Benefits of Using Product Recommendation Engines for E-Commerce Websites

by Guest on September 19, 2013

increase sales on your ecommerce site with a product recommendation engine

A website optimization technique that has grown in popularity is that of product recommendation engines. Small to medium-sized businesses, who’ve seem the success websites like Amazon and Netflix have generated using them, are now utilizing this technique on their own sites. If you’re not sure how and if a product recommendation engine can benefit your business, read on to understand better what it means and how it can be used.

An Explanation of Production Recommendation Engines

Product recommendation engines are used on e-commerce sites and many of them prominently feature a list of recommended products on their homepages. They present products to you based on your personal interests.

Product recommendation engines custom tailor your shopping experience based on the your preferences and then correlate it with the products and services available on the site. Information is filtered through the database of the website and, with your interests in mind, comes up with a list of products and services that it considers likely to appeal to you.

Information from your social environment and previous browsing history is taken into account when making recommendations in addition to the description of the product or service.

How Does A Product Recommendation Engine Work?

They typically utilize three types of approaches to come up with the most accurate results for a website’s potential customers.

* Collaborative Filtering

Data is gathered from a pool of users, which assesses their behavior online, their activities, and their preferences. All the information collected is then filtered and submitted to a platform which categorizes them into products that a group of users may like or dislike.

Upon visiting the site, it will determine which group of visitors you belong to. From there is provides custom-tailored recommendations based on similar users.

* Content-based Filtering

With this type of approach, product recommendation engines use complex algorithms so that only activities, browsing history, and preferences attributed to you alone are considered. The more time you spend browsing the site, the more effective the approach becomes. Recommendations will have little to base its recommendations on the first few times you visit a site.  During those instances, the results provided by these engines are likely to be not as accurate as you would desire it to be.

* Hybrid Recommender Systems

The hybrid recommender system applies the two aforementioned approaches into its results. Because the web behavior, activities, and preferences of similar users as well as those attributed to the actual target customer are both considered, the product search engine has more information to work with. This results in a much better chance of improving the accuracy of results.

A variety of predictions can be made when you install a product recommendation engine on your site. Sites such as Amazon has successfully utilized this website optimization technique to increase sales – using “Related Items’ and “Items to Consider” in its recommendations.

The ROI of Product Recommendation Engines

Product recommendation engines provide the following value in increasing sales for your business. Once it is installed on your site, look for the following results:

  • Increase volume in orders: When a sale was made immediately after the recommendation, you know the product recommendation engine is setting you up for e-commerce success.
  • Customer retention: This particular benefit can only be possible if the system you’ve selected is also able to accumulate and interpret data related to cart abandonment. If so, your system can employ any number of ways to re-establish contact with your visitors. Customer retention should be the primary or first objective of cart abandonment tools. Sales conversion should only be considered a secondary priority.
  • High level of customization or personalization:  Every user to your site can receive a personalized experience. This data, however, doesn’t need to be used for sales conversions directly. You can instead use it indirectly by using the data to improve your website’s overall services and ensure that they are suitable according to a user’s preferences. In return, the user will be placed in a better mood to purchase your products or services.

Employ product recommendation engines on your site to reap these benefits of a bigger profit margin.


Product recommendation engines are all over e-commerce websites, but mostly overlooked by e-commerce site owners that tend to worry more about just having more traffic to their websites. The truth is, if you’re at this point in internet marketing, you shouldn’t be worrying about incoming traffic to your website. Product recommendation engines should come into factor for websites that already have high traffic to their websites. The point to product recommendation engines is to earn more sales by sparking the interest of what your customers already bought or are currently looking at.

Imagine a customer buys some cowboy boots online, this engine will help recommend other products you may have on your website that are related to the attire, for an example, a cowboy hat.

So there you have it, If you feel you have anything else you would like to add to this article, let us know in the comments. Also, any questions are also welcomed for me to answer.

About the Author

Ruben Corbo which writes about various topics which include technology, online marketing especially topics that are associated with the tracking process like AB testing, Multivariate testing and more. When Ruben is not writing he is composing or producing music for short films and other visual arts. You can read more information about Product Recommendation Engines at Maxymiser

{ 1 comment }

Bethany November 22, 2013 at 11:56 AM

I attempted to setup this once, it was an absolute nightmare for me. I was giving away e-books, so my store didnt have any prices, so I gave up and resorted to a auto responder.

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