Calculating what your customers are likely to be interested in, and in turn recommending these products, can be a highly effective strategy for eCommerce websites. From driving upsells and cross-sells to helping your visitors find the right product; product recommendations can boost average order values (AOV), alleviate the damage of poor SEO and secure those ever-coveted conversions.
However, as with any customer relationship online or offline, there’s a fine line between helpful, attentive service and aggressive hard-selling. To make sure that you don’t cross this line, we have explored the eCommerce world for the most effective examples of product recommendation in 2017 so far.
Upselling to up the AOV
One of the most common examples of product recommendation is upselling. This strategy involves encouraging a customer to purchase a more expensive version of a product or service that they are looking to buy, or including extra features with the main purchase. This helps to increase AOV without appearing to be pushing the customer into spending more money.
As can be seen in the below image, as a booker I have clicked through to the top and cheapest room option. However, in order to entice me to increase my spend, Booking.com have offered me slightly superior options, at a slightly higher price. Although a well-used tactic, when presented as a helpful suggestion as done by Booking.com, it can hugely boost AOV.
Helping to find the right product
As well as increasing AOV, product recommendation can also be a highly effective tool to improve user experience by helping the user find the right product for them.
Ve Digital Assistant
Below is an example of Digital Assistant in action - an onsite engagement solution that acts as an online shop assistant. When a user shows signs of leaving your site, Digital Assistant appears to display recommended products in real-time. The products shown are based on the user’s individual browsing history and data insights, therefore improving the likelihood they will be of interest to the user.
Digital Assistant’s product recommendation can also help alleviate the damage of poor SEO. If your products are not indexed properly and so take your visitors to wrong product pages, they will typically instantly bounce. However, by using Digital Assistant you can suggest relevant products that they are actually trying to find and so keep them onsite and guide them to purchase.
Cross-selling to improve customer experience
Cross-selling is another effective strategy to boost AOV. When a user is purchasing an item, or has already purchased it, the merchant displays other products that are related to it and so may be of interest to the customer.
Retail giant ASOS use cross-selling product recommendation very effectively. In the image below I was searching for a woman’s denim jacket. Scrolling down the page, I am presented with other items that have a similar design and style to the jacket I have shown interest in purchasing. This is not only a clever strategy to boost sales, but also improves the user’s onsite experience by helping guide them to items they are likely to be interested in buying.
It feels wrong to talk about product recommendation without mentioning Amazon. Since 1998 Amazon has been employing an ever-more sophisticated recommendation engine that is behind a number of its product recommendation strategies including cross-selling.
First introduced to the eCommerce site in 2006 under the phrase “customers who bought this item also bought”,
"customers who bought this item also bought" Amazon’s cross-selling strategy has been increasingly expanded across its site to boost AOV. As can be seen in the image below, I the consumer was looking to buy an Xbox. Because a controller is a logical accessory to the Xbox and is needed in order to use it, Amazon recommends purchasing the two products together. This boosts AOV but also importantly ensures the customer doesn’t choose to look elsewhere to buy the controller.
Take a look at our onsite engagement solution, Digital Assistant, designed to help your customers find and make the purchases they want.