Shopify Recommended Products: The Complete Guide to Adding Personalization to Your Store


Personalization and recommendation are crucial tools for any e-commerce store because they can help increase customer engagement, satisfaction, and sales. When it comes to businesses on Shopify, recommended products can be deployed in a number of ways depending on your store’s specific challenges and needs. It’s important to remember that not all forms of personalization and recommendation are the same - a one-size fits all approach to it can do your business a disservice.

This guide covers the different types of recommendation options available to Shopify stores, explores why personalized product recommendations can kick your business into high gear, and discusses best practices for adding recommended products to your Shopify store.

Defining Product Recommendations for Shopify Businesses

There are several “traditional” methods for businesses on Shopify to recommend products. The traditional approach includes relying heavily on third-party data, in addition to data that is based on the behavior of the majority instead of the individual. Some of these methods include making product recommendations by:

  • Best-seller recommendations: These recommendations are based on the overall popularity of the products. Customers may see a list of the top-selling products in a particular category or store-wide.
  • Trending recommendations: These recommendations are based on the products that are currently popular among customers. For example, a store may show a list of the most popular products that have been added to customers' wish lists or shared on social media.
  • New item recommendations: These recommendations are based solely on the newness of a given item. They would be displayed to all users either within a specific category or store-wide.

Keep in mind that all of these recommendation methods can generally be manipulated by the store to display items of preference. For example, a business may artificially list an item as a best-seller or trending if there was a surplus of that item, or there was some other reason why the business wanted to increase engagement with a given product.

In addition to traditional methods of product recommendation, users on Shopify can also recommend products using the behavior-based recommendation method. Behavior-based recommendations use first-party data (including browsing activity and purchase history) to make the browsing experience for a customer highly personalized to a person’s interests and/or tastes. Examples include:

  • “For you” recommendations: A Shopify store may display a list of recommended products that are personalized for each customer based on their interests and behavior.
  • Bundle or “frequently bought together” recommendations: As a customer views product pages or prepares to checkout, a Shopify store may recommend products as bundle offers or upsell alternatives.
An example of personalized recommendations on-site based on user behavior.

Why Do Personalized Product Recommendations Matter?

So how much does accurate personalization really make a difference for recommended products? It can be the difference between an abandoned cart and a conversion. Here are some of the reasons that Shopify stores using personalized product recommendations find them superior to traditional methods.

  • They help customers find want they want faster: Highly personalized recommendations based on user behavior are inherently better because they put the items most of interest to a user in front of them faster. This allows businesses to be proactive as soon as a customer lands on their website, as opposed to allowing them to search aimlessly for products they may like. It also greatly enhances the overall customer experience.
  • It increases conversions and sales: Because customers are finding items that interest them faster, this leads to improved sales. Without highly personalized recommendations, a customer may grow frustrated or lose interest looking for items that interest them and navigate away to another site. Conversely, having personalized recommendations may give you a competitive edge over similar stores that don’t utilize them.
  • It fosters brand loyalty: The exciting, delightful experience of being served items that interest customers sooner creates a bond between the customer and the business. They are more likely to keep shopping with you and perhaps even recommend you to other shoppers if their experience discovering items on your store is a positive one.
  • It signals store legitimacy: Today’s consumers expect a level of recommendation regardless of where they’re shopping. The sooner they feel a business is able to understand their interests and needs, it builds confidence that your brand is a legitimate one that they feel comfortable doing business with.

Where to Implement Recommendations

There are several places that a Shopify store should consider deploying personalized product recommendations. Each of these experiences on your website should ideally be tailored to the behavior and taste of the individual user. By taking a comprehensive approach to your store’s personalization, you can improve overall customer experience while also increasing conversions.

  • Personalized homepage product recommendations: A Shopify store may display a list of recommended products on the homepage that are personalized for each customer based on their interests and behavior. This increases the likelihood that a customer will become instantly engaged before they’ve even visited any other pages on your site.
  • Personalized navigation and search results: Shopify stores can customize the layout and content of the navigation menu and search results pages based on customer behavior. Knowing that no two customers are the same, this can be extremely valuable tool in retaining engagement.
  • Product recommendations on product pages: When a customer views a product, they may see a list of recommended products that are similar to or complementary to the product they are viewing. This is also a great place to try recommending bundles or “frequently bought together” options.
  • Product recommendations at the checkout page: As a customer prepares to checkout or views items already added to their cart, a Shopify store may recommend products as bundle offers or upsell alternatives, which can boost the average order value (AOV).
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Pushing Recommended Products to Email, SMS, App & More

When a user navigates away from your Shopify store, there are still plenty of opportunities to use recommended products elsewhere to reengage them. Leveraging the customer’s behavior on your site in your omnichannel marketing efforts can bring them back to your store and ready to make a purchase. If you are connected with your customers on other platforms such as via email, SMS, and social media, there are several options available to use behavior-based recommendations to improve conversions.

  • Personalized email marketing campaigns: A store may send targeted email campaigns to customers based on their purchase history and browsing behavior. The more accurate the recommendations are to the customer’s actual interests and tastes, the more likely they are to click on links and return to your store.
  • Personalized push notifications to app: Similar to personalized email recommendations, push notifications in app can help jog a customer’s memory about an abandoned cart or items similar to the ones they previously interacted with or saved for later.
  • Personalized text messaging (SMS) campaigns: Text message reminders or updates about products that fall under a customer’s umbrella of taste can bring them back to the store. Examples include notifications about restocks or announcing a sale on products the user previously interacted with.
  • Personalized ads: A store may show targeted ads to customers on other websites or social media platforms, based on behavior directly related to your business.
An example of personalized email recommendations based on user behavior.

How to Add Recommended Products in Shopify

Adding any app to your Shopify store is a fairly simple process. When it comes to apps that help stores on Shopify recommend products, you will have several options. The first is the built-in, Shopify-backed recommendation platform (recommended). Read below to learn more about the Crossing Minds platform, as well as directions on how to install any other app.

Crossing Minds’ Shopify app (recommended)

Crossing Minds allows companies to quickly recommend relevant products, upsell & bundle intelligently, personalize emails & SMS, and deliver custom omnichannel experiences. At its core is a highly customized approach, with AI tailored to each Shopify store’s specific needs. This results in delightful shopping experiences, higher conversion rates, and 96% average increase in online sales. Crossing Minds is the only recommendation engine backed by Shopify. Learn more about Crossing Minds and install the app.

Steps for installing any Shopify app, including recommended products:

  • Go to the Shopify App Store.
  • Search for the app you want to add.
  • Click on the app to view its details.
  • Click the "Add app" button.
  • If prompted, enter your store's URL and click "Install app."
  • You may be asked to enter your store's name and login credentials. Enter this information and click "Sign in."
  • Review the app's permissions and click "Install app."
  • You will be taken to the app's dashboard. Follow the prompts to set up and configure the app.

Your app should now be installed on your Shopify store.

Crossing Minds on the Shopify App Store.

Best Recommendation Engines for Shopify

  • Crossing Minds: First and foremost, Crossing Minds’ recommendation engine is the only one backed by Shopify. That’s because its highly tailored approach to each store’s unique needs makes it an ideal option for e-commerce retailers and marketplaces that need uncompromising flexibility that leads to incredible conversions.
  • Yext: Yext’s advanced approach to leveraging several forms of AI. Plus, its direct answers feature is sure to please users looking for quick information and keep them onsite longer.
  • Fast Simon: Fast Simon’s features are a good fit for clothing and apparel companies looking for intelligent search that helps customers find what they’re looking for quicker, particularly those who are consumers of social media influencers as a means to supplement their buying habits.
  • SearchSpring: SearchSpring has some nifty features that make it a solid competitor for Algolia in the search department – particularly eliminating potential dead-ends that would cause a customer to otherwise bounce from the site.
  • Recomify: Ideal for those who have a Shopify store but don’t have the resources or knowledge to leverage a more full-scale personalization option, Recomify allows you the benefits of the most basic type of recommendation without breaking the bank.