The Shopper's Little Helper: Consumers Welcome Online Product Recommendations

Consumers, wary of shopping in stores due to COVID-19, are desperate for online product recommendations, judging by Lucidworks’ new study, titled “Survey Shows Shoppers Want Connected Experiences to Meet Their Needs at Every Moment.” 

Of those polled, 61% subscribe to email and social media content of their favorite brands. And 50% prefer to see relevant items in those channels.

“A connected customer experience means that the email team can personalize recommendations based on the research a shopper did on the website and products they purchased on social media,” the study notes. 

Moreover, 71% of shoppers always or often click on a post or ad on social media for relevant recommended products 

Overall, 78% of shoppers interact with product suggestions, with 30% saying they always do and almost 50% saying they do so often. Even better, 62% say that they often (or always) buy recommended items they didn’t plan to buy. 



That varies with age, with 63% of 18- to-34 year-olds and 67% of 35- to-54 year-olds always doing so.  

After the click, here’s where shoppers usually interact with recommended products: 

  • Product page — 60% 
  • Home page — 50%
  • Shopping cart — 38%
  • Landing or category page — 32% 
  • Search paid results — 30% 
  • Never interact with recommendations — 6% 

And consumers want these suggestions when shopping online:

  • Searches (i.e., related searches or similar searches) — 35% 
  • Content (i.e., How-to and DIY guides, expert recommendations, product videos, etc.) — 29% 
  • Products (i.e., customers also bought) — 22%
  • Categories (i.e., also found in) — 12%

The study also shows that 70% of U.S. consumers use chatbots often or at every visit, compared to only 40% in the UK.  

These findings are relevant because 59% of consumers are avoiding or reducing in-person shopping during the pandemic. 

As restrictions are lifted, shoppers plan to: 

  • Avoid in-person shopping as much as possible—24%
  • Visit stores in-person less often than I did before COVID—35% 
  • Visit stores the same amount I did before COVID—32% 
  • Shop in-person and go to stores more often than they did pre-COVID—9% 

Here’s what they would like to see in brick-and-mortar storefronts as restrictions are lifted:

  • Keep stores the same, but retain some of the COVID protocols (physically distance lines, contactless payments, etc.) — 46%
  • Keep stores the same as they were before COVID — 30%
  • Make physical locations more about brand experiences and less about purchasing products — 24%

In the end, it comes down to this. Here’s what makes shoppers loyal to a brand:

  1. High-quality products
  2. Great product recommendations that understand who I am and what I like
  3. Excellent customer service 

Lucidworks surveyed 800 consumers in the UK and U.S. who shop online at least once per week. 


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