Optimizely Product Recommendations

  • Updated

Optimizely Product Recommendations is part of the Optimizely Digital Experience Platform (DXP). It requires a specific installation and license. DXP contains many features to support you in your daily work. Depending on how your solution is set up, some features described in this documentation may not be available.

Optimizely Product Recommendations lets you provide a personalized shopping experience for visitors to your ecommerce website.

Image: Product recommendations on a shop site

Personalized recommendations are based on website interaction, such as order history, visitor profiles, and intelligent algorithms to suggest products of interest. A developer must first configure the tracking and personalization service and activate the recommendation widgets. Then, you can start working with Product Recommendations to define recommendation strategies using the Recommendations Portal. 

How it works

Recommendation widgets are components used to present product recommendations on pages. Optimizely configures widgets according to an agreed-upon strategy. Each widget can have a strategy that depends on the identified KPIs for recommendations. If more than one widget is served on the same page, each widget can have a different strategy.

Optimizely's data scientists and machine-learning experts developed a strategy comprising several algorithms. The algorithms are applied to each widget in a stack formation. This means that the recommendations engine examines the visitor's behavior and returns a product recommendation that matches the first algorithm in the stack. If the system cannot identify a suitable product, the next algorithm in the stack is used, and so on, until the required number of products for this widget is returned.

Rules in default configurations are simple by design:

  • Recommend products from the same category on category pages viewed.
  • Alternatives widget on a product display page (PDP) recommends products from the same category.
  • Cross-sell widget on a PDP recommends products from a different category.

The following default rules apply for specific pages:

  • Home page – Returning users are recommended products based on previous behavior. New users are recommended general popular products (because there is no user data yet).
  • Search page – Products that are similar to the search term are recommended. For example, when a user enters a failed search term but purchases a recommended product, this creates a relationship between the failed search term and the product. If no products are similar to the search term, products relevant to the user (based on user data) are recommended.
  • Category page – Popular products are recommended related to the individual user from the category they view. If no products are related, bestsellers from the category being viewed are recommended.
  • PDP
    • Alternatives widget – Alternative products (from the same category) are recommended based on crowd viewing and purchasing behavior. For example, product A is often viewed with product B.
    • Cross-sell widget – Cross-sell products are recommended (from a different category) based mainly on crowd purchasing behavior. For example, product A is typically purchased with product B.
  • Basket page – Complementary products are recommended based on the products in the user's basket, based mainly on crowd purchasing behavior. Functions in a similar way to the PDP cross-sell widget.

Manage users

If you are onboarded to Product Recommendations after April 2024 or if your account was migrated, you must manage your users and roles in the Opti ID Admin Center. See the Opti ID user documentation.

Opti ID has the following user roles specific to Product Recommendations:

  • Product Recs Editor – Can view everything related to Product Recommendations and manage campaigns.
  • Product Recs Viewer – Can view Product Recommendations reports.
  • Email Recs Editor – Can view everything related to Email Content, Product Recommendations, and Triggers, and can manage campaigns, create templates, and so on.
  • Email Recs Viewer – Can view Email Product Recommendations and Trigger reports.

If you have not migrated to Opti ID, Optimizely Support manages your user roles.

Access Product Recommendations

After Optimizely Support creates your user account, you receive access to the Optimizely Recommendations Portal at one of the following URLs:

  • https://smartmanager.peerius.com/admin
  • https://smartmanager.peerius.episerver.net/admin
  1. Log in to the Optimizely Recommendations Portal with your provided credentials.
  2. Go to Configuration > Product Recommendations > Campaigns. In the Product Recommendations view, you can create merchandising campaigns and view or edit the campaigns you have already set up.RecommendationsCampaigns.png
  3. Click Create campaign to set up a campaign. See Set up an Optimizely Product Recommendations campaign. Click the campaign name or the Edit icon to edit an existing campaign.

You can refine the product recommendations generated by Optimizely algorithms or override product recommendations to execute specific merchandising campaigns using your overall site strategies and targets.

You can control merchandising rules in the Optimizely Recommendations Portal, switching them on or off and changing them in real time.