Product Recommendations: Where and How to implement

Product recommendations work almost everywhere on an eCommerce website – homepage, category pages, product details pages, cart page, 404 page, etc.

Visitors to the different pages of your Magento store are at different stages of their journey. Therefore, the type of recommendation on each page of your website should be different so as to match the needs the visitor.

It is not possible to generate personalized recommendations for new visitors. Hence at the beginning of their journey new and returning visitors are handled differently.

Given here are some of the best practices for the types of recommendations that can be used on the different pages of your Magento store. Every company is different, and the types of recommendation that you may want to use on your Magento store will differ from that used by another store.

Online Production Recommendations for your Magento Store

This is the page that creates the first impression about your brand to your customer. The homepage of your Magento store must have a strong impact to entice your customers’ to continue browsing your website.

For a new visitor to your Magento store, you do not have information on the customer, and there is no way you can present them with personalized recommendations until they spend some time browsing the products on your website. For such customers show them some generic recommendations.

For new visitors, you can use

  • Best Sellers
  • New Arrivals
  • Trending items

For returning visitors, you can use

  • Abandoned items
  • Similar items to abandoned items
  • Complementary items
  • Recently viewed items (from previous visit)
Category Page

The purpose of product recommendations on this page is usually to provide and easy way to your customers to find desired items.

For New or returning visitors, you can use

  • Best sellers in the category
  • Top rated in the category

For returning visitors, you can use

  • Mix of personalized upsell and cross-sell
  • Recently viewed items
Product Details Page

Product recommendations on this page are to hold your customers’ interest on your website and prevent them from leaving your website.

For New or returning visitors, use

  • Similar items (to the viewed item) – visitors may leave your store if they are not satisfied with what they are viewing. To keep them on your Magento store, recommend alternative products (upsell) to match their needs. You can also use similar items that are of different colors, cheaper, etc.
  • Recently viewed items
  • Complementary Items/Cross-sell
Cart Page

Product recommendations on the cart page help induce impulse purchases and increase the order value. Cross-selling is effective on this page as it encourages your customers to add items related or that go with the product/s already in the cart before they check out. The suggested product recommendations for cart pages are:

  • Complementary products that are usually bought together with the cart items. For example, handbags, shoes, other accessories when there are formal dresses in the cart
  • Cross-sell of best sellers that are unrelated to the cart items.
Order Confirmation Page:

Once your customer has made a purchase, you should still recommend other items to encourage an impulse purchase or to start raising interest on other items for future purchases. You could include the following product recommendations on this page.

  • Best sellers (related to the purchased items)
  • New arrivals
  • Trending items
  • Cross-selling of items from categories other than that of the purchased items
Other Pages (Out of Stock / 404 Page / No Results Page)

Visitors on your Magento store who reach one of these pages may feel frustrated and want to leave your store. To keep these visitors exploring products on your store, you can entice them with desirable products. Some of the product recommendations you can use on these pages are:

  • Similar items to the ‘sold-out’ or searched item
  • Best sellers (if possible, personalized)
  • Recently viewed items
Pop Ups:

You would be using different kinds of Pop ups on your Magento store; such as a welcome pop up, popups for promotion of new products, exit, etc. In order to keep the interest of the shopper you should include product recommendations on the pop-ups.

You can use a mix of personalized upsells and cross-sell (e.g. “items especially for you”)

  • Best sellers
  • New arrivals
  • Promotion and sales items
Offline Product Recommendations with Emails

Emails can be set up to be triggered from your Magento store for various actions of the customer on your store. Each email has a different purpose and has an appropriate message. Product recommendations can be used in various triggered emails so as to encourage customers to continue to purchase from your online store.

Order Confirmation Email

Once a customer has completed a purchase they receive an order confirmation email. You can include in this email the following product recommendations so as to keep the customer interested in your company and its products:

  • Personalized best sellers
  • New arrivals
  • Similar items and/or complementary items to the purchased items
  • Trending items
  • Frequently bought together
Abandoned Cart Email

This mail is intended to motivate your customers to return to your Magento store and purchase the items they were originally interested in or to get them back to your store to shop for different products, maybe from the same category. Product recommendations on these emails should motivate the customer to click through and make a purchase.

Some kinds of product recommendations that can be used in abandoned cart emails are:

  • Similar items – these can be products that are similar to the products in the cart which the customer may have abandoned, possibly due to some undesirable characteristics of the product such as size, price, color, etc.
  • Complementary items – these can be sent to those have abandoned the cart as they require more time or may forgotten about the items in their cart, to increase the average order value while also reminding then about the abandoned items. It could be products from different categories that the item/s abandoned.
Product Update Email

This mail is sent to update the customer about products on your Magento store and can also be used to bring to the customer’s attention items they may like but have not seen before.

Product recommendations on these mailers can be a personalized mix of upsell and cross-sell related to the product updated.

Special Occasions Email

These mails are sent to customers on special occasions such as birthday, anniversary, Diwali, etc. Product recommendations for such mailers can be

  • Personalized recommendations related to the occasion
  • New or special edition items specific to the occasion

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