Product recommendations are a key part of any personalization strategy. Nothing gives a customer a more tailored experience than items chosen specifically for them. Personalized product recommendations streamline the shopping process and introduce customers to items they might not have been aware of. It gives online customers the experience of shopping with an expert, and brings some of the intangibles of in-store shopping online. So, what are some best practices and strategies for personalizing product recommendations?
Personalizing Product Recommendations In Real Time
Personalization depends, of course, on the information you can get about the individual customer, as well as the details of the products offered. Data like past purchases and behavior patterns, both from the individual and your customer base overall, make it possible to recommend other items that particular customer is likely to buy. Some data points to take into consideration when configuring product recommendations include:
- Previously purchased items
- Items often purchased together
- Pages viewed and actions taken during current session
Personalized product recommendations are not only great for retail sites, but can also successfully drive conversions for sites offering class enrollments, hotel or travel bookings, and much more.
How Personalized Product Recommendations Work
Every product in your inventory has a unique signature. This signature is made up of the most common actions that lead to purchasing an item, such as pages viewed, clicks, searches, and add to carts. Each purchase dynamically revises the signature of an item so that your product recommendations are always up to date. Personalized product recommendations compare the user’s past and present behavior to the signatures of products in the inventory. This works to suggest items the individual customer is most likely to purchase (or classes they are likely to register for, services they are likely to book, etc.).
A Well-Rounded Personalization Program
A good personalization strategy covers every aspect of your site. Relevant images depending on the link that brought the user to the site, updated messaging depending on membership status, or features based on the user’s climate all play a large part in creating a great personalized experience. To round out an experience, personalized product recommendations give your customers a one to one experience they can’t normally get online.
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About Kate Orchard
Kate Orchard is a Manager of Customer Success at SiteSpect, where she consults SiteSpect users on their optimization and personalization road maps and projects. She is based in Boston.