As a consumer, you’ve probably noticed that many, if not most, ecommerce websites include product recommendations as a feature. And there’s a good reason for doing so.
When setup and implemented properly, a product recommendation engine can significantly increase conversion rates, average order value, and sales revenue. It can also improve the user experience along with customer satisfaction, as viewing product recommendations makes shopping feel more personalized.
But what exactly is a product recommendation engine?
Simply put, it’s a filtering tool that relies on data and algorithms “to recommend the most relevant items to a particular user in a given context,” says Huba Gaspar.
For example, if a customer were searching for a new digital camera, he or she might be presented with a series of popular models or items frequently bought along with digital cameras, like memory cards or tripods.
So how can you use product recommendations to increase conversions and user experience? Below, you’ll learn about four of the most effective types of product recommendations.
1. “Recommended For You” Recommendations
“Recommended for you” product recommendations are based on visitors’ browsing histories or their past purchases.
This type of product recommendation presents visitors with products that are well-suited for visitors’ tastes and needs. As a result, the product recommendations feel more personalized. And personalization is something shoppers love.
2. “Frequently Bought Together” Recommendations
This type of product recommendation yields a lot of power in terms of increasing average order value. Lots of products pair well with other items, and highlighting this for shoppers makes one-stop shopping just a click away.
“Frequently bought together” product recommendations are similar to “Customers who bought this bought that” product recommendations, which are also powerful because they offer social proof. And social proof breeds trustworthiness and credibility.
3. “Bestselling” / “Most Popular” Recommendations
Spotlighting your bestselling/most popular products is another way of offering social proof to shoppers. Plus, it instills confidence in shoppers that they’re making smart choices, and it’s a good way to guide new visitors around your site who may not be familiar with your business or know where to start browsing.
4. Email Product Recommendations
Using a product recommendation engine enables you to showcase recommendations on your website. But you can also send product recommendations via email.
Product recommendation emails are effective because they’re highly targeted and relevant. The optimal time to send a product recommendation email is a couple days after customers make a purchase.
Product recommendation emails are an excellent means of upselling and cross-selling related products “because the items you’re showing your customers either enhance or complement their purchase,” says Marc Schenker.
And the more you personalize your emails, the more people will engage with and respond to your content and the more likely they’ll be to convert.
You can also send product recommendation emails to shoppers who have either abandoned their shopping carts or spent a lot of time browsing your site only to leave left empty-handed (an occurrence known as browser abandonment).
Emailing these types of shoppers product recommendations serves to entice them to return to your store by showing shoppers items they may have overlooked or forgot about but actually still want.
Upon visiting your website, shoppers always leave behind a trail of highly useful data that you can then use to inform your product recommendations. And this is a win-win for you and your site’s visitors. You’re able to increase your sales and conversion rates and customers get easier access to products they love.
What do you think about adding product recommendations to your website or marketing strategy? Is this something you already do? Get in touch via social media and share your feedback!