From a business' point of view, offering customers very personalized product recommendations makes sense. Why wouldn't you recommend products that each customer is most likely to purchase? But how you word it makes all the difference in whether your customers will adore or ignore what you recommend.
For example, product recommendations offered via Custobar can be highly targeted - all the way to the individual level. You can use Custobar to keep track of your customer's online browsing data and past shopping history. Custobar's AI will then create automatic recommendations for an individual customer, and you can show those recommendations in your newsletters, transactional messages like order confirmations, web store (via API), and on the store dashboard for your store's salespeople.
A study on product recommendations suggests that people will steer away from product recommendations if they feel that the suggestions are intrusive. Furthermore, the research indicates that recommendations that are passive instead of active are considered less intrusive.
Test non-intrusive, passive headlines for product recommendations
Passive recommendations look like they could be meant for anyone, not just you. On the other hand, it seems that if your customer can relate with the target group of the recommendation, they're more likely to click through.
For example, passive "Others who viewed this, also viewed" could result in a much higher click-through rate (CTR) than an active "Recommended for you" headline, the study suggests.
What the study does not seem to look at is which headlines result in higher conversion rates (purchases). That's why using passive titles for product recommendations is a good starting point, but not the only option to try out. In the long run, you should test different kinds of headlines to find out what works best for your customers and business.
Marketing secret from the US
In the US, eCommerce businesses are utilizing their transactional messages to increase sales. Transactional messages are triggered by your customer’s interaction with your web store. Order confirmations and email receipts are a good example.
When you start recommending products to your customers, this could be one of the first things to test out. For example, thank your customers for their purchase (order confirmation) and include personalized product recommendations in that email.
Even if the transactional message would not convert to new sales immediately, they will remind your customers about your other products for when they are ready to make their next purchase.
Pick the low-hanging fruits with product recommendations
Let’s say your company has an offering of 10 000 different products. An active customer has looked at 50 of them in your web store. With Custobar’s Product recommendations, you are immediately able to give suggestions that are over 200 times more accurate than randomly showing something from your product catalog.
Custobar can also combine the browsing data with your customer’s previous purchase history, increasing the accuracy of results even more.
Help customers find new stuff with related product recommendations
What if your customer doesn’t have much history with you? With Custobar, that’s not an issue. You can also create product-based recommendations. It means that you can automatically recommend similar products or products that other people viewed or purchased to your customers and embed the recommendations to your web store.
Your customers are likely to respond well to headlines like “People who bought this, also bought…”, “Similar products,” or “People who viewed this, also viewed…”.
For even more refined product recommendation rules and options we have created an integration to Nosto which is a service specialized in product recommendations and personalized content.
Drop product recommendations into different stages of purchasing
Showing product recommendations at different stages of your customer’s journey might have a different goal and effect. We already discussed that in transactional messages their purpose might be to prepare them for the next purchase rather than to convert immediately. When embedded in a newsletter, you are expecting sales conversions pretty much straight away, and the same goes for showing them in your web store just before payment.
Product recommendations are a great, automatic way to increase your sales and utilize the ever-growing amount of your customer data. We’re happy to show you how the feature works in Custobar, just book a short demo with us to get started!