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Nearly two-thirds (65%) of mobile-commerce shoppers say they would make more purchases from their mobile devices if it were easier to find products from trusted retailers, according to a recent survey by ChoiceStream, which examined – among other things – the role of product recommendations in online shopping.

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The ChoiceStream 2009 Personalization Survey, which was conducted to? help retailers align their 2010 recommendation strategies with market needs, also found that consumers are not nearly as interested in online shopping when engaged with social networks. It also revealed that that the placement or location, of product recommendations within an e-commerce site are key determinant of whether or not consumers make a purchase.

M-Commerce Hot, SocNets Not

The survey found that while m-commerce is a hot spot for recommendations in 2010, social networking is not.

“If 2009 taught us anything, it’s that smartphones are here to stay and that consumers are starting to see them as a legitimate shopping channel, with 37% of users reporting that they used their device to buy merchandise in 2009,” said Lori Trahan, VP of marketing at ChoiceStream. “As smartphones become more pervasive, it’s critical that retailers optimize ads and applications for those devices to overcome the challenges posed by small screens.”

In terms of product recommendations on social networking sites, ClickStream found that consumers are not as interested.? Only 8.5%of respondents who belong to a social networking site report that they have ever made a purchase while on the site and only 27% say they have any interest in product recommendations from trusted retailers.

Based on these results and other market research, ChoiceStream advises retailers to promote their brand experience and offers using social networks but defer significant investment in product recommendations until the market for commerce on those networks matures.

Location, Location, Location

Levels of interest in product recommendations vary not only by channel, but by the placement, or location, of recommendations within retail sites as well, the survey found. For example, 85% of respondents would find it useful to receive product recommendations on product detail, brand and category pages. Less than half of respondents are interested in receiving product recommendations on an order confirmation page.

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The placement of recommendations also has a significant impact on sales, ChoiceStream noted. The majority of active online shoppers (those who spent more than $500 online in the past 6 months) indicate that they have bought something based on a retailer’s online product recommendation, but only 16% claim to have purchased based on a recommendation in a shopping-related email (e.g., shipping confirmation). The majority of purchases were based on recommendations that appeared on product detail pages (58 percent) or category/brand pages (40%).

About the survey: The ChoiceStream Personalization Survey provides insight into consumers’ interest in, and perceptions of, personalization. The survey was first fielded in May, 2004. Each year the survey is re-evaluated and updated where appropriate to ensure that the survey stays relevant and addresses the current issues of the day. Additional findings from the survey will be released in coming weeks.

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