Web technology capable of compiling vast amounts of customer data now makes it possible for online stores to recommend items tailored to a specific shopper's interests. Companies are finding that getting those personalized recommendations right - or even close - can mean significantly higher sales.The article mentions Amazon.com too but offers few details. I am surprised that the article doesn't explore Amazon in more depth given that, as with Netflix, the recommendations lead to a substantial percentage of Amazon's sales.
At NetFlix ... roughly two-thirds of the films rented were recommended to subscribers by the site - movies the customers might never have thought to consider otherwise. The company credits the system's ability to make automated yet accurate recommendations as a major factor in its growth from 600,000 subscribers in 2002 to nearly 4 million today.
Similarly, Apple's iTunes online music store features a system of recommending new music as a way of increasing customers' attachment to the site and, presumably, their purchases.
See also my previous post, "Zen and the art of Amazon recommendations".
[Found on Findory]