When your online store visitor clicks the “Add to Cart” or “Checkout” button, it’s the perfect moment for a product recommendation. How to use upsell and cross-sell technologies, how to select products for recommendation blocks, what is an online recommendation engine – all of the answers are in our article, so stay tuned!
How Does eCommerce Product Recommendation Help Retail Businesses?
Research held by Invesp Company showed that 45% of consumers are more likely to shop on a website that offers personalized recommendations. The same study shows that 56% of online shoppers are more likely to return to an ecommerce website with product recommendations.
In the block with recommended products, you can offer your website visitors items that may be of particular interest to them. In many cases, this also works with services (for example, why not recommend access to a SPA zone to a user who signed up for a massage?), but in this article, we will focus on product ecommerce websites.
Thus, placing a block of recommendations on your website will help to resolve the following issues:
- Increase conversions. The visitor can purchase a more expensive recommended product or buy recommended components in addition to the selected ones. Thus, the average purchase check increases;
- Improve behavioural factors. Blocks with recommended products allow you to increase the depth of page viewing, the average time a user spends on the website, and the number of pages viewed by him;
- Make website navigation easier. The users don’t need to view the entire catalogue. With personalized ecommerce recommendations, they will immediately see products in a similar price range, models with better features, and complementary products that they might not have thought of when placing their orders. For example, when a user buys a laptop but forgets to order a mouse or a bag;
- Provide internal linking. With the help of recommendations, you can shorten the path to the product not only for the user but also for the search robot. This is especially true for a store with an extensive, frequently updated assortment. New or less popular product cards get into the index faster and accumulate the information necessary for ranking in search results;
- Familiarize the customer with the product range. Often, users visit a website to learn about a particular product. Recommendations allow you to unobtrusively offer them other products and introduce them to the product range;
- Stimulate demand. Recommendations shape the demand for less sought-after or luxury goods;
- Increase sales frequency. The above statistics show that people are more likely to buy and return for repeat purchases to stores that select recommendations.
Key eCommerce Recommendation Types
Marketers distinguish four main types that are used in ecommerce to increase the conversion of an online store. These are cross-selling, up-sell, add-on sales, and bundle sales. Some entrepreneurs are not entirely loyal to the listed ecommerce tools, believing that in this way the store is trying to impose a purchase on the client. However, as statistics show, consumers are calm about this type of sale and usually can spend 15-30% more money than they planned initially for placing an order.
Cross-selling is a technique that you use to offer your users a product from an adjacent category. For example, if they want to buy jeans, offer them a belt, if they are looking for fashion dresses, offer them jewellery, for a gym membership – sports nutrition or a warming ointment, etc.
This is the most common method of increasing sales today, and it can bring impressive results. According to the data, every third buyer who is interested in such an offer, agrees to purchase a suggested product and places an additional order or puts more products in the basket than expected. To successfully implement this type of product recommendations on the site, you should not hesitate to offer customers at least three positions that can be related to the main product.
The up-sell technique involves stimulating buyers to order a more expensive product than the one they were considering. For example, if a person wants to buy a smartphone of a certain model, then in the recommendation block it is necessary to show a phone of an improved version, with advanced features, and better quality, by a more premium company, and so on.
To benefit from an increase in the average check, you need to know the portrait of the target audience and understand the needs of the buyer. It is not enough to offer a more expensive item, simply because it is profitable for the store. You need to show the customers their benefits. This can be done by using positive detailed reviews on the site or product cards: describe in more detail the functions, features, and benefits of the product that falls into the recommendations.
The essence of this ecommerce marketing tool is to offer additional options and services related to the product. For example, an extended warranty for expensive household appliances. Or an option to sell goods in a set. When a visitor chooses a hair shampoo, the store offers to purchase the same shampoo in a set with conditioner. Consumers love these options and often buy sets as ready-made gifts. But in this case, the purchase of the kit should cost the clients less than if they purchase the shampoo and conditioner separately.
Bundle sales involve the purchase of a product paired with an accompanying one, but at the same time, the client receives a discount. Operators usually use this tool, offering customers to purchase a package of services, which includes fixed Internet, television, and a SIM card for mobile communications.
In online stores of household appliances, such a personalization tool is also often found. At the same time, there are no ready-made kits as such. The main task of the store is to convey to the users the value of this offer and show them that if they buy these goods now, they will get the lowest price possible.
What Is the Personalization of eCommerce & How to Suggest Products?
All types of additional offers in online stores are divided into personalized and non-personalized. Thanks to modern CMS systems, online store owners have the opportunity to find out some data about customers. These include gender, age, the city in which the consumer lives and shopping preferences. Based on this data, it is possible to form personalized recommendations. Systems and algorithms predict the users’ interests and offer exactly those products that a person is likely to purchase.
Personal offers begin to bring good profit when the client has registered on the site and placed several orders. This knowledge can be used as an incentive to pass the registration of the buyer and fill out the questionnaire. You can offer an increased discount if a visitor logs in to the website and answers some questions regarding product preferences. A small life hack: such an offer will become more valuable if it is limited in time. For example, the maximum discount for an order is within 14 days after registration.
Algorithms analyze user behaviour and remember which items the customer viewed, and which items were added to the cart, but not bought. Based on this data, offers are formed and located on the main page of your online store. To increase the user’s desire to purchase a product, you can focus on those items that have been in the person’s basket for a long time and add a call to action.
Non-personalized recommendations are formed without taking into account the buyers’ interests, gender and age. However, recommendations of this type can also increase conversions and customer loyalty. Such techniques are used both in small online stores and large marketplaces. Visitors of different ages with different preferences see the same offers. Examples include home improvement products that add cosiness and can be beneficial for both children and young parents, as well as grandparents who have grandchildren.
Non-personalized offers can be implemented in the form of adding blocks with bestsellers to the site. In sections that are in high demand, it makes sense to place product cards that may interest customers. You don’t have to post the bestsellers. Here you can cheat a little and place in a conspicuous place those positions that need to be sold as quickly as possible. It is also recommended to advertise not too expensive products, but those that belong to the middle price segment.
If your web store is on Magento (or Adobe ecommerce, as it is called now) you can use various widgets for non-personalized recommendations. For example, our ecommerce development company has developed Bestseller Widget – a module allowing you to show trending and most demanded products to your website visitors. Another option is to use the Featured Products widget. It allows you to demonstrate featured products from different categories to attract customers’ attention and increase sales.
The experts from our ecommerce website design company suggest placing the widgets for non-personalized recommendations when a user is about to leave the web store. Invite your buyers to take a last look at popular products or those that are currently on sale at a discount. Such a tool should be used as carefully as possible and configured not for all users, but only under certain conditions: for example, when the client has been idle on the site for a long time.
One of the most non-obvious ecommerce tips is to place widgets for product recommendations on the “error 404” pages. If a user copied the link to your website incorrectly or there was some kind of technical hitch, the “error 404” page can also become a source of additional sales. Not all site owners design such pages in a way as not to lose the visitor. And in vain. According to statistics, when users accidentally end up on the wrong page and cannot return to the resource, they close the link and never return. To not lose a potential customer, you should take care of how the information will be displayed for a client who hit an error page. Here you can place a link to the main page along with a small selection of this season’s popular products or products on sale.
Thanks to the analysis of user behaviour and their interests, it is possible to selectively influence buyers and recommend products that will probably be of interest. However, it is always possible to apply non-personalized widgets in your web store.In case you have questions about product recommendations or special widgets you can use, ask our ecommerce consulting experts for help – just fill in the form on our website and together we will resolve any ecommerce issue you may have!