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What are related products?
Related products are a popular ecommerce store feature and marketing tactic for one simple reason: They work.
But what exactly are they?
Related products are item recommendations that appear where a consumer is currently shopping.
These goods might complement or enhance the main product under consideration, help protect, clean, or service the main product, or provide replacement parts that could be handy down the road.
They may or may not be items other customers have purchased along with the main product.
If your system recognizes that many consumers purchase a particular item along with the SKU being examined, you might show recommendations under a “People Also Buy” banner.
As a merchant, you can set these products yourself or rely on real sales data to determine which ones to display.
For example, if you sell shampoo, the related products could be the matching conditioner, a shampoo brush, or a hair towel.
You can use a data-driven approach to display the most suitable product recommendations, which will improve your customer’s discoveryof new products and increase your sales.
It’s common to show related product suggestions at the bottom of product pages and during the checkout process.
The idea is to make it easy for your customers to continue shopping by delivering the best additions to their purchase directly on their screen.
In addition to being quick and easy for a shopper to add another item to their cart, it also introduces them to products they may never have considered or thought to search for before.
Benefits of using related products on your product pages
Using related item recommendations on your product listings can have a massive impact on your business.
But your suggestions must offer productsrelevant to your customers’ needs and make sense based on their shopping habits.
When done well, you can strengthen your relationship with your customers, increase your average order value (AOV), and keep shoppers on your website for longer—all while providing a more satisfying and personalized experience.
You can introduce shoppers to more of your items, share your recommendations, and boost brand recognition.
For example, Audible shares suggested audiobooks in their email notification that a book download is ready.
5. Show related products on the cart page
Customers making a purchase have already proven they intend to spend, so upselling them should only take a slight nudge.
Similar to how we see treats in the checkout line of supermarkets, you can showcase interesting products just as consumers are finishing their purchases.
The key is to make it easy for them to add to their cart and avoid interrupting or inconveniencing their ongoing buyer experience.
REI does a wonderful job of showing five or six recommended items directly related to what’s inside the shopping cart.
As you can see, with a Hydro Flask in the cart, several other variations appear in the recommendations section.
Some items don’t quite relate, but that could be intentional for variety.
Shopping on Walmart reveals several instances of adding related products throughout the shopping experience. One example occurs in the shopping cart.
It’s also pretty accurate: After adding a baby booster seat into the cart, it instantly populated a handful of other similar options.
As you can see, the related products module also serves as a kind of comparison tool for your customers.
6. Include a “Customers Also Bought” section on product pages
A slight variation on the related products widget, seeing what other people bought can prompt customers to think about buying it thanks to the availability of social proof.
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 buyers’ attention while highlighting star ratings and pricing.
This configuration is so powerful because online shoppers place a lot of trust in other shoppers’ opinions.
Consumers want to ensure others are satisfied with their purchases (by looking at reviews) before buying themselves. They also learn what their friends are buying (through word of mouth).
Lastly, they want to avoid missing out (so, if lots of people are buying these other products, maybe they should too).
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How to add related products to Shopify
We’ve discussed why you should use related products pages and some methods of getting them in front of your customers.
Now it’s time to consider adding those recommendations to your Shopify store.
There are three main ways to do this:
By using a theme with this functionality built-in
By using a related products app
By coding in a section
1. Use a theme with a related product suggestions widget built-in
Using a Shopify store theme with a built-in related products suggestions widget is an easy way to leverage these recommendations.
Since you can “try before you buy,” you’re able to make sure the layout and presentation of the related products section suits your brand.
Many Shopify themes offer this built-in functionality and allow you to customize your themeaccording to your needs.
The Online Store 2.0 themes are your best bet for trendy styles with built-in recommendations sections.
Many vintage themes cannot be simply customized to add this feature, but some (like Debut) have been updated to provide this functionality.
Here are a few themes you can use for related products.
There may be additional code changes to ensure the new feature works depending on your theme. Consult with your Dev team as needed.
Step 5: Enable related products on your Shopify frontend
Finally, to enable Shopify related products on your actual online storefront, head back to Online Store in your admin and click Customize beside your theme.
On the next screen, use the drop-down menu to select Products then Default Product.
You’ll see a Product recommendations tab on the left-hand navigation menu. Clicking on it will bring up a section where you will check the box for Show dynamic recommendations.
Click Save. Now you will have related products showing on your Shopify product pages.
Remember that the related products shown will be products in the same collection.
Meaning if a user is viewing “Fall” products, the related ones shown will also be in the “Fall collection.”
Increase your cart sizes by using related product suggestions
Featuring related items on your product pages is a great way to help your customers discover new items, improve your revenue, and boost engagement and conversion rates on your website.
With multiple ways to present these suggestions, you can find the best method for your store, your brand, and your customers.
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Rachel is a remote marketing manager with a background in building scalable content engines. She creates content that wins customers for B2B eCommerce companies like MyFBAPrep, Shogun, and more. In the past, she has scaled organic acquisition efforts for companies like Deliverr and Skubana.