How to build a product recommender for ecommerce sales – the easy way

Posted in: Digital marketingLast update: 05/09/19

Imagine if you could predict the perfect product for every single customer. Sales would go through the roof, right? Well, here’s the good news: you don’t need to be an expert developer with your own product recommendation engine. Here’s an easy, affordable way to promote your brand and run giveaways with personalized product recommendations.

What is a product recommender?

Online retailers and e-commerce stores face a lot of challenges in 2019. Mobile shoppers. Cart abandonment. Trying to reach an ever-growing audience, without losing that personal touch which made your brand special in the first place.

Statistic: Online shopping cart abandonment rate worldwide from 2006 to 2019. The chart shows a steady increase from 59.8% to 69.57%.
Chart via

That’s why so many are turning to product recommenders, also known as product advisors. These are smart systems which offer product recommendations for each individual customers. And because product recommender systems are automated, they can work on a large scale.

When you share predictive offers or next best offers, you can reduce cart abandonment and increase sales conversions. Product advisors and personalization are incredibly effective ways to promote a product online.

For example, this quiz from beauty brand Tatcha can suggest up to 30 products and 500 different beauty routines… and it’s significantly boosted customer dwell time and conversion rates.

Screenshot of the Tatcha beauty quiz product recommender. The first question asks customers whether they are "minimalists", "ritualists", or "enthusiasts" about skincare.

But not everyone can afford the time or money to build their own AI product recommender engine. If you run a small business, e-commerce, Etsy or Shopify store, then you need more accessible tools.

The good news? You don’t need your own tech dev team. With the Easypromos quiz app, you can write product recommendations, reach customers via email and on mobile, and even set up targeted offers and product giveaways. Read on to learn how.

How to build a product recommender in under 60 minutes

Most product recommenders need a customer history to make predictions. So it’s difficult to share targeted product recommendations and offers with new customers.

Here’s the solution: just ask. A customer quiz is the easiest way to find out what people want, whether they’r repeat customers or they only just discovered your website. Then you can store their responses, reach out to potential customers, and offer truly personalized recommendations.

Start by setting up your quiz. You could ask about color preferences, where the customer plans to wear the outfit, or their favorite item out of a selection. You can create lots of different question types, and illustrate them with photos or videos.

Screenshot from the Easypromos quiz app editor to create a product recommender. Question options include single answer, multiple answer, sortable answers, ratings, open questions, lists and radio buttons.

Then you simply assign a score to each answer. When a customer complete the quiz, they’ll get a personalized message and product recommendation that matches their score:

3 mobile screenshots sohwing a product recommender from a travel agency, created with Easypromos. The first screen reads "Which Canadian city should you visit?" The second screen shows a sample question, asking users to choose one of Poutine, Ice cream sandwich, Japadogs and Bloody Caesar. On the final screen, the app recommends a trip to Toronto.

You can offer a product giveaway or introductory discount right then and there. Or you can use the integrated email platform to follow up with customers later. Hand out coupons, QR codes, or free gifts to encourage customer loyalty and tempt your quiz-takers into making a purchase.

Kettlewell product recommender with email and social media follow up

Click here to learn more about the Kettlewell Colours product advisor, and how the clothing brand collected over 5,000 email addresses.

Use product recommendations to drive sales

If you make the time to write product recommendations that really connect, then you’re sure to see a bump in sales. Modern shoppers are searching for personalized, helpful customer service – especially online.

If you’re looking for more tips, click here for more info on the quiz app, including an in-depth tutorial. And if you’d like to talk about your product recommender plans, get in touch!

Corinna Keefe

English copywriter at Easypromos marketing team