Product Recommendations – Ultimate eCommerce Marketing Guide

1-3-2021     eCommerce

One of the best ways to reduce cart abandonment on your eCommerce store and improve overall sales is by using meaningful product recommendations. But, the mistake which you need to avoid is having product recommendations that your customer can’t relate with.

By that I mean, a customer buying a high-ticket product like camping equipment is less likely to buy a low-ticket item, especially, if the traffic source is paid advertisement. 

For the same, you need to personalize customer experience using eye-catchy UX and relevant recommendations. In this post, we’re going to talk about everything you’ll ever need to know about product recommendations. 

What are product recommendations? 

In a nutshell, a product recommendation system is designed to pre-direct and display products which are most likely to convert. A recommendation system can be used for directly converting a product, or for improving average order value, or to simply retain customers.

The reason this technique is used by eCommerce rockstars like Amazon, Alibaba, etc., is the high ROI it offers. The recommendation algorithms are of different types. We’re going to discuss some of the top ones. If done rightly, recommendations can significantly boost your revenue, CTR, conversion and more.

5 ways to boost sales using product recommendations:

1. Product recommendations using automated Quiz

One of the most unique product recommendations techniques for boosting your eCommerce store revenue is by answering their queries. According to Google, 69% of smartphone users state that they’re more likely to buy from businesses with mobile sites or apps which answer their queries. 

But here’s the thing – automating your site for answering their questions using a chatbot could increase your investment and reduce the overall profit. Also, you can’t answer all the queries based on the customers even with the FAQs section.

Exactly, that’s where the apps like Product recommendations Quiz comes in action. All you need to do is to “Install” the plugin on your eCommerce store and it’ll ask the right questions as well as will drive you to the satisfying conversion. 

2. Boost AOV with behavioural marketing 

As per the psychology and marketing expert, “Robert Cialdini”, there are 6 principles that decide your sales. Out of which the last principle, Principle of Consensus, is the usage of actions and behaviours of existing customers for determining their own. This is a strategy used by top eCommerce giants like Amazon, Etsy and more. 

Amazon has a lot of customer data at their disposal and they use it along with their product recommendation system for creating a highly personalized recommendation funnel.

As you can see, Amazon suggests products based on actions or behaviours for boosting the average order value. The best part about this is that a customer is more likely to buy these products. 

Also, they use the same system for making recommendations during the checkout. They even do the little usability tweaks, like checkboxes beside the products. 

3. Leverage using social proof: ratings, reviews, etc

The concept of social proof and social currency is pretty common. It is a segment of word-of-mouth marketing which focuses more on recommendations from friends, family or industry experts. 

Social proofs are product recommendations (e.g. testimonials) which build trust among the visitors and boost sales. The reason why this works is that it helps the customers to make a smart, wiser choice during the product purchase. More specifically, makes the customer feel good about their decision (social currency). 

Social proofs are of several types: 

  • Expert-based recommendation
  • Friends or family recommendation
  • User testimonial
  • Celebrity endorsement
  • Business credentials
  • Social shares
  • Product reviews and ratings

To help you better understand the concept of social proof for retaining your customers, here are some popular examples:

3.1 Amazon social proof 

One of the strongest ways of using social proof is via product reviews and ratings. Amazon breaks down the publisher rating into positive and negative from 1 to 5 stars. This means a visitor can know the exact experience of the purchasers as well as the level of satisfaction, i.e. the customer was satisfied with the product or not. Customers can even add images and comments for their purchases.

If you’re using Shopify, you can easily find a product review app from their marketplace and add this functionality to your store. 

3.2 Endorsement based recommendation by H&M

Using celebrity endorsement for product recommendation is widely popular among bigger eCommerce stores. The goal of this strategy is to use the celebrity for advertising a specific product or service. The reason it works is – there is a celebrity fan base that adds up to your customer base. 

One great example of this is H&M collaborating with popular footballer David Beckham. The soccer player based super bowl commercial in 2011 spiked the growth of this brand hugely. After that H&M and David Beckham collaborated in more yearly superbowl commercials. 

That said, if you have a limited budget, you can boost your eCommerce sales by collaborating with micro influencers in your niche.

4. Showcasing the best-selling products

A simpler product recommendation method is listing the best sellers or trending products. Most of the eCommerce themes allow you to showcase the best sellers on landing pages. But, make sure that you keep the products updated as well as track the best selling items carefully.

For instance, the mentioned below store lists the best sellers as best rated products. 

The reason it is so successful as product recommendation is the pareto rule. Pareto rule, in a way, states that the 80% of eCommerce business depends on the 20% of sales. 

Similarly, Etsy recommends the most popular or trending products for motivating the customers to make a purchase.

5. Upselling and Cross-selling recommendations

For those who are not completely well-acquainted, Upselling recommendations are used for encouraging the customers to purchase a relatively more expensive product, whereas, Cross-selling on the other hand is for suggesting related or complimentary products.

Perhaps, aggressive upselling or cross-selling is a big turn off. So, you need to put it in places like checkout boxes or product pages in a limited way. 


There are a lot of unique ways for making product recommendations. But, it is more important to personalize it based on your target audience.