Understand the personalized recommendation.

The personalized recommendation is a term used by the major players of e-commerce as major levers of acceleration of the sales and the profitability of the commercial sites. But why is the recommendation so popular?

By Team WMB, 23 November 2018

The personalized product recommendation is an issue that awakens the minds of e-merchants by placing the visitor in a central position. The goal is to generate more customer satisfaction and ensure customer loyalty over the long term to improve the profitability of marketing actions.

However, too many brands and e-merchants only partially use the potential of the product listings pages and view them simply as a product aggregate that follows the tree. from the menu by clicking on a category or sub-category.

This article aims to help you better understand and master the mechanisms of recommendation engines. Happy reading!

What is a recommendation engine produced for your online site?

To date, many online stores are equipped with product recommendation engines using or not using a alogrithm to recommend content in a dedicated location (products, articles, videos or other ... ) and a given context (visitor, type of page, session ...).

For simplicity, it's as if a seller was present in your e-commerce site and allowed you to offer each visitor on each page a bespoke selection of recommendations, such as would do a physical shop seller.

The typology of the products sold on your e-commerce site and your audience strongly determines how the recommendations should be used, whether for the applied merchandising rules or for pre-defined algorithms provided (for example: "Popular products", "Customers who bought also bought", etc.).

personalized cross-sell recommendation

How do recommendation engines benefit online retail sites?

Why are recommendations needed for merchant sites?

Because facilitating Internet users' purchases by immersing them in a corresponding product universe significantly improves the customer experience ... and the fundamentals of the site. Indeed:

  1. A customer will be more inclined to make a purchase on an e-commerce site where he receives a help service to find the product he is looking for.
  2. A website needs profitability to compensate for an acquisition of traffic that costs more and more. For the acquisition of traffic to be profitable, it is necessary to take care of the tunnel of conversion of the site, namely the course of the customer, his average basket and the capacity of the site to retain this customer.
  3. cross selling and upselling, by optimizing complementary sales, increase the average shopping basket and therefore the profitability of e-commerce sites.

What are the recommendation engine techniques produced?

For simplicity, the technique most used to successfully set up these different functions is called collaborative filtering that uses actions (purchases, cart additions, clicks, navigations, historical ...) users to predict what another user will like. Semantics (content, description ...) can also be included in the recommendation.

To summarize, we have so [shoes, not skirts] then [accessories soles].

Recommendation engines play multiple roles on the pages of an e-commerce site. It is up to the e-merchant to define the most appropriate type of recommendations based on their audience and their clients' journey to optimize the conversion tunnel of their site. Thus the recommended products can fulfill several functions such as:

  • Promote the discovery of the offer for example on the home page with the highlighting of a selection of products.
  • Propose secondary products in the case of an upsell, such as offering similar products that are more expensive than the product being viewed.
  • Propose complementary products in the case of cross selling, such as offering accessory products in addition to a "smarphone" product.
  • Integrate business rules to display products to highlight.

What is the type of page where we find recommendations?

All pages can accommodate a product recommendation insert with different functions.

  • Home page: Encourage discovery
  • Pages categories: Improve navigation
  • Product pages: Propose similar or complementary products
  • Search Results: Suggest return to visitor's navigation
  • Cart: Suggest complementary products
  • Error 404: Encouraging the visitor's return to navigation

Displaying the products produced in your site's recommendations plays a major role in the user experience and has a direct impact on turnover, inventory turnover and the profits you can generate.

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