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Product recommendations

This topic describes dynamic product recommendations and how to use them.

Dynamic Product Recommendations allow our customers to leverage order data to show relevant product recommendations to their customers. This functionality makes use of the cross sells/related products widget to make context and data driven product recommendations. It also minimizes the need to manually setup cross sells at the product level, while still allowing for manual assignment as needed.

Set Up

Before you can take advantage of dynamic product recommendations a few steps must be completed:

  • Update the Settings
  • Modify product and category data to allow for dynamic recommendations
  • Add and customize the desired widgets

Update settings

  • Enable Dynamic Recommendations - YES/NO (Default is YES) - This global setting allows Top Sellers and Customers Also Purchased widgets to be added to pages in the CMS. If this setting is set to NO, the Exclude from Dynamic Recommendations flag is hidden on products and categories in the Admin Console, and the following settings do not appear.
  • Top Sellers Lookback Months - INTEGER (Default is 12, value can be set from 1 to 24) - This website-specific setting is only available if Enable Dynamic Recommendations = YES. This setting controls the number of months of order history data used to determine what products to display in the Top Sellers widget. If there are seasonal products, the system requires at least 12 months of data to ensure the products are evaluated properly for inclusion in the widget.
  • Customers Also Purchased Lookback Months - INTEGER (Default is 12, value can be set from 1 to 24) - This website-specific setting is only available if Enable Dynamic Recommendations = YES. This setting controls the number of months of order history data used to determine what products to include in the Customers Also Purchased widget.
  • Enable Randomized Top Sellers - YES/NO (Default is YES) - This website-specific setting is only available if Enable Dynamic Recommendations = YES. If YES, the Top Sellers widget selects products randomly from a larger pool of top recommended products. If NO, the Top Sellers widget always displays the top products in the same order based on the algorithm for determining top recommended products.
  • Product Pool for Top Sellers - INTEGER (Default is 40, value can be set from 10 to 100) - This website-specific setting is only available if Enable Dynamic Recommendations = YES. This number of products is used as the pool to populate the Top Sellers widget. The products in the pool are the most relevant based on the dynamic recommendations algorithms. A higher number results in a pool with less relevant but more randomized recommendations.

Modify product and category data

After updating the settings, any products or categories that should be excluded from Dynamic Product Recommendations should be updated, which is typically handled via a product integration job, but can be done manually via the Admin Console using the Exclude From Dynamic Product Recommendations toggle. By default, all products and categories are eligible to be included as a part of dynamic product recommendations.

When the toggle is set at the category level, it excludes products assigned to the category and its subcategories from displaying in the Customers Also Purchased and Top Sellers widgets. If there a conflict exists between a category and product setting, YES (exclude) is used.

When the toggle is set at the product level, it excludes products from displaying in the Customers Also Purchased and Top Sellers widgets.

Logic for when a product exists in categories on multiple websites

If a product exists in categories on multiple sites, the following logic is used:

  • If exclude = YES at the product level, the product is excluded from all sites.
  • If exclude = YES at the category level, the product is excluded from the site the category belongs to, but not from other sites.

Exclude categories

To modify the Exclude From Dynamic Product Recommendations toggle for a category, complete the following steps:

  1. Go to Admin Console > Catalog > Categories.
  2. Select Edit next to a category.
  3. Change the Exclude From Dynamic Product Recommendations toggle to YES.
  4. Select Save.

Exclude products

To modify the Exclude From Dynamic Product Recommendations toggle for a product, complete the following steps:

  1. Go to Admin Console > Catalog > Products.
  2. Select Edit next to a product.
  3. Change the Exclude From Dynamic Product Recommendations toggle to YES. The Product Has Seasonal Buying Pattern toggle disappears.
  4. Select Save.

Seasonal products

If the Enable Dynamic Recommendations setting is turned on, a user can designate products as "seasonal" and specify which months the product is in season. Optionally, seasonal products can be included or excluded from the Seasonal products use order data from specified months, normalized against non-seasonal products, to determine if the product should be included in the Top Sellers widget product pool.

If set to YES, these products will never be recommended outside their specified seasonal months. If no, these products will be treated like non-seasonal products when calculating their score for inclusion in dynamic recommendations outside the specified months.

Manage a product's seasonality:

  1. Go to **Admin Console** >οΏ½Catalog > Products.
  2. Select Edit next to a product.
  3. Change the Product Has Seasonal Buying Pattern toggle to YES.
  4. Optionally, change the Exclude From Top Sellers Outside Seasonal Months toggle. If YES, this product is never recommended outside its specified seasonal months. If NO, this product is treated like non-seasonal products when calculating its dynamic score outside the specified months.
  5. Select at least one month from the table.
  6. Select Save.

Add dynamic product recommendations widgets

Top Sellers and Customers Also Purchased widgets are both specific carousel types within the Product Carousel widget. They can only be added to specific page types and only if the Enable Dynamic Recommendations setting is set to YES.

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Note

Due to the creation of the Product Carousel widget, the following widgets have been deprecated: Recently Viewed, Related Products, and Web Cross Sells. If these widgets currently exist on a website, they will remain active, but cannot be re-added if removed.

Top sellers

Top Sellers is a Carousel Type option of the Product Carousel widget, which displays top-selling products in specified categories.

After selecting Top Sellers, the user can then select the number of products to include, which product information to display, and which categories to include. The Top Sellers carousel type cannot be added to the Product Detail page.

To add a Top Sellers widget carousel type to a page, complete the following steps:

  1. Go to the CMS, and select Content Tree.
  2. Select a page, then select Edit at the top of the screen.
  3. Select Add Content.
  4. Select the Product Carousel widget from Item Type.
  5. Select Next.
  6. Select the Top Sellers carousel type from the drop-down. If Top Sellers does not appear, either dynamic recommendations is not enabled, or this widget option cannot be added to the selected page.
  7. Name the widget.
  8. Select the number of products to display. The default value is 10, but a user may select between 1 and 20 products. At least 4 is recommended.
  9. Select which product information to display. Thumbnail Image and Description are required, but the user also may select Part Numbers, Price, Add To Cart, and Add To My Lists.
  10. Select which categories to display top sellers from. By default, products are recommended from all categories. Uncheck any categories that should not be included. Categories excluded from dynamic recommendations in the Admin Console are not displayed as selectable options.
  11. Select Save.

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Note

If the Top Sellers widget option is placed on a category page, the "Display Top Sellers From" option is hidden. Instead, the widget option pulls top selling products from the category and its subcategories only. If the widget option is added to the search results page, it functions as if no categories were selected and instead displays top sellers from all categories, unless the category/product is excluded from dynamic recommendations.

Customers also purchased

Customers Also Purchased is another Carousel Type of the Product Carousel widget which displays products frequently purchased with the product currently being viewed. The content user can select which product information to display and the number of products to include. The Customers Also Purchased carousel type can only be added to the Cart or Product Detail page.

To add a Customers Also Purchased widget option to a page, complete the following steps:

  1. Go to the CMS, and select the Content Tree.
  2. Select a page, then select Edit at the top of the screen.
  3. Select Add Content.
  4. Select the Product Carousel widget from Item Type.
  5. Select Next.
  6. Select the Customer Also Purchased carousel type from the drop-down. If Customer Also Puchased does not appear, either dynamic recommendations is not enabled, or this widget option cannot be added to the selected page.
  7. Name the widget.
  8. Select the number of products to display. The default value is 10, but a user may select between 1 and 20 products. At least 4 is recommended.
  9. If adding the widget to the Product Detail page, the Seed with Manually Assigned option is made available. This option populates the widget with products from that relationship (ex. Cross Sells) if there are not enough or no dynamically-generated recommendations available.
  10. Select which product information to display: Thumbnail Image and Description are required, but the user also may select Part Numbers, Price, Add To Cart, and Add To My Lists.
  11. Select Save.

Troubleshooting

If, when adding the Product Carousel widget to a page, you receive a Missing Template notification you will need to update your project theme to include the prerequisite components that are found within the base Responsive theme:


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