Online Shoppers Want Quality Recommendations

    December 5, 2007

Online retailers that recommend products that consumers are not interested in perform worse than those that make no recommendations, according to the 2007 ChoiceStream Personalization Survey.

Close to 40 percent of respondents said they are less likely to return to sites with bad product recommendations. Personalized product recommendations have a stronger influence on shopper behavior and that the bigger the spender, the more influence personalized recommendations have. Sixty-nine percent of shoppers that spent more than $1,000 online over the past six months are more likely to visits sites with personalized recommendations.

"The results of the 2007 survey clearly show how important it is for online retailers to help consumers with product discovery. Personalized recommendations are table stakes in today’s competitive ecommerce environment. But retailers that provide customers with poor quality recommendations are putting their brand and revenue at risk," said Toffer Winslow, EVP of Sales and Marketing at ChoiceStream.

 Online Shoppers Want Quality Recommendations

"Online shoppers increasingly expect help with making selections, and retailers that provide high quality guidance are rewarded with higher consumer spending and more frequent visits."

Respondents defined poor recommendations as products they already owned (43%), products which were inappropriate (41%) or products did not meet their preferences (37%). Overall, 46 percent of shoppers say they have received bad recommendations during previous online shopping experiences.

Larger numbers of shoppers last year left online stores either not buying anything or spending less money than they had intended because they could not find items that matched their preferences.

Thirty-seven percent of shoppers said they would have purchased more music the last time they shopped online if they were able to find more that they liked. Forty-two percent said they would have purchased more movies and 57 percent said they would download ringtones, music and other content to their mobile devices.