Daniela Forte of Multichannel Merchant recently chatted with client Alex Cranmer about his success with online product recommendations:

March 16, 2015

International Military Antiques, a military collectables company, saw a 47.8% increase in revenue when it ramped up product recommendations on its website.

The company worked with Listrak to implement its product recommendation engine. Its onsite recommendations generated 22% of ecommerce revenue and produced year-over-year increases in 2014. In addition, the average order value on the website saw an increase of 18.5% and transactions rose 19.6% in 2014.

There was also 1% increase in conversion rates on the site, a 2% increase in conversions on the product page and a 17% increase in conversions on the shopping cart pages.

Alex Cranmer, vice president of International Military Antiques, said that installing the product recommendation engine on the website was an incredible time saver. “On site, each time we wanted to show items we wanted to show, we had to manually input that information, we don’t have to do that anymore at all,” Cranmer said.

Cranmer said the company plans to offer a free shipping promotion for items over $100, and embed within the recommendation engine a threshold shipping calculator. “It will show items that are all above a certain amount that is also related,” he said.

For email campaigns, Cranmer said the company was able to implement product recommendations in abandoned cart and thank-you campaigns.

“We show them products that are related or inspired by what they already purchased,” he said. “All of those things we were doing manually now run themselves.”

Cranmer said he used to manually input 20 product images into the International Military Antiques newsletter, taking him hours to complete. Now he just needs to list the SKUS he wants to include and it populates itself.

“For an ecommerce experience, product recommendations are mandatory at this point,” Cranmer said. “If you are not doing it, you are just losing money.”

Cranmer said product recommendations are important for International Military Antiques because it isn’t a typical retailer like a home goods and kitchen appliances company.

“A customer may come for a World War II helmet and see a World War I aviator wing set,” said Cranmer.  “For us it’s (product recommendations) are very important because many of our items are of interest to our customers even though they are not necessarily in the same category.”

In 2014, the company processed 40,000 orders, and added about 50 products a week. Without a recommendation engine in emails, they wouldn’t be able to get it done.