Product recommendations are a must-have feature for all ecommerce websites, as they can drive sales, increase conversion rate and order value.

According to Barilliance, “31% of ecommerce revenues were generated from personalized product recommendations during Q4 2014”. And on top of that, users that click on recommendations convert at a 5.5% higher ecommerce conversion rate.

After all, all the largest ecommerce stores are using them, they can’t be wrong!

Think about it, not all visitors enter a website knowing what they are after.

  • They may be simply browsing or comparing products between different e-shops.
  • Or they might know the type of product they want, but not the brand that fits their needs best.
  • Or less often, they might be entering your ecommerce website with a very specific product in mind.

Using product recommendations efficiently can help you convert all of the above users, by guiding them and providing them with relevant solutions

Featured Products

Often used on the homepage, featured products give visitors an idea of what kinds of products and brands are available on the website.

Given that you only have a few seconds to convince your user to stay on, you should carefully select what products are most important to you and create the best first impression.

H&M sets the tone for its whole website on its homepage, creating a wall promoting its most important products and categories:

H&M's homepage has featured products

Urban Decay on the other hand has a whole category on its main menu with featured items, ranging from what’s new to what’s the most wanted. It also showcases some of its most popular products further down the homepage.

urban decay has featured products on its homepage

Best Sellers

Showcasing the bestselling products is a widely used product recommendation type.
Displaying products the majority of your customers buy, is likely to strike a chord with a lot of your visitors and may even convert some of the undecided ones.

This type of product recommendation is usually best suited on an ecommerce homepage – just like Homedepot does:

Homedepot bestsellers product recommendations

Offers And Deals

Displaying products on offer, with a discount or found at a special price is another popular product recommendation idea.

Putting your best-priced items in the spotlight is a winning tactic for attracting your visitor’s attention and driving more sales.

It comes as no surprise that a good offer or discount can skyrocket an ecommerce conversion rate, given that online shoppers tend to have a soft spot for good bargains .

Hayneedle displays its limited time offers on its homepage for all their visitors to see first thing.

Hayneedle offers product recommendations

Walmart uses seasonal product recommendations by displaying “Black Friday” offers on its homepage:

walmart offers seasonal product recommendations

Similarly, Victoria’s Secret tries to draw attention to its special daily offers:

Victoria's Secret homepage daily offers product recommendation

Buy and save

An effective type of product recommendation is the “Buy and save” deal.
It works like a charm because shoppers can’t resist offers that save them money, even if it means they buy more items in the end!

Offering a product bundle or set of similar items at a cheaper price than if bought individually also increases your ecommerce order value.

This is a method used all the time by Boots, both in its actual stores as well as online.

boots buy and save product recommendation

As you can see it has created 3 different “Buy and Save” product recommendations displayed on its homepage.

New Arrivals

Showcasing your newest products is another converting product recommendation tactic.

It can help your regular customers skip the search and go straight to the new arrivals, as well as visitors who are still in research mode.

You can display your new arrivals on your homepage, like Gap:

gap product recommendation new arrivals

Similar items

Another ecommerce favorite is the “what others like” type of product recommendation. Humans are peer influenced and this rule also applies to their shopping habits.

Displaying what other customers liked when a visitor is already engaged and viewing a product, is a helpful feature to have. It can influence them and subconsciously motivate them into purchasing a recommended item, or simply help them navigate among the multitude of products.

For example, Amazon displays a slider with a range of items similar to the ones I have already viewed. Yes I know… I read a lot about conversion optimisation and analytics!

amazon related products recommendation

Walmart on the other hand helps undecided customers still looking for the product that suits them the best with a list of similar products that “customers also considered”:

walmart product recommendations what others considered

Ebay recommends a series of similar products when visitors are on the inner product pages. Here it displays a list of items that people also viewed:

walmart product recommendations what others considered

Complementary products

Product recommendations can also be used in order to get more value out of your transactions. Show your engaged visitors some relevant complementary items on the product page. This way you get to increase their order value by convincing them to buy more in one go!

This type of product recommendation is ideal for fashion stores and electronics e-shops, as their products are often complementary to others or need to be paired.

Stella McCartney’s ecommerce store recommends additional items to those viewed to “complete the look”. A suggestion many fashion conscious shoppers would consider!

stella mcartney complete the look product recommendation

This is an approach also used by ecommerce giant Amazon, who recommends sets of similar items “frequently bought together”:

amazon product recommendation complementary products

Murrays Cheese does an excellent job at providing product recommendations to complement the item the user is currently viewing:

murrays cheese complementary product recommendation

Recently viewed items

Saving your visitors items from his last visit is always a good idea.

More often than not, online shoppers don’t complete their purchase on their first visit. So why not skip a step when they revisit and help them get right to where they left off last time?

This is a method used by Asos, as it displays a list of the most recently viewed items, urging its visitors to reconsider and convert:

asos recently viewed items product recommendation

Top reviewed products

As mentioned previously, a user’s online purchasing behavior is often influenced by his peers. This can come in the form of user reviews.

Displaying your best reviews prominently creates a sense of trust and gets you one step closer to converting undecided visitors.

You may opt to showcase your top reviewed products on your homepage, or you can display your best relevant reviews in your category and product pages like Hayneedle:

hayneedle top reviews product recommendations

Product recommendations after adding to cart

Many ecommerce stores also like to make product recommendations later in the browsing session, after a user has added an item to his cart.

This way, they monetate on a visitor’s already expressed purchase intent and aim to increase the transaction value.

For example, Lego displays a range of recommended products at the first page of the checkout process:

lego product recommendations in cart

Asos on the other hand makes a subtle product recommendation when a user hovers over the cart icon. It recommends a product add-on; gift wrapping or cards, in tune with the Christmas season.

asos cart popup product addon recommendation


Your turn!

If your ecommerce store has still hasn’t implemented any type of product recommendation, you are missing out on a chance at increased revenue and higher conversion rates.

Choose carefully which recommendations fit your brand and product offering best and make sure you don’t overwhelm users or divert them from converting; only truly relevant and helpful recommendations have a place on your website!

Finally, don’t forget that you can also try these out with an Exit Bee campaign. Triggered the moment your visitors are about to leave, this is an ideal moment to display product recommendations and convince cart abandoners to convert and other visitors to continue shopping.

Target abandoning visitors and turn them to email subscribers

Keep Visitors On Your Website With Smart Product Recommendations

Increase conversion and engagement rates by targeting abandoning visitors with relevant product recommendations.

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Victoria Stamati

Digital Marketer at Exit Bee. Loves helping websites create great campaigns to get more conversions and re-engage abandoning visitors. Keen film buff and cheese appreciator.

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