As an online retailer, you may already know the power of product recommendations. 54% of virtual shop owners credited product recommendation as a key AOV (Average Order Value) driver in their businesses. In fact, customers who click on a recommended product are 4.5 times more likely to purchase it, according to Salesforce.
That said, not many merchants know the secrets to effective product recommendations. Using the right techniques, one could propel their business to sell high-margin products under any circumstances, even during challenging times like Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales.
In this article, Boost Commerce will share with you experts’ tips on how to recommend products. Learn the art of grasping customers’ attention and showcasing items that sell.
Key Elements of Effective Product Recommendations
Understanding the basics of recommending products will help you pinpoint which aspect or tool to leverage. Let’s go over three factors that we consider essential to developing an effective product recommendation strategy.
Data is king, at least in this context. Insightful data about customers’ geographics, demographics, and behaviors serves as the foundation for product recommendations. Depicting who shops in their stores allows merchants to tailor their site experience to maximize the incoming traffic.
Insightful data drives action.
User preferences change rapidly. Collecting and analyzing real-time data capture these changes as they happen. This ensures that the recommendations are aligned with the user's current interests. For example, customers will look for winter clothing during the winter season but switch to swimwear during the summer.
No two customers shop the same. Each and every user chooses their product selections differently. Personalization aims to create a more engaging and relevant user experience by suggesting items that resonate with one’s interests and needs. Merchants can personalize the shopping experience using, you guessed it, data.
User identifiers, such as gender, income, and brand affinities, help outline visitors’ preferences and needs. With the available data, businesses can make more granular recommendations that appeal to each individual customer.
Boost AI Search & Discovery offers in-depth personalization across various recommendation types. Showcase new arrivals, best sellers, frequently bought together products easily. Our app collects, analyzes, and recommends products catering to different user groups.
Optimized Product Recommendation Algorithms
Once you plan a strategy, you’ll need serious muscle to run it. A powerful product recommendation engine can seamlessly collect data, analyze them, and create accurate recommendations within milliseconds.
Versatility is also imperative to product recommendations. The algorithms must be susceptible to changes, adapting to the slightest shifts in user data to give satisfying suggestions in any given situation.
Measuring the performance of the product recommendation engine can make all the difference. Tracking data of different recommendation widgets and recommended products allows businesses to make data-driven decisions. It shows what appeals the most to a targeted demographic, enabling strategic changes & eventually higher sales.
Boost AI Search & Discovery app comes with a built-in data tracker. Our analytics feature helps Shopify merchants monitor the performance of their stores through metrics such as Click-Through Rate (CTR), Conversion Rate, Revenue per Visitor (RPV), Average Order Value (AOV), and more. Learn which parts of the store are doing well and where optimization is needed.
How to Recommend Products during BFCM Campaigns?
For most industries, BFCM is the occasion to target. It witnesses the most market activity in a year, with the total number of online shoppers reaching 130 million in 2022. This year, we’ll show you how to maximize sales and capitalize on increased traffic during BFCM 2023.
#1 Get to Know Your Audience
Be well-prepared by analyzing your customer data. Try to understand their preferences, shopping behaviors, and demographics. These insights will decide the next step in your strategy.
Understanding shopper's behaviors leads to strategic approach.
Real-time data is a very powerful point to leverage. Use it to monitor user behavior, website traffic, and trends during the BFCM period.
#2 Segment & Personalize
Divide your audience into different groups based on their identifiers. Each group will have varying recommendations.
Next, implement personalized recommendation algorithms that cater to individual customers. Consider each user's browsing history, purchase history, and preferences to make changes that they resonate with.
#3 Display Different Recommendation Types
Realistically, customers don’t tend to buy after the first pop-up suggestion. Showcasing different products across their journey through your site will boost the chance of conversion.
Here are a few recommendation types to try:
- Discount Bundles: Create bundles or recommend complementary items that are likely to be purchased together. Offer discounts or incentives for bundle purchases.
- Flash Sales and Limited-Time Offers: Time-sensitive deals and offers imply scarcity. Use recommendation algorithms to highlight products that are on sale for a limited time.
- Cross-selling and Upselling: Recommend premium versions of products relevant to the customer viewing.
- Featured Products: Create special sections on your website or app that showcase BFCM deals. Use recommendations to populate these sections with relevant products.
- CTA Banners and Widgets: Dynamic banners or sliders that recommend popular BFCM deals or trending products can grab users' attention and drive them to high-conversion parts of the site.
- Real-time Support: Offer real-time assistance via chatbots or online customer support to recommend products based on user inquiries and preferences.
#4 Implement Other Marketing Channels
Sometimes, your website alone isn’t enough to attract potential customers. Other marketing channels allow you to broaden your reach and invite a larger audience to visit your site.
- Email Marketing: Send BFCM email campaigns to different customer segments, highlighting deals that match their interests. However, do not bombard them with emails, which may have adverse effects.
- Push Notifications: Send push notifications to users' mobile devices with personalized recommendations and exclusive BFCM offers. Ensure that notifications are timely and non-intrusive.
- Social Media Integration: Promote BFCM deals and recommendations on your social media channels. Social proof, such as user reviews and ratings, is great for establishing trust.
- Encourage User-generated Content: Stimulate customers to leave reviews and share their BFCM shopping experiences. User-generated content increases product credibility.
#5 Monitor and Adjust
Continuously monitor the performance of your product recommendations. Use A/B testing to optimize recommendations and identify what resonates most with your audience.
#6 Post-Purchase Support
Maintaining a professional service after purchase will benefit your brand image while enhancing customer experience. The BFCM period is chaotic, and mistakes or issues can appear. Providing helpful, responsive support allows you to collect valuable feedback from shoppers for continued success on the next campaign.
5 Tips to Fail-Proof Your Product Recommendation Game
Planning and implementing a recommendation strategy is labor-intensive and challenging. It combines data analysis, technology integration, and user experience design. Here are some tips to help you plan and execute an effective strategy.
Outsource When Possible
It takes a lot of effort to develop a product recommendation engine. You’ll need a team of experts to code and operate the system, which is not the situation most businesses can afford. Outsourcing help seems like a more viable option. If you’re using Shopify, Boost Commerce presents a cost-effective solution that streamlines product suggestions.
Boost AI Search & Discovery is integratable with 30+ apps.
For as low as $19 a month, you’ll get access to a suite of ecommerce tools that Boost AI Search & Discovery offers. Leverage our industry-leading search, filter, navigation, and product recommendation features for your business. Experiment with various recommendation types, including 2 AI-powered, 5 statistic-based, and 1 custom manual selection.
Control how your products are seen and optimize conversion with Boost Commerce.
Our app takes minutes to set up, sync, and operate. You have complete control over the app performance via the intuitive dashboard. Boost AI Search & Discovery also comes with a built-in analytics feature, allowing our users to access real-time data and make practical decisions.
Learn more about our product recommendation service.
Keep User Data Secure
Data security is a very sensitive matter. No one wants their information leaked all over the Internet. That’s why it’s imperative to always keep user data secure. Upgrade security measures and employ the best practices to protect user data. Be transparent about data usage and comply with privacy regulations like GDPR or CCPA.
Your homepage is most likely the first place a user visits. It’s where you make your first impression and place recommended products. Leverage the high traffic to showcase your best sellers or high-margin items. However, beware that your homepage will set expectations about your stores. Choose the products carefully and always maintain a high standard of imagery.
Plan for scalability, especially if you anticipate paramount traffic during BFCM. There’s nothing worse than having tons of visitors stuck on the loading screen or not reaching the product recommended to them. Plan your resources to optimize performance. Make sure the product recommendation app/service you use can handle heavy traffic.
Optimize for Mobile
In 2022, more than 60% of website traffic comes from mobile users. While the conversion rate on mobile lags behind desktops, most online shoppers browse products on their mobile devices before making a purchase. We recommend optimizing the product recommendation widgets, displays, and banners to look as good on mobile as on desktops.
Product recommendation isn’t the end-all-be-all strategy for your BFCM campaign. For maximum efficiency, it must be used in conjunction with other marketing efforts. We hope our guide on how to recommend products helps you obtain a better preparation for BFCM.
Remember, it boils down to providing customers with the best tailored experience. No recipe is set in stone. Be versatile, adapt to changes, and recommend items that are relevant to users’ preferences. Continuously gather feedback, analyze performance data, and make adjustments to optimize your recommendation system over time.
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