Product recommendation platforms are an online tool that enables online retailers to offer a personalized customer experiences. These platforms use intelligent algorithms and big data to deliver targeted product recommendations, helping customers find products they’re interested in while driving revenue and sales for retailers.
In the world of online fashion retail, product recommendation engines play an even greater role. Strong visuals capture the attention and direct the buying decisions of customers, and innovations like Stylitics visual merchandising platform and provide key features that allow online retailers to deliver the right visuals to the right customers at the right time.
In this article, we’ll explore the most important features of leading product recommendation platforms and how they enhance the user experience for both online retailers and their shoppers.
Online Product Recommendations
The most important feature provided by product recommendation software or tools is the ability to deliver personalized product recommendations in real-time through an e-commerce website. Many online retailers also deploy online product recommendations to personalize their e-mail marketing and online advertising campaigns
Retail giant Amazon, who reportedly generate 35% of their revenue through their product recommendation engine, have adopted an omnichannel approach to recommending products to customers. The online retail giant features a personalized section on its home page called “Recommended for You” where it suggests products for returning shoppers. It also recommends items that are often purchased together with the items you’ve put in your cart already, and features a gallery of recently viewed and recommended items on each page.
In addition, Amazon’s product recommendation engine shows users newer versions of the product they are currently viewing, products related to those they have viewed most recently, and products it thinks the user will like. Amazon also sends personalized product recommendations through promotional e-mails, retargeting ads, and general promotional campaigns.
At Stylitics, our automated styling platform allows us to generate thousands of on-brand outfits for our online retail partners at the touch of a button. Automated content generation combined with intelligent algorithms (more on this later) allows online retailers to deliver personalized online product recommendations at key moments in the customer journey, including via e-mail marketing and on social media platforms.
Intelligent Algorithms Power the Best Product Recommendation Tools
The goal of product recommendations isn’t just to get more of your products in front of shoppers, it’s to connect them with the products that they’re most likely to buy. Product recommendation tools use intelligent algorithms to personalize the shopping experience by combining CRM and behavior analytics data to determine what product recommendation is most likely to trigger a sale, and deliver it at the right time.
For an intelligent algorithm to make successful recommendations, online retailers need to give it meaningful inputs – data which can be processed to predict purchase decisions and buying behavior. Data must be collected and blended from multiple touch points, including CRM data that contains demographic information and behavior analytics data from your ecommerce store, which measures how users are interacting on your platform.
Intelligent algorithms are programmed to analyze data, develop insights, and make product recommendations that sell – but Stylitics has developed another use for algorithms in online retail. Not only does our platform use algorithms to determine which outfits to recommend, we also use an algorithm to create the outfits themselves. Our styling algorithm combines images from your product catalog into outfits according to your pre-defined styling rules, giving you unlimited ways to recommend outfits and complementary products to your shoppers.
Visual Merchandising Enable Manual Outfit Creation
Product recommendation tools for online retailers need to combine automation and manual features to give the user full control over how their products are managed on the platform. At Stylitics, that process begins with uploading your product catalog onto our platform. Once we’ve completed that process, we can define styling guidelines according to your unique brand identity and start creating great outfits with our algorithm – that’s the automation side.
To offer online retailers more manual control over their products, we’ve built a visual merchandising into our platform that enables our users to search, filter and store their products within our platform. Users can create and style their own outfits on our platform using any images from the product catalog, so we included a search function, filters, and sorting functions that make it even easier for our users to customize their favorite outfits using our platform.
Thanks to our powerful and versatile merchandising platform, clients of Stylitics have unprecedented flexibility when it comes to building outfits with our platform – they can depend on our styling algorithm to do most of the work, or they can depend on our feature-rich visual catalog to help them style their own outfits.
Stylitics Outfit Generator Delivers Automated Outfit Creation
An effective product recommendation tool needs to deliver genuine value to the customer by showing them items that they’re actually interested in or likely to buy. The best way to do that is by connecting products in your catalog to products that the customer is already looking to buy – they’re buying a canoe, we offer them a paddle, they’re buying a baseball bat, we offer them a glove, etc. When we recommend “related products”, we know that they’re often bought together and that a shopper who’s looking at one could probably use the other – it’s a winning strategy.
At Stylitics, we focus on recommending “related products” in online fashion retail with our Outfit Generator tool, which generates hundreds of on-brand outfits from what’s in your product catalog. When a shopper buys a pair of new shoes, we can recommend whole outfits that feature those shoes, enhancing the customer’s creativity and offering them expert guidance on how to style the product. Automated outfit generation provides the marketing materials for unlimited personalized product recommendations and saves huge time on mundane tasks like photography and cropping.
Outfitting Tags Help You Curate Your Product Catalog
Category pages are where shoppers go when they know what they’re looking for and want to see all of the relevant products displayed in the same place. Many online retailers focus on optimizing their main and highly-trafficked pages while category pages fall by the wayside, but it’s important to optimize these pages to get the best results.
Outfit Tags take categories to a new level, allowing online retailers to apply searchable tags to outfits and group them on their websites accordingly. Are your customers shopping by season? Tag outfits with “Summer” or “Winter”. If they’re shopping by occasion, you can include tags like “Christmas”, “Wedding” or “Formal”. If they’re shopping for back-to-school, include tags like “preppy” or “casual”. Tagging means that more customers can find outfits and categories that suit their personal style, broadening the appeal of your brand and showing that you’ve got something for everyone.
Product recommendation platforms play an important role in optimizing the sales and revenue performance of online retail stores and delivering a personalized and engaging customer experience. Online product recommendations can be delivered in many different ways, including on ecommerce pages, in e-mail promotions and marketing, and on social media platforms. Product recommendation platforms use intelligent algorithms to process CRM and behavior analytics data and deliver the right recommendation at the right time.
The best product recommendation platforms offer a combination of manual and automation tools that give online retailers the flexibility to present their brands however they choose. With the Stylitics platform, our visual merchandising tool enables users to easily store, search, filter and sort their entire product catalog and create new outfits from scratch. Our Outfit Generator allows online retailers to generate their own styling guidelines and create hundreds of on-brand outfits at the click of a button.
Online retailers should also take advantage of outfit tags, a feature that allows them to tag outfits with customized categories of their choice and group them on their websites, making it easier for shoppers to find an outfit that matches their specific styling needs.