Retailers Are Testing Facebook-Style Shopper Profiles to Battle  Amazon

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Despite conversations with multiple customer-service agents, the shipment had gone to her old address in Joliet, Illinois. During the recent five-day shopping frenzy that runs every year from Thanksgiving through Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so-called bounce rates, when a shopper abandons a web store—sometimes even after loading up their cart with goodies—increased each day, according to Monetate, which monitors commerce on desktops and mobile devices. Some are testing new “Customer 360” software from Salesforce.com Inc. and upstart rival Freshworks Inc. that lets them build a Facebook-style profile of each shopper, the better to understand what they want and how to keep them happy and clicking “pay.” Chatbots are increasingly ubiquitous and getting better at holding a meaningful conversation with customers.

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