The best consumer brands help savvy shoppers find exactly what we need, exactly when we want it. If we buy a dress, for example, from our favorite online retailer, we’re likely prompted to purchase other items we had never thought of—a matching pair of shoes, the perfect statement necklace—that brings it all together. It may seem like these stores are reading your minds when, in fact, they’re using sophisticated algorithms to churn our data, our browsing preferences, our purchase history and what we’ve left in the shopping cart into insights that make for an individualized shopping experience.

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