The Product Detail Page is arguably the most important page during the shopping experience. It’s the point where a shopper gathers information on a product, begins deliberating a purchase and ultimately moves from a shopper to a customer. However, if that shopper does not feel comfortable with that particular product, how do you keep that customer from leaving and purchasing from a competitor?
Just like a seasoned sales associate in a boutique would, we must introduce relevant products with behavioral targeting that will match the true needs of the customer. By understanding why that customer is shopping your site, your website can create a one-to-one message that makes the experience more enjoyable and simple (while also increasing conversion rates).
So, how do you create a custom ecommerce solution? Let’s lay out four strategies, including one that can be done by an internal merchandising team (if you have the time and manpower). We’ll also lay out three strong, best and next practices for ecommerce personalization on your product detail page.
Manually Merchandised Product Recommendations:
The technique can be completed internally with a committed resource. By using basic internal purchasing patterns, internet merchandisers can plug in top sellers. This is a great start for online retailers wanting to begin introducing similar products. While the products will be stagnant and hard coded into the site, it will provide basic product recommendations that will create a small lift in conversion rates - and every little bit helps.
Strong Practice: Single, Personalized Cross Sell Application
This is where we make the leap from stagnant, hard coded recommendations to real-time personalization injected in the site experience based on that individual's preferences. As a shopper begins making clicks on your site, the recommendation engine develops a profile based on a number of different data collection points.
For the example below, Lids.com is recognizing two different shoppers, one being a customer that shops by style and the other being a customer that shops by team affinity. While a shopper may be looking at the exact same SKU, the product recommendations dynamically adjust based on his/her profile.
The user on the left is a style-based shopper with preferences in a flat billed, black and white colored hat with a slight team affinity towards the Indianapolis Colts. As you can see, these recommendations are adjusting based on weighting those different product attributes higher because of explicit behavior. The shopper on the right (same SKU) has a much greater interest in his team affinity than on style or color. For this end user, we are going to show similar hats with a much higher weighting towards the Indianapolis Colts. All this is done in real time, based on that shopper's interest during this particular shopping trip.
Best Practice: Multiple Scenarios
Part of developing a strong personalization strategy that is going to dramatically move the needle comes from understanding the true needs of an online shopper. For fashion, it starts with understanding that shopper’s size. Ever found a shirt or shoes that you couldn't live without but they didn’t have it in your size? The lesson here is to understand that shopper’s size and only recommend products that are going to fit his or her needs.
Shoes, like any online fashion, can be difficult to shop for online because customers can’t touch, feel and try on the products. It is important to begin collecting and understanding all these different fashion attributes such as size, color and fit. Then, take that information and make products available to the shopper that are going to engage, interest, and entice that customer to move further down that conversion funnel.
One tip is to provide that shopper with multiple options in two different scenarios. This will allow you to show very similar products, but also relevant products that are more long-tail and unique. It just may be that long-tail product that catches that consumer’s eye.
In the example below, the horizontal recommendation scenario is displaying those long-tail items, more unique options for that individual consumer. They are different brands than the featured item, with a slightly different look and feel – but still a boot that will provide the basic fundamental needs of that consumer. The vertical scenario (PEOPLE WHO VIEWED DR MARTENS DIEGO 7 TIE LACE TO TOE BOOT ALSO VIEWED) is displaying other Dr. Martens boots, as they have expressed a keen interest in this brand and style.
Both are being displayed based on how that individual has shopped the site, but also combine the product attributes of the featured product to create an experience that engages that user to make a purchase during that particular session.
Next Practice: Interactive Product Recommendations
Shoppers want their voice to be heard – just think about how many reviews are written with no incentive. We believe that providing shoppers the option to provide feedback on our product recommendations makes the experience more engaging, but also more accurate. Reverting back to an in-store experience, if a shopper can tell an associate that she doesn't like this product (or that she already owns it), that associate is not going to recommend that product again. The same concept applies for your online shoppers.
Below is an example of how a customer can provide instant feedback on a product. By simply expressing whether they love it, own or hate it (or whatever you would prefer this language to be), a customer provides our personalization engine with immediate feedback, making the personalized product recommendations much more accurate and effective. - not to mention more profitable.
It is important to give your customer a voice, no matter which channel they are shopping through. Whether it be your online store or your brick-and-mortar locations, customers want their opinions to be heard so that the experience is catered to them, not the masses.
- One-to-One vs. One-to-Many
- Make the experience enjoyable
- Help the consumer find the product they desire
- Guide the customer to additional up-sell products
- Increase conversion rates