Shopping Quizzes is a quiz-based recommendation engine for e-commerce sites

A key tenet of e-commerce is the recommendation engine. If implemented correctly, it can be a major sales driver for online retailers. However, most sites normally just implement a basic engine that guesses what shoppers want, without any input from the shoppers themselves.

Shopping Quizzes has created a recommendation engine that actually asks shoppers what they’re looking for, instead of relying on guesses obtained from their browsing history.

Here’s how it works:

An e-commerce proprietor will enlist Shopping Quizzes to analyze their product categories and write custom quizzes tailored for a category of product. For example, a site may ask for a quiz designed to help users choose a black dress.

The startup will then craft a quiz that asks questions like “cocktail or day dress,” “sleeveless or sleeves” and “fitted or loose.” Then, based on a shopper’s answers to all these questions, the engine recommends three top choices that fit all the shopper’s parameters.

On the surface, this sounds basic. But the company explained that due to the exponential nature of the questions, a four-question quiz can eliminate more than 90 percent of the wrong products, leaving a much higher chance of the shopper finding one they actually want to buy.

But does this actually increase sales for the site?

According to Shopping Quiz’s numbers from their beta, yes. One A/B test found that shoppers prompted to use a quiz generated 22 percent more sales than the shoppers who didn’t see a quiz.

Any online shopper knows quizzes aren’t new. However, Shopping Quizzes claims to differentiate itself by only asking questions directly relevant to a shopper’s end goal. So while other quizzes may decide that a shopper is preppy or casual and offer a range of products based on that conclusion, each shopping quiz will only recommend three specific products that the shopper already indicated they are interested in purchasing.

But this help doesn’t come cheap. The company charges anywhere from a lofty $999 for one quiz a month, to an ever more daunting $2,999, which gets a site four quizzes per month.

At these prices, Shopping Quizzes definitely isn’t the right solution for your handcrafted Etsy store. But, if you run a legitimate e-commerce operation and think your large, disorganized inventory is turning off hundreds or thousands of potential customers, this may be the answer for you.