How Recommendation And Remarketing Tools Can Boost Your Sales

Up until fairly recently eCommerce recommendations and remarketing were only possible for large eCommerce sites. However, the emergence of recommendation and remarketing tools and service providers over the last two years have made these sales boosting benefits accessible to even small businesses and marketers.

In this article we will look at what recommendations and remarketing are within the field of eCommerce, before looking at how they can benefit your business and boost your sales.

What Recommendations & Remarketing Mean

Recommendations have long been a core component of Amazon’s website, with up to 70% of Amazon’s home page dedicated to recommendations.  There are three primary types of recommendations:

  • Generic: These recommendations are seldom influenced by your past browsing and shopping history, and often show what other customers are currently looking at, or what the top-sellers are in general, or by category.
  • Complementary: These recommendations are directly influenced by your current and past behavior on an eCommerce site, and will be made up of items that complement or enhance the items you are currently looking at.
  • Alternatives: These recommendations are alternatives to what you are currently looking at, or what is already in your cart. Alternative recommendations can be used to either upsell or to retain a customer where the product they were originally interested in is out-of-stock.

Remarketing is primarily about having your online ads displayed to users who have previously visited your site, as they browse other websites. However, remarketing can also be used in tandem to recommendations by showing visitors to your site products they have viewed on other sites, and even items that are relevant to their current geographical location.

Both recommendations and remarketing rely on you having a substantial amount of data regarding your customer’s behavior and history, and the arrival of recommendation and remarketing tools and service providers gives small businesses access to this, along with access to 3rd-party data that enhances what they have already collected.

Photo Credit Think with Google

Using Recommendations to Increase Average Basket Size

Careful implementation of complementary, and even generic recommendations, can lead to an increase in your average basket size, with a McKinsey case study showing that cross-selling techniques can increase sales by 20%. The focus should be on items that enhance what the customer is looking at; for example, if the customer is looking at a shirt, complementary recommendations would be pants, shoes and even socks that create a complete outfit.  However, there shouldn’t be too many recommendations or you risk losing the customer. Generic recommendations in this context can encourage customers to explore your site more, possibly finding items they want, but weren’t actively looking for.

Photo Credit Think with Google

Using Recommendations to Increase Conversions

Countless sales are lost each day when the item the customer is looking for is out-of-stock; but alternative recommendations can help you. Whenever an item is out-of-stock, ensure that you display at least three alternatives, using a good, better, best approach. Caution must be taken when setting up your alternatives since they should closely match the original; if the customer was looking for a light switch, don’t offer them a new lampshade as an alternative.

Photo Credit InfoSys

Using Recommendations to Improve Customer Loyalty

Personalization plays a critical role in fostering customer loyalty for online stores, and personalizing some of your generic recommendations is one way to start. Generic recommendations are shown when you don’t know what the customer is actually looking for, but once you have some history on a customer’s past behavior you can, in addition to the standard generic recommendations, show a list of items they bought recently, or buy frequently. This is particularly appropriate for FMCG and other items customers need to buy regularly.

Amazon’s recommendations are said to generate up to 30% in additional revenue for the company, and while they have been doing this for quite a few years, any online business, big or small, can realize a boost in sales through the proper implementation of their own recommendation and remarketing strategy. The only requirement is that you start now.


pm3Przemyslaw Mankowski as a CEO of QuarticON concentrates on company’s further expansion on the market, lead International business strategy and develops business partnerships in CEE and worldwide. He has been working in New Tech industry for several years. Prior to joining, he was Sales Director in Agora and Member of the Board in (Poland). He was also CEO at Passus and NextWeb Media.

5 Ways Writing A Book Will Supercharge Your Online Presence

lead-generationLet me tell you right off the bat, writing and publishing a book is a lot easier than you think.  In September of 2014, when I became a Duct Tape Marketing Certified Consultant, I provided a list of ten reasons why joining the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant network is a no-brainer for digital agencies.  On top of all those reasons, I had no idea that the network would lead me to becoming a published author after just a few short months of joining.

The backdrop to my story is that I attended the Duct Tape Marketing Annual Summit last year.  Shortly after that amazing three-day event, fellow marketing consultant Ray Perry of MarketBlazer, Inc. approached me to write a book with three other Duct Tape Marketing Consultants.  Last year, Ray and another group of DTM Consultants published a great book on referral marketing called Renewable Referrals, and that book became an Amazon Best Seller!

Fast-forward six months, now I am part of an amazing team of fellow consultants that has launched The Small Business Owner’s Guide To Local Lead Generation – another book that is well on its way to Amazon Best Seller status.   Aside from an awesome foreword written by John Jantsch, we have an incredible list of endorsements from the likes of BNI founder Dr. Ivan Misner, Copyblogger’s Brian Clark, New York Times bestselling author Michael Port, and many more thought leaders and tech company CEOs.

Now that you know a little about what we’ve accomplished and how we got here, let me explain why publishing a book results in a seismic boost to your online presence:

  1. Online Authority. Creating and publishing a book in your niche provides an instant boost in personal authority and elevates your status as an expert.  From creating book and author pages on Amazon, to launching a book via press releases, podcasts and online marketing, these activities provide an overnight boost in authority that most of your competitors will not have.  In other words, you are no longer just “Your Name”, you are “Your Name, author of…”
  2. Online Trust.  Getting thought leaders in your niche takes some effort and creativity, but it’s easier than you think (assuming you have good content).  Asking an influencer to provide a quote for a book about their niche reinforces their position as a leader in that niche – so in many cases they will be motivated to provide a book quote.  Once you have multiple industry authorities blessing your book, all of your content suddenly becomes more credible, trustworthy and interesting.
  3. Organic SEO.  If you launch a book effectively, you will also create a standalone book website.  All of the marketing that you do should lead people back to the book site, the same way we doing now in this guest blog post.  Our book site already ranks highly on Google for “local lead generation books” and is quickly climbing for more competitive generic terms such as “local lead generation”.
  4. Social Media Exposure. Book launches, by their very nature, create buzz.  With careful and strategic coordination, you can dramatically amplify your social media exposure by leveraging your own network, as well as those that have supported your book.  From tagging tweets and posts, to simply notifying business chambers and local media, you will find many venues and organizations that will be motivated to share your story on social media.
  5. Conversion Optimization.  If you are a regular consumer of John Jantsch’s content, you already know that creating great content in a way that draws ideal customers into your digital channel is a core Duct Tape Marketing principle.  By promoting and offering an actual book on your website, you now have a killer conversion hook that will convert more first-time web visitors into loyal content consumers, and thus on the path towards conversion.

The above list is really just the tip of the iceberg in terms of benefits.  Perhaps one of my favorites is that this book has become my new business card.  There is nothing like walking into a sales meeting and dropping a book on the table with credible endorsements.  As a busy agency owner, I really have to be careful how I invest my most treasured asset: time.  So when I tell you that book publishing has become a new cornerstone of my own inbound marketing strategy, I am not saying it lightly.  Yet, I have already signed on for another book project and will publish my own book this fall titled:  New SEO: Search Engine Optimization For Web Designers & Small Business Owners.

Trust me, if I can write a book, you can too.

phil-singletonPhil Singleton owns and operates Kansas City Web Design, where he and his team provide custom WordPress and Magento web development, and Kansas City SEO, where he provides search engine optimization services to companies with hundreds of thousands in revenues to hundreds of millions.  To get more SEO and Internet marketing tips and advice, and learn more about Phil’s book writing adventures, follow him on Google+.