Which product recommendations to use on different types of pages
Product recommendations used to mainly consist of highlighting the most popular products. But with the rise of AI and machine learning, recommendations in ecommerce have increased customer engagement by several steps.
Recommendation engines now start with understanding the customer’s intent by capturing the customer’s shopping patterns, behavior, and purchase history. With the data on hand, you can then find the best products to present to each customer accordingly. Other factors also come into play such as new trends in the market, bestsellers, discounted items, etc.
It’s crucial to pick the right kind of product recommendations to effectively boost conversions. By showing the right content at the right time and in the right place, customers will have unique experiences tailored to their interests across the buying process. Effective recommendations can significantly increase average order values and ultimately boost your profits.
Here are some of the product recommendation types used on different pages at different customer points. There are many variations depending on the customer behavior data and in most cases, it’s the combination of all the strategies that produce the best results.
The homepage is to a website as a front-window display is to a physical store. Therefore showing the main product offerings is crucial as it enables users to start shopping and increase click-through rates. Use this space to insert personalized recommendations, what differentiates you from the competition and personalized messages of what you offer.
For first-time visitors, they sometimes don’t have anything specific in mind. Because it’s their first time, you know very little about them. The recommendations on the main page aim to inform these newcomers about your products and get them engaged, so recommend:
- Hottest items or what stands out from the competition, items that have ranked best on your site in different categories based on popularity, purchases, CTR, views, and trends
- Bestsellers, or those with the highest conversion rates
- Newly added items
- Emerging or trending items, or items that will be available soon and can be reserved early
- Context-based recommendations such as location, weather, and device
- Items on sale
For returning visitors, since you already have data about their recent purchases and browsing history, time to utilize personalized product recommendations. For example, if the customer previously bought a camera, you can show new arrivals of camera accessories. Try recommending:
- Items that the visitor has previously viewed or purchased
- Items related to the recent purchase
- Discounts on recently viewed or purchased items
- Items related to those abandoned in the basket
- Popular or new items based on previously viewed or purchased items
2. Category page
The category page drives discovery to the online page, hence product categories need to be clear and quickly differentiated. Relevant products are stored in the category pages giving the shopper the chance to narrow down to a specific subcategory to find exactly what they’re looking for. Navigation should be effortless with proper and easy-to-understand labels.
For first-time visitors, get them to browse your category pages by recommending:
- Last week’s or last month’s popular and trending items
- Newly added products
- Category variety or subcategories
- Items that are high in stock
Offering products to returning visitor needs fine-tuning. You can use the gathered data to trigger personalized offers in the category page. The offers can include seasonal, daily deals, rating-based recommendations, and others such as:
- Recently viewed or purchased items
- Popular items from the user’s favorite subcategories
- Items related to recent purchases
- Deals and promotions in the category
- Abandoned items in the basket
3. Product page
The product information page is where visitors find detailed information about the product. The goal is to keep the visitors in the sales funnel and for them to add the items to the cart. Recommendations on product pages aim to increase average order values. Often, visitors have one thing in mind when shopping but end up buying more, so you’ve got to take advantage of this and stretch their buying eagerness by recommending relevant items and launching upselling efforts.
Customers usually spend the most time on product pages, browsing, and choosing the products they want to purchase, so take this opportunity to offer:
- Complementary items from the same category
- Items to upsell, for example, those that are better in quality or have higher prices
- Alternative relevant products
- Associated items, for example, batteries for an item that needs them
- Most purchased or viewed items from the same category
- Other items based on recent purchases or views
- Promotional items
4. Shopping basket page
When customers are in the last stage of the shopping funnel, it’s important for them to complete the purchase. Get them to do it without so much distraction, but grab this chance as well to get higher average order values. When they are about to finish the purchase, customers are usually willing to add more items, or even pay for a slightly higher priced product, if the recommendations are done effectively. The checkout page is an excellent place to recommend because you already have their preferences. Recommend:
- Items often purchased together with the item in the shopping basket, such as add-ons and accessories
- Items related to the purchase that would be a perfect add-on to get free shipping
- Popular items from the recently visited categories
- Items that are not commonly purchased with the product in their baskets, but have been previously bought together, say a dress with colors that match a bike
- Items based on the visitor’s affinity and preferences
- Items that have relatively low prices and are easy to buy
Ecommerce stores are now expected to deliver more personalized shopping experiences. Product recommendations require smart execution to produce the most effective results. Consumers are more likely to spend money and return to a site that makes them feel valued with personalized offers that are tailored to their needs. It’s all about the perfect timing – recommending items that your customers want at the time when they’re most engaged can enhance user experiences hence improving conversion rates.
Read on to find out how recommendations nowadays learn about customers in real-time and personalize all pages they visit. Start delivering different recommendation types based on how they behave and where they are on the customer journey.
About the writer:
Katja Kokko is passionate about strategically developing digital businesses and creating memorable digital customer experiences on a tactical level— what she gets to do as Customer Success Director with her clients and her team. She is a growth hacker by heart and with her exceptional interpersonal and leadership skills, she thrives in challenging business cases as these challenge her to think differently and out of the box.