Can Personalized Recommendations Fix Shopify’s Mobile Product Discovery Problem? (Spoiler: Yes)
When it comes to improving product discovery on your Shopify site, it’s not always easy to know where to focus your efforts. In this customer story, a fast-growing Fitness brand discovers the surprising benefits of personalized product recommendations.
eCommerce is increasingly mobile first – shoppers’ buying decisions are heavily influenced by social media and marketing. The ‘Mobile Shopper’ wants to quickly find products of interests when they visit your site. If not, they’re gone, and the sale opportunity is lost. Often forever.
I doubt this will really be news to you.
Quantifying mobile product discovery problems on Shopify
Take one of our customers – a Fitness brand built on Shopify Plus. Their web traffic caught our data analysts’ attention, specifically, the behavior of visitors using different devices (mobile vs desktop).
What we learned was fascinating.
Time on site and revenue captured from mobile shoppers lagged behind when compared to those shopping on desktop devices. More intriguingly, this phenomenon persisted despite mobile traffic being nearly twice that of desktop.
This chart shows you the average time on site for desktop visitors was nearly twice as long, producing a higher RPV (Revenue Per Visitor): $4.57 vs $3.59.
It means this brand was not successfully engaging mobile shoppers – despite nearly twice as many flowing through – nor influencing more of them to buy.
Unlocking the mobile revenue opportunity on Shopify with personalized recommendations
Now, there are dozens of things which impact the success of a mobile shopping experience.
In the following example, we’re focusing on the importance of an effective product discovery experience. Specifically, helping mobile shoppers – who stay half the time of desktop visitors – more easily find products of relevance. And how a real-time personalization strategy is driving an increase in the average RPV.
A better Shopify merchandising methodology
The average Shopify site has a few, or no product recommendations per page. A favorite ‘hack’ is to add a basic upsell app to the cart, forget about it and move on.
The new way – only possible with Obviyo Recommend powered by Amazon Personalize – dramatically expands the number of possible recommendation strategies available. You can ‘act like Amazon’, benefiting from dozens of combined product recommendations all over your site.
Below, you’ll see how our Fitness customer is running many different product recommendation strategies. All activated during the first few days after installing Obviyo Recommend:
The introduction of self-learning product recommendations – across many locations on their site – has significantly improved the mobile product discovery experience.
How they know Obviyo Recommend powered by Amazon Personalize works
Looking at a random 4-week period, visitors who engaged with recommended products stayed almost 3x longer on the site than those who didn’t engage with recommended products.
And the longer mobile shoppers stay on the site, the higher probability they will find a product of interest and buy something. In the chart below, you’ll see the corresponding increase in RPV for mobile shoppers – going up by 600%.
This proves the importance of an effective product discovery experience for mobile shoppers. By influencing greater engagement – extending the average visitors’ stay on site – Obviyo Recommend has disproportionally lifted RPV.
RPV is also the metric that directly correlates with the lift in overall site revenue. Here, we see personalized recommendations are influencing over 30% of total revenues.
RPV is also a composite metric – reflecting the joint impact of Conversion Rate (CR) and Average Order Value (AOV). Let’s now examine how those two metrics were also impacted by effective product recommendations.
In general, the Fitness brand saw increases in Conversion Rate spiking relative to the Average Order Value:
In addition to Average Order Value improvements being weaker, it tends to be ‘noisier’:
It’s here where you might argue the primary purpose of product recommendations is to actually increase the Average Order Value. So, let me provide a further explanation of the results above.
Conventional product recommendation systems are trained on existing customer behavior and purchase histories. These solutions naturally focus you on visitors who already added something to their cart – and you upsell or cross-sell them with more products. Hence, the way of measuring conventional recommendation solutions is through AOV lift.
This is absolutely a step in the right direction, and it’s no wonder there are countless upsell and cross-sell apps for Shopify. However, the impact is limited to only about 10% of your visitors. That is, returning shoppers or visitors who added a product to the cart.
Obviyo Recommend expands the revenue reach of product recommendations.
Engaging the remaining 90% of unknown shoppers – helping the majority of your ‘cold traffic’ better discover products of relevance.
This explains the high RPV and CR lift with Obviyo Recommend. Metrics that measure the success of product recommendations to visitors who otherwise would never buy.
Obviyo Recommend will also improve AOV equal if not better to what other conventional solutions are producing. However, the AOV lift is dwarfed by the RPV lift associated with the ‘unlocking’ of new revenue.
The merchant takeaway and next steps
Our Shopify Plus Fitness customer is still early to seeing the full potential of Obviyo Recommend. Only 6% of all mobile shoppers are currently engaging with product recommendations.
To unlock additional revenue opportunities, the number of product recommendation at each stage of the buying journey should go up. The objective? Increase the percentage of visitors who engage with recommendations and grow new revenue.
When it comes to mobile optimized product discovery for Shopify, Obviyo Recommend lets you create discrete experiences for both mobile and desktop shoppers. Not just conventional responsive layouts, which look the same on both device form factors and appear in the same order. With Obviyo Recommend, you can deploy different recommendation strategies and optimized layouts specifically for mobile visitors.
Getting ahead of the mobile product discovery curve
Market trends show the ratio of mobile vs desktop shoppers continues to grow. While the average length of time mobile visitors spend on any given Shopify site continues to decrease.
To unlock more revenue from your mobile shoppers on Shopify, you must use the most advanced product discovery solutions. Obviyo Recommend leverages Amazon Personalize algorithms, detecting and adapting to visitor preferences in real time.