How eCommerce should use product recommendations to sell more

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Product recommendations are not something that just happens between consumers of products, but the brand itself can propose to a particular customer an item that you believe you need or would like. And in the case of online retailers, usually have a not inconsiderable amount of data about their customers (both purchases they have made, and their personal data) that enable the realization of highly personalized recommendations and, therefore, more attractive and more likely to be considered.

In fact, many online stores make recommendations on the own website or through email, but … they are making the most? To find Internet Retailer analyzed the practices of more than 1,000 retailers online, to find out what they were currently doing and what they could do better, and concluded that there are many opportunities that are not being exploited far as the recommendations refers.

First, they analyzed the recommendations on-page and found that most retailers use these recommendations in the product pages, namely 70.4%. That is, suggesting “other products that you might like” following a definite article, is already on the agenda.

In contrast, use of onsite recommendations in other locations was much less frequent. Only 44.7% proposed recommendations on the home page and a similar percentage (44.2%) on the page that shows the items in the cart. As for category pages, only 15.8% offered recommendations on this site.

Given that personal recommendations can increase the time on the web, the order size and the ratio of conversion from Internet Retailer encouraged using these recommendations in different parts of the web, to match the different steps of the buying process.

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How to use the recommendations in the various sections of the web?

On the home page, for example, you can target the recommendation of products to the buyer who lands in the store for the first time select best-selling items or trend at that time. As for recurring customers, ideally customize the home page recommendations based on their past buying signals.

In the case of the category page, keep in mind that sometimes so many different products that can be overwhelming for some consumers out. Therefore it is good idea to select some recommended for the customer to become familiar with them products and, in the event that either a consumer who repeats, do the same considering his tastes and behavior in previous sessions.

In the product pages ideally provide similar alternative products (but not cheaper, unless they are trying to output actively) and above all, complementary products that can make increase the number of items in the cart. Finally, on page summary cart you can also recommend complementary products and, in particular, point promotions (as a product to take to the already chosen is better value), which can be incorporated directly into the cart without leaving the page itself.

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In emails

The report also reviews the recommendations that are driving retailers to their customers through email, especially focusing on the welcome emails (after registering) or those sent after an abandoned cart.

Around half of the retailers analyzed a welcoming email sent after registration, but of those, only 5.7% included a recommendation in the first email, as most preferred to wait to know the customer better (having more data) to send recommendations, which, according to this study, is a mistake. Select a product specific to that new consumer, depending on the products for which you have navigated, depending on the date, or the products that are being sold at that time, can lead to increased sales.

Similarly, in the emails that are sent to an abandoned cart (one third of the retailers analyzed this type of message sent), 16.2% take the opportunity to recommend other products. The best practice? Also include items that were considered just before introducing a product in the cart.

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