Product recommendations are a great way to help your visitors discover products on your online store and deliver a personalized shopping experience to them. If used effectively, product recommendations can increase average order value by up to 40% and boost conversion rates by 5 – 20%.
It’s essential that your recommendations are personalized and shown at the right places on your site, enticing visitors to increase their cart spend. Recommendation widgets such as ‘Topsellers’, ‘Recommended for you’, ‘More like these’ etc. help put across relevant products before your visitors and convert browsers into buyers.
In this post, I’ve discussed the best practices of product recommendations – which recommendation widgets work best when placed at different pages of your site. I’ve also listed down three key benefits of product recommendations and how different types of widgets can help you improve these objectives.
1. Greater Product Discovery
With the right recommendation widgets, you’ll be able to show more products to your customers, which are personalized based on their preferences.
Some widgets like ‘Topsellers’, ‘Viewed also viewed’ and ‘Bought also bought’ can enable greater product discovery as they show additional products to the visitors, similar to the products they’re looking for or have viewed before.
2. Increase in Average Cart Size
Site owners can enable widgets such as ‘More like these’ and ‘Bought also bought’ to upsell and cross-sell products. By showing products similar or complementary to the current product, you can encourage the visitor to spend more and increase the average order value across your site.
3. Personalize User Experience
Online shoppers have now come to expect personalized experiences on the sites they visit. Whether it is through recommendations tailored for them or emails with specific discounts.
“73 percent of consumers surveyed said they prefer do business with retailers who use personal information to make their shopping experience more relevant.”
In this case, providing generic product recommendations may be unsuccessful. Using widgets such as ‘Recommended for you’ and ‘Recently viewed by you’ are used explicitly to personalize the user experience.
In order to achieve the above objectives, recommendation widgets must be placed carefully at various pages on your site. Below are the best practices that must be implemented on your site to maximize the performance of your product recommendations.
The homepage is the main landing page of your site and should offer cues to help your visitors get started on their shopping journey – this could be through a visible search box, a clear navigation structure and of course, personalized recommendation widgets. As on homepage, we can categorize the visitors into two types – new and repeat.
Recently viewed by you, Recommended for you
For repeat visitors, you can recommend products that they had viewed in the past but not bought, personalizing their shopping activity on your site. Or you can show products similar to what they prefer in terms of the price range, brand, colour and various other factors.
Topsellers, Recently viewed
For new visitors, it’s best to show top-selling products, in order to help them discover popular products. As you might not have much information about the new visitor, it’s best to show products based on the wisdom of the crowd.
Flipkart shows widgets based on new & repeat visitors. This is a practice that should definitely be followed to target customers better.
2. Search Results Page
On the search results page, you should offer personalized suggestions to the visitors as they already have an intent to purchase and are likely to convert faster.
Recommended for you, Recently viewed
In this case it makes sense to show items that have been viewed previously (this is especially useful if they’re searching for a similar item or trying to compare two items). Of course, it goes without saying that your recommendation engine must be intelligent enough to not display products that have already been purchased.
Another option is to show personalized recommendations based on their past history. For example, with Unbxd Product Recommendations search behaviour is considered while showing personalized recommendations, so adding this widget on the search results page can also lead to higher conversions.
3. Category Pages
Visitors using the site’s navigation tend to be browsing and their buying intent may not be as strong. Here it’s important to show recommendations that allow them to discover popular products within the category.
Category topseller, Brand topseller
While Category topsellers can be shown on category landing pages, Brand topsellers should be displayed on brand pages to help navigate users towards topselling products within that brand.
4. Product Detail Page
The product detail page is a crucial link in the conversion chain. Correctly optimizing the product detail page can drastically improve conversions. Here, it becomes doubly important to show appropriate recommendations that will help the visitors discover similar products.
More like these, Viewed also viewed
The idea is to make sure visitors discover better products that prevents them from bouncing (if they don’t like a particular product they’re viewing) or encourage them to add more products to cart.
The product detail page is a the perfect site property to upsell products of a higher value. Showing laptops with a better configuration or more accessories can help increase the cart spend.
5. Shopping Cart Page
Bought also bought, Cart recommendations
The shopping cart page should show appropriate recommendations with complementary products that make sure the visitor doesn’t bounce and abandon his/her cart.
Product recommendations are now considered one of the major product discovery & conversion channels on ecommerce websites and merchandizers must work to maximize its functionality. The best practices mentioned above can help you optimize your recommendations widgets and dramatically increase conversions.
I’d love to hear what do you think of these best practices and if you have any other suggestions. Do let me know in the comments below.