Product recommendations are nothing new. Huge numbers of ecommerce stores are using them somewhere on their site, and rightly so.
When used well, recommendations raise conversions and order values, improve bounce rates and result in happier, more engaged customers. Just ask Amazon – almost a third of its revenue comes from product recommendations.
However, many stores limit their use to upsells and cross-sells on product pages. While this can be great, there are so many potential uses of recommendations to drive sales and engagement.
Let’s run through some ideas here.
1. Trending products … NOW
You can immediately engage visitors landing on your your site by displaying the products currently being viewed or bought the most – “trending products”. Using the power of social here is a great way to generate interest, and these products are statistically most likely to be purchased at that point in time.
But how about taking this a step further and showing trending products from the last hour? Or from that morning or evening? It’s a way of showing your visitors what’s on trend, and could be an incentive to come back to see what’s trending at a later time that day. This also has the added benefit of making your store look really busy – hurray!
Trending products work particularly well on your homepage and category pages. And, given that your visitors will choose to stay or go within 3 seconds, this is a important space to engage visitors.
2. Make your newsletters relevant
We all know that an appealing newsletter is a great way to re-engage your customers and bring them back to your store. And this works best when your newsletters are personal. A newsletter relevant to the reader’s interests is shown to have higher click through and conversion rates.
A great way to do this is to inject personalised product recommendations into your newsletter. For returning buyers, you can display recommendations relevant to their browsing behaviour and/or favourite brands. And for newbies, you can display your currently trending products. The content of Netflix’s newsletters is based around the customer.
Bunting makes newsletter recommendations easy, and you can be sending your personalised email recommendations within minutes.
3. Get social with product recommendations
A powerful way to showcase products and inject a dose of social proof is to display your customers using, enjoying or wearing your products. This flips the standard studio image and shows your product in a new, more personal light (whether an Instagram filtered light fits well with your brand, however, should be considered!).
Why not show your trending products as a set of Instagram shots or Twitter pics? Use the photos to then link to the item’s product page. Fashion store Missguided show their customers’ Instagram shots on their homepage, and then allow a closer look with a link to the branded items in the photo.
Getting a brand hashtag is a great way to create a brand-loyal community in the social sphere, and this gives you all kinds of options for live feeds and social proof on your website, too.
4. Personalise your hero image with a product recommendation
Your homepage hero image is a great space to showcase a product in a vivid way (large images convert well) and thus generate interest. How about personalising this image based on the visitor demographics or behaviour?
By showing a hero shot related to the visitor’s favourite brand you can really drive engagement and reduce friction in enabling visitors to find products they’re interested in. Link the hero shot to the product page of the item and then make sure alternative products recommendations await them.
Over to you…
As always, run split tests to see what works, and get creative. Try to think of ideas that will work for your brand and store. A tool like Bunting will help to collect and analyse the data required to implement your recommendations and ensure they are accurate. Happy recommending!