GigaOm recently published a blog by Mathew Ingram about Gifts.com’s application of Hunch’s recommendation function. Hunch uses your Facebook social graph as a basis for its recommendations. What was really eye-opening is that Gifts.com’s conversion rate of shoppers to buyers increased by up to 60% after implementing recommendations! That is huge, particularly given that Gifts.com was already a highly sophisticated e-commerce site. And it is consistent with the uplift that Amazon.com and other e-commerce sites that have implemented recommendations have experienced.
As I argue in The Learning Layer, as the positive results of recommendation engines applied in e-commerce keep rolling in, it is inevitable that recommendation capabilities will eventually become a ubiquitous e-commerce feature. And, of course, the same is true for applications within the enterprise—it’s just that the recommendations will be of people, content, and apps rather than that high-tech electric razor!