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Brittany Mar 14, 2022 6 min read

Product recommendations best practices part three: Driving more conversions

If you've been following our series on product recommendations best practices, then at this point you should have a pretty good idea of how to build a 360 degree recommendations strategy, as well as how to use product recommendations to drive higher average order values (AOV). 

While bigger AOV is a major goal for all ecommerce marketers, the other KPI they're keeping an equally close eye on has to be conversion rates. The good news is an effective product recommendations strategy can help you there too. 

  • 63% of retailers identified they couldn't bring their cart abandonment rates to below 50% before adding personalization. Brands who have invested in personalization report a 45% conversion rate and 46% cart abandonment rate. 
  • 91% of shoppers would abandon an online retailer over a poor shopping experience. 
  • 80% of shoppers say they're more likely to buy from a company that offers personalized experiences. 
  • 28% of shoppers say personalization makes them more likely to purchase a product they didn't intend to buy.  

You can read more about how personalization impacts conversion rates, retention numbers, and sales in our stats roundup here.

But if improving conversion rates is top of mind for your business, keep reading to learn more about how personalized product recommendations can drive more transactions.

Use social proof recommendations

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Social proof and user-generated content is top of mind for many digitally native brands, and for good reason. 88% of consumers trust user reviews as much as personal recommendations. You can actually integrate your ratings and reviews with product recommendations to inspire more clicks to top-rated items. 

A product with hundreds of reviews and a high star rating is almost guaranteed to generate more interest than a product with no reviews at all - it's why brands on marketplaces are quite eager to generate reviews and create a flywheel of sustained sales momentum. Of course, this strategy works best for brands that put a heavy emphasis on collecting reviews. It also tends to work better for stores with a more evergreen product lineup where you actually can collect a large volume of reviews instead of the constant turnover you might see with say, a fashion retailer.

User reviews are a great way to drive conversions, period. Promoting user reviews on your product recommendations is an ideal way to get shoppers to visit more products and convert with confidence.

Promote recent purchases

Giving customers a reminder of products they recently looked at is just plain best practices on any site. But a lesser-employed tactic of promoting recent purchases can be super effective in driving more conversions. Ecommerce giants like Amazon promote items you might want to buy again, and have clearly labeled banners on product pages that you've bought in the past. They do this to provide a shortcut for customers to easily find what they're looking for; preventing frustration that could drive someone to pick up the item offline or from another vendor.

This strategy obviously works best for brands that offer replenishable products, such as consumer packaged goods, beauty products, vitamins and nutritional supplements, food and beverages, and so on. But there are a number of brands that sell products on a semi-recurring basis that could also stand to benefit from this strategy. For example, a sock brand could highlight the exact height / cut of a sock a customer has previously bought, but also highlight new colors the same sock now comes in. 

The result? Customers can quickly find what they've bought before and convert more efficiently. 

Showcase matching items

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In our guide to boosting AOV through product recommendations, one strategy we identified that can work really well is to promote cross-sells by variant when a brand sells matching sets. 

But this same strategy can also work for brands that aren't necessarily selling items meant to be bought together as a matching set, but offer the same color, finish, or print across multiple products. The aim in this case is actually driving conversions, not cross-sells.

Take for example a swimwear brand. A customer might fall in love with a particular print the brand carries, but not love the cut. Without product recommendations, it could be a lost sale. But if the brand highlighted other cuts of the swimsuit with the same pattern, suddenly the shopper is motivated to find a suit that works for them. Exposing the breadth of your product catalog through personalized cross-sells is a surefire way to get more conversions.

Product recommendations in abandoned cart emails

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Adding 1:1 personalized product recommendations to email is a simple way to drive up open rates and clicks. When a customer knows the email is tailored to them, they're more likely to open your message to see what's in store. But one particularly effective method is to place to insert product recommendations in abandoned cart emails

There are countless reasons why a shopper might not complete checking out. One of them might be that the product isn't quite what they were looking for after all. Product recommendations can be an effective way to introduce a shopper to something they may have overlooked, driving re-engagement, and ideally, conversions. 

You can even move this strategy further up the funnel by offering product recommendations in abandoned browse emails, for logged-in shoppers that may have browsed a product page but didn't add to cart.

Promote loyalty point bonuses in recommendations

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Loyalty programs are another proven strategy to drive more conversions, particularly when used as a promotional tool (e.g. Buy this product for a 500-point bonus valued at $10 off!) Instead of relying on a customer to browse every individual product detail page (PDP) to discover these offers, try integrating loyalty program promotions into your product recommendations

As a customer browses, these loyalty point incentives can encourage shoppers to explore more products to find the perfect mix of promotional value (through loyalty points) and need. Highlighting that bonuses are only available for a limited time can be another way to drive conversions. 

Steer new visitors in the right direction by promoting bestsellers

BESTSELLER-EMAILS

A lot of product recommendation strategies focus on the experience once a customer starts browsing say, at the collection or product level, or after they've made a purchase. But product recommendations can also be effective to drive conversions from net new shoppers that have never been to your site.

Promote your best selling products on the home page to give these customers an easy first click. Knowing that a product is beloved by many can give customers the confidence they need to convert. You can even take this strategy further by integrating product star ratings into the product recommendation boxes to clearly demonstrate how popular these bestselling products really are. 

Conclusion

Simply adding product recommendations to your site has been proven to boost conversion rates while dropping cart abandonment. Giving customers an easier, personalized way to navigate any site is the key to unlocking higher conversion numbers. 

If you want to add more fuel to the fire however, adding on the tactics in this post can help take your conversion rates to new highs with minimal effort. Want to add product recommendations to your shopping experience? Try LimeSpot for free now

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Brittany

Brittany is LimeSpot's Enterprise Marketing Manager who loves all things ecommerce, optimization, and writing - making her the perfect guru to walk you through even better ways to use LimeSpot's personalization suite.