eBay buys Hunch.com to improve recommendations

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eBay has bought recommendation engine Hunch.com in order to improve the personalisation of the shopping suggestions its customers see online.

The online marketplace says buyers are expected to benefit from Hunch’s ability to predict their tastes and generate meaningful but not obvious recommendations.

“We are engaging consumers in innovative ways and attracting top technologists to shape the future of commerce,” said Mark Carges, chief technology officer and senior vice president, global products, marketplaces at eBay. “With Hunch, we’re adding new capabilities to personalizing the shopping experience on eBay to the individual relevant tastes and interests of our customers.

“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.”

Hunch.com was launched in 2009 and its patented prediction technology, known as a ‘taste graph’, uses inputs from around the internet, such as social networks and their members’ likes and dislikes, to map members and predict their affinity for products, services, other people, and websites. It then customizes recommended topics for them.

eBay says Hunch’s expertise in tailoring data to customer needs could also be used in eBay search, advertising and marketing initiatives.

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