Recommendations are a key part of any ecommerce strategy, to the point where they're practically mandatory for most brands.
With recommendations, you have the power to replicate and even enhance the equivalent of in-store shopping. For example you can use recommendations to:
The aim of a well-executed product recommendation is to provide an organic next step in your shopper's journey. Too many boxes or irrelevant recommendations will simply irritate a customer and put them off your store. But well-placed recommendations can help customers find what they're looking for - and then some, boosting your bottom line and improving their overall experience with your store.
Read on to get inspired with this roundup of product recommendation ideas and strategies to test out on your store across your:
The home page is often your first chance to make a first impression, particularly for organic traffic that lands on your site from a SERP or referral. It's no surprise then that it's a key area of focus for brands looking to improve their visual commerce strategy. How you handle your home page recommendations should largely depend on whether you're dealing with a new or returning shopper.
For returning shoppers, you'll want to leverage the past browsing and purchase data you've gathered about that customer to serve them recommendations that will speed up the time to value. Consider adding 'You May Like' boxes, but name them anything you want, such as 'Picked for You'.
Other boxes you may want to incorporate for returning visitors include:
For new shoppers, your best bet is often to highlight what your bestsellers are. You'll save customers from getting bored or lost clicking around aimlessly, and given you already know what your highest-converting products are, you'll be more likely to make that first sale with a new customer by spotlighting your most popular items first.
However, you may also want to consider offering the following types of recommendations for new customers:
New visitors to popular toy brand L.O.L. Surprise's site are greeted with two blocks of recommendations. First, they see new arrivals at the top of the page, which is actually driven by a Featured Collection block.
Scroll down a bit and you'll see a grid-style recommendation block, featuring the brand's Most Popular items.
Once a customer starts browsing the site, the home page is then updated with Picks For You (powered by You May Like boxes) and Recently Viewed.
The Spark's home page isn't afraid to go grid or go home with this big recommendations block of trending items.
On a similar note, Junk Brands is using a grid to highlight as many products as possible on their home page, with a slight twist: They're focusing on Best Sellers. This type of recommendation box calculates your site's all-time bestselling products from the time LimeSpot is installed; and it continually updates to put the products most likely to convert front and center on your site.
The Citizenry's home page shows the 'designs that put us on the map', suggesting their bestsellers. In actuality, these boxes dynamically update based on a shopper's buying or browsing behavior, with 'You May Like' recommendations. All it takes is a simple title change to give this box type a new lens.
Alessi's betsellers are given a gorgeous image treatment on their home page, but they also use an automatically-scrolling carousel to draw your attention to their highest-converting products.
Rollie Nation has taken the bold step of promoting a returning shopper's Recently Viewed Items right under their home page hero image, while defaulting to Trending items for first-time visitors.
Returning customers and new shoppers alike are directed to the equivalent of a store window display of New Arrivals on elo's home page.
The most frequent type of recommendation to offer on a product detail page (PDP) is definitely a cross-sell or upsell. Cross-sells encourage customers to buy more products that often go well with the product they're looking at, while upsells encourage a customer to buy more of an item, or a premium version of a product.
Other types of PDP recommendation boxes you may want to consider include:
Perfume line D.S. & Durga's recommendations are just as pretty as their scents, presented in a simple gallery format powered by You May Like boxes.
Multi-brand beauty store Beautified You uses social proof in the form of star ratings to encourage customers to dig deeper on their site and find even more top-rated products to add to their cart.
Browsing a product detail page on böhme puts similar products in a prominent location by employing a vertical scroll carousel of similar products. This is particularly useful if an item is sold out in a customer's size as it gives the shopper another product to look at instead.
On a similar note, sportswear site Deadstock recognizes their customers tend to have a preference between different brands and even lines, like Michael Jordan-branded gear. They use Related Products recommendations to ensure sneakerheads can find all the swag they want from a specific brand.
Beauty brand Winky Lux gives shoppers the option to customize their cross-sells by displaying the swatches a product is available in.
Maternity and postpartum clothing brand Ingrid & Isabel makes sure customers don't miss cross-sells by inserting a small Frequently Bought Together box right below the featured image on their Product Detail Pages.
Proof that 'complete the look' isn't just for fashion brands: Alessi shows off other products that match the product a customer is looking at in their PDP recommendations.
On a similar note, ezpz promotes the ability to create a matching, color-coordinated set by prioritizing the 'color' variant of their products in their recommendation blocks.
Dog-loving brand Molly Mutt has seen a significant uptick in AOV since they introduced bundles for their modular pet bedding system, making it easy for shoppers to get everything they need in one spot while customizing their options on the fly.
It's pretty hard to overlook the cross-sells on Metal Umbrella's site. They use a scrolling banner to spotlight their recommendations while still making it easy for the customer to add the product they were looking at to their cart.
Wendell August Forge inserts a subtle cross-sell to their PDPs right above the recommendation boxes and product info, inviting customers to top up their orders as soon as they find something they're interested in.
Beloved cult jewelry brand Jenny Bird plays with box placement by tucking their You May Like boxes right below their UGC and right above their reviews. This gives shoppers the chance to engage with two different types of social proof, or to keep exploring by clicking on other shiny things that catch their eye.
Luxury menswear line Luca Faloni places Recently Viewed items right below the PDP hero image and description, giving customers the chance to comparison shop on the spot before making their purchase decision.
If a customer clicks into a collection or category page, they're already signalling their intent as to what they're interested in. Companies with vast catalogs can benefit from adding recommendations to their collection pages to make it easier for customers to know where to look first.
The most common types of recommendations on collection pages include:
Women's clothing store böhme makes it easy for shoppers to find their top sellers in every collection by adding a Most Popular carousel to the top of every category page.
Customers can not only see what's most popular in a specific collection on beauty brand Barry M's site, they also have the ability to add products directly to their cart at the same time.
Metro Hobbies has specific landing pages for each of their major product categories. To complement each SEO-enriched page, they leverage a mix of recommendation types including New Arrivals and Featured Collections to give each page a tailored feeling, and their customers, an easy jumping-off point based on their interests.
The most popular items featured on Peace Collective's collection pages don't stand out by design (other than the header), ensuring they're always spotlighting their highest-converting products without disrupting the browsing experience.
On a similar note, Sullen Clothing also keeps their recommendations flowing with their regular collections, but they're using Trending products to highlight what items are generating buzz (and sales).
Offering recommendations in the cart or at checkout is kind of similar to those impulse buys you pick up while standing in line at the grocery store or most retailers. They are often, but not always, affordable cross-sells that you don't mind throwing into the cart at the last minute. You can also offer upsells in the cart and checkout, like gift wrap, a warranty, or white glove delivery and installation services. Note that only Shopify+ and BigCommerce customers can add LimeSpot recommendations to checkout.
If you are thinking of deploying recommendations at checkout, we suggest trying:
Wine is a highly preference-based industry, so it makes perfect sense that on Wine Chateau's website you're offered a Sauvignon Blanc cross-sell when purchasing a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.
And if you miss Wine Chateau's in-cart recommendation, they serve it to you again at checkout for another chance to convert.
Body care brand Beekman 1802 offers cross-sells in the cart, using the label 'Great Deal!' and highlighting the value savings of buying their prepackaged bundles and gift sets to entice customers to save big while topping up their orders.
Jewelry maker Jens Hansen offers a smart upsell in the cart; prompting customers to make sure the Elvish inscription they choose for their famous Lord of the Rings wedding bands is properly applied. They also offer a (non-LimeSpot powered) upsell in the form of a protection plan.
It's hard to miss Patta's in-cart cross-sells that very much replicate the experience of standing in a clothing store's checkout line. Lower-priced items that feel like easy add-ons are spotlighted, netting Patta bigger average order values.
Home brand Alessi definitely uses their cart as an opportunity to replicate the experience of having a store clerk recommend other products. They include a small upsell callout, as well as suggestions for other items a customer might like and recently viewed products, giving shoppers another opportunity to top up their carts.
On a similar note, baby brand 4moms stacks their recommendations in a very noticeable way, giving you the chance to revisit items they've already loved that should earn a spot in their cart, or frequently bought together items from other savvy parents.
Electronics store Hyper broadcasts a handy 'in case you missed it', super-affordable cross-sell in the mini-cart when a customer adds an item.
Baby retailer 4moms is doing cross-selling right by promoting a cute and cozy insert for their bestselling product right in the cart. Cross-sells that add value (by letting customers use a product from the day they bring their tot home), feel relevant (directly complements what the customer wants), and feel like a good deal (cross-sell product is under 15% of the main product's cost) are surefire ways to drive more sales.
Home and garden brand Bloomist offers up a classic carousel-style of recommendations in the cart with a soft yet inspirational cross-sell message of 'ideas to complete your cart'.
Americana retailer Flag & Anthem takes a simple approach in the cart. They spotlight your recently viewed items so you can easily add any favorite finds at the last minute before hitting check out.
Just because a customer has made a purchase doesn't mean your work ends there. You still have several opportunities to tee up your next sale with a customer. First, on the order confirmation page you can highlighting cross-sells based on the item a customer just bought, as well as suggestions for other items they might like based on their browsing journey.
The account center is another great place to line up a future sale. Your existing customers typically log into their account center to check in on their orders or update their information. While there, you can use their purchase history to offer up things they'd like. You can also spotlight things they've already bought; perfect for businesses where reordering is essential, like beauty brands or health products.
Try these recommendation boxes in your account center:
Home decor shop The Citizenry provides recommendations to customers, even before they've made their first purchase. These boxes are powered by 'You May Like' boxes and take into account the browsing and buying behavior of your customers to provide custom picks they won't be able to resist.
Shoppers on Metro Hobbies' website are prompted with effective cross-sells after they've placed their order, giving customers another chance to find another item to buy on the spot while they're feeling positive about your business.
A typical ecommerce site has two types of pages: Those related to shopping, and those that are more informational. It's this latter type that's an under-utilized place to spotlight recommendations; people that may land on your site for one piece of content can be turned into shoppers. Or customers that are interested in your sustainability policy could be directed to your greenest collection.
Try adding these boxes to your blog or any content pages:
Bohemian Mama is all about curating a lifestyle for their customers. They actively post and promote blogs, each of which is capped off with a Trending Items and Recently Viewed items block of recommendations. This keeps customers shopping once they're done getting inspired.
Top-rated baby gear brand 4moms has specific content landing pages for top search terms related to their most popular products - including their well-known mamaRoo swing. After you've downloaded all the info, parents can easily click into the products that'll give their little one (and them) some rest, using LimeSpot's Most Popular boxes.
Jewelry maker Jens Hansen is known around the globe for their Lord of the Rings-inspired Elvish rings. So much so, they offer a translation page to give prospective buyers the chance to see their inscription before they buy. The jewelry brand has used this content page to also spotlight two featured collections Lord of the Rings fans will surely be interested in exploring.
Maternity brand Ingrid & Isabel's blog serves a few purposes, including showing up in Google SERPs, promoting new products, and actually driving customers from learning to shopping. The New Arrivals boxes at the bottom of every post help shift customers from their blog experience to the online store experience in a single click.
Regardless of what a customer is searching for, you can use recommendations to nudge them in the right direction for their interests. Search pages are a great place to engage with customers that are on a longer buyer journey, as you can remind them of items they've already looked at, or other items they may want to consider if they can't find what they're looking for during search.
Try these boxes on your search pages:
Clothing boutique böhme always features your search results at the top of any search page, but if you scroll to the end and can't quite find what you're looking for, they supply you with multiple carousels to choose where to go next.
Shoppers on Wine Chateau's website are spoiled for choice with pretty much any search term. But if they reach the bottom of a search page, they may end up exploring an entirely different category altogether by seeing which products are trending upwards.
A dead end on your site is a dead end to a shopping experience in a lot of cases. If a customer ends up somewhere they aren't supposed to be, avoid the frustration of having them hit the back button or to click out of your site entirely by highlighting items they may be interested in. You can also place recommendation boxes on product detail pages with out of stock products, giving customers ideas for similar items they may be interested in.
If you're adding recommendations to your 404 or out of stock pages, try these ones out:
Peace Collective takes no chances that you bounce off their site if you land on a 404 page. They've added two rows of product recommendations, including their Most Popular items and Recently Viewed, to get shoppers right back on track.
Jewelry line Olive & Piper has added a personal touch to their 404 pages. Customers are served a personalized collection of You May Like Items, as well as a row of bestsellers and recently viewed items to keep the shopping journey going.
See something you like in this list? Every recommendation example featured in this blog can be achieved with LimeSpot. Our all-in-one ecommerce personalization suite lets you control what type of boxes you place, anywhere on your site, and further extends the capabilities of personalization through email, pop-ups, and other channels. We can work directly with you to optimize box placement and styling, or you just give us a try for yourself.
No matter what, recognize that recommendations aren't going anywhere. The power to build a comprehensive recommendations placement strategy is in your hands with LimeSpot.