Create A Standard Recommendation

A recommendation is a combination of criteria and priority settings that are used to created a targeted list of products from your product catalog. A standard recommendation can only be built using product data.

About this task

If you want to build a recommendation using predictive models, related product criteria, or filters based on a reference contact or product you need to build a premium recommendation.

Building a standard recommendation is broken into three functional areas:

  • General Settings are the configuration options for the recommendation.
  • Product Criteria are the rules that you apply to your product data in order to determine which products qualify for the recommendation.
  • Priorities determine how the products that meet the product criteria settings are sorted and ranked against each other.

When you create your recommendation, the changes you make are automatically saved as a draft version of the recommendation. This allows you to use the Preview Results button to view the results of your recommendation as you build it so you can adjust your recommendation until you're happy with your results. If you exit the recommendation while you are creating it without publishing it, all of the settings, priorities, and criteria you created and saved will be kept as a draft.

Once created, this can be used to design dynamic emails that will always include the latest, most relevant products from the recommendation you use in your message.

To create a recommendation:

Procedure

  1. In Recommendations, navigate to the Recommendations page by clicking the icon.
  2. Click New Recommendation.

    The Create Recommendation window is displayed.

  3. Enter a name for your recommendation in the Label box.

    The name can only contain alphanumeric characters.

  4. If desired, enter a brief description for the recommendation in the Description box.
  5. Click Create Recommendation.

    The Recommendation Settings page is displayed.

  6. If you are not already on the General Settings tab, click General Settings.
  7. Select a recommendation from the Use Backup list if you want to use another recommendation you created if this one doesn't return enough relevant results.

    This is a list of the active, standard recommendations you have published. If you do not have any other recommendations or do not want to use a backup, select Don't Use.

  8. Set Use Default to On if you want to use the default backup recommendation you configured for your account.

    If this is set to on, the default recommendations are only used when your recommendation (and backup recommendations) do not provide the number of desired results.

  9. Click Product Criteria to open the Product Criteria tab.
  10. Select an option for Restrict Parent/Variation Results to:

    In order to use this, you must use the Parent Product ID field in your product catalog. When a product has a parent and multiple variations of that parent, this setting will determine which product results to use in your recommendation. For example, you might want to limit a result to One Variation Only if the variant products are very similar and might result in what appears to be duplicate recommendations. (Items of a same color, for example.)

    No matter what you select, any product that isn't a parent or variation will be included in the recommendation results if it matches the other criteria you set for the recommendation.

    • Parent Only if you want your recommendation to only include parent products that match the recommendation's criteria.
    • One Variation Only if you want to only include the variation product that best matches the recommendation's criteria.
    • Multiple Variations Only if you want to include all variant products that match the recommendation's criteria.
    • Parent and Multiple Variations if you want to include any product, parent or variation, that matches the recommendation's criteria.
    Note: If you update your product catalog to include Parent Product IDs after the recommendation is built then all parents and variant products that match the recommendation criteria are included by default. If you want to limit what is included, you will need to edit the recommendation and change the Restrict Parent/Variation Results to setting.
  11. Set Set Inventory Minimums to On if you want to ensure that only products with a certain amount of stock are returned.

    This setting uses the value stored in the Inventory Threshold and Quantity product fields. Only products that have a Quantity amount that is equal to or greater than the value in the Inventory Threshold will be returned when Set Inventory Minimums is set to On.

  12. Set Use Global Criteria to On if you want to use the default criteria you configured for your account.

    When you set this to on, the Global Criteria you have set up are displayed on this page.

  13. If you want to include a single criteria setting that you can customize within the Rec Loop of a message:

    Use Request Time Criteria lets you reuse a recommendation for multiple purposes by providing a single, dynamic field that can be modified at the message level. You will set the field and operator here, and then provide the value you want to use within the message. For example, you could build a recommendation where Use Request Time Criteria is set to Product Category equals and then use the recommendation to feature different product categories in different emails.

    1. Set Use Request Time Criteria to On.
    2. Select a field from the first list.

      See either product, commerce, or browse field help topics for more information about what each of these fields are.

    3. Select an operator from the second list.

      The Operators you see are determined by the type of Field you selected. See step 15 c for more information about each type of operator.

    4. When you use this recommendation in a message, map the value you want to use within the Rec Loop.

      See Recommendation Messages for information on how to do this. If you set Use Request Time Criteria in your recommendation but do not set a value in an email that uses the recommendation then this field will be ignored.

  14. Click add, located to the right of Criteria, to set up the criteria used in the recommendation:
    1. Select a field to use from the Field list.

      See either product, commerce, or browse fields for more information about what each of these fields are.

    2. Select the rule you want to apply to the field from the Operator list.
    3. Enter or select the value you want the criteria to meet in the Value box.

      The Operators and Values you see are determined by the type of Field you selected. While there are several types of fields, these fields fall into three main categories:

      • Date-based. When you select a date-based field, you can specify either an exact date or a range of days relative to the operator you selected. For example, you can set a date range within the next week by selecting On or Before and entering 7 for the days from now value.
      • Numeric. When you select a numeric field, you can specify an exact number or a number range that is relative to your Operator.
      • Text-based. There are a few rules for text-based fields, which are basically any field that isn't a date or number. If your Operator is set to Equals or Does Not Equal, the content you enter for Value must be an exact match for the information stored in the field, including capitalization, and should not be wrapped in quotes. For the operators In, Not In, Contains, or Does Not Contain the values entered must be provided in a comma-separated list and each individual value must be in quotes. For example: "Sneakers", "Shoes, High tops", "Shoes, Hightops", "Shoes, High-tops", "Tennis shoes". In this example, the comma between shoes and high tops is included as part of the field in the database. The use of quotes lets Recommendations identify the difference between this type of comma and a comma separating items in your list of Values. The quotes are always required, even if there is only one item in your list.

      Some Field and Operator combinations may not require a Value.

      After you enter your value, you can click Recommendations Get Product Count to see how many products in your catalog match the criteria you specified.

    4. Click Save & Close to save your criteria and move on or Save & Add Another to save your criteria and add another global criteria option.
      Note: You still have to click Publish Changes for these criteria to be available for your recommendations.

    For example, if you are creating a recommendation for items targeted to women, Field is set to Gender, Operator is set to Equals, and the Value is the word your product data uses to indicate it is a woman's item.

  15. Click Priorities to open the Priorities tab and define your product priorities:

    When setting priorities, do not use the same values you used for your criteria settings. Instead, identify how you want to rank the products that match your recommendation criteria against each other. Each recommendation can have no more than three priorities. If you try to add more than three, you will be asked to delete one of the existing priorities before adding a new one.

    1. Choose an option from the Apply Randomness to Results dropdown.
      • Do Not Use- This is the default option.
      • Randomize Best Results- Products that meet both your recommendation's criteria and priorities will be randomized.
      • Randomize All Results- All of the products that meet the recommendation's criteria will be randomized.
        Note: If you select this option, you can not add a priority.
    2. Click add located to the right of Priorities.
    3. Select a system, product, commerce, or browse field to use from the Field list.
    4. Select the rule you want to apply to the field from the Operator list.
    5. Enter or select the value you want the criteria to meet in the Value box.

      All of the rules outlined in the step regarding criteria also apply to the Field, Operator, and Value options for priority. Additionally, you have the option to select ranking-based values from the Operator list. For example, you can set a date from newest to oldest or a numerical value from lowest to highest, etc.

    6. Select the priority from the Priority Level list.
      Priority is a way of creating a hierarchy of products within your recommendation results:
      • Strongly Upgrade Products that match the priority settings are given a significant boost in the results. For example, if a priority is based on Price Highest to Lowest, the highest priced items are ranked highest in the results and the lowest priced items are not boosted in the rankings.
      • Slightly Upgrade Products that match the priority settings are given a boost in the recommendation results, but the boost is less than those with Strongly Upgrade.
      • Slightly Downgrade Products that match the priority settings are given a downgrade in their relevance in the results.
      • Strongly Downgrade Products that match the priority settings are given a significant downgrade in their relevance in the results. For example, if a priority is based on Price Highest to Lowest, the highest priced items are ranked much lower in the results, and the lowest priced items are not given a downgrade.

    So, if your criteria is women's items and you want to make sure you recommend items you have a large stock of, you can set up the priority with Field set to Quantity, Operator set to Highest to Lowest, and Priority Level set to Strong Upgrade in order to make sure items with a large quantity are surfaced higher in the list of recommendations.

  16. To preview the results of your recommendation, click the Preview Results button.

    This provides a preview of the products that match the recommendation criteria and settings, as well as the number and percentage of products that matched your recommendation. The Preview list can be switched between a list view Recommendations List Preview Button or an card view Recommendations Expanded Preview Button. Each view provides a slightly different overview of the products. Click on any product name to see the complete details for the product.

    If you update your recommendation with new criteria or priority settings then return to the Preview tab you will see these updates reflected in the recommendations on this page.

  17. Optional: If you are finished building the recommendation, click Publish Draft to make the recommendation available for use.

    You do not have to click Publish Draft to save your recommendation.