eBay Buys Hunch to Recommend Products Based on Shopper Tastes
By Ina Steiner
eBay has acquired Hunch.com, an online platform launched in 2009 that delivers customized recommendations to its users based on their individual tastes. Hunch's patented prediction technology, known as a "taste graph," uses signals from around the Web to map members with their predicted affinity for products, services, other people, websites, and more, and customizes recommended topics for them.
eBay expects to use Hunch's expertise in machine learning, data mining and predictive modeling to expand and grow merchandising and relevance capabilities to further improve the shopping and selling experience for eBay customers.
According to eBay's press release, "eBay buyers are expected to benefit from Hunch's predictive ability to generate meaningful, yet often non-obvious, recommendations for items available on eBay based on their specific tastes."
eBay Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President of Global Products for Marketplaces Mark Carges, said, "We expect Hunch's technologies to benefit eBay shoppers as they browse and buy, and to bring sellers on eBay new ways to connect the right products with the right customers."
eBay said Hunch's expertise could also be applied to other technology opportunities across eBay, including search, advertising and marketing initiatives, in order to better surface product and search results based on customers' tastes.
Hunch's employees will remain with the company, including co-founders Chris Dixon, Tom Pinckney and Matt Gattis, and the company will continue to be based in New York.
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to email@example.com.
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