Make product recommendations

  • Updated

Optimizely Product Recommendations provides personalized product recommendations to your Optimizely Customized Commerce website visitors. The product recommendations are displayed in a widget for which Optimizely Content Management System (CMS) sets up individual strategies according to your KPIs during the set up process. Using the Optimizely Product Recommendations interface, you can refine CMS's algorithms, set up time-limited campaigns, or overwrite strategies according to your needs.

This user scenario first gives you a rough overview of the installation process. Then it will provide you with four example scenarios on how to set up Optimizely Product Recommendations campaigns in the Optimizely Product Recommendations interface.

Install Optimizely Product Recommendations

The installation of Optimizely Product Recommendations consists of the following steps:

  • Install the Optimizely Product Recommendations environment
  • Install the native integration package through the NuGet feed
  • Configure a scheduled job to export your product catalog to Product Recommendations
  • Activate the widgets in your Commerce project
  • Set up tracking

As a first step, Optimizely provides your developer or administrator with the Optimizely Product Recommendations environment needed to receive tracking data and deliver recommendations. You will also receive the required scripts, configuration keys, and credentials to configure tracking for your project.

After setting up the Optimizely Product Recommendations environment, you must install and configure the native integration package EPiServer.Personalization.Commerce that is available through the Optimizely NuGet feed. The package also contains the integration APIs for Customized Commerce Commerce. For an overview of available APIs, see Recommendations API overview. See Install and configure personalization for information on the available NuGet packages. 

In the next step, Optimizely Product Recommendations must import the products from your catalog. Select Export product feed in the CMS admin interface and set up an export job that runs every 24 hours to keep your Product Recommendations up-to-date. For information, see Export your catalog to Optimizely Product Recommendations.

productrecommendationsadminexportfeed.png

To deliver product recommendations to your website, a developer has to activate the product recommendation widgets. Your project might have several widgets with different strategies for different page types.

In addition, Optimizely Product Recommendations needs to track your visitor's activities over time to provide matching recommendations. Optimizely Product Recommendations accomplishes this by assigning visitors a consolidated user ID (CUID) stored in a cookie. See Track and recommend to learn how to set up tracking for Optimizely Product Recommendations.

Example campaigns in the Optimizely Product Recommendations interface

In the following sample scenarios, you want to set up individual time-limited campaigns:

  1. Recommend products on the home page
  2. Recommend a product set
  3. Recommend matching accessories for a product
  4. Excluding products
  5. Recommend only high-rated products

Attribute and value names are freely configurable and may be named differently in your solution.

Example: Recommend products on the home page

A collection of women's bags arrived at your store. You would like to recommend women's bags on the shop's home page. After this, you will recommend a matching product set if a specific bag was added to the shopping cart.

  1. Go to the Optimizely Product Recommendations interface and click the Configuration tab in the upper menu bar.

    Image: Configuration tab

  2. In the Campaigns view, click Create a new campaign.
  3. In the Details tab:
    1. Enter a significant name for the campaign, for example, Home bags rec.
    2. In the Widget location drop-down list, select Home page.
    3. In the Widget position drop-down list, select the widget to deliver the recommendations.

      By default, only one product recommendation widget is available.

  4. Select Category equals to Womens>Womens Handbags in the Recommendation rules tab.

  5. Drag the rule onto one or more product positions, depending on the configuration in your widget.
  6. In the Activation and preview tab, add additional information like the time period and when the recommendations will be displayed.
  7. Click Save campaign.
  8. In the Campaigns management view, click the activation icon of your campaign.

    Image: Click the activation button

  9. Check your website. On the home page of your shop site, a collection of women's bags is displayed.

Example: Recommend a product set

In the next step, you want to recommend a matching product set if visitors click a bag of a certain brand and add it to the shopping cart. On the basket page, they will see recommendations for matching shoes, a light dress, a short sleeve, and a pair of pants.

  1. Go to the Product Recommendations interface and click the Configurations tab in the upper menu bar.
  2. In the Campaigns view, click Create a new campaign.
  3. In the Details tab:
    1. Enter a significant name for the campaign, for example, [brand name] basket set, as this campaign is set up exclusively for your store's Sun N Sand brand.
    2. In the Widget location drop-down list, select Basket page.
    3. In the Widget position drop-down list, select the widget to display the recommendations. If you have only one product recommendation widget on your product pages, only one widget will be displayed in the drop-down list. 

    Image: Details tab in the basket page recommendations campaign

  4. As the product set should only be recommended if certain criteria are met, you need to set up a master rule:
    1. Click the Master rules tab.
    2. Select Brand equals to [brand name]
    3. Click the + icon to add an expression.
    4. Select category equals to Womens handbag.
    5. Select the AND condition, as both criteria must be met simultaneously.

  5. Click the Recommendation rules tab and remove the default recommendation rule.
  6. Click Hand-pick rule and select Product set equals to Add new Product set.

    Alternatively, click Product set in the left menu panel and click Create a product set.

  7. In the Create a product set window, enter a name for the product set and add products by clicking the field and typing a name. Alternatively, you can upload a CSV file. Then, click Save product set.

  8. Drag the rule onto one or more product positions, depending on the configuration in your widget.
  9. In the Activation and preview tab, add additional information like the time period and when the recommendations will be displayed.
  10. Click Save campaign.
  11. In the Campaigns management view, click the activation icon of your campaign.
  12. Check your basket page: If visitors add the women's bag that you configured in the master rule to their shopping cart and continue to the basket page, they will see the product set as shown in the image:

    Image: Product set on the basket page

Example: Recommend matching accessories for a product

If you sell printers in your store, you might want to recommend matching printer cartridges on the printer's product page. Or, if you sell e-bikes, you might want to recommend e-bike batteries on the e-bike page.

  1. Go to the Product Recommendations interface and click the Configuration tab in the upper menu bar.
  2. In the Campaigns view, click Create a new campaign.
  3. In the Details tab:
    1. Enter a significant name for the campaign, for example e-bike rec.
    2. In the Widget location drop-down list, select Product page.
    3. In the Widget position drop-down list, select the widget to display the recommendations. If you have only one product recommendation widget on your product pages, only one widget will be displayed in the drop-down list. 
  4. In the Master rules tab, select category equals to ebikes.
  5. In the Recommendation rules tab select term equals to ebike batteries.
  6. Drag the rule onto one or more product positions, depending on the configuration in your widget.
  7. In the Activation and preview tab, add additional information like the time period and time when the recommendations are to be displayed.
  8. Click Save campaign.
  9. In the Campaigns management view, click the activation icon of your campaign.

Example: Exclude products

You have a children's section on your website and do not want to recommend beverages on these pages because of the potential to contain alcohol.

  1. Go to the Optimizely Product Recommendations interface and click the Configuration tab in the upper menu bar.
  2. In the Campaigns view, click Create a new campaign.
  3. In the Details tab:
    1. Enter a significant name for the campaign, for example no beverages rec.
    2. In the Widget location drop-down list, select Product page.
    3. In the Widget position drop-down list, select the widget to display the recommendations. If you have only one product recommendation widget on your product pages, only one widget will be displayed in the drop-down list. 
  4. In the Master rules tab, select category equals to Children. If you have multiple children's sites such as children's shoes and children's shirts, add expressions by clicking Add (+). Use the OR condition to ensure that only one configured rule must be met.
  5. In the Recommendation rules tab select r.type1 NOT equals to beverages.
  6. Drag the rule onto a product position.
  7. In the Activation and preview tab, add additional information like the time period and time when the recommendations are to be displayed.
  8. Click Save campaign.
  9. In the Campaigns management view, click the activation icon of your campaign.

Example: Recommend only high-rated products

Your store supports customer reviews on product pages, with the highest ranking being five stars. You can set up a rule to only recommend products with a minimum rating of four stars.

As this is a general rule for which no condition must be met, you do not need to set up a master rule.

  1. Go to the Optimizely Product Recommendations interface and click the Configuration tab in the upper menu bar.
  2. In the Campaigns view, click Create a new campaign.
  3. In the Details tab:
    1. Enter a significant name for the campaign, for example high rates rec.
    2. In the Widget location drop-down list, select Product page.
    3. In the Widget position drop-down list, select the widget to display the recommendations. If you have only one product recommendation widget on your product pages, only one widget will be displayed in the drop-down list. 
  4. In the Recommendation rules tab select customerrates greater than 3.
  5. Drag the rule onto a product position.
  6. Add additional information like the time period in the Activation and preview tab.
  7. Click Save campaign.
  8. In the Campaigns management view, click the activation icon of your campaign.