Retail Is Detail: 4 Steps to Creating a Consistent Product Recommendation Setup

Discover multiple examples of different ways to build your recommendation setups and find inspiration for your own site!

Like it was just yesterday, I still remember years ago when one of Nosto’s founders, Juha, mentioned at the end of one of his onboarding sessions an overarching, ever-green and pervasive quote: “Retail is details.” Ever since then, I’ve noticed that retail businesses that pay attention to details by building a consistent story, piece by piece – based on their guiding principles – tend to succeed better than businesses that simply apply general best practices.

Examples of Retail Brands Who Value Detail

To mention one of my favorites, Puravida Bracelets, who are true to a brand manifesting itself through visual storytelling. When eying out the site, you immediately connect to the images to Southern California or Central American beachlife (granted, here in autumn colours) where young people are having fun while obviously wearing their bracelets and jewelry.


Another great example is Swedish Eleven, where product merchandising through content and Nosto’s recommendations is done amazingly well. This is where consistency in terms of in-store product merchandising and recommendations come in. Many retailers still recognize product merchandising and recommendations only as cross-sellers on product detail pages (PDP), which is unarguably one of the key pages and parts of the shopper journey where recommendations can make a huge positive impact. However, product recommendations can be utilized in many other steps of the shopping journey and in unlikely placements where they subtly can assist shoppers to find what they are looking for. Let’s delve into a couple of inspirational examples.

Setting up Product Recommendations in 4 Easy Steps

Step 1

The default landing page promo on the second fold (on desktop) for all new customers looks like below. Since I landed directly on the site, simulating a new customer, there’s relatively little the site or Nosto can do to personalize for me as a male without deploying a template page or a pop-up. Thus, my only real option is to start by exploring the navigation:

Step 2

Once I’ve discovered something that I came for (in this example – Hugo Boss fragrances), the site and Nosto are able to really understand what I am after with just a few clicks. For instance, after viewing a category and few relevant products, recommendations on the top level category have already adjusted to my preferences instead of showing me random products or based on overall trends, such as best sellers.

It goes without saying that the expected recommendations on PDPs are also spot on…

Step 3

The really interesting and the advanced part comes after the cart page and after the purchase has been paid for. Thanks to the integration Nosto has with Klarna, shoppers can add items into the same order and delivery after they have actually paid their purchase, just by clicking them. This particular recommendation is pure additional revenue on top of the already accomplished order.

Step 4

Finally, simulating a returning shopper, recommendations on the homepage are adjusted based on personal shopping preferences instead of the starting point: Cosmetics for female.

Getting Started With a Product Recommendation Set-up

There we have it! In short, a consistent and highly performing recommendation setup is based on multiple different recommendations and not only on cross-sellers, by helping customers to find & explore what they came afteror by giving visual cues as to what other related product ranges the store has to offer.

A thorough and high-performing recommendation setup is always built for each business, but the good news is that there is hardly ever a need to reinvent the wheel. The same logical setup works on almost any site, by only deploying a slightly different recommendation configuration for each. Want to learn more? Click here to book a demo and to have a thorough discussion about where and how Nosto can help you.