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Are you Losing or Gaining Profits with your Product Recommendations?

As an eCommerce retailer, your main goal is to create a rewarding experience for your customers. One method to help create this experience is to offer product recommendations. Product recommendations signal to your customers that you care enough to display to them additional products they may like or any related products they would need to get the most out of the products or services you offer.

Product recommendations can either act as an annoyance which can turn customers away or as a valuable tool which can help to increase your sales. The proper technique is crucial. Here are 3 tips to ensure your product recommendations won’t turn away potential profits:

Location, Location, Location

Where are you displaying your product recommendations?

Before you answer this question, you must determine the TYPE of product recommendation you are displaying.

  • Alternative
  • Corresponding
  • General

Alternative – Alternative products refer to those items that are similar to the product being searched. For example, if your customer is searching for patterned dresses, you might offer a polka dot dress as an alternative. You can also recommend top sellers, new arrivals, specials or featured products.

Tip: The results page is the best location to offer alternative products, either on the bottom of the page or the results page of an empty search where no products are displayed. Be careful not to distract the user with the recommendations, though. Make them visible, but not overpowering.

Related – Related products are often characterized as accessories or add-ons. For example, if your customer is purchasing a shower radio, you can offer 4 double AA batteries as a possible accessory.

A great location for a related product recommendation is the product result page or even the checkout page. You can gain more sales by informing customers that they may need some extra products to enhance the experience of the one they are already purchasing.

When showcasing related products, be sure to include the appropriate language to enhance the possibility of an upsell, such as “People who purchased this item also purchased…”.

Generic – Generic product recommendations can enhance any page of your eCommerce store. To properly target a specific customer, offer generic recommendations based on a user’s history or recently viewed products. Track where your customers search and tailor products according to their search habits. You can offer these generic products as, “Products you may like” or “Recently viewed products”.

Personalization

When offering product recommendations, make your customers feel as if you hand-picked items you know they would love. Add clever phrasing such as “We think you will like…” or “Customers like you also liked…”. Offer your customers a more personalized experience based on their search habits and the products they view. This practice will help your customers connect with you more which will lead them closer to your checkout page.

If done correctly, product recommendations can increase your conversion rates dramatically. Some store owners have seen up to a 30% increase in sales simply by recommending other products. Target your recommendations to your customer’s needs and you will eventually see a steady increase in profits and a higher return rate which breeds loyal customers.

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