It’s March, which means gift-buying season at the Tincher household. We have three birthdays in eight days – four if you count the cat. My wife is a fan of the classics, so I bought her The Count of Monte Cristo at Barnes & Noble.
As I went to wrap it the next morning, I noticed something new in the bag – a little slip printed on receipt paper saying “You may also like…” recommending five books based on the three in my shopping cart. As two of these were gifts, the grouping of recommendations were a bit odd, as you can see here.
Recommendations are powerful, providing social proof and motivation to buy more. I spoke in this post about the need for retailers to bring their website content into stores. It appears that this is exactly what Barnes and Noble is doing, utilizing the same recommendations as their website. Since Amazon estimates a 20% lift from their recommendations engine, this strategy makes good sense.
But the current implementation is not ready for prime time. Several issues with the execution include: