product recommendations - The Power of Suggestion - Increasing Revenues Through Product Recommendations
by Chris Malta
When you're sandal shopping at your favorite Shoe Emporium, you may be drawn to the boot display across the aisle. Although you didn't come in looking for boots, you find yourself checking out with both beach sandals and ankle boots. This is the concept behind using product recommendations on your web site: you're leading visitors step-by-step through your store. Your goal is to sell them the product they initially came to you for, but also to strategically direct their shopping session to sell them additional items.
What's the Advantage?
Why should you, as a retailer, be making product recommendations? Several reasons:
- You increase online sales. You gain cross-selling and up-selling opportunities.
- Understanding what your customers want and predicting their behavior allows you to tailor your suggestions, and match them with products that they're likely to buy.
- You bring traffic to under-populated areas of your web site.
- You gain exposure for your overall product catalog and move products that were previously low in sales.
Conversion solution CleverSet.com studies click streams, or the patterns by which shoppers explore web sites. They track the order in which customers look at pages and how much time they spend on each page, and offer product recommendations based on individual customer behavior. Explains CleverSet CEO, Todd Humphrey, "We not only look at what happened in the past, but we actually anticipate where a shopper is going. We make targeted recommendations by understanding what a visitor is doing now, and what they're going to do next."
Do I Need Outside Help?
That depends on the size of your product catalog. If you sell twenty or thirty different products, you can probably put together your own recommendation solution. With a smaller selection, your visitors have a better chance of being exposed to your entire product line-up. However, if you sell over a hundred different products, you could really benefit from the available technology, to understand your shoppers and offer them customized recommendations.
Enthuses Humphrey, "What we're seeing is an increase of between ten percent and thirty-five percent, in terms of conversion rates. This is an incredibly powerful tool for any eStore."