Why you need a personalized product recommendation engine in your e-commerce business

Personalization, personalization, personalization. That’s all we hear in the e-commerce world nowadays. 

And for good reason! Personalized marketing drives ideal customers to your online store. 

But wouldn’t it be nice to shorten the sales funnel and direct those visitors straight to your products? 

You can with a product recommendation engine! 

Let’s explore what product recommendation engines are, four examples, and the best product recommendation tool. 

What is a product recommendation engine? 

A product recommendation engine uses artificial intelligence to recommend specific products to individual customers. 

Tech giants like Netflix and Amazon are known for their product recommendation engines. 

Amazon, for example, uses your past purchase history and popular searches to produce a list of products you might like. 

Pretty cool, right? 

Even better is that you can create a product recommendation engine for your online store without breaking the bank. Let’s go over four different product recommendation examples and how to apply them to your shopping experience. 

4 product recommendation examples for your e-commerce store 

1. A chatbot 

Chatbots are known for providing customer support. But they’re also great for recommending products! 

Zebra CBD solves all types of health issues with CBD oil. Their chatbot recommends specific products to users based on how they answer questions. 

For example, when you click “Better Sleep,” Zebra CBD will show you its best oils for sleep. 

Their chatbot takes web visitors straight to the bottom of the funnel. Now, visitors save time surfing through your website. And you get sales faster. 

Chatbots are also taking e-commerce by storm. Juniper Research predicts that e-commerce transactions will amount to $112 billion by 2023

Overall, chatbots work best at the top of the funnel. But what about those who’ve already bought something from you? This is where a powerful marketing strategy, like SMS marketing, uses product recommendations to upsell customers. 

2. SMS marketing 

We love and stand by a powerful email marketing strategy. But an SMS campaign gets to your audience pretty dang fast—90% of text messages are read in three minutes! 

Take advantage of this speedy open rate and use SMS to recommend personalized products.  


NaturAll Club’s upselling text is discreet. They use customer data—the customer’s name, purchase history, and purchase timing—to personalize the upsell with something customers actually want.

No, SMS marketing isn’t technically a product recommendation engine. But you can utilize its features to customize the buyer journey. 

Some tips: 

  • Recommend products based on your customer’s past purchase history 
  • Say the customer’s name 
  • Automate SMS to send an upsell text as soon as someone purchases an item 

3. Augmented reality 

The pandemic shifted thousands of people to shop online. And still, retail e-commerce sales are expected to grow by almost 10 percent in 2023. 

The downside of online shopping used to be that you couldn’t try on clothes. But that’s no longer an issue with augmented reality. Now, shoppers can virtually “try on” clothing in their homes. 


MTailor bases its business model on augmented reality and product personalization. 

The process is easy. First, you send a video of yourself standing. Then, MTailor takes your measurements and recommends a tailored suit for your size. 

You no longer have to shop for suits and a tailor—it’s all in one! 

Fit My Foot does something similar. The FitMyFoot app measures your feet and sends a personalized pair of shoes to your doorstep. 


Augmented reality and personalization have turned a day of shopping into spending ten minutes online. How crazy is that? 

Product personalization isn’t just changing the retail game but how we consume media. Let’s look at Netflix’s recent product personalization tool—Play something. 

4. “Play Something” 

Wouldn’t it be nice to skip scrolling through Netflix and just play something? 

Now, you can. 

Using your past viewing experience, Netflix predicts your movie taste and adds recommendations to a “Play Something” feed. When you hit “Play Something,” Netflix plays a movie or show they predict you’ll like, based on their data. 

The point is to eliminate endless scrolling and enjoy a movie or TV show ASAP. 

Of course, product recommendation engines don’t always work as expected. Kelly Woo from Tom’s Guide wasn’t impressed with Netflix’s new feature. 

“It takes time to process what title is playing, hit next, see the new program queue up, and so on. At that point, it’s taking nearly as much time as scrolling.”

On the bright side, you probably don’t need a product recommendation engine similar to Play Something. 

In fact, you might just need a product recommendation quiz. 

Why you should add a product recommendation quiz to your e-commerce store 

Get this: 85% of brands believe they offer a personal experience. And yet, only 60% of consumers agree. 

What’s causing miscommunication between brands and their customers? 

We guess that companies aren’t personalizing their strategy the same way buyers want. 57% of consumers worry about how brands use their personal data. 

But here’s the good news: You can still provide a personalized experience without secretly collecting your audience’s information. 

With a product recommendation quiz, users will voluntarily give you their information. Think of it as an interactive survey. 

Take Barefaced, for example. Its skincare quiz recommends products based on quiz-takers’ skin type. 


The experience starts with a list of engaging questions. 

This skincare brand asks questions about customers’ demographics, skin concerns, and desires. 

Pro tip: Your questions and answers should relate to your audience’s struggles and desires. Use past zero-party data to brainstorm relatable questions. 

Then, Barefaced provides their skin results through email.

Of course, the goal of a product recommendation quiz is to sell as soon as someone finishes your quiz. But an opt-in form is an easy way to plug users into your email list for future purchases. 

An email opt-in form is optional. You can also direct users straight to their results or add a “Skip this step” button in your opt-in form. 

And voila! Barefaced’s audience will receive a comprehensive skin report with recommended products. 

Users can add these products to their cart and be on their way! 

Product recommendation quizzes are free to create, interactive, and convert-worthy. It’s not uncommon for us to see clients reach over $100k in sales with a product recommendation quiz.  

You might be wondering how you can achieve these wow-worthy results, too. Let’s explore three product recommendation quiz best practices for e-commerce stores. 

3 product recommendation quiz best practices 

1. Be specific 

The best product quizzes direct users to a specific set of products. Doing this will allow you to personalize your recommendation quiz as much as possible. 

Common Era uses a personality quiz to sell their Greek Goddess necklaces. Choosing a specific product—necklaces—made it possible to create a fun personality quiz! 

And if your product catalog is extensive? 

Don’t sweat it. Just choose one line of products for your quiz. These two questions will help you choose the right items for your quiz: 

  • Is there a line of products that needs more love? 
  • Which line of products can turn into a routine or personality type? 

2. Educate your quiz-takers 

Take your product recommendation quiz further and educate your audience about your services. 

Education builds authority and brand awareness. Your customers aren’t just coming to you to buy, but to learn from you, the expert. 

Your results pages are the perfect spot for added value. 

Barefaced added an extra “skincare tips” section to their results pages. These tips teach users why Barefaced’s products are worth buying and how to use them. 

Here are a few ideas we’ve seen brands do to provide educational content to their quiz: 

  • Explain how your products work with a video
  • Share ways your audience can use their product every day (e.g., a skincare routine) 
  • Create a personality quiz and connect your customers’ personality traits with a personalized product

3. Implement your brand 

Brand implementation connects your audience’s quiz experience with your store.   

Let’s go back to Common Era’s greek goddess quiz. 

Every time this person sees something about Medusa, they’ll think back to Common Era’s quiz—their powerful description of Medusa and the beautiful necklace. 

And besides, you don’t want your quiz to look like any quiz. Match your voice and use images, colors, and text related to your brand. 

Interact’s design interface makes brand implementation easy. 

Our interface is simple. Add your brand colors, images, and font to your quiz with our drag-and-drop builder. And that’s it! 

See? Product recommendation quizzes are fun to make, and the potential pay-off is well worth the time. 

Our most significant recommendations for creating a product recommendation quiz include: 

  • Get specific: Choose one line of products and three to five results to go along with them. 
  • Be personable: Use a personality quiz to connect your users with your products. 
  • Provide education: Provide some tips and leave your audience confident in themselves and your e-commerce store. 

Personalize the shopper’s experience with a product recommendation quiz 

Product recommendation quizzes are great for both you and the customer. Your audience gets to take a free and interactive quiz. And you get to collect valuable customer data. 

Do you want to know the best part?

Product recommendation quizzes are affordable and easy to create. With Interact, you can design an engaging quiz at less than half the cost of an average product recommendation engine.  So, what are you waiting for? See if a product quiz is right for you, and sign up for a free trial today.

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