Towards early purchase intention prediction in online session based retailing systems

Ramazan Esmeli, Mohamed Bader-El-Den, Hassana Abdullahi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Purchase prediction has an important role for decision-makers in e-commerce to improve consumer experience, provide personalised recommendations and increase revenue. Many works investigated purchase prediction for session logs by analysing users' behaviour to predict purchase intention after a session has ended. In most cases, e-shoppers prefer to be anonymous while browsing the websites and after a session has ended, identifying users and offering discounts can be challenging. Therefore, after a session ends, predicting purchase intention may not be useful for the e-commerce strategists. In this work, we propose and develop an early purchase prediction framework using advanced machine learning models to investigate how early purchase intention in an ongoing session can be predicted. Since users could be anonymous, this could help to give real-time offers and discounts before the session ends. We use dynamically created session features after each interaction in a session, and propose a utility scoring method to evaluate how early machine learning models can predict the probability of purchase intention. The proposed framework is validated with a real-world dataset. Computational experiments show machine learning models can identify purchase intention early with good performance in terms of Area Under Curve (AUC) score which shows success rate of machine learning models on early purchase prediction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)697–715
JournalElectronic Markets
Early online date19 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021


  • Early purchase prediction
  • Session logs
  • Purchase prediction
  • Real-time offers
  • E-commerce
  • User behaviour analysing


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