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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : February 04, 2010

Study: Retailers aren't connecting through recommendations

When it comes to engaging customers information is the key. Today's consumer wants product information, manufacturer's tips or even alternate uses for products. This is where recommendations and product reviews come in but according to a recent ChoiceStream report retailers are missing this lucrative boat.

by Kristina Knight

The 2009 Personalization Survey found that many consumers are not only dissatisfied with the quality of recommendations on retailer websites but they are finding that recommendations are also inconsistent. For example, some respondents reported being shown recommendations which had no connection to the product in which they weren't interested.

The Survey shows:

• 59% of consumers report poor quality recommendations, a 31% increase over 2008 numbers
• Consumers report receiving recommendations unrelated to the product they are interested in
• Only 17% of consumers report that recommendations are 'excellent'
• The best recommendations were from Music/Entertainment stores, Big Box stores or Grocery stores

"Consumers expect more from recommendations than they did even a year ago. They expect them to be accurate and on target, so when they're not, shoppers are disappointed," said Lori Trahan, vice president of marketing at ChoiceStream. "It's also true that as product recommendations become more pervasive and more recommendation providers enter the market to meet demand, these vendors lack the in-market experience necessary to create good quality recommendations. This should highlight for retailers the importance of working with solution providers that have deep expertise in analyzing specific shopping behaviors and factoring them into their recommendation strategy."

Tags: ChoiceStream, ecommerce, online recommendations, product recommendations, product reviews

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