Product recommendations

You can add a section to your product pages that displays an automatically-generated list of product recommendations. Displaying recommended products to customers makes it easier for them to discover new products, and can help to increase online store sales.

The following is an example of what a recommendations display could look like:

Before you add product recommendations to your theme, it's a good idea to get familiar with the following:

Recommendation logic

The algorithm that identifies recommended products predicts the most relevant products based on the product a customer is interacting with. The criteria that the algorithm uses depends on a merchant's online store, as well as their plan, however there are the following criteria in general:

  • Purchase history - Finds products that have historically been purchased together.
  • Product description - Finds products with similar descriptions.
  • Related collections - Finds products from collections that the current products is part of, excluding collections with handles all and frontpage.

Requirements and limitations

The recommendation algorithm criteria is listed above. However, the criteria that's used depends on a merchant's online store and plan. The following outlines which criteria is used, and when:

Criteria Application
Purchase history
and
Product description
Merchants on the Shopify Plus plan, with less than 7000 products published to the online store, and an English storefront.
Purchase history only
  • Merchants on the Shopify Plus plan, with less than 7000 products published to the online store, and a non-English storefront.
  • Merchants not on the Shopify Plus plan, with less than 7000 products published to the online store.
Related collections All merchants when purchase history and product description recommendations aren't available.

In addition to the above, there are also the following limitations:

  • You can't customize the recommendation algorithm to exclude specific products. However, you can choose which of the returned products to show with JavaScript.
  • The recommendation algorithm doesn't use orders that have been imported from another store or ecommerce platform to generate product recommendations.
  • Products that are out of stock, or set to a price of 0, and gift cards, aren't included in recommendations.

UI guidelines

The following best practices can help to make sure that you're displaying recommended products in a way that improves the customer experience:

  • The recommendation algorithm associates up to ten products per individual product, in order of relevance. For example, the first recommended product is more relevant than the tenth recommended product. For this reason, it's a good idea to limit your recommendations to four products per product page to promote only the most relevant recommendations.
  • Make sure that you load the proper image size for the product card.
  • Because the recommendations are loaded asynchronously with JavaScript, you might want to add an empty state or not show the recommended products section at all. The placeholder is swapped with the actual recommended products after you load them.
  • Use phrases such as “You may also like” for the section header to explain to your customers why you're displaying the recommended products.

Track recommendations

To track your product recommendations in Shopify, you need to use the format for product URLs that's specified by the API. To learn more, refer to Tracking conversions for product recommendations.

After you've implemented product recommendations, you can track how effective they are directly from the Analytics page in your Shopify admin. To learn more about product recommendation reports, refer to Product recommendation conversion over time.