This is the final of a three-part series on where to focus your efforts after a surge in sales from new customers.
Last week, as part of our series on actions to take following a surge in sales, we teased you with a great way of retaining new customers — with product recommendations of course! And with a potential increase of 300% in revenue – did you know that according to Forrester 30% of Amazon’s total group revenue is directly attributed to them? – it’s no wonder you’ve clicked through to learn more about what product recommendations can do for you. But beyond the obvious upsides of upselling, with Engagement Cloud, product recommendations go that one step further.
If you thought product recommendations were just about repeat purchases, you’d be wrong! Just like a good sales person, product recommendations are great when it comes to achieving a higher customer lifetime value and increasing average order value. But, similarly to a good hire, they can also provide an exceptional customer experience, and even help improve things like your stock management or your understanding of customers.
Here are a few tips and tricks from dotdigital to get product recommendations working for you.
1: Delight your customers by displaying a product they need but didn’t know you had
An online store can be harder to navigate than a physical one, just because you don’t get to see everything at once. That means it’s highly likely your customers have no idea of the full breadth of your wonderful product offering. Make it easy for them.
Use ‘also bought’ and ‘best next’ product recommendations on your site to point your customer in the right direction. They’ve just bought a computer mouse from you, but they might not know you offer batteries. Or maybe they booked a hotel room – are they aware you have a spa with services on offer? You can use these product recommendations post-purchase as well of course, in emails that upsell a little later than the point of sale. Or perhaps even try a combination of the two.
For those customers that didn’t quite make a purchase, could it be they didn’t quite find what they were looking for? Use lookalike product recommendations to give the customer some more options, whether it’s handbags or holidays. You can increase open rates and click-throughs by making your abandoned cart copy sound exclusive with a touch of the personal shopper, with phrases such as ‘Selected just for you’. Use personalization fields to up the ante.
2: Show them what’s hot, and what they really want, with trending
The trending product recommendation combines ‘best sellers’ and ‘most viewed’ to give your customers a selection that will make them feel as if they are ahead of the curve. People love to keep up with the Jones’, and there are few industry exceptions. Whether it’s shoes, phones, speakers, cars, or mini-breaks, show your customers what they’re missing out on in your regular marketing sends.
3: Avoid disappointment when an item is out of stock, with lookalikes
Your customer may have had their eye on a product from you for some time but couldn’t quite commit to buy for a number of reasons. Then they go to view the item with the intent of buying this time and discover it’s out of stock. Quickly divert their attention with on-site lookalike product recommendations, reassuring them that just because that one product is sold out, it doesn’t mean there are no other alternatives for them on your site.
You could also capitalize again here on abandoned cart emails (as well as a bit of fear-of-loss); let the customer know that the item they viewed is now out of stock, but there are others that they’ll no doubt love.
4: Take them on a new journey, with existing customers leading the way
Both the ‘best next’ and ‘also bought’ product recommendations in Engagement Cloud are customer-led, in that they examine and use real customer data to recommend the products. In fact, ‘best next’ even uses AI to predict missing products in a typical matrix (or customer journey). For instance, if you were buying a new outfit and looking at the shoes, you could recommend that customers also bought a particular belt or that the next best product might be a blazer.
Use this as a selling point for your customers. Frame your product recommendations as your community of loyal customers leading the way for your new customers. Word and design your ‘best next’ and ‘also bought’ product recommendations as if customers were personally recommending items to one another. This not only gives your products an element of social proof, it will also make them feel as if they are part of something bigger when shopping with your brand.