Consumers are overwhelmed by choices. The moment we wake up, we're confronted by decisions and the list just gets longer throughout the day. Savvy companies are simplifying the task of making choices by doing it for us. They're offering us curated options. Retailers in particular are combining data insights with a human touch to help consumers find the items that best match their preferences and needs. Here are three examples of innovative ways retailers are embracing curated e-commerce. Stitch Fix
How it works: Customers fill out a profile about their clothing style likes and dislikes and a fashion consultant uses that information to put together outfits. Customers only pay for the items that they decide to keep and send back the rest through free shipping.
Why it's cool: It's like having a personal shopper, which can be a huge timesaver. Additionally, Stitch Fix uses an algorithm to help curate the outfits and it's constantly updated with feedback from customers, so the more often customers use the service, the smarter it gets.
IBM Watson Trend
How it works: Using a mix of sentiment analysis, machine learning, keyword analytics, and natural language analysis, IBM Watson Trend is a shopping tool that tracks the top 100 selling items across consumer technology, toys, and health. It provides daily feeds about what products are trending as well as the "story behind the trend."
Why it's cool: Watson Trend enables people to interpret data in new ways and understand what's driving popular purchases. For instance, the program reports that the Nikon camera trend is "driven by conversations related to Nikon DSLRs being a natural upgrade from smartphone cameras...toward people who are just getting into higher-quality photography and is widespread across the US."
How it works: Bloggers and experts who specialize in areas like home improvement, gardening, and science fiction create articles about products that Amazon sells on its site. The articles are mostly organized as lists, such as "9 Closet Cures that Cost Less than $100" by Bob Vila and "10 Favorite Gardening Books" by Gardenista editors.
Why it's cool: While Amazon already offers recommended products, those recommendations are largely based on previous purchases. Perhaps you would like to purchase a cook book as a gift but don't have time to sift through reviews. These articles can help shoppers navigate Amazon's vast array of merchandise with advice from subject matter experts like a culinary critic.