1productCustomers buy where they feel well-advised - this is true in retail stores and is no different in e-commerce. A key aspect of good advice is the recommendation of alternative or complementary products the customer just showed some interest in. Thus, the acceptance of such product recommendations is adequately high in online trading.

Meanwhile, there are good solutions for automated product recommendations,

which are a key feature of an online shop when it comes to cross-sell and / or up-sell to promote and achieve greater customer loyalty. It goes without saying that the more relevant the products proposed to the online visitors, the more satisfied the customer. Complex algorithms and a comprehensive database

Personalized recommendations are useful on all pages where the customer can get informed on products, such as on landing pages as part of campaigns or search results pages. Prerequisite for the targeted modulation of intelligent, personalized product recommendations is the interaction of complex mathematical algorithms and a comprehensive database. The recommendations are activated based on visitor specific product affinities, which are based on rules such as:

  • Visitors who viewed this also viewed that;
  • Users who viewed this also bought that;
  • People who bought this also bought that.

Recommendations for unknown clients as well

Automated personalized product recommendations are also possible for customers who visit the online shop for the first time. These customers can now get product recommendations based on their geographical origin, their chosen search terms, and the device used to access the online shop. Thus, the order value of tablet users, especially the iPad, is usually much higher than of customers using a personal computers or laptops, which means that tablet users can get recommendations of higher-priced products.

Testing is essential

Product recommendations work best on sites that are continuously optimized through multivariate testing. On one hand it is necessary to optimize the layout, wording and placement of the recommendations. On the other hand, the increased response rates of course cannot be tapped if the entire conversion funnel (purchase path) is not optimized up to the point where the purchase being completed.

Product recommendations in the online shop

If a company has implemented a product recommendation system on its website, it serves as an informative product showcase and useful buying guide that aims to achieve e.g.:

• Increase of the shopping cart value;

• Increase of the frequency of visits;

• Increase in conversions;

• Establishing of a solid base for the retargeting.

Aspects of products that have been viewed or purchased in a similar context are delivered on individual product pages that consequently increase the number of calls and orders.

In particular, the following procedures have been proven to be promising:

  • An approach that is based on the affinities of visitors is more effective than the use of pure product affinities.
  • With high-priced products, customers prefer recommendations of comparable products.
  • With low-priced products, customers prefer recommendations of complementary products.

In general, the measures lead to a significant increase of the average shopping cart values, which impressively proves the enormous influence of product recommendations on purchasing.

By Daniela La Marca