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When should I use Manual Recommendations?

Introducing a new product

Why use manual recommendations?

Suppose you've got lots of sales and lots of products. When you introduce a new product, it doesn't have a purchase history yet so we don't know what to recommend it with. Over time, as the product gets sales, Better Recommendations learns what products it relates to, but you might want to kick-start this with a manual recommendation.



You're introducing a belt that matches a particular pair of shoes, so you want to suggest the belt for anyone purchasing the shoes, but they aren't in the same Collection.


You don't need this if...
  • you're promoting this new product in other ways so you expect sales in a short time period
  • you're adding it to a Collection with a small number of other products

Building a new store

Why use manual recommendations?

You might want to use manual recommendations to bootstrap the suggestions that get made for a new store, where there's no order history (or only a handful of orders) that we can use to automatically generate the recommendations.



You're setting up a camera store on Shopify. You might have a collection of SLRs, and another collection of flashes. You want people who buy a camera to consider buying a flash alongside it, so you can manually recommend a flash that goes well with each of the different models of SLR.


You don't need this if...

  • you have an existing store with purchase history
  • your products are grouped into Collections of products that can be recommended together
  • you can wait for automatic recommendations to learn as your customers buy from the store


You can use manual recommendations to push a product that you'd like to see performing better. By setting up manual recommendation relationship with a more popular product, it will be shown to more of your customers.


In most cases the automatic recommendations should "catch up" with the manual recommendations, simply because your customers are more likely to buy the products together.