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‍Product Recommendation Best Practices for Small eCommerce Companies

Website Design

Product recommendation is a powerful tool you can incorporate into your web design in West Palm Beach to influence your customers’ purchase decisions and increase the average order value of their purchases.  

Want to know how to create the ultimate product recommendation strategy?  

Follow these best practices!

Getting Started with Product Recommendation Strategies

Web Design in West Palm Beach uses social proof and product recommendations to entice buyers.

The first step to building an effective product recommendation strategy is knowing the different types of eCommerce product recommendation engines.  

  • Global recommendations: If you lack user data profiles to serve highly personalized recommendations to your visitors, then a global recommendation engine is the best option for you. It serves product recommendations based on product popularity and trends. Examples of this are "Most Popular," "Trending Now," and "New Products."
  • Contextual recommendations: This type of recommendation strategy serves tailored recommendations according to product data like traffic source, similar products, and even the local weather. Examples of this are “Bought Together”, “Viewed Together”, and “Similar Products”.  
  • Personalized recommendations: This type of recommendation strategy combines both product and user data to provide recommendations at a personal level.  “Recently viewed,” “Frequently bought with,” “Top picks for you.”

Product Recommendation Best Practices to Follow

1. Placement

To optimize the power of product recommendations, you need to know where to place them in both your web design and external channels.  

Proper placement enables you to improve your audience’s shopping experience. As a result, you can nurture shoppers toward making a purchase, urge hesitant shoppers of abandoned products, and encourage repeat purchases.  

The key here is to place your product recommendations in places where they make the most sense for your web visitors. Here are some ideas of where on your site you can place product recommendations:

  • Homepage – Catch your ideal customer’s attention the moment they land on your homepage by showing them deals and offerings they might be interested in. This is one of the best ways you can convince your web visitors to stay and explore your pages. If you lack data for new visitors, it’s best to highlight your top sellers on the homepage.  
  • Product page – Consider cross-selling and up-selling to shoppers as they browse your product pages by offering relevant alternative or complementary products. This also encourages visitors to continue viewing other items and urges them to add more items to their shopping cart.  
  • Search page – You want your search page to recommend products based on what other customers have previously searched, viewed, and purchased. The behavioral “Search and Viewed” recommendation allows you to present relevant results despite misspellings and other errors.  
  • Category page – 70% of online sales come from category pages. Take advantage of this statistic by offering relevant product recommendations that are narrowed down to the subcategory they’re looking for.  
  • 404 page – Yes, you can use product recommendations and drive sales on your 404 page! Instead of simply displaying an error message on a visitor’s screen, seize the opportunity by showing them bestsellers, items related to their browsing history, or similar items they might be interested in.  
  • Pop-ups – Use pop-ups to display personalized product recommendations and help indecisive shoppers convert. An example of this would be to use a popup to remind visitors of the products they last viewed and allow them to pick up from where they left off.  
  • Shopping cart page – Increase your visitors’ Average Order Value by upselling relevant items on the shopping cart page. You can do this by showing items often bought with the products in their shopping cart.  

2. eCommerce Customer Segmentation

eCommerce customer segmentation is the process of dividing your customer base into smaller groups based on their needs and expectations.  

This is necessary so that you can target the right shopper with the right recommendations.  

There are many ways you can segment your customers and target the right shoppers with the right products and messaging, including the following:

  • Geo-location – Use geo-location to offer a more personalized shopping experience to shoppers from various locations. This type of segmentation enables you to analyze the current location of a user and serve them with product recommendations that are most popular in their area.  
  • Source of traffic - UTM stands for Urchin Tracking Module. It is a tool that marketers use to track and measure the effectiveness of their digital marketing campaigns. You can use the information that you generate from UTM to give you insight into the sources that are driving people to your site. This is important because you can use this data to serve recommendations that your visitors are most interested in.  
  • Discount Affinity – Segment users based on their shopping behaviors, specifically which discounts they respond to the most. You can use this information to create a product recommendation copy that allows you to sell through the excess stock and make more sales.  
  • Affinity Category – Find out what your web visitors’ habits and interests are so you can serve them highly relevant product recommendations.  
  • Gender – If your products are gender-specific, user gender segmentation to provide the right product recommendations to the right users.    
  • First-time visitors – Urge your visitors to explore your pages, reduce your bounce rate, and drive sales by showing your best sellers or newest items to first-time visitors.  

3. Types of Product Recommendations

Best seller poster on website to encourage consumers to buy.

Make the most out of your strategy by using the right type of product recommendations. Some of the most common ones are:

  • Best Sellers – Bestsellers are always a hit with both first-time visitors and returning shoppers. You can use product recommendations as a way to increase brand discovery and as a way to urge more purchases.  
  • Previously viewed - Before shoppers make a final purchase decision, they’ll often browse your site, compare products, and even check out competitors. In fact, 92% of visitors have no intent to buy on a first visit. The previously viewed feature makes it easy for users to pick up from where they left off and create a more seamless shopping experience.  
  • Similar Products - Shoppers can sometimes have a hard time narrowing down their search and finding the products they want to see. You can use similar product recommendations to effectively guide users through their research and enable them to easily compare products without having to search from scratch every time.  
  • Recommended for you – 35% of Amazon’s revenue comes from its recommendation engine. Serve personalized product recommendations to users based on their previous purchases and personal preferences to urge them to buy.  
  • Upsell recommendations – Tempt high-intent browsers to spend more by displaying upsells next to similar products. Telling consumers that they can upgrade their item for a few more bucks to get a whole lot of other additional features is a great way to increase your revenue per transaction.  

Here are some other product recommendation types you should consider using:

  • Frequently bought together
  • Higher margin recommendations  
  • Post-purchase cross-sell
  • Add-on recommendations
  • Complete the look recommendations
  • “What people like you bought”  
  • “What other customers are buying now”
  • People also viewed
  • Product bundles
  • Trending products

4. Visual Cues and Buzzword in Your Product Recommendation Strategy

Visual cues are elements on a web design in West Palm Beach that subtly direct a visitor's attention to the call to action (CTA) or product. They help narrow down what a user should be looking at.

Using the right visual cues, like product ratings and user-generated photography, in your product recommendation strategy has the power to persuade shoppers to take action.  

It can attract and convert more shoppers because it helps establish a connection.  

There are two types of visual cues: suggestive and explicit.  

Explicit cues use arrows or lines to point to a specific area of importance, while suggestive cues use images of people looking at something.  

Other types of visual cues include:

  • White space
  • Color contrast
  • Encapsulation or framing of elements to highlight what’s important.  
  • Product ratings
  • Discounts
  • User-generated images

Why do visual cues work in product recommendations?

Humans are visually oriented by nature. So, how your visitors experience your site is mainly based on its web design. In fact, people pay more attention to cues than they do to the actual content of your site.  

Visual clues enable you to direct your visitors to your product recommendations and make sure they aren’t overlooked.

A catchy product recommendation headline can drive clicks. Using the correct buzzwords will also make your copy stronger. This is especially important since the average visitor reads approximately 20% of content.

When it comes to using buzzwords, here are some best practices to follow:

  • Place buzzwords in the headline of your product recommendation copy to attract clicks and engagement.
  • Sprinkle buzzwords lightly throughout your copy. But don’t overdo it, otherwise your content will sound corny and exaggerated.  
  • Place them beside calls to action to urge users to take a step closer to converting.

5. Test Your Product Recommendation Strategy

Testing is an essential practice to ensure you’re always recommending the right products.

Doing this will help you identify how various combinations of personalized elements and experiences impact the quality and performance of your product recommendation strategy and get the best results.

Netflix is a useful example here. The company wanted to test if artwork variants could help increase the audience for a title.  

Screenshot of Netflix's old product recommendation.

The results showed that members are responsive to artwork changes. It also provided insight on how they could better help subscribers find the type of shows or movies that they love. A/B testing is how Netflix determines the best artwork for their videos.  

Netflix's new product recommendation after A/B testing.

When testing a product recommendation strategy on your site, remember to test the following factors:

  • Placement
  • Design  
  • Titles

Want to Boost Sales? A Winning Product Recommendation Strategy is the Key!

Product recommendations are one of the most effective tactics to drive sales and increase your customers' average order value.  

Make sure you use it to your advantage by following the best practices we shared above and by doing A/B testing to see which combination of elements generates the best results.  

At Digital Resource, we take the guesswork out of marketing. Our team of digital marketing experts and web designers will work together with you to create a winning product recommendation strategy and web design in West Palm Beach that will drive sales and create the best experience for your visitors.  

Contact us today if you want to start making the most out of every order you get online!

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