as high as possible, and sticky on mobile
  4. Product availability
  5. Delivery information is crucial so it has to be clear and visible
  6. Product rating and reviews by other customers, options and very short description next to the image on the desktop, below the image on mobile
  7. Product recommendations
  8. Further product information

Leverage the powerful features of a product page

Leverage the powerful features of a product page

  1. Product videos
  2. Links to the product catalog or information and other product reviews around the web
  3. Additional recommendations: complementary products if available, 
  4. Information about your company and why to choose you 
  5. Customer images and customer videos
  6. Articles, blog posts, other content about the product
  7. Sense of urgency or fear of missing out on some features, for example, prices or free shipping available only at a certain time, or only a limited number of products left
  8. Social proof features such as products that other customers have bought recently or  bestseller tags

Utilize the exit intent feature

Utilize the exit intent feature

If the customer is about to leave the product page, personalize the experience with the exit-intent feature. Use an exit popup when the customers attempt to leave without purchasing. Give them a reason to complete the checkout process. Offer discounts, a coupon code, or some freebies.

Exit intent can be:

  • A pop-up, ribbon, drop-down, etc.
  • Asking for an email address to let them know of the future similar offers.
  • An offer of a discount coupon for other products
  • Testing another recommendation, for example, a best-seller product within the category.

Take advantage of the 404 error page

Take advantage of the 404 error page

If your customers end up on a misspelled URL, a broken link, or a product page that doesn’t exist anymore, make something good out of an almost bad shopping experience. These 404 pages are still part of your online store, so create a nice-looking page and offer other products. Test different recommendation strategies, and add an image describing your brand and your value proposition. An optimized and well-strategized 404 page can help you convert visitors into customers and perhaps convince them to sign up on your email list.


Maximize the impact of the product page on the homepage

Maximize the impact of the product page on the homepage

Traditional customer journeys no longer exist. Today, customer journeys are non-linear and unpredictable. Customers don’t end up buying a certain product the first time they visit a particular site. Brands need to realize this new reality and take engagement to a deeper, more complex level.

One of the most unused personalization features is the impact that a product page visit should have on the homepage. Many customers are more interested in browsing than looking for a specific item. Even those who do have a particular product in mind may change their mind after learning more about it.

Customers will usually look at more than one product page during a single session so you can remind them of previously viewed items. For example, a customer has visited a product page and after a few hours or days, returns to or visits the same site, but this time, the front page. To increase conversion rate, the front page hero banner should scale and the last viewed product is visible on the right side of the homepage. This is a great way of targeting new potential customers with customized recommendations.

Front page recommendations should also change accordingly. You are in the best position to offer the most relevant content. For first-time visitors on your site, you can recommend the most viewed or trending products but for second visits, you should remember and show the products that the customers have viewed recently.

Use a strong call-to-action, say “Pick up where you left off” to remind the customer about the items from the last session and deliver an uninterrupted shopping experience. Recommending similar products, and other new brands, trending items, and other categories to explore, based on my recent browsing activity.


Ensure conversions of add-to-basket

Ensure conversions of add-to-basket

Directing the customer to a new page once a product has been added to the basket can increase AOV. On the top of the new page, there’s a summary of what has been added to the basket and a possibility to check out. The rest of the page is filled with different recommendations, about 5-8, of which the first ones should be complementing products/features. The others should show a broader set of products available. At the bottom of the page, there should be recommendations about previously viewed products.

You can recommend the bestsellers, or if the customer has purchased several dresses in the past, you can recommend other similar styles that she might like. The upsell could also be items that go with the products they want to purchase or have already purchased. By including category suggestions, you will broaden their choices as widely as possible, and increase the likelihood that they see an option they want to explore further.

Increasing customer lifetime value with personalized overlays

Increasing customer lifetime value with personalized overlays

A powerful alternative way to increase AOV is to load an overlay on top of the product page. This overlay confirms what has been added to the basket and recommends complementing/matching products. The overlays need to be relevant to the customer. Target each customer with something relevant to them to push them into the action you want them to take. You risk losing a potential customer if you interrupt the customer journey with a random ad about something they don’t really want. Learn more about your customer, and focus on driving the action that you want them to take.

Personalize every touchpoint through smart product recommendations

You don’t need to redesign your whole ecommerce site to offer customers personalized experiences. One of the best approaches is to add lots of small but powerful elements that together transform the way that new and existing customers interact with your website. Utilize personalization through recommendation tactics on product pages. Engagement will deepen, sales will grow, and revenues will increase.

It’s not easy to create messages and offers that feel truly personal and relevant to potential customers, but utilizing personalization through smart recommendation strategies can become a very powerful marketing tool with many benefits to both customers and businesses.


Give your customers the best personalization that delivers amazing results

Most engagements with Frosmo start with a demo, and we’d be glad to discuss one with you. Fill in your email below, and one of our personalization experts will reach out to you.

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Creating a winning website: A complete guide to updating your website

In this article, we’ll highlight the most common pitfalls of rushing into a new website that we’ve seen happening over and over again in many companies and customers around us. At the same time, we’ll share tips on how to update your existing website.

The mantra “If only we got a new website or were able to switch to a new platform, we could do so much better” inspired us to write this article to help you to prevent risks and make the right decisions for the new website project you might be planning.  

The most common reasons for updating the website or platform are:  

  • Outdated technology (ie. poor mobile support)
  • Too strict vendor lock where updates and changes are difficult to perform
  • A new team in place who wants to change technology

Companies should carefully consider the underlying reasons for website renewal to truly understand if the timing is right to start a massive IT project. Typically, these projects utilize a significant part of the company’s resources and slow down all the other business development plans for months or even for years. Consider the business objectives of the new website; what should it do to the business, why do you need it, and how can it help achieve the company goals. Additionally, it’s important to assess how far the current site/platform can go with updates or adding solutions on top of it and what insights can be gathered from it before rushing into a new project. 

Here are the most common pitfalls to prevent: 

  • Over-optimistic schedule – we see that most of the projects are delayed massively
  • Existing website is neglected due to the shortage of resources and there’s a risk that business might shrink

There’s always a lot of excitement and anticipation when companies decide to undertake a project of website development. The most common pitfall at this stage is the strong belief that this new website will cure all the problems of the current one and business will magically start to grow. With all the hype and excitement, we often see that very little risk analysis or careful planning actually takes place. Often, the responsible people from agencies have never completed or witnessed a true website/platform project from the beginning to running it live for at least a couple of years which is required to truly understand whether the project was successful or not. Launching a new site/platform alone should not be defined as success it’s only the first step!


Keep calm and use the following tips to create a winning website

  1. Technical expertise is neededMake sure that you have at least one person in the buying team that has the technical experience and extensive experience IT projects. This person should be responsible for the day-to-day management of the project. Extensive technical understanding will prevent any possibility of project delay or going over the budget. The other people who should be involved in the project are the budget owners, and those in the marketing, business management, and IT teams.
  2. Agile methods don’t guarantee successDeveloping web services is not easy. It requires lots of different kinds of professionals in the complex ever-changing business, market, and technology space. Agile methods have clear advantages because of flexibility and reduced stress, but they also have a dangerous trap of creating ‘never-ending’ projects where the focus could get lost or change inevitably. It’s also good to understand that the more resources are, and the longer the project is, the better the business is for the vendor. Agile methods also give lots of freedom for the development teams when it comes to choosing technologies. This creates risks if the chosen technology is not aligned with the company’s needs and strategy. It might be tempting to build everything custom and in these situations, it’s often forgotten that custom code needs to be maintained, documented, and further developed creating extra burden, costs, and therefore risking to slow your business.  We recommend using the architecture plan to avoid this trap and use the right vendors and technologies for your business. Agile methods are the right way to develop but require clear guidance, goals, agreed rules, and a lot of know-how and skills from the buyer to obtain the best possible results.
  3. Planning your technology stack architecture is criticalThe basis of your technology stack architecture is to understand the company strategy and goals for the digital business. We see that this is one of the most overlooked phases that if neglected, can cause one of the most prominent reasons for failure. You should have one person assigned to own and build the architecture or hire an objective talent to build it for you. Once the architecture plan is ready, everyone in the project team as well as in the management team should understand why the components have been chosen.  Only after the technology stack architecture is created that finding a vendor and choosing suitable technologies can begin.
  4. Multiple vendors or only one vendor?Overall, one vendor is easier to manage in situations when you don’t have lots of experience and internal skills. It usually also gives better control and communication over the project. It’s important to remember that one vendor automatically creates a vendor lock. This happens when the project is not carefully documented and the chosen vendor has the whole project under their control. On the other hand, multiple vendors require internal project management skills. Clearly defined roles and boundaries between different vendors are crucial. If the communication is not shared between all vendors, there’s a potential danger of confusion and a lot of wasted resources. Companies that build clear architecture plans and require rigid, clear documentation can switch vendors without having vendor locks.
  5. Is it suite or Microservices architecture/headless?Both approaches have their good and bad points. If we look at the suite approach first, it normally means that you choose one vendor for implementation. One technology and one vendor means easier management. Suites usually work best with massive enterprises that have complex organization structures and requirements with very standardized processes. The downside of the suite approach is that most often, they are significantly slower to implement and manage as the MSA/headless technologies. You’re also at the mercy of how the suite is evolving in rapidly changing environments. MSA/headless approach means that you choose the best of breed technologies and teams for each task. If you implement it well, MSA approach has much more flexibility, more development speed, and lower vendor lock risk. On the other hand, MSA/headless approach requires strong skills from the buying organization, understanding of overall architecture, and skills to manage technologies and vendors. One of the strongest benefits is that you can switch different components of the technology stack to newer and better ones to meet the changing needs of the company and market.
  6. Continuous improvement is key to a successful digital businessEven though your team is tired of the current website, it’s most likely generating a solid business. Therefore it’s business-critical to learn as much as possible from the current site and improve on it even when there’s a new website lurking in the corner. Best companies build a culture of continuous website improvement by using tools such as analytics, personalization, testing, and campaigns.

How to co-exist the old site with the current one

The most typical mistake that you can make is to not invest in your existing site. This neglect can cause you to lose your customers or market share. The best companies with the culture of continuous improvement use and test ideas with the old site until the last day of operation.

We highly recommend a ‘staged roll-out’ approach. That means directing, for example, 10% of the traffic to the new site during the first month, and gradually adding more users to the site. When compared to the ‘normal’ beta site approach, staged roll-out has many benefits from getting real users immediately to the site. When done patiently, staged roll-out also fixes many issues of SEO dropping in new site releases.

These are some examples of how to make the new site release successful from the start: 

  • Personalization is one way to choose which kind of users the staged roll-out is targeted to.
  • By gathering data, you’re able to make sure that the new site is performing better than the old one


What happens after the project? 

If you have a data-driven company culture that desires for continuous improvement of customer experience with AI-driven personalization and testing, you’ll enjoy tremendous benefits of growing business and beating your competitors. 

It’s always thrilling to have a big IT project that culminates in releasing it to the masses. Remember to be patient, believe your vision, consider the tips in this article, and don’t stress too much. The key is to build an experimentation culture and the skills of your team. The right of vendors is a key asset to building and accelerating your development work. 

We wish you a lot of success and growth. We here at Frosmo are committed to helping you in your website projects and personalization!

Request a demo


About the writer:

Mikael Gummerus

Mikael Gummerus is the founder and CEO of Frosmo. He’s a visionary and a firm believer in the adoption of microservices architecture, headless ecommerce, and CMS. With more than a decade of experience as a web entrepreneur, he’s passionate about growing consumer expectations of superior digital experiences.

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Introducing Natural Language Processing – The way to personalize content

Natural Language Processing, NLP in short, is all the rage — and with good reason. With this AI solution, computers can accurately read and understand human language, which means that computers can also reply in kind. Combine that with a computer’s infinitely scalable memory and instant response time and serving humans with exactly what they’re looking for just got a whole lot easier.

NLP is used as a spellchecker in word processors. Some email systems use it to suggest canned answers based on your writing style. Search functions can use NLP to suggest terms and come up with results when your original query doesn’t produce any. The better translation software does so with NLP. AI chatbots analyze questions in the same way to provide accurate answers or further reading material. And the best thing? Every input and every suggestion provides a new data point and learning opportunity for the algorithm.

What makes NLP so interesting for Frosmo is its ability to accurately suggest similar relevant content, which is perfect for personalization.

The many business benefits of NLP

For a major university we do just that; suggest further reading material by matching articles based on their similarities. Frosmo uses a neural network-based NLP algorithm that analyzes all their articles by preprocessing them and converting the text, titles, ingress, and so on, into vectors, numerical representation of the article. After which the vectors are used to score the articles for similarity and rank them in order of relevance. 

The benefits for the reader are obvious as it introduces them to additional information of which they didn’t even know it existed. And while universities obviously exist to educate, there are additional benefits to them as well.  For one, it potentially saves their editorial team time; articles no longer need to be stuffed with categories and keywords. 

The higher accuracy of suggested content could also lead to a lighter load on supporting functions that are otherwise tasked with answering students’ questions. And then there’s the added benefit of keeping the visitors’ attention for longer. Something that’s perhaps not as important for universities as it is to other businesses, but it does help their SEM and SEO efforts.

For companies that make their money by keeping people on their websites for as long as possible, visiting as many pages in the process, is exceptionally valuable. Nowhere more so than in the media industry.

A Frosmo customer in this space had the additional problem that they weren’t just one news site, but a whole network that covered a vast spectrum of topics. Here, NLP was brought in to match and promote articles from one site to the other. Something that would’ve been exceptionally laborious otherwise.

The cross-promotion of articles across their network has the added benefit of introducing people to media sites they hadn’t visited before.

While both of these cases use NLP to automate the suggestions of articles with superior accuracy, Frosmo is looking to expand the use to other areas as well. If you have an interesting project that could benefit from this solution, let’s sit down and have a talk. As with so many things AI, the possibilities are endless. Get in touch!

About the writer:


Tom de Raad is the Product Marketing Manager at Frosmo. With 9 years of marketing experience for Finnish software startups, he’s business-educated and tech-curious. Tom joined as a Copywriter and is now using his skills to analyze and translate market needs into product features and vice versa. He’s currently exploring and mapping out the brave new world of personalization. He’s also winning the company’s Fantasy Football league.

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Frosmo Workspaces – The proper way to test personalization

When you work with online testing and personalization, you inevitably run into questions like “how can you test personalization without real data?” and “how can you test personalization and segmentation in staging?”

These questions come up often and rightfully so. In a data-driven world, what good are website changes if you can’t accurately predict their impact? During a community meetup, a question along these lines was once again asked from the audience. And while the answer was obvious to us, it clearly wasn’t for everybody.

In August 2018, we launched Frosmo Workspaces to answer questions surrounding the testing of personalization and tackled the problem once and for all. Unfortunately, the feature hasn’t received the attention it deserved afterwards. Which is a shame and we need to hold our hand up here, because Workspaces really is the perfect way to quickly make sure that your personalization works.

How can we test personalization with real data?

Unlike staging areas, you don’t actually create copies of your website in Workspaces. This means that you’re saving a ton of time and the setup, if you can even call it that, takes no more than a few clicks.

You can think of Workspaces as visiting your website while being segmented as a super-special tester. All the data is real, all your external apps are loaded, and all your currently active modifications are visible in addition to the new ones you’d like to test. Everything looks and behaves just like on your production website, because you are using your production website. The only difference is that no-one else can see what you see unless they clicked the same easy-to-share link that “segments” them as a tester, too.

We’ve written a more in-depth article on how this all works back when the feature was originally released and captured even more in the Workspaces Webinar, which you can now watch on our website.

The value of testing personalization on a live site

Workspaces is clearly a nice-to-have feature just because of its ease-of-use, but there’s an obvious business benefit as well.

First of all, Workspaces saves resources. There’s no need to spin up copies or separate instances of your website each time you want to test something new. And the whole process, all of 3 mouse clicks, can be done by marketers without the need for developers. Not only does this mean that developers can focus on other tasks, but the reviews are done faster because there’s no need to coordinate schedules.

On top of that, there’s tremendous value in knowing that your personalization will work. Being able to test, analyze, and predict the impact of personalization accurately can have huge benefits down the line. Predicting the behavior of personalized recommendations, for example, will let you plan your warehouse stocks more accurately. And, since there are no nasty surprises when you test with real data, you also ensure that the personalization works exactly as expected eliminating the risk of lost conversions due to faulty personalization.

It’s this combination of saved resources, the ease-of-use, and additional certainty and security that make Workspaces a must-have. In fact, any software that relies on accurate and actual data for website development could benefit from a feature like Workspaces. It’s fast and easy, just the way we like it.

Would you like to enable Frosmo Workspaces for your website? Contact your Frosmo representative or email us or get in touch!

About the writer:


Tom de Raad is the Product Marketing Manager at Frosmo. With 9 years of marketing experience for Finnish software startups, he’s business-educated and tech-curious. Tom joined as a Copywriter and is now using his skills to analyze and translate market needs into product features and vice versa. He’s currently exploring and mapping out the brave new world of personalization. He’s also winning the company’s Fantasy Football league.

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Great customer experience starts with segmentation

As marketers and ecommerce professionals we know that there’s a positive impact on website KPIs when our content matches what visitors are looking for. The conversion rates are higher, retention rates see an uplift, and the customer lifetime value increases, just to name a few. 

Consider the needs of a family of four from rural Canada, looking for a new vehicle on a comparison site. Then, think of the retired couple from Finland browsing the website of their favorite travel agent for a winter getaway. And what about the dad, kitting out his sons for the new soccer season? In the gear of their favorite teams, of course. All of them are looking for something specific. Through segmentation, you can increase their customer experience by greatly reducing the amount of noise, products, and content that’s not relevant to them, and increase the likelihood of conversion in the process.

All of their characteristics, such as family size, location, and preferences, can be translated into data points. And these data points can be turned into criteria. When visitors meet certain criteria they can be segmented, creating visitor journeys with personalized and relevant content that perfectly match their needs.

What is segmentation?

From Frosmo’s perspective, segmentation is a building block, a cornerstone even, for effective personalization. And personalization in itself provides visitors with relevant content at the right time and in the right place. Personalized content is powered by the unique combination of segments.

To expand on the example above, let’s take the Canadian family who’s looking for a new car and turn their characteristics into segments. 

To start, you can deduct that they are from rural Canada either because of their IP address or because they used a search query and provided a location. This data can be used as a segment to, for example, prefill the search form when they revisit. Car purchases are rarely impulse decisions, after all.

One aspect worth mentioning is that you should consider including “surprising results”. In the case where they’re looking for a particular car and there’s a listing that seems like a good deal but is outside their search range, show it anyway because it might be worth the long drive.

So how do we know that they’re looking for a new car and what can we do with this information? If the website offers multiple segments, one hint could be which category they visit first. In our case, that would be cars rather than boats. But what if they misclicked? A better way to set segment criteria would then be to use time spent within a category or pages visited within a category.

Ideally, you use as precise information as possible. So rather than “interested in a new car” you should use segments such as “interested in compact SUVs” and/or “midsize SUVs”. Note that these two do not exclude each other. People can be interested in more than one category, topic, or product type at a time. This knowledge can then be used to, for example, show personalized recommendations on the main page, or to suggest that they sign up for daily emails that provide new listings that fall within their interests. 

Then the big one; what gives it away that they’re a family of four? Perhaps they’re only looking at large cars with four or five doors. But people can have many reasons why they’d like a big car. You could also deduct that they’re a family from other products that they’ve looked at although you’d still be working with assumptions. 

To figure family makeup you can cross-reference their address or insurance information if provided. It could also be something you can find out through testing. By showing the same products with different images, for example. Perhaps one shows the car with a couple standing next to it and the other shows the same car with a family. Whichever they show more interest in is most likely the one that they relate to the most (That could be the hypothesis, anyway).

Alternatively, you could just ask. A simple prompt of “Hi, what are you looking for today?” may give you all the info you need to add a visitor to several segments at once. 

Using segments goes beyond improving the customer experience on your website. Segments can also be used to advertise through ad networks. In the case of car shoppers, interesting offers can be shared with them across the web. If you do personalize like this, just make sure to move them from “is interested in buying a car” to “has purchased a car” whenever you can. 

No-one likes seeing ads of products that they’ve already purchased. Besides, that too is good info to help them find the next product that can improve their life. A child seat, perhaps? A cover to keep the car clear of snow? Would they be interested in a caravan? Test, learn, segment, and personalize.

How does segmentation work with Frosmo

The more fine-grained segmentation is applied, the more effective it becomes. For reference, some Frosmo users have created hundreds of segments so that they can create one-to-one experiences across their network of websites. Luckily, Frosmo supports an unlimited number of segments.

Broadly speaking, there are 4 segment types: demographics, context, behavior and life cycle, and psychographics.

Segment typeDescription and examples
DemographicsInformation that can be tied to the visitor’s climate, culture, gender, and age group.

Examples: Age, gender, location (city, region, country), weather forecast.
ContextContext refers to the technology the visitor is using. Related attributes are used to ensure compatibility and to ensure that the content is optimized.

Examples: Browser, device type.
Behavior and life cycleSegmenting based on behavior helps establish where a visitor is in the purchasing process. The info helps gain insights into what they’re trying to do next.

Examples: Pages visited, number of visits, recent purchases, viewed products, potential value, website logins.
PsychographicsData about psychographics is harder to capture and relies heavily on your expertise to get right. How well do you know your customers? However, getting it right is also going to have the biggest impact on your bottom line.

Exampes: Interests, lifestyle, moral values.

In Frosmo, you can use any of the criteria above (or any other ones that you can come up with) by defining what action a visitor needs to perform to get included in a segment. This can be as simple as “visited the homepage for the first time” to more complex cases such as “has searched for ‘Cadillac’ but has not visited ‘Cadillac SUV page’ in the past 7 days”.

Then you use the segment, or a combination of segments, to define who you want to show a particular website modification to. Like the segmentation rules, these modifications can be anything and shown anywhere on your website. 

By showing multiple modifications (think recommendations, messages, CTAs, etc.) on several pages, you effectively personalize your entire website. And since segments are dynamic, each action that a visitor takes can potentially add or remove them from a segment, altering what they see accordingly and improving conversions.


Segments are must-haves for marketers as they enable targeting and tending to an individual’s needs. Software shouldn’t limit the manner in which this is possible. If anything, quality software, especially personalization software, encourages its users to come up with clever ways to reach the right audience.  And by following that philosophy, Frosmo empowers marketers to think creatively, rather than think about rule limitations, of what they wish to do on the website and enable them to effortlessly execute their ideas. 

Download the ebook The power of personalization and learn from loads of examples, know the practical tips, and get the standard best practices for different industries, such as retail, media, and iGaming.

The power of personalization

About the writer:


Tom de Raad is the Product Marketing Manager at Frosmo. With 9 years of marketing experience for Finnish software startups, he’s business-educated and tech-curious. Tom joined as a Copywriter and is now using his skills to analyze and translate market needs into product features and vice versa. He’s currently exploring and mapping out the brave new world of personalization. He’s also winning the company’s Fantasy Football league.

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Introducing a faster way to personalize

Workflows. The sequence of actions taken to perform a task from beginning to end.

Optimized workflows are invaluable as they greatly reduce the amount of time spent on a task while simultaneously lowering the entry barrier for new people to get started. And for marketers, great personalization requires great workflows.

It’s only logical, then, that great personalization software facilitates this.

Welcome to Happy Valley

With the Happy Valley update, we’re introducing a new modification UI. The redesigned UI is organized according to the 4 W’s of personalization; who, when, where, and what. Each W has been divided into a series of simple sub-steps, creating a logical flow that makes it both faster and easier to create new modifications.

Now, when you create new modifications – the Frosmo term for website customizations – you can choose what type of modification you’d like to create, followed by sub-steps to define whom the modification targets, where it should be shown, what it should look like, and when visitors should see it. The whole process can be done in just a few clicks. No coding required.

Within that modification creation process, you can make use of content templates to further speed up the process. These templates are perfect for when you need to create numerous variations for different segments. Your developers have the option to quickly create custom templates that meet your needs, using JSON schemas that will translate into an interface for humans. This makes the work of marketers easier while taking minimum effort from developers.

A completely new addition to the UI is the much-requested content preview function. Previously, if you wanted to see what modifications would look like before going live, you had to use test mode, the Frosmo Preview Chrome extension, or set up Workspaces. All three options made the previewing process longer than it needed to be, even with hot reloading. By adding the functionality directly to the content-creation section, iterating and previewing becomes a whole lot more convenient.

This update is part of an ongoing journey to provide you with a superior user experience so that you can create superior user experiences of your own. The new modifications UI, polished template creator, and all-new preview functionality will be available on 20 November 2019.

Would you like to share your Frosmo Platform experiences with us? Get in touch!

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The long way to better usability

The latest Frosmo Platform is all about improved and better usability

Frosmo started out as an online gaming platform with some analytics on the side. After lots of experimenting, the focus settled on creating a “personalized messaging module”, Social Optimizer, which came to be the predecessor of the current Frosmo Platform. Since 2011, we’ve been developing our current solution for improving and personalizing websites through the browser. In short, we want to create better user experiences for everyone.

Well, the shoemaker’s children always go barefoot. Which is to say that while Frosmo as a company has always been all about improving the user experience of our customers’ websites, the usability of our own user interfaces has not always been optimal.

From custom code to Control Panel

In the olden days of Frosmo, there was really no UI to speak of. For example, segment rules were created separately for each customer in the custom code for their site. All the configurations were done by Frosmo developers, and the customers could not really see what was going on under the hood.

Frosmo Easy, the predecessor of Frosmo Core, was our first attempt to create a JavaScript library for a standard way of doing things. According to Aki, Frosmo’s CTO and a veteran developer, “no interfaces were needed, as everything was supposedly so easy”.

That didn’t last for long, though. The masterminds in the company soon realized that the best way to go forward was to create a product that non-developers, too, could use. The Frosmo Admin Panel saw daylight as a UI by developers for developers, but throughout the years it has slowly transformed to become more accessible, intuitive, and professional. In 2016, its name was changed to “Frosmo Control Panel” to reflect the fact that you no longer needed to be an “admin-level” person to use it.

Focus on usability

The latest Frosmo Platform release, “Goodnews Bay”, is all about improving the usability of the Control Panel. We decided to focus on modifications, which is by far the most-used Frosmo feature with almost 80% of company users and over 90% of Frosmo users working with them.

Previously, when defining modification display settings, in the worst case you had to skip and hop all over the Control Panel, first creating triggers, then a placement and one or more segments, and finally selecting them for the modification. Now, you can stay comfortably in a single view, where you can select or create everything you need to build a functional modification.

Yes, we’re taking baby steps and there’s still a lot to be done, but the Frosmo Product team now has its collective eye firmly fixed on making the platform more comfortable to use for all kinds of users, from developers to marketing professionals.

That being said, while usability is important, some other things are just as relevant. Our development goals also include better integrations to different content management systems and ecommerce platforms, and smarter ways to utilize them.

Quoting Henry, Frosmo’s Chief R&D Officer: “The most important thing is to be able to benefit our customers with an offering that other companies can’t provide – at the end of the day, we’re here to solve our customers’ problems.” So, rest assured: While we continue to improve the usability of the platform, we will also come up with cool new features.


About the writer:

Katri Metsävuo has a vast experience in technical communication. She’s an expert in translating “developer” into “marketing” and the other way around. During her three years at Frosmo, she has built a technical documentation library from scratch and gotten herself involved in every aspect of platform documentation from UI copy to training materials. Katri advocates for better digital experiences which she believes are achieved by providing high-quality content that is carefully personalized for each and every visitor.

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