The Next eCommerce Engine: Personal Recommendations

Here is Nathan’s piece on Business Insider, highlighting how personalized recommendations will drive the next phase of eCommerce growth.    Despite a growing number of online alternatives, the brick & mortar retail model has largely remained intact and eCommerce still only accounts for  7% of retail sales in the US.  What happened?

In short, the prognosticating class failed to recognize two basic facts:

1. As social creatures, people like to establish trust via personal interactions before making important purchases

2. As physical creatures, people prefer to touch even the most basic things before buying.

This history of eCommerce since 1999 has largely been about overcoming these two hurdles. Progress has been slower than expected, but there have been notable successes. Amazon, for example, disrupted books and music sales by making it fun and easy to sample media on their website, and in this domain the old predictions are starting to come true: Borders is closing their doors.

Yet, eCommerce has remained highly impersonal, and the fate of booksellers has been the exception, because websites have never had a good way to promote trust-building interactions. That is, until Facebook began powering 1-click logins for other sites.

Read the full article here.  Hat tip to Lauren at Business Insider for her continued support.


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