WooCommerce Product Recommendations

Ever wished you could precisely control which products to recommend on your WooCommerce store — and also choose where and when to do so?

Meet WooCommerce Product Recommendations. Our newest addition to WooCommerce.com is a rule-based product recommendations tool that bridges the gap between static recommendation generators, such as WooCommerce’s own product blocks, and niche personalization solutions that harness the power of big data and machine learning.

Can’t wait to know what WooCommerce Product Recommendations can do for you? This guide lists some of the most common, high-performing product recommendation strategies that you can implement with it.

Background

Have you noticed how the most successful stores leverage the power of product recommendations? Well-executed recommendations:

  • make your products easier to discover;
  • help customers find products they are more likely to purchase;
  • allow you to craft personalized interactions with new and returning customers; and
  • ultimately deliver a more engaging experience that keeps customers coming back.

Product recommendations increase your store’s conversion rate, average order value and marketing ROI. Several sources suggest that product recommendations have the potential to drive up to 30% of your store’s revenue — when done right.

Product recommendations are not necessarily difficult to do well — however, the functionality available in WooCommerce core can’t get you very far:

  • Manual up-sells and cross-sells are useful but they can be tedious to set up and maintain as your catalog grows. Moreover, they only work at specific WooCommerce locations.
  • Product blocks are a great recent addition to WooCommerce that can be utilized to offer some types of static recommendations. However, they are only meant to be used inside the content area of your posts/pages.
  • WooCommerce does not measure the bottom-line impact of these recommendations, which further limits their usefulness.

If you are willing to explore more advanced options for your WooCommerce store, you’ll find quite a few SaaS apps that promise to deliver the power of machine learning to your store. But be warned:

  • Cutting-edge technology does not come cheap, and is not always justified. What works for Amazon will not always work for your store.
  • It’s not only your revenue that you’ll be giving away: To generate recommendations for you, third-party services will always require you to keep the front door to your store’s data wide open for them.

Build Your Own Recommendations

No matter how advanced they have become, machine learning algorithms cannot develop or replace the domain expertise that you already possess, and can’t magically align themselves with your merchandising strategies. Some of the most engaging, high-performing recommendations that you can offer only require your insights, and a capable tool to help you tap into it.

WooCommerce Product Recommendations lets you:

  • Build rule-based recommendation engines.
  • Place recommendations at various locations of your WooCommerce store.
  • Measure their impact and optimize your strategies.

Rule-based engines utilize conditional logic to generate static and dynamic/personalized recommendations based on each customer’s cart/order contents and browsing history. Here’s a few high-performing strategies that you can implement with it:

  • Streamline your cross-selling and up-selling workflows. Specify cross-sells and up-sells by category or tag, instead of entering products one by one. Use conditional logic to control when to offer them — for example when customers view specific category/tag archives or products, or depending on the contents of their cart.
  • Recommend products in category/tag archives to increase the visibility of your best-sellers. Offer Trending and Top Rated product recommendations to provide social proof and build confidence.
  • Make your product and checkout pages more engaging with Complete the Look recommendations.
  • Make essentials and accessories easier to discover with Frequently Bought Together recommendations.
  • Boost your store’s average order value by recommending products that customers have viewed, but didn’t add to their cart. Offer Leave These Behind? recommendations on the checkout page.
  • Invite customers to return right after placing an order. Add Still Looking for…? recommendations on the order-received page to offer products from categories they viewed, but didn’t purchase. Recommend related products conditionally, depending on order contents, and pair your offers with coupons to maximize their impact.
  • Incentivize customers to spend more in order to unlock perks, such as free shipping.
  • Encourage impulse purchases by recommending Last Minute Deals on the checkout page.

How It Works

To implement a recommendation strategy with WooCommerce Product Recommendations:

  1. Create a recommendation Engine.
  2. Deploy it to a Location of your store.

Recommendation Engines are “recipes” that generate product results. To configure an Engine, you combine Filters and Amplifiers. Filters narrow down results, while Amplifiers control their order.

Place Recommendations Anywhere

Engines can be deployed on almost every page and location of your WooCommerce store:

  • The main Shop page.
  • Individual Product pages.
  • Product Archive pages (Category/Tag).
  • Cart and Checkout pages.
  • Order Received and Order Pay pages.

To provide impact at the perfect time, the extension lets you define Visibility Conditions for each Engine you deploy.

Οptimize Your Strategies with Detailed Analytics

WooCommerce Product Recommendations comes with detailed Revenue, Events and Conversion reports to help you measure the impact of your strategies, and optimize them in a data-driven manner. It lets you track and analyze:

  • Gross and Net Revenue.
  • Unique Views.
  • Clicks.
  • Conversions.
  • Clicks per Unique View.
  • Click-to-Purchase Conversion Rates.

Love data? To help you understand what drives conversions, every report is filterable by date, converted product, location, or engine!

What’s Next

Rule-based recommendations are useful for leveraging existing merchant insights to make a store more engaging. However, they can’t help you uncover interesting product relationships based on customer preferences/behavior. If your catalog is relatively small and you only receive a few hundred orders every month, you will not get much out of an algorithm that only validates what you already know. In contrast, if you are selling hundreds of products and receive orders at a rather fast rate, a state-of-the-art, accurate algorithm that takes care of some of your strategies might go a long way.

In the months that follow, we plan to build more intelligent engines to help WooCommerce merchants deliver automated product recommendations. Search engine technology is increasingly used to generate product recommendations, with great success. We are confident that, with some simplifications, we will be able to make this technology more accessible to WooCommerce merchants, at a fraction of the cost that external apps ask in return for similar services.

Questions and Feedback

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