Spend a few moments on any eCommerce site and you’ll likely be greeted with product recommendations. They are an essential tool in the eCommerce arsenal, playing a major role in boosting orders and enhancing the shopping experience.
With product recommendations welding so much power and potential, the pressure is on to get them right. In this article, we’ll show you some of the best instances of product recommendations so you can replicate them in your store.
Before We Get Started - What Are Product Recommendations?
Product recommendations are a technique used to present shoppers with the items they are likely to be interested in. These predictions are made by looking at various data sets and are displayed in categories like:
- Frequently bought together
- Similar items
- Complete the look
- Recently viewed
- Recommended for you
These recommendations can be found throughout an eCommerce store, from the homepage to product pages and the cart page. The goal is to enhance product discovery by bringing shoppers closer to the items they’ll love as their shopping habits and preferences are further understood.
Product recommendation engines
Product recommendations that effectively tap into the minds of shoppers don’t just happen by chance or purely from a merchant’s gut instinct. Rather, a data filtering tool sifts through mounds of information to surface relevant product recommendations in their various forms.
Types of recommendation engines (Source: Co-libry)
This is what’s known as a product recommendation engine. Its algorithm collects and makes sense of the data by attempting to find patterns in customer behavior. There are 3 ways product recommendation engines can do this:
- Collaborative filtering: this method focuses on collecting and analyzing data on user behavior, their shopping activities, and preferences. It then uses this information to determine which users are similar to each other and recommends products their counterparts have shown an interest in.
- Content-based filtering: this system zeroes in more on individual customers and the products they have interacted with. It uses product data like attributes to find other similar products to those a user has shown interest in before.
- Hybrid: as the name suggests, this is a marriage between collaborative and content-based filtering. It combines these two methods to make product recommendations.
The Role of AI & Machine Learning in Product Recommendations
It wouldn’t be 2023 without the mention of AI! AI and ML have, in fact, been long-standing components of product recommendations. If you’ve ever felt like an online store is so in tune with the goods you like or the products you’re looking for, you can probably thank AI for that.
AI helps product recommendation systems produce deep learnings about customer preferences and behavior from a vast data pool in real time. As shoppers interact in a store, the machine learning algorithm runs in the background, fine-tuning and adapting itself with the latest behavioral patterns. This leads to product recommendations that become incredibly relevant and personalized over time.
Did you know AI-fueled product recommendation is coming to Boost? You’ll soon be able to harness the power of AI-powered recommendations and search with our rejuvenated app. Find out more.
The Best Examples of Product Recommendations
Let’s first take a look at how some of the biggest players in eCommerce ace product recommendations.
Best in Marketplace: Amazon
Amazon sits high on the eCommerce throne for many reasons. The most pertinent one though, is the genius of its recommendation system.
Amazon’s recommendation system is centered around personalization. It uses a type of collaborative filtering system called item-to-item. This method looks at products that a user has shown an interest in and finds similar ones. It also considers which are usually purchased together by other customers in addition to those that are highly rated, and trending.
Throughout the website, shoppers are presented with a wide range of product recommendations. The homepage focuses on the bestsellers from categories a user has shown an interest in. Product pages feature similar items, highly-rated ones from the same category, product comparisons, frequently bought together, and personalized recommendations.
Product recommendations on the cart page
When something is added to cart, customers are presented with a slideout cart with prompts to discover even more related products. On the cart page, you see collaborative filtering in action with recommendations based on other customers’ behavior.
Amazon’s approach to filtering is golden as shoppers are encouraged to keep exploring at every step. Plus, the variety of recommendation types makes the experience feel fresh, engaging, and keeps inspiration high.
Best in Beauty: Sephora
Sephora also gives its customers a lot of avenues for product discovery through recommendations.
Beauty is a very personal product category, so it’s great that the first type of recommendations customers are presented with are personalized ones.
The language Sephora uses for its product recommendations is also excellent. Phrases like Just dropped, Must-have, Latest lineup, We think you’ll also love, and Selling fast provide a sense of urgency while also giving off a friendly persona.
Sephora ensures that its shoppers are never left in the dark and feeling uninspired with product recommendations on every page. This includes product comparisons and similar products on product pages, complementary recommendations in the cart slideout, and bestsellers and new arrivals on the homepages.
The beauty brand has also gotten creative with personalized product recommendations. Shoppers can take a short quiz about their desired skincare routine, skincare concerns, fragrance features, haircare troubles, and more.
Best in Home & Decor: IKEA
Something that stands out on IKEA’s website is how they recommend products on collection pages.
As a home and decor store, visualizing how products could look in a home and in context is vital to clinching a sale. That’s why it’s great that rather than just having a list of products, customers will also find themed recommendations that display top products in a real-life setting. These images use hotspot linking to take shoppers straight to the product page.
On product pages, customers are greeted with an array of product recommendations including frequently bought together, related items, complementary products, and even more lifestyle images that include more products with links.
This recommendation approach almost certainly guarantees that customers leave with more than one product in their baskets. Through product recommendations, the store has made it so easy for shoppers to form a whole look for their desired room.
You Might Also Like: How To Boost Basket Sizes With eCommerce Product Recommendations
Best in Clothing & Apparel: Nike
Nike places a huge emphasis on what’s popular right now and its most iconic pieces. The homepage and main menu item pages all feature product recommendations within the first scroll.
Nike has positioned itself as a leading figure in fashion-forward sports and leisure wear, and it has a loyal following that expects nothing less. By focusing on their bestsellers and products that are hot off the press, the brand can further cement itself as an authority in the best sporty looks, and resonate with their fashion-conscious following.
Complete the look recommendations can also be found on Nike’s product pages. This is a must for any fashion brand. Why? Because it demonstrates a deep understanding of fashion trends and helps shoppers visualize how the store’s products fit together. It leads to consumers believing in and trusting the store’s fashion knowledge which will further position it as a leader in its class.
Now, you don’t need to be a major brand with limitless resources to build product recommendations that are in tune with your customers and bump up basket sizes. Just look at how these Shopify stores are leading the way with their product recommendations.
Best Shopify Fashion & Apparel: Camilla
Camilla shows that it understands its customers and fashion tastes with how it recommends products.
The brand is known for bold, luxurious prints that come in a variety of different styles. Knowing that its customers are drawn to prints and patterns, Camilla includes a set of product recommendations on product pages called More In This Print. Here, shoppers can explore their favorite patterns in the array of styles they come in.
You’ll also find complete-the-look items on almost every product page. As we mentioned earlier, this is great for showing your brand’s fashion prowess. Product recommendations don’t just stop on the product pages on Camilla. Customers are enticed to continue exploring with bestsellers being recommended on the cart page.
Best Shopify Home Decor: Miss Amara
Miss Amara takes an innovative and engaging approach to product recommendations on Shopify. Visitors to the store can use its rug finder quiz to come up with the rugs that fulfill all their needs. Some information-extracting questions are on:
- which room will you place the rug in
- how busy the area is
- your preferred shades and styles
- and which practical features are important to you.
With just a few questions, the brand is able to gain an incredibly comprehensive understanding of what their customer is looking for in a rug. This results in the curation of personalized product recommendations that are almost certain to win over customers.
Aside from creating personalized product recommendations in just a few moments, Miss Amara also uses this product recommendation quiz to prompt user sign up and increase time spent on the site.
When it seems like a visitor is about to leave the site, the quiz appears as a popup and states there’s a chance to win a $1000 voucher. This is known as an exit intent popup. It aims to stop visitors from leaving the site before making a purchase. Who could turn down the promise of finding your perfect match plus the chance to win a $1000 voucher? It’s an excellent way to lure shoppers back in.
Before getting the results, shoppers are asked to provide their personal information for the chance to win the voucher and receive styling advice. This works to extend the relationship between the brand and the customer with a more personalized service, and could result in more loyal customers and a greater lifetime value from them.
Best Shopify Electronics & Gadgets: eSports Gear
eSports Gear is using product recommendations to propel the size of their customers’ carts. On the product pages just below the main product images, you’ll find a selection of items frequently bought together. Knowing that time is precious for consumers, eSports Gear makes it incredibly easy for shoppers to decide if they want to purchase these complementary items, and simply add them to cart.
Product recommendations are displayed as bundles so shoppers can see the total cost of the bundle as well as the cost of each item. They can simply check or uncheck the products to customize the bundle.
Best Shopify Food & Beverages: Northern Brewer
Cart page recommendations play a crucial role in boosting average order value and enhancing and streamlining the customer experience. For it to work in your favor, however, these recommendations need to be highly relevant to what is currently in the basket.
You can’t rely on any old recommendation or even what similar customers have bought before, some real thought needs to go into it. According to research from Baymard, just 1 irrelevant product recommendation on the cart page will obliterate your chances of securing interest in any of your product recommendations.
Northern Brewer has completely cottoned on to this. Add a homebrew starter kit to your cart and you’ll be invited to also add beer bottles and beer bottle caps to your order. This makes complete sense. If I want to brew my own beer, I’ll definitely need something to put my concoction in.
Northern Brewer also makes it a breeze to add its product recommendations to the cart within the cart page. Customers can simply choose the variation and quantity from a dropdown menu then hit the add to cart button all without leaving the cart page.
Product recommendations are a vital source of inspiration for shoppers that visit your store. There are lots of practical ways to create and present product recommendations in your store. They all have in common that they are relevant, engaging, add value to the customer and their shopping experience, and bring shoppers closer to the products they’ll love.
Learn from some of the best, so your store’s product recommendations win over your customers.
Boost Commerce is a technology company that is helping more than 13,000 Online Stores Across 80+ Countries grow sales with Shopify Advanced Search & Discovery app. Try AI-powered Product Recommendation for FREE with a myriad of other tools to boost conversions in the Boost app