Amazon does it. Wayfair does it. BestBuy does it.
From small to large companies, regardless of niche, there are some marketing tactics all stores should consider. Getting related products in front of your customers is one of them.
This is a powerful tool to nudge customers to browse just a little bit longer. Think about when you shop online: Isn’t there something strangely tempting about seeing which items other people bought? Or which product might go well with the one you’re planning on purchasing?
It’s common practice to display these suggestions toward the bottom of your product pages, and that’s a good start. However, there are plenty of other areas to take advantage of the power of related products.
Before we dive into those options, you should understand the true benefits of showing these items on a regular basis to your customers.
Here are several advantages to installing any type of related products page:
Lastly, the average order value tends to increase. This is important because you’d rather have customers make fewer larger purchases rather than multiple smaller purchases, due to credit card fees and other factors.
Here are six great ways to get related products in front of current — and hopefully, soon-to-be — customers.
The most common of all related product modules is the widget at the bottom of a product page. This doesn’t have to be at the very bottom, but it typically goes below all product information such as the images, description and even the reviews.
Take Uncle Dan’s Outfitters, for example.
Go to a product page and scroll all the way down to reveal a nicely formatted slider with four products that relate to the current one on the page. These often show the thumbnail image, the name of the item and the price. In this case, Uncle Dan’s also reveals the brand.
Target is a great example of this as well. The related products are placed after all the important details about the actual product the user is looking at. So, we see details, sizing charts and shipping information above the recommended items.
What’s interesting about the recommended products from Target is that it also has tabs for users to check out related items based on brand or style of clothing.
Although a little less common than related products at the bottom of the product page, a savvy way to sneak products into the view of your user is by utilizing the website’s sidebar.
For instance, the following website displays sale products in front of customers as they scroll through the blog and browse the site.
Speaking of blogging, we recommend thinking about how some of your products relate to the posts you’re writing. Then, drop related products into the actual text of the post.
A recommended product page is similar to a collection page. You can use these to ensure search engines find your collections and that customers have a guiding light toward the products they need when landing on your website. After all, online shopping is overwhelming for some people, especially if you sell many products.
Additionally, larger stores should consider creating user-recommended pages specifically for the person currently logged into the store. This way, they’ll receive product suggestions based on what they may have looked at or purchased in the past.
Dick’s Sporting Goods does just that, and it works like a charm since they have so much inventory.
Receipts and follow-up emails are blank canvases in terms of what you can show for upsells and further brand recognition. You may want to send out a coupon, or even include some recent posts from your blog. However, all automated emails should provide thoughts on what your customers should buy from you next.
Best Buy does this on occasion with partnerships and upsells, and it also has standard related products in many of its purchase receipts.
Redbox isn’t exactly an ecommerce store, but it does provide a fully online platform for booking movies before you pick them up. And sure enough, when you rent a movie, an email is sent out with the receipt, along with other movies and TV shows you may enjoy next time.
Upselling customers who are currently making a purchase makes a lot of sense, considering they’re already intending to spend money. That’s why showcasing interesting products in the cart comes in handy for boosting how much people spend in one purchase period.
REI does a wonderful job with this by showing about five or six recommended items that are directly related to what’s inside the shopping cart.
As you can see, I have a Hydro Flask in my cart and several other variations of the Hydro Flask appear in the recommendations. There are also some items that don’t quite relate, but that could be intentional for variety.
Shopping on the Walmart website is sure to reveal several instances where related products are displayed in front of you. One instance of this is in the shopping cart.
It’s also rather accurate, considering I added a baby booster seat into my cart and instantly saw a handful of other similar options. As you can see, the related products module also serves as somewhat of a comparison tool for your customers as well.
As a slight variation to the related products widget, there’s something intriguing about what other people bought that prompts customers to think about buying it as well.
Amazon is famous for sharing what customers also bought after viewing a particular item. It has a quick, clean list of items that are sure to pique the attention of the customer, while highlighting star ratings and pricing.
What’s so powerful about this configuration is that online shoppers are known to trust other shoppers quite a bit.
Consumers want to ensure others are satisfied with their purchases (by looking at reviews). They also see what their friends are buying (through word of mouth). And lastly, they want to ensure they’re not missing out (and if so many people are buying these other products, maybe they should, too)!
Now that you know the best practices and places to insert your related products, how should you go about doing it? Here are some options to choose from for your ecommerce platform.
With Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento and other mainstream platforms, it’s rather common for themes sold through those marketplaces to include related product widgets, at least on the product pages.
This method is by far the easiest, since you can test out the themes before buying and choose one that fits your brand the best.
From BigCommerce to Shopify, the top ecommerce platforms offer app stores with related product apps for you to install and implement within seconds. Some of them are paid, but both of these app stores have free options.
Sometimes apps are needlessly expensive to complete only one task on your website. Therefore, it’s often better to opt for a page builder like Shogun to insert a related products widget anywhere on your website.
Not only that, you’ll be able to customize all parts of your website with an easy-to-use drag-and-drop builder.
This method is typically only done when creating blog posts. You may drop a simple line of HTML to generate images, or you may think about text linking to products that relate to the content being written. Internal links sometimes have higher conversion rates than images because they aren’t seen as advertisements by your customers.
If all else fails, or if the design of your related products is not your favorite, it’s time to hire a professional to help out.
You have a lot of options when it comes to finding a developer on the web. However, it’s a good idea to look at an expert directory, such as the BigCommerce Partner Directory or the Shopify Experts Page, for help.
There are many benefits to showing related products to your customers. No. 1, its effectiveness has been proven again and again.
Experiment with different methods and see which one — or ones — work best for your store.
Joe Warnimont is a writer who covers web design and ecommerce tools. He’s written for Shogun since 2019 and has been featured on sites like Kinsta, Ecommerce-Platforms.com and CodeinWP.
Joe Warnimont is a writer who covers web design and ecommerce tools. He’s written for Shogun since 2019 and has been featured on sites like Kinsta, Ecommerce-Platforms.com and CodeinWP. When not working he's on his bike or camping.