Last updated - November 15, 2019
When you have a customer looking at a product on your eCommerce store, you are actually presented with an opportunity. An opportunity to introduce them to other products on your store. According to experts, it is easier to recommend a product to a customer than to acquire a completely new customer. Moreover, if you are promptly recommending products while a customer is in your sales funnel, you can improve your average order value as well. WooCommerce offers different options to create product recommendations on your store. In this article, we will look in detail how to set up WooCommerce related products, up-sells and cross-sells on your WordPress eCommerce store.
An introduction to WooCommerce related products, up-sells and cross-sells
WooCommerce , by default offers options to set up related products, up-sells and cross sells. Before getting into how you can set them up, let’s quickly try and understand what each one means.
WooCommerce automatically picks up and displays related products on a product page. You cannot specify which products are to be displayed under this section. WooCommerce picks up the list of products that are under the same category and those which have the same tags marked. You can mark categories and tags accordingly to create a chance to list certain products.
Up-sells are products that you recommend to your audience in place of the product they are currently viewing. Often these products will have the same or similar functionality as the product currently considered by the customer. However, it may have more advanced or a different feature set that might appeal to certain specific requirements to customers. Generally, the products you recommend as up-sells will be more expensive than the current product. So, up-sells should provide your customers with more choices on your store, and help you increase your average order value at the same time.
Cross-sells are products you recommend to your customers depending on what they have added to cart. These product recommendations should typically improve the user experience when used together with the product in the cart. For example, if a mobile phone is in the cart, you can recommend a case as cross-sell.
Setting up WooCommerce related products, up-sells and cross-sells
Now let us see how to set up each of these product recommendations on your WooCommerce store.
Related products are displayed automatically by WooCommerce by a random choice. You can increase the possibility of displaying certain products together by grouping them in the same categories or tags.
You can create a set of products for up-sell. For this, go to an individual product page and the find the field for up-sells (Product Data > Linked products > Up-sells). You can start typing the name of the product, and choose the relevant one.
Update the page after adding all the relevant products. Now, you can see these products as options under “You may also like”.
Similarly, you can set up cross-sells also on individual product pages. Just like how you set up up-sells, you can set up a few products as cross-sells.
Cross-sells will be displayed on the cart pages. When the customer adds this product to cart, the products you added as cross-sells will be displayed on the cart page.
Plugins to help you with product recommendations
Now, let’s look at some of the plugins that will help you set up product recommendations more easily on your online store.
Product Recommendations is a new WooCommerce extension that allows you to create your own upselling and cross-selling strategies using rule-based logic. With Product Recommendations, you can offer custom upsells, cross-sells and other related product recommendations not only in product pages, but also in product category pages, in the cart or checkout page, and even after ordering, in the “thank you” page. What’s really great about this plugin is that it gives you access to in-depth analytics: It tracks the revenue, unique views, clicks and conversion rates of your recommendations, and gives you access to detailed reports.
In a nutshell, the plugin makes it possible to manage upsells, cross-sells and related products in bulk, instead of entering products one by one. You can recommend products by category, tag, or price, and further refine the recommendations you want to display at each location based on their popularity, rating, creation date, or conversion rate. The extension’s rule-based system also supports personalized recommendations: You can use it to recommend recently viewed products and products from recently viewed categories. For maximum impact at the perfect time, you can even define conditions to display your offers depending on each customer’s cart or order contents. Want to learn more about Product Recommendations? This guide lists some of the most common types of recommendations that you can offer with it.
Manually adding product recommendations can be really tough if you have a large number of products on your store. Moreover, the efficiency of such recommendations too can be limited as they are not taking a lot of other factors such as customer’s interest. This plugin utilizes the history of a customer’s viewed and purchased products to provide recommendations. Furthermore, it also shows recommendations based on products regularly purchased together on the store.
The plugin offers two separate widgets to help you display both type of product recommendations. With one, you can display related products based on customers’ view and purchased history. The other one lets you display products that are purchased together regularly. If you don’t want to go through the hassles of setting up manual recommendations, you can use this plugin instead. The single site subscription would cost you $79.
You can create different product bundles and offer them with a discount with the help of this extension. In addition, it helps in creating assembled products where you can combine different individual components to create the product. In its simplest, you can combine related products and sell them at discounted rates. You can also show product recommendations on a ‘Frequently bought together’ display. The plugin also lets you offer optional products in your existing product bundles.
This is another option to create product bundles on your store. Here, instead of combining different products, you can associate several products to a main product. When a customer purchases this main product, all the chained products will be added to the cart. You can create product bundles as well as ‘buy one get one’ offers using this plugin. By creating pre-configured bundle deals on your store, you will be able to create more sense of value in your customer’s minds. In fact, this will help you improve conversion rate on your store as well.
The single site subscription of this plugin would cost you $49. A 5-site subscription is available at $79 and 25-site subscription is $149.
When you want to provide additional products or services when a customer purchases a product, you can use this plugin. It helps you to link products together, so they are added together in the cart. This plugin differs from the Chained Products extension in the fact that even the forced product will be able to retain its own pricing.
There are two options to link products with the help of this plugin. You can either make them simply linked where customers will be able to change the quantity of the forced product. The second option is where the forced product will be synced to the main product. In this case, customers won’t be able to change the quantity of the forced product.
The plugin is available for purchase at $49 for a single site subscription. The 5-site subscription and 25-site subscription come at $79 and $149 respectively.
Now, you can make use of the advantages of cross-selling even after the customer has added a product to their cart. Here we will talk about two WooCommerce extensions that you can use to create cross-selling options after adding products to the cart.
This plugin helps a lot in setting up up-sells and cross-sells on your WooCommerce store. It displays pop-up notifications for up-sells and cross-sells on product, cart and checkout pages. For the up-sell popup notification, you can choose to display the entire category which the current product belongs to. Furthermore, it displays a discounts calculator, which encourages customers to spend more to reach a discount threshold. The plugin manages this by integrating with the WooCommerce tool that you use to configure discounts.
The plugin lets you create cross-sell popup notifications as well. More importantly, you can create product bundles, and keep them at discounted prices. This will help a lot in improving the average order value on your store. You can choose on which page you want to display the popup notifications. Moreover, you can customize the message to be displayed on the notification. The plugin integrates
This plugin provides you an opportunity to present cross-sell products when a customer is on the Cart page. This can be quite a handy tool, as studies have consistently pointed to the better chances of conversion when you recommend products on the cart. However, you should be able to present relevant accessories or complementary products to what is already in the cart.
The single site subscription of the plugin is priced at $29.
With the help of this plugin, you can add several free or paid options on the checkout page. For example, you can easily add options like extended warranty, or faster delivery with an extra cost added. The advantage is that you can add different field types suitable for the options that you provide. You should remember with this plugin, you can only add extra options, which does not require inventory management. The checkout add-ons are tied to order details as well, to make it easier to manage orders.
The single site subscription of the plugin would cost you $79.
This plugin helps you to send exclusive offers to your customers right after they purchase something for you. Customers can add the offer product to their orders in a single click without going through the checkout process again. Such up-selling efforts can improve average order value on your store, as well as enhance customer experience on your store.
With the help of this plugin, you can create several funnels with different offers. Moreover, it allows you to customize each offer page differently as per the product. You can review all the different offers and pages you create by using the sandbox mode available with the plugin. More importantly, it helps you integrate several popular payment options such as PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, etc. The price of a single site license is $79.
Advantages of product recommendations
Now, let’s take a quick look at some of the obvious advantages of product recommendations on your store.
Increased order value
Product recommendations of all type helps you increase the average order value on your store. You can carefully choose a product to up-sell, which is relatively pricier than the one considered by the customer. Overall, if the recommended product adds more value to the user experience, customers won’t mind spending a little extra on those.
Similarly, cross-selling helps a lot too in increasing the average order value on your store. Customers who already made a purchase decision on your store are more likely to purchase another product from your store. Technically the marketing cost in selling a product is reduced when you effectively cross-sell on your store.
While comparing it with the cost of acquiring new customers, you can clearly understand the value that product recommendations bring to the table.
It’s a simple logic. Selling more products per order, or pushing expensive alternatives to customers, both will bring in more revenue to your store. In a lot of cases, you will be cross-selling complementary products, which are relatively smaller additions to your main products. In fact, this increases your chances to increase your profit margins as well. You can keep a bigger margin for accessories and similar small products, which won’t even cost much shipping and handling charges. By incorporating these small products in the sales funnel of your bigger, popular products, you are effectively increasing your revenue in a smarter way.
Increases average spend of customers
Lifetime value of customers is an important component in understanding marketing efficiency in eCommerce. This will be a significant component to your long term sales prospects, if you are able retain customers efficiently. Moreover, it will give you a better perspective on your business success compared to similar data like total number of orders on your site.
With an efficient product recommendation strategy, the lifetime value of your customers too will increase. For each of their purchases, you are encouraging customers too spend more on your site. This will give you a better view on how to improve your marketing strategies. For example, you will have a better understanding on where to focus – on customer acquisition or enhancing customer loyalty.
Learn some tips to retain customers more effectively on your WooCommerce store.
Improve customer satisfaction
Product recommendations can effectively improve customer satisfaction on your store. Firstly, customers will appreciate the fact that they are presented with several choices on your store. When you suggest an up-sell product with certain additional features that they require customers would really appreciate the assistance. It is highly likely that they will care even if the recommended product is slightly more expensive. Up-sell or down-sell, if you are constantly striving to help customers find the right products, you are improving customer experience on your store.
In addition, you can integrate machine learning to create advanced product recommendations based on customers’ purchase history, browsing patterns, etc. Moreover, you can effectively make use of follow up emails to help customers know about certain products they didn’t know about. All this while, you can improve the customer satisfaction on your store while attaining marketing goals.
Gives you actionable insights on customer behavior
When you set up a range of product recommendation strategies on your store, you are improving the scope to analyze customer behavior better. Continue with the strategies for a considerable period of time, and you will be able to generate insightful reports from product recommendation systems. How specific product recommendations improved your average order value, customer lifetime value, etc., can help you devise better strategies. Incorporate the findings to your overall marketing efforts, and you will be improving both customer experience as well as marketing efficiency.
Best practices while setting up product recommendations on WooCommerce
Product recommendations are definitely among the best marketing strategies that you can adopt to increase order value and revenue in general. Here is a list of things that you need to focus on while creating a strategy for WooCommerce related products, up-sells and cross-sells.
Know the interests of the customers
You need to consider the subjective element of each customer when you are developing a product recommendation strategy. What works for one set of customers may not necessarily work for another set. If you have developed a good customer profiling pattern, it can prove to be useful here. A good process to identify the interests and preferences of your target audience would help you achieve this effortlessly. Once that is in place, you can assuredly show product recommendations that convert.
In fact, you can leverage the data available from all the customer interactions on your site. You can analyze customer behavior patterns to understand the specific interests of your customers. Factors like how much time is spend by a customer on a specific product page can provide you insights into their interests. This can also help you segment your consumer base and focus on more targeted marketing campaigns.
If you would like to see some tips to identify your target audience, here is an article that will help.
Thoroughly test your product strategy
As you have seen, there are several tools that will help you aggressively pitch product recommendations to your customers. A lot of these will be based on clever algorithms that efficiently leverage all the available data. You might think there can’t be flows in such machine-learning based systems. However, it is important to test these strategies several times before you implement them. The fact is, if the product recommendations are quite relentless and robotic, it might annoy your customers more than helping them.
Test your product recommendation strategies to see if it is complementing the customer experience. If the strategies are hampering user experience, you may need to revisit them pretty soon.
Make the cross-sell products extremely relevant
Relevancy is a key aspect in a cross-selling strategy. Customers are going to be interested in a cross-selling recommendation only if it is really valuable to them. So, you need to be absolutely sure about the products that you recommend as cross-sells. A lot of thinking from a customer’s perspective would help you with this. The product that you recommend should add some value to the customer’s experience with the original product. If this is convincingly done, the customer won’t have any reluctance to pay the extra money for the related product.
Hand-pick your cross-sell products
When you are starting out, it will be best if you hand-pick your cross-selling products. If you select these products based on some of the above recommendations, soon you will start to see positive results. Once you optimize the whole process by creating a system, you can see more consistent results.
Keep the cross-sell products at a significantly lower price
According to experts, the price of your cross-sell products should be at least 60% less than the price of the original product the customer intends to buy. This is a simple fact that would make a lot of sense if you think about it. Nobody would want to spend double the amount if they are purchasing a relatively higher priced product. And, cross-selling mostly works when customers are choosing higher priced products. For example, who would not want to invest in a case when they are purchasing a high-priced phone or camera?
Sell complementary products exclusively
It will be exceptionally interesting if you have some exclusive accessories that will work with the main product. If you are offering something that is rare or not at available in other places, chances are you will convert more often. For example, you can custom design a product that will work with your main product. If the cross-sell product contributes significantly in improving the user experience, customers would naturally prefer to opt for that.
Keep a limit to the cross-sell options
Just because cross-selling works for you, do not overwhelm your customers by presenting more options than necessary. If you are presenting relevant, value-adding products as cross-sell, just three or four options would do the trick. Instead if you are crowding your product pages with a large number of options, it will affect the ease of navigation. Always make sure that excessive product recommendations are not affecting user experience on your store.
Present the value proposition effectively
If you are cross-selling services like extended warranty or privilege support, you need to catch the attention of customers with convincing copy. These are surely aspects that are going to improve the experience of the customers while using your product. Being able to get the message across well would do a lot of good to your cross-selling strategy.
Use customer testimonials
Presenting social proof too will work in your favor here. Customer opinion definitely matters, and customers sharing positive experience of using a complementary product would help spread the word. Even presenting ‘Frequently bought together’ lists would encourage customers to try out some of your complementary products.
Set up WooCommerce related products, up-sells and cross-sells to enhance your sales figures
As you probably know, your marketing efforts make a lot of difference in the success of your eCommerce venture. You can set up WooCommerce related products, up-sells and cross-sells using the default settings. In addition, you can also configure innovative product recommendations using some of the popular plugins. Hope this article has given you a clear idea on how to manage product recommendations on your WooCommerce store.