March 4, 2009, 12:00 AM

Footwearetc.com kicks up sales with on-demand product recommendations

With a new product recommendation engine deployed in a software-as-a-service environment, retailer Footwearetc.com has increased sales from product recommendations by 75% while raising average order values by 69%.

With a new product recommendation engine deployed in a software-as-a-service environment, retailer Footwearetc.com has increased by 75% sales from product recommendations.

The footwear retailer went live a few months ago with an on-demand recommendation engine from Strands Inc., which provides its technology as a software service delivered over the Internet. In an A/B test of the Strands Social Recommender recommendation engine against hard-coded recommendations devised by Footwear etc’s merchandising team, the Strands engine produced a 54% increase in the recommendation click-through rate, leading to a 75% increase in sales from recommendations and a 69% increase in the average value of orders stemming from recommendations, the retailer says.

“We were very impressed by the dramatic lift in revenue we received from using the Strands recommendations over our manual ones,” says Mike Baranov, Footwear etc’s director of online operations.

Strands, which uses built-in web analytics technology to support its recommendation engine, charges clients a percentage of sales derived through its engine’s product recommendations, says Jesus Pindado, vice president of business solutions at Strands. .

Strands is looking to embed its recommendation engine into other vendors’ e-commerce platforms, he adds.

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