I’ve been a user of Spotify since the very early days when I had to go an extra mile to sneak myself an account as subscriptions were available only in Sweden and by invitation. As we all know, since those days, the service has evolved dramatically by effectively shaking the whole music industry and how people consume music. Spotify also uses “top lists” extremely well and if you believe the same wouldn’t work on your online store, think again.
While the automatically generated and personalized playlists are criticized due to their nature of narrowing down the genres, artists and songs, I am a huge fan of the feature. The experience of top lists themselves is not exactly new. Since the fifties, the industry – and audience – has ranked songs on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. Spotify simply takes the commonly adopted way of consuming music to the next level by leveraging data and by creating dozens of personalized playlists or by only showing users the relevant top lists, depending on individual music tastes.
Spotify’s example combining personalized mixes and generic playlists for dinner background music. Likely because the screenshot was taken around 6pm:
How Top Lists Work as Stand-Alone Elements
Regardless if you like or use Spotify’s top lists or generally mind about music top charts, in light of online commerce, top lists are amazingly versatile. Deploying one or multiple top lists can generate fun, harmless, and enjoyable shopping experiences, which ease product discovery for shoppers. This is specially true in scenarios when products themselves don’t provide that much visual inspiration. One of the best examples I can think of is food supplement store Campus Protein, which ranks their top 25 products as a list on a separate page also accessible through the top menu.
Another example is by Swedish Babyshop where a similar experience is created at the bottom of the homepage as vertical top lists highlighting their key seasonal categories (translated from Swedish for your convenience).
The approach in which one or more top lists are populated on a dedicated page are very common as a trick to avoid dead-ends on 404 pages like we see below on Caliroots. However, we argue that driving traffic intentionally built for purposing toplist landing pages (not on 404s you silly) would create a fun way for consumers to eye out what’s trending right now, especially if they land to the site from paid marketing campaigns or even from email.
Consumers are driven by curiosity and purposely extravagant social ad – as seen below – could re-engage especially loyal customers back to store to see what’s hot and noteworthy.
For the very same reason, we rush to see what were our top tracks of the year on Spotify. Or do you dare to disagree that you’re not even a bit interested what you listened to the most during the past year? :)
A bit of the how…
We saved the best for last: Enabling one or more of the described recommendations is as simple as using inclusion and exclusion filters for recommendations and by adding a recommendation slot to an empty page in your ecommerce site’s content management system. However, if you come up with a question or two, don’t hesitate to reach out to our product specialists who are always happy to change ideas and advise you further!