It is said that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.  If that’s true, and you want to maximize the impact of your web page recommendations, the easiest way to do that is to copy the best practices that successful retailers have learned over time. With nearly 6 years of experience and over 300 unique brands deployed, Baynote and our customers have learned a lot about the best ways to increase recommendation performance on your site. We know that recommendation users typically have higher average order values and higher conversion rates than non-users. We’ll cover the top five best practices for recommendation visibility and usage.

First up: Recommendation Placement

Recommendations perform best in the right rail of a product detail page. Site visitors look to the left rail for navigation, the center of the page for product details and scan to the right as they finish their view of the page. Recommendations work best when visible and influence buying behavior without explicit utilization. When recommendations are placed behind tabs or dropped to low parts of the page requiring scrolling to reach them, usage and associated revenue drops dramatically. Within a site redesign, an apparel company moved recommendations from the right rail to a placement slightly “beneath the fold”. As a result, recommendation usage dropped by half and revenue decreased 7.4% within two comparable periods. Further, directed revenue (or revenue resulting from clicking on a recommendation), dropped significantly.