Recommendations are hot—just ask the vendors of recommendation solutions. Recommendations are hot—according to the potential buyers we surveyed early this year. All of our respondents are interested in deploying recommendations at some point, and almost half plan to deploy in the next 18 months.
What are recommendations for? That's a simpler, and possibly harder question. Our respondents have clearly heard the message that recommendations help revenue and improve the customer experience. Interestingly, most North American respondents also see recommendations as a tool for personalization—for the user experiences of both customers and employees. Europeans, famously less exuberant [though not, as we see from the financial news, more rational] think the jury is still out on personalization.
Exuberant Americans will take their recommendation technology any way it's served: home grown, commercial on-premise software, or SaaS. Europeans, who shipped most of their cowboys westward over the past three centuries, do not want any home grown software, thank you very much; leave that "do it my way" impulse to the cowboys. Our European respondents really just want recommendations technology the way technology is supposed to be delivered, via commercial on-premise software. That SaaS thing, hmm, not so sure about that. This reluctance is a shame—what could be better than having a vendor striving to win your love and esteem daily? Even after you sign the contract? The beauty of SaaS, with the loving client care, ease of implementation, and low up-front cost will win the skeptics over eventually.