How to Make the Most of Shopping Online With Person-Centred Recommendations

Algorithms are everywhere – from our Netflix, to our Facebook feed, and for good reason. With so much information circulating in the world today, the simple act of discovering or sourcing something online can be an uphill battle. Algorithms have become a fundamental part of the way we access technology because they learn about our preferences and use this information in order to filter out content we’re unlikely to be interested in.

While this can, at times, create problems of its own – as anybody who went down a wormhill on a niche subject on Instagram’s explore page only to be forever plagued by recommended posts pertaining to your query – in general it makes things run just that bit smoother online.

But targeted recommendations aren’t just a factor in our entertainment life. In fact, they can be utilized to great effect when it comes to e-commerce and seeking out platforms, goods and services we need or want online. Below we’re going to take a rundown of some shining examples of situations where turning to a recommendation service – whether it’s crowdsourced or the product of industry experts – can help you cut through the noise and connect to the things you’re looking for. Algorithms are great, but sometimes you need a real person involved to know you’re making the right decision.


Expert Recommendations

Long before fancy technology came about that let us dynamically filter through information, people used to turn to one place for recommendations – the experts. After all, if it came to buying a step ladder, would you be more inclined to listen to the advice of the proprietor of your local DIY shop, or your neighbor? We’ve come to expect that those who have familiarity and experience with a subject are normally the best equipped to advise us on it. The same is true online.

Consider insurance for example. We all know the maddening jingles and mascots of and Compare The Market, and for good reason. These sites’ purpose is to aggregate information about leading insurance providers in a given sector, and to make recommendations based on how favorable or suitable their rates are for our unique requirements. While an algorithm could theoretically do this, these companies have built their reputation on the back of expert knowledge.

And it’s not just car insurance where this type of recommendation service is dominant – for example, in the iGaming sector it’s not uncommon to make use of popular recommendation platforms such as the Canada-focused in order to parse the 20,000+ online casinos out there today to find the one that serves as the best fit for your budget and gaming style. Similarly, with real-money gaming, people want to be able to rely on expert advice, rather than wing it on the basis of an algorithm.


Crowdsourced Recommendations

Democratic societies are firm believers in the wisdom of the crowds – that is, that the combined common sense of a large group of people will normally result in the best decision. And if this is a good enough basis for us to run a country on, it’ll certainly do when it comes to trying to decide which skincare brand to patronize.

There are a number of platforms online built around using crowd-sourced data to determine the merits (or lack thereof) of private companies and institutions. Without a doubt the largest and best known of these is Trustpilot. Simply put, scores goods and services providers based upon customer feedback.

We all know intuitively, though it can at times be easy to forget, that brands must prioritize putting their best foot forward. It is for this reason that you’re unlikely to find negative criticism of a product front and center on the company’s homepage. What’s more, some companies even pay people to write fake reviews on platforms like Amazon in order to skew the score and general customer feedback of a given item.

This type of manipulation can be a huge headache when they’re trying to figure out if a product is worth your time. The best you can do is to check and see whether the star-rating is particularly polarized. If a product has 1000 one or two star reviews, and another 1000 five star reviews, it’s probably unlikely that this is an honest reflection of its quality. Fortunately, platforms such as Trustpilot employ much more rigorous controls that circumvent this type of issue, making them valuable resources to turn to.