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3 Ways to Make Recommendations Work

It’s not uncommon to find websites that are busy generating and providing recommendations, that it makes it difficult for visitors to find their way in between all the special offers, best buys and most sold products.

Knowing where, when and how to integrate recommendations in your online shop is the trick that allows them to be considered in your shopper’s journey to purchase.


Time to listen

Some people who earn their living by giving advice, all have two things in common: they listen and ask the right questions. Without that, an advice is just an empty recommendation, which people won’t accept or incorporate.

Most online shops today’s are capable of gathering information about their customers. Either through the purchase history, entry questions in the website or specific questions asked during checkout. It’s important that recommendations deliver a personalized experience and create an emotional connection that motivates them to stay.


Catch the right time

Imagine you’re going to a store, and the moment you step inside 7 shop assistants immediately approach you. One asking you how he may help you, the next one showing you the week’s best sellers, the third wanting to know whether you already tried their latest product, and another one giving you a questionnaire to rate your experience. Personally, I‘d find this a terrible experience.

However, that’s what is frequently given to customers in online shops: a lot of noise, all at the same time.

Depending on the type of recommendations, it is important to integrate them at different stages of the purchase experience and consider the customer’s information needs and their receptiveness.


Explain “Why”

Alternative or complementary recommendations will only be considered by shoppers, if they understand the “why” behind it.

Shoppers only accept recommendations, if they can understand how they were generated. Even if the “why” is not explained at length, the fact that shoppers can comprehend  the reason for a recommendation is enough for them to consider it in their purchase-decision process.

Being transparent does not only further personalize the experience, it adds trust and credibility to the recommendation tool.

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