7 Essential Product Recommendation Engines for eCommerce

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Have you ever been stuck with the challenge – “How to provide customer service online?”  As an e-commerce marketer, it is difficult to compete with traditional shopping in bricks and mortar stores.

Your e-commerce business will not have the option of providing a friendly sales assistant to help your customers during their shopping journey. But product recommendation engines provide the best solution to this by offering your consumers to take a look at new and unique products.

They would also get to know about the best selling products that will provide them with a good shopping experience as they have when they shop from a mall or a store.

Over the past few years, I have observed that many e-commerce stores use their site visitors and customer data to provide more personalized product recommendations through opt-in leads.

Through opt-in leads, you can also gather and filter out the data based on your customer’s engagement, past purchases, sales patterns in an email. Then send them the desired product preferences to scale up your marketing strategy.

There are two main categories of product recommendation engines – personalized and unpersonalized. Let’s go through them in detail.


While most organizations prefer to send out personalized product recommendations, there are some situations where you will not be able to do that.

If you didn’t have enough data on your customers, then unpersonalized product recommendations are perfect for your e-commerce store.

These recommendations are well suited for email campaigns that do not require more personalization or segmentation. Furthermore, even if you have data from your customers on their engagements and purchase history, you can send out unpersonalized campaigns. 

  • Popular Products

As a marketer, you should always know what are your best selling products through your sales data. But if you don’t have data on every customer, you can still prescribe your best products to the remaining customer base.

You can show your popular products in your bulk newsletters, but I mostly recommend using this product recommendation in your welcoming emails.

As you don’t have data on individual preferences, recommending your best products in welcome emails will help you put your best foot forward.

  • New Products

Though your individual customer’s data is not necessary to send out new products newsletter to them, besides, if you have sufficient data ready with you, it’s always a good idea to send out regular bulk newsletters explaining the new items you have in stock.

  • Slow Moving Inventory

7 Essential Product Recommendation Engines for eCommerce

This could happen that some of your products are not selling as great as you thought of. So, you can put them in a sale. This is the best method to increase engagement with your less popular products. 

Email is the best way to send out a series of emails throughout your sale. This will update your customers about the massive discounts and hence increasing your sales.

If you have personalized data from your customers, then show them in your email that their favorite product is on discount. Believe me; they will be much likely to convert if they see their preferred items on sale.


As you have your customers’ data, such as their engagements and purchase decisions, you can send them personalized product recommendations. 

According to Iain Lovatt (Data evangelist and educator) at the University of the West of England- “74% of customers get frustrated if they see promotional content that has nothing to do with their interest”.

Moreover, the click rate with email personalization is 27% higher and double the transaction rate of unpersonalized emails. 

  • Recently Viewed

With this type of product recommendation engine, you won’t require in-depth data on your customers. This recommendation is based on the engagement of users with the items when they are browsing your site.

You can set a retargeting email campaign to users who have expressed interest in your items but got distracted while shopping. By sending a quick email reminder will help you in email conversion.

  • Bought That After Viewing This

This is important to take into account what products site visitors are taking into account. With this product recommendation, in addition to the recently viewed items, you can also recommend other items that your customer might like.

You need product data relating to the purchasing preferences of the customers. This can also help you if your site visitors have left your site if they didn’t like the specific item. 

  • Bought This and Bought That

Do you know the best way to cross-sell is showing similar items to the customers that other customers have bought and by selling complementary products?

Always send these types of recommendations in post-purchase emails and order confirmation emails. Your customers might not purchase them immediately, but they will feel that this item is important to purchase.

  • Recommended Just For YouRecommended Just For You


In personalized product recommendations, you would need user engagement, purchase history, and customer activity. Targeted content just for the particular user is much more relevant to your subscribers. 

You can send them in post-purchase emails or cart abandonment emails that will give your email a personal touch.

Take Away

Well, you would see a lot of emails in your inbox, but they all would seem useless to you unless they reflect a product that you might be interested in buying.

I always recommend marketers to personalize their emails based on product recommendation engines that are well suited for email campaigns.

So, even if you don’t have individual customer data, utilize these product recommendation engines mentioned above.

Authors Bio

Claire Mark is an investment and strategic planning consultant at  Alcor, a global investment bank. She’s best known for her insightful blogs on business growth, startups, small businesses, and investments. Claire also has a good network in the Finance industry, especially the investors’ community. Apart from her work, she loves to bake and go out for gadget-free nature walks.

7 Essential Product Recommendation Engines for eCommerce

eCommerce Development