Recommendations are a great way to introduce customers to relevant items that they maybe haven’t seen or considered before, showcase slower moving stock items and also allow customers to pick up customer journeys where they left off.

Getting recommendations right has a positive impact for a retailer: increasing sales, upsells and cross sells - and customer loyalty.

And retailers who do it well really reap the rewards. For example, who wouldn’t want to see 4 x more conversions using personalised recommendations?*

But worryingly, in a survey by ICLP shows that just 30% of respondents are receiving personalised product recommendations….that’s a lot of retailers missing a trick.

So here’s our top tips for personalised recommendations:

1. Go omnichanne.l Don’t see recommendations as purely a web exercise. Weave them into all channels as part of a coherent journey that could include in emails, via your call centre and in-store staff, on your mobile site as well as on your website (either embedded in a homepage or product page or as a pop-up).

2. Don’t rely on purely transactional data. This can lead you to suggesting recommended items to customers that are just too close to the ones already purchased. ‘You might also like the brown boots [because you bought some yesterday]‘. The key is understanding an individual’s cross-channel behaviour and that of similar individuals plus their purchase history to deduce their most likely next purchase/s.

3. Start with simple recommendations, then think big! Try some simple recommendations eg ‘items you’ve already viewed’, ‘items added to basket but not purchased’ ‘most viewed items’, ‘viewed also viewed’ etc, then build up to more complex recommendations, such as ‘price drop on items you were interested in’, ’items you’ve seen in more than one visit over a small time scale’. Why not try recommending via attributes you know appeal to a browser such as brand, colour or style?

4. Personalise in real time where relevant. For example, if a customer adds items to a basket then abandons it, create a pop-up with relevant recommendations on when they try to leave your website.

If you’d like a no-obligation chat about how to get some personalised recommendations up and running then get in touch.

*Recent Persomi campaign, furniture industry