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 to you.

For information about Optimizely Product Recommendations, see the following topics:

Optimizely Product Recommendations lets you provide a personalized shopping experience for visitors to your e-commerce 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, personalization service, and recommendation widgets, then you can start working with Product Recommendations to define recommendations strategies using the Recommendations Portal. See the Optimizely Recommendations developer guides.

How it works

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

A strategy comprises a number of algorithms, developed by Optimizely's data scientists and machine-learning experts. 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 is unable to identify a suitable product, the next algorithm in the stack is used, and so on, until the required number of products for this widget are 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 that are 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 then goes onto purchase 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 that are relevant to the user (based on user data) are recommended.
  • Category page – Popular products are recommended that are related to the individual user from the category they are viewing. If no products are related, bestsellers from the category being viewed are recommended.
  • PDP
    • Alternatives widget – Alternative products are recommended (from the same category) 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, products 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.

You can access Optimizely Product Recommendations from the Optimizely Recommendations Portal.

  1. 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

    The following user roles apply:

    • Editor – Can view, create, and edit a campaign and send it to reviewers for approval. An editor cannot approve or make a campaign "go live".
    • Reviewer – Can view, create, edit, review change requests, approve or reject changes, and make a campaign "go live".

    Optimizely manages the reviewer and editor roles for you. To set up or modify these roles, contact customer support.

  2. Log in to the Optimizely Recommendations Portal with your provided credentials. If you do not have your login details, contact developers@optimizely.com
  3. Go to Configuration > Product Recommendations > Campaigns. In the Product Recommendations view, you can create new merchandizing campaigns, and view or edit the campaigns that you have already set up.


  4. Click Create campaign to set up a new campaign. See Setting up an Optimizely Product Recommendations campaign. To edit an existing campaign, click the campaign name or the Edit icon.

    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 merchandizing rules in the Optimizely Recommendations Portal, switching them on or off, and changing them in real-time.