Illustration of hand tapping on a product

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 from the use 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 revealed 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.

Difference in mobile and desktop revenue on shopify plus

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 your 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 – easier find products of relevance. And how a real-time personalization strategy is driving an increase in the average RPV.

New 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 HiConversion Recommend powered by Amazon Personalize algorithms – 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 HiConversion Recommend:

Example of HiConversion Recommend personalized recommendations for Shopify

The HiConversion Recommend dashboard, showing various recommendations running on the customers Shopify Plus site.

The introduction of self-learning product recommendations – across many locations on their site – has significantly improved the mobile product discovery experience.

How they know HiConversion Recommend powered by Amazon Personalize works

Over 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.

Chart illustrating increased engagement with product recommendations

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%.

Chart showing increase in mobile revenue per visitor on Shopify Plus

This proves the importance of an effective product discovery experience for mobile shoppers. By influencing greater engagement – extending the average visitors’ stay on site – HiConversion Recommend has disproportionally lifted the Revenue Per Visitor.

RPV is the metric that directly correlates with the lift in overall site revenue:

Chart showing mobile revenue increase on Shopify Plus

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:

Chart showing increased mobile conversion rate on Shopify Plus

In addition to Average Order Value improvements being weaker, it tends to be ‘noisier’:

Chart showing increase in mobile average order value on Shopify Plus

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.

HiConversion Recommend expands the 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 HiConversion Recommend. Metrics that measure the success of product recommendations to visitors who otherwise would never buy.

HiConversion 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 HiConversion Recommend. Only 6% of all mobile shoppers are currently engaging with product recommendations.

To unlock even more new revenue opportunities, the number of product recommendation at each stage of buying journey should go up. The objective? Increase the percentage of visitors who are engaging with recommendations and grow new revenue.

When it comes to mobile optimized product discovery for Shopify, HiConversion 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 in the same order. With HiConversion Recommend, you can deploy different recommendation strategies and optimized layouts specifically for mobile visitors.

Getting ahead of the 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. HiConversion Recommend leverages Amazon Personalize algorithms, detecting and adapting to visitor preferences in real time.

Ben Virdee-Chapman

Author: Ben Virdee-Chapman

VP Marketing