What is Product Recommendation in eCommerce? All You Need to Know

Have you tried any product recommendation tools yet? If your answer is a big NO, you are unfortunately leaving your money on the table! 

The biggest eCommerce stores have been recommending products for years to improve the shopping experience and, importantly, maximize online sales. However, innumerable merchants are ignoring a brilliant tactic that has a slew of advantages. Ranging from increased customer engagement to lower shopping cart abandonment to a higher average order value.

What is Product Recommendation & Its Impact?

Although this is no longer a new term to the eCommerce industry, not all merchants seem thoroughly familiar with it. Product recommendation is a process to evaluate data about shoppers to determine what types of products and services they are interested in. Thus, your site can present contextually relevant offers and product selections. As a result, they will appeal to individual shoppers — and help drive sales — based on search behavior and product preferences.

What is Product Recommendation

General suggestions are based on factors such as crowdsourced recommendations and social proof. They typically include trending products, new arrivals, and daily specials, among others. Personalized recommendations, on the other hand, are unique to each visitor. They can be centered on consumer traits, situational context, browsing history, and more.

product recommendations increase sales
Product recommendations are a crucial component of achieving ambitious performance targets, and a tried-and-true strategy for increasing profitability.

If you are still wondering whether you should invest in product recommendations or not, let’s see the following statistics: 

  • Approximately 71% of e-commerce sites provide product recommendations 
  • 54% of retailers stated that product recommendations are the primary driver of AOV (average order value) in consumer purchases
  • Customers who clicked on recommendations are 4.5 times more likely to add these items to their shopping basket and 4.5 times more likely to complete the purchase
  • Even customers who clicked on a product recommendation but did not purchase anything had higher levels of engagement. These customers were 20% more inclined to return to the site in the future 
  • Product recommendations can generate up to 31% of eCommerce revenue

Now do you understand why it feels like a race between giant retailers leveling up their product recommendation strategies? Better user experience, higher customer engagement, and a non-stop sales boom are prime goals that all store owners dream of. 

Where to Place Product Recommendations?

We all know that product recommendations are great but it would be fruitless if you bombard shoppers with suggestions. Hence, we note down 6 critical areas that you should keep in mind before implementing any product recommendation approaches on the site. 

Homepage 

Usually, the homepage is where popular products, trending brands or categories, new arrivals, and daily discounts are widely applied. By using this strategy, online merchants tempt new customers on whom they may lack data.

For returning consumers, integrating more tailored recommendations, such as things selected just for them or suggested searches based on their previous browsing behavior, can work wonders in enticing them to make a purchase.

Amazon recommendation engine
The Amazon recommendation engine has revolutionized eCommerce since it was created to personalize digital interactions for customers.
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Amazon is always a role model when it comes to product recommendations in online shopping. You can see that when a returning visitor comes back to the site, they have a section called ‘Inspired by your Wish List’ that shows plenty of books that are relevant to what the shopper added to their list.   

Product Listing Pages

Did you know that 9 out of 10 shoppers said they found recommendations on eCommerce site homepages? In contrast, the figure for product listing pages (search results or category pages) was quite sad, which is only 19%

So what should you do on these pages to wisely convert browsers into paying customers? 

Search Result Pages

E-commerce stores should recommend products that best fit a customer’s search query to help them locate what they are looking for effortlessly. In fact, brands that want to stand out can use visual search to help customers quickly and easily discover what they prefer without browsing a never-ending list of items.

Product recommendation on Search research pages
Thanks to visual search, online retailers can use real-world imagery to win more customers.

This technology has been present for years and is now widely preferred by tech giants, particularly for eCommerce due to the booming number of smartphone users. Shoppers can now snap a photo, search for a vase they love, and let Artificial Intelligence (AI) do the rest. It will come up with relevant suggestions, and customers can work from here. 

Consumers will be able to see the right items immediately and pick the best from the best to buy thanks to visual search shopping. It is really convenient, quick, and effective. The less time it takes to seek and load products, the higher sales you can achieve. 

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Category Pages

Customers may not always know what they want, but the product category page should aim to anticipate their needs — and product recommendation is destined to help with that.

Apart from displaying what you have to offer, brands may also emphasize items that are low in stock on the category page to create a feeling of urgency. Esports Gear has been using this approach in the Mousepad category and showing off the sales percentage. 

Product recommendation on category pages
Esports Gear used the ‘low in stock’ strategy to motivate their shoppers to close the deal.

Product Page

Building a high-converting landing page is never a piece of cake. 

Why don’t you include recommendations that display aesthetically related products or things that are regularly purchased together to keep customers? The secret behind it is even though they have already landed on the product page browsing and understand the item is not a good fit, you still have an opportunity to increase conversions

Product recommendation on Product page
Shop for more compatible items’ is a popular recommendation tactic that retailers like Walmart apply to boost AOVs.

On the page for the Instant Pot, Walmart also listed 4 more compatible items, even above product details. In addition, the brand displays real-time numbers of orders or how many shoppers are viewing. All to shorten their buying journey to make a purchase. 

You might also like: 12+ Shopify Page Builders to Build A Stunning Landing Page

Checkout Page

Surprisingly, upselling and cross-selling chances abound on the checkout page. Try proposing similar products, popular items, or even products that the consumer has previously purchased. This works especially well for grocery stores and clothing sites offering items that a customer may purchase on a regular basis.

Product recommendation on Checkout pages
Nuts.com takes advantage of the checkout pages to introduce best-selling products to shoppers before they make purchases.

A quick and easy strategy to raise your average transaction value and stabilize the revenue is to upsell your best-sellers. To find out which products are most popular in your store, have a look at page visits and clicks in addition to how often a product is sold. During the checkout process, Nuts.com upsells its best-selling products. Who can refuse those three lovely and delicious nuts?

Pop-ups

Pop-ups, when used correctly, may convert hesitant shoppers into loyal brand enthusiasts. When a visitor is about to leave your eCommerce site, try employing pop-ups with drastically discounted products, or display tailored suggestions if they have been idle on the page for a while.

Product recommendation Popups
To keep customers staying longer with you, displaying pop-ups and showing an exclusive offer at the right time is an effective approach.

Have you ever considered employing an exit pop-up like Ask & Embla has been doing to tempt every potential consumer who visits your store? They display pop-up messages on their product pages to encourage customers to sign up for their newsletters in order to receive a 15% discount. Both new and returning visitors who have never placed an order are the focus of this unique promotion. In addition to gathering potential customers, the exit-intent pop-up can later increase engagement and purchases.

404 Page

Previously, a 404 page was the pain point of any e-merchants. However, your customer’s journey does not necessarily end with a not found page. 

If the 404 page offers recommendations — whether they are popular products, previously viewed items, or products similar to the one that returns a 404 page — it can provide chances and excite your consumers rather than disappoint them.

Product recommendation on 404 pages
404 pages are no longer a dead end if you turn them into product showcase pages.

Customize the no-search result page to offer your customers different options when their keyword searches yield no results. This increases the likelihood that clients will browse and purchase from your store by guiding them to further results of your choosing.

Are You Excited to Take The Next Step With Product Recommendations? 

Product recommendations set your brand apart from the competition and establish a bond between you and your customers. Remember that effective eCommerce recommendations increase AOV, customer loyalty, and total revenue for your business. 

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