If you work as an eCommerce marketer and you haven’t considered investing in a product recommendation engine yet, we’re about to convince you why you should. Product recommendation engines have been around for a while, but it was Amazon who really led the way implementing them, and set the bar for the rest of the eCommerce industry. Reports on Amazon’s recommendation strategy suggest that they dedicate almost 70% of space on their product pages to recommendations.
So what makes product recommendations so great?
Why should you invest in a product recommendation engine for your eCommerce business?
Personalize every customer’s web experience
The primary reason to invest in a product recommendation engine is that you can use it to create personalized experiences for every customer and visitor on your website. This means that if I was to visit your site, I would see an entirely different range of products and suggestions from someone who was already your customer. While I might see the most popular products in your inventory, someone who has been your customer for a while may see recommendations related to their interests, taste, and style.
A product recommendation engine uses a combination of algorithms that track various customer behaviors and build a persona for every customer. This way, you don’t have to spend time tagging related products or spend on widgets and apps that suggest related products.
Curate the best products with minimal effort
Certain products and brands simply work better with customers than others. Using a product recommendation engine, you can see which products in your inventory are most popular with your customers and curate a better inventory. A product recommendation engine can act as a visual stylist, understanding purchase patterns, product attributes and product performance to help you plan your inventory better.
Image: Smart Insights
JD Sports, a UK based company that owns the brands ‘Blacks and ‘Millets’ implemented a personalization program and saw impressive results. For every £ spent on the personalization technology, JD Sports’ revenue from recommendations was £291.7.
Increase Customer Loyalty
Using a product recommendation engine to suggest products ‘just for’ a customer on your website or in your emails to them, makes customers feel valued. Valued customers are more likely to stay loyal to your brand, and recommend your brand to their peers. This is essential, because steady customers help businesses weather the times that are bad for business; businesses with 40% repeat customers generated nearly 50% more revenue than similar businesses with only a 10% repeat customers. (According to research by SumAll)
Cross Sell and Upsell Better
Apart from being able to build a better customer experience and increase customer loyalty, product recommendation engines can help with something that is even more vital to your business: making money. For any eCommerce, simply making sales is only the beginning. Cross-selling and upselling are essential to expanding revenue from every customer. In fact, according to research from PredictiveIntent, upselling on e-commerce sites performs 20 times better than cross-selling. Fashion retailer ASOS does this brilliantly, with the ‘complete the look’ section on their product pages.
Learn more about your customer’s journeys
Using a product recommendation can help you understand your customer’s journeys better by seeing how they browse, what they choose, and when most conversions happen. They can also pull out information you might not have considered looking at, like the time when most of your transactions occur, or predicting the right kind of customer that would fit a particular product you just entered into your inventory. Mapping the customer journey gives you insights on where your conversion funnel is stuck, and ideas on how to fix it.