Body language software acts as virtual salesman

Web sites could soon be able to target customers according to their online body language, according to the inventors of new...

Web sites could soon be able to target customers according to their online body language, according to the inventors of new software.

Justin Wastnage

Developer Touch Clarity said its eponymous product will act as a virtual salesman, second-guessing customers' requirements. The product learns from every click, pause and keyboard stroke to decide how serious a customer is and what they want to buy.

"If an e-commerce site can recognise its customers' behaviour, it can put more profitable products in front of the right people," said Touch Clarity's managing director, Paul Phillips.

The product works by classifying each article sold and matching its profile against a customer's behaviour as they visit a site. In addition to any active selection the customer may make, hesitation, click rates and navigation skills all give clues to age, gender and time available to shop.

Greeting cards site Smart Cards is testing the program to help customers chose from its 3,000 products. "The humorous birthday section alone has 60 choices," said Smart Cards' Alex Rahaman. "And with every click the customer has to make, the less likely a sale is.

"We are hoping this software will serve the customer with a more appropriate product."

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