Overlooked Aspects of Product Recommendations

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There is an industry myth about product recommendations, that it is all about the algorithm. But what we have found over the five, six years that we’ve been in business, is that the most underplayed aspect of efficient recommendations is the ability to do smart merchandising in real time based on who the user is, and not just based on what the products are. So tying in your CRM strategy, your CRM segments, your first party and your third party, and to be able to smartly merchandise different sets of products to these customers, is generating a lot of results. One of the, I would say most, overlooked aspects of the product recommendation world is, how am I presenting it to the customer? Is this customer right now in a discovery mode, and I need to widen the assortment and maybe to have a Pinterest-like feed of products, a never-ending scroll. Or is my customer in a transactional mode, and now I have to try and upsell and have relevant products that they would transact and purchase, next to the product that they are interested in. We can tailor the look and feel of the recommendation widgets to the actual context of that customer. And it comes especially important in mobile. In mobile web experiences, the power of a great recommendation engine that can adapt the layout and not just the merchandise, is driving a huge amount of revenue for our customers. We are the only company in the world that have adaptive recommendation layouts based on who the visitor is. One interesting observation we had, is that in fashion e-commerce, if the gender of the shopper is female, the images in the product recommendations widgets, they should be larger, and it is much more about the experience. When we look at men that are just wired a bit differently, they are much more transactionally natured, they want tot see more product per page, and so you have to have a much more concise recommendation experience, and they’re going to end up transacting more.

Dynamic Yield has found that the most underplayed aspect of efficient recommendations is the ability to do smart merchandising in real time based on who the user is. Here are some tips for optimizing the recommendation experience even further.