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Working with Recommendations

Recommending relevant products requires context, and what type of panel to use for recommendations and where is up to the retailer. Recommendations with Apptus eSales are made at the product level and products are returned according to relevance with variants returned according to a best selling order.

Selecting panels

Selecting the right panel to use for product recommendations can be expressed as a conditional flowchart. A retailer can by answering a few questions get an idea of what panel to use. Depending on if the area where the panel is used is cached or not restricts what panels can be used.

Caching eSales content

Caching of eSales content is generally not recommended. Contact Apptus Support for more information.

Illustration of the recommendations panel flowchart

Panel When to use
Recently viewed panel If there is a need for personalised recommendations that are not predictive or actively support product retargeting. Can not be used in cached areas. Must have backfill for visitors with no previous data.
Abandoned carts panel If there is a need for personalised recommendations that are not predictive while actively supporting product retargeting. Can not be used in cached areas. Must have backfill for visitors with no previous data.
Recommend based on customer panel If there is a need for personalised recommendations that are predictive. Can not be used in cached areas. Must have backfill for visitors with no previous data.
Recommend based on cart panel If there is a need to recommend specific products based on multiple products. Recommendations will not be personalised. Can be used in cached areas.
Recommend based on product panel If there is a need to recommend specific products based on a single product. Recommendations will not be personalised. Can be used in cached areas. Active promotions and demotions can affect the recommended products.
Top sellers panel If there is no need to recommend specific products, the Top sellers panel can be used for predictive recommendations within a category or with a specific product attribute using a filter argument. Recommendations will not be personalised. Can be used in cached areas.

Fine tuning

Fine tuning of the panels used for product recommendations can be done with additional product filtering, deduplication settings, and testing with competing panels.

Filtering

The panels used for product recommendations can all use a filter argument either in a panel query or as a configured argument. The filter is an expression that limits the product and variant set used for the recommendations. This can be used to exclude products that are out of stock or on sale.

Deduplication

Deduplication is the concept of automatically removing duplicate products from panels in zones. The duplicate product can either be removed from the panel used to display recommendations or another panel, as long as they are within the same zone.

Testing

Two panels can be tested against each other to help additional fine tuning if the panels are in the same zone. The sub-panel setting of the zone should be either Optimized sub panel strategy or Panel split test. Once the test is concluded and there is enough data to determine a winner, stop the test and set the winning panel. Notifications for the selected panels must be correctly set up.

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