More data, better recommendations

This post is about Antecons, a product recommendation engine, now part of Conversio. Antecons is no longer commercially available, but I have kept my developer diary on my website with permission.

Today, we have published an improvement for the Antecons recommendation algorithm. In the beginning, recommendations were based on an analysis of order data for a webshop which has turned out to work quite well. But more data is better. Starting today, Antecons will also analyze data based on what products customers are looking at on the webshop. This improves the recommendations, especially for products that have recently been added to a shop and have not been sold so much yet.

There are many other ideas and features in the pipeline and one of them is adding similarity measures as a recommendation tool. That is, similarity in terms of common product tags and similar product titles. This is probably going to find its way into Antecons in the near future, possibly as an opt-in feature.

As an extra note, the back-end and infrastructure of Antecons is constantly improving, thanks in part to the constant improvements being made to Google App Engine. Scalability and reliability are key elements for a high-performance app like Antecons and GAE makes it possible to focus on the app instead of the infrastructure. This might sound like a sales pitch for GAE but actually, it is one of Antecons’ secret weapons.