November 29, 2007, 12:00 AM

FAST Search and Transfer launches social site search tool

FAST has upgraded its FAST Recommendations site search application with technology that lets web site operators as well as their shoppers customize requests for information based on the interests of a community of shoppers.

FAST Search and Transfer has upgraded its FAST Recommendations site search application with technology that lets web site operators as well as their shoppers customize requests for information based on the interests of a community of shoppers, says Joe Lichtman, vice president of product management.

The new social search functionality, introduced this month, is designed to let site operators use it to identify shopping patterns and demographics of groups of shoppers, then present cross-selling recommendations based on that information.

But it’s also designed to let shoppers themselves make customized, natural language requests, Lichtman says. “FAST Recommendations now lets users to make the request, ‘Show me people most like me in the system and tell me what they like,’” Lichtman says.

For example, a gift-seeking shopper could enter information into a search window describing the person she’s shopping for, or ask to see the products purchased by other shoppers known to be experts in a particular shopping category. A shopper searching for heavy metal music recordings for her grandson could ask for a list of music CDs purchased by other shoppers who read a lot of information on the site about that music genre and buy a lot of its recordings, Lichtman says.

The application could also be configured to further analyze the interests and level of expertise of shoppers by including information on other sites they visited before arriving at a retailer’s site, he adds.

 

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