How do I override a recommendation?

  • Updated

This is an example how to create a Merchandising campaign to override the recommendations generated by Episerver Personalization algorithms with your own manually selected product. If you are not yet familiar with the Merchandising tool, please read this article.

We will apply the following rule: On product pages, if a user is viewing a product X, then recommend product Y.

Log in the Personalization Portal

 Click "Merchandising" followed by "Create a new campaign" 


1. Details page

Name - the name will appear on the Campaigns overview screen; use a name which will help you remember what the campaign achieves

Widget location - this is the page type where the target widget of the rule is located, e.g. Home, Product, Basket etc.

Widget position - this is the specific widget that the rule will apply to


2. Master rules page

Master rules are optional. You can use this feature to further refine what pages, products or users this campaign will affect. 

For example, if this rule is to apply to ALL products (e.g. the first position in the recommendations widget on every product page should display the manually select product), then no master rule is needed and you can skip to the next step. 

In this example, we want to recommend a manually selected product when viewing a specific product. We will apply the following rule:

Ref code - this is what we are basing the rule on; for every product viewed on the site, the system is checking if the product ref code matches the value selected in the master rule - only if it does, then the recommendation rules will be applied

Equals to - is a command to match the ref code to a specific value

8554917 - is the value of the product code for the specific product we are targeting


Go to next step 3. Recommendation rules.

3. Recommendation rules page

Client the "Edit expression" button to start configuring the rule that will apply to recommendations in the selected widget.

It is possible to add multiple expressions in a single campaign - so you can select a specific product to be displayed in each position in the recommendations widget. In this example we will only override one of the recommendation positions (and the rest will be populated by the existing personalization strategies configured in the widget).

Ref code - this is what we are basing the rule on, we will identify the product that has to be recommended by the ref code

Equals to - is a command to match the ref code to a specific value

8487945 - is the ref code of the product we want recommend (overriding the output of the Personalization algorithm)

Product source - in this example we will NOT be relying on the algorithms to select a product to recommend, but instead we are manually choosing aproduct. Therefore the product source must be changed from "Default" to "Handpick". 

To select which position in the target widget the rule applies to, you can drag and drop it to the available slots on the right-hand side.


Once the above is set up, we can save the campaign and activate. The 4. Exclusions and 5. Activation and preview tabs are optional and we don't require them for this example campaign.

Activating the Rule

Once the campaign is saved, it will appear in the list in the Campaigns overview screen. 

To put the campaign live on the site, click the "Play" button next to it. The button will change to a "Pause" symbol. Click on it to deactivate / pause the campaign. These changes take effect on the site immediately.