Innovation That Matters

Curated recommendations help customers choose the perfect gift

Work & Lifestyle

With a vast selection of products to choose from online, it’s no wonder gift-givers can sometimes feel overwhelmed. As we saw last year, Just the Right Book uses hand-picked customization to tackle the problem for literary gifts, but UK-based 15gifts now uses a proprietary search engine to help users choose from among a curated selection of unique gifts. 15gifts begins by hand-selecting a wide array of gift ideas from independent, unique and quirky online shops. Users in need of a gift idea then indicate whether the gift is for a male, female or a couple, then select their age range and relationship to the giver. Alternatively, the site also has the option to “import” the gift recipient’s details from Facebook. The user is then asked to indicate the occasion, as well as check off the recipient’s hobbies, taste in clothing and home decor, and a general budget for the gift. In return, the site presents users with 15 gift ideas to consider — when one idea is rejected, another is offered to take its place. Users can create a shortlist of ideas that seem most promising and they can also share ideas with others for joint decision-making or advice. Once they’ve settled on a winning idea, 15gifts links them directly to its seller for purchase. Meanwhile, 15gifts refines its engine to better customize its recommendations for the next user. In order to provide ultimate relevance, 15gifts seems to be banking on the combination of a curated product selection and a proprietary recommendation technology. Indeed, this could be a match made in heaven; a model to apply to the niche of your choice? (Related: ‘Inspiration engine’ suggests travel possibilitiesApp recommendations based on your tweets & status updates.) Spotted by: James



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