The future of the web is helping people shop and experience sites in a uniquely personal way for them; whether the website is e-commerce, media, social network, or search engine, this is a win-win situation for both the users and the site owners (or store owners, in the case of e-commerce).

One way to do this? Utilising a recommender engine. A recommendation engine, also known as a recommender system, is software that analyses available data (user behaviours, product properties, etc) to make suggestions for something that a website user might be interested in, such as a book, a video or a job, among other possibilities.


Amazon was one of the first sites to use a recommendation system.

Websites have a lot to gain in using a recommender engine, including:

Increased sales

Using personalised recommendations are proven to increase sales. Amazon, for example, reports that 20-30 per cent of sales come from personalised recommendations. Same as with these other examples:

  • Netflix: 2/3 of the movies watched are recommended
  • Google News: recommendations generate 38% more clickthrough
  • Amazon: 35% sales from recommendations
  • Choicestream: 28% of the people would buy more music if they found what they liked

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Better user experience

Show users personalised and more relevant products while their on the site and off (via email) based on algorithms. It also gives users tools/games to discover more of what they like. Search limits the users to what they already know while discovery/exploration offers more and is easier and more convenient for users to use in making choices.

Increased traffic/page views

By giving users more discovery tools you will receive more traffic and higher product discovery potential. This means that while users are viewing a specific product, the recommender engine can direct them to related items within the site that they could potentially view/purchase.

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Improve customer retention

Also means higher lifetime customer value. The more users like your site, the more they buy, the more they are likely to return. Recommender engines can also work in sync with targetted and personalised email campaigns to bring customers back and keep making them happy.

Recommendation engines are increasingly becoming popular and for good reasons, too. Have you used a recommendation engine? What other benefits have you experienced?


Featured image credit:Google Images