How to Set Up WooCommerce Product Recommendations? [+6 Additional Tips]

May 7, 2024
Alice Pham

Unlocking the full potential of an eCommerce store built on WooCommerce involves incorporating effective product recommendations. These personalized suggestions have the ability to transform the shopping experience, captivating customers with tailored recommendations that boost engagement, drive sales, and foster unwavering loyalty.

Through strategic employment of cross-sells, up-sells, and related products, WooCommerce product recommendations gracefully guide shoppers towards complementary items that align with their interests, ultimately resulting in increased average order values and heightened customer satisfaction. In this article, we will delve into the captivating world of WooCommerce product recommendations and explore their unrivaled power in propelling eCommerce triumph.

WooCommerce Product Recommendations: An Overview

What Are WooCommerce Product Recommendations?

WooCommerce product recommendations refer to personalized suggestions or suggestions for related products that are displayed to customers on an e-commerce website powered by the WooCommerce platform. These recommendations are generated based on factors such as the customer's browsing and purchase history, product popularity, and product similarity.

WooCommerce product recommendations aim to enhance the shopping experience by helping customers discover relevant and complementary products, thereby increasing sales and customer satisfaction. These recommendations can be showcased on product pages, shopping carts, or through targeted email campaigns, providing customers with personalized suggestions that encourage additional purchases.

4 Main types of product recommendations in WooCommerce

WooCommerce Product Recommendations are divided into 4 main types listed below.

Related products

These recommendations suggest items that are related or complementary to the product being viewed by the customer. They encourage additional purchases by displaying products commonly bought together or offering similar features or purposes.


Cross-sell recommendations are displayed on the shopping cart or checkout page and propose additional products that complement the items already added to the cart. They aim to increase the order value by suggesting relevant and appealing products that customers may have overlooked.


Upsell recommendations suggest higher-priced or upgraded versions of the product a customer is considering. By showcasing premium options or bundles with added value, upsells encourage customers to choose a more expensive product, thereby increasing revenue.

Featured products

These recommendations highlight specific products that the store owner wants to promote. They can be showcased on the homepage, category pages, or product pages, attracting customer attention to selected items and boosting their visibility and sales.

Benefits of displaying recommended products in WooCommerce

Displaying recommended products in WooCommerce provides numerous benefits that contribute to the success of your eCommerce business. Let's explore the advantages  

#1. Increase average order value

By showcasing related, cross-sell, and upsell products, you can encourage online shoppers to add more items to their cart. By suggesting complementary or upgraded products, you increase the chances of customers making additional purchases, leading to a higher average order value. This boosts your revenue and profitability.

#2. Personalize shopping experience

Product recommendations allow you to offer a personalized shopping experience tailored to each customer's interests and preferences. So, you can suggest products that align with their needs. This level of personalization enhances customer satisfaction and builds a deeper connection with your brand.

#3. Make checkout faster and more easily

Displaying recommended products during the checkout process can streamline and simplify the buying journey. By presenting relevant and frequently purchased items, customers can easily add the recommended products to their cart without the need for extensive searching. This not only saves time but also reduces friction, making the checkout process faster and more convenient for customers.

#4. Encourage more purchases

Recommended products act as effective prompts to encourage customers to explore and buy additional items. By displaying related or complementary products on product pages, cart pages, or through targeted email campaigns, you remind customers of other relevant items they may be interested in. This stimulates impulse purchases and encourages customers to buy more, ultimately increasing your sales.

#5. Increase customer retention and loyalty

Personalized product recommendations enhance the overall customer experience, leading to higher customer retention and loyalty. When customers feel that you understand their preferences, they will likely return for future purchases.

#6. Optimize inventory management

Displaying recommended products can also help optimize your inventory management. Promoting specific products or highlighting slow-moving items can increase their visibility and chances of being sold. This helps you clear out excess inventory and make room for new products, improving overall inventory turnover and maximizing profitability.

Default WooCommerce Product Recommendations Settings

By default, the built-in product recommendation settings in WooCommerce lets you promote related products for each other in 3 ways: Cross-sells, Up-sells, and Related products.

#1. Cross-sells

The default cross-sells in WooCommerce only display on the cart page, when customers add the main product to their shopping cart.

To create cross-sells, you need to go to each product page and manually choose the items you want to cross-sell with the main products.

To do this, from your WooCommerce dashboard, go to Products tab from the left side menu. Then, select a product you want to add cross-sells.

On that product editing page, scroll down to the Product data section, navigating to Linked Products. You can enter the products you wish to cross-sell with the main item there.

Cross-sells items are shown under the default text “You may be interested in…” on cart page like the image below:

#2. Up-sells

Unlike cross-sells, WooCommerce up-sells show on the product page to recommend alternatives that are of higher quality or higher priced than the currently viewed product.

The process of creating the default WooCommerce up-sells is similar to the process of adding cross-sells. You also need to pick the products for upsells as below:

On the product page, the up-sell products will be displayed in a slider block under main product images, within the default text “You may also like…”:

#3. Related products

While cross-sells and up-sells require manual selections, related products are automatically sorted and displayed on all product pages that belong to the same categories and/or tags (excluding the currently viewed products, invisible and out-of-stock items).

Besides, the products that have manual up-sells block will not have related products block. If you want to remove the default related products block on any page, you can follow this guideline. and customize your own related products. It’s worth noting that displayed products could be not very related, since products that share same categories or tags do not always go well together. This simple built-in engine seems to not count in store’s sale data or customers’ behavior to generate personalized recommendations. It is more like random picks.

How to Set Up WooCommerce Product Recommendations on Your Online Store?

To set up automatic product recommendations you need to use a recommendation plugin. In this tutorial, I am using the Cashier for WooCommerce plugin. Now, follow these steps:

Step 1: Install and Activate Cashier Plugin: First, download the Cashier for WooCommerce plugin and install it on your WordPress site. Activate the plugin once it's installed.

Step 2: Enable Automatic Recommendation Feature: The Cashier plugin automatically picks and displays product recommendations based on your store's previous orders. There's typically no need for manual configuration. Ensure that the automatic recommendation feature is enabled in the plugin settings.

Step 3: Review Default Recommendation Locations: By default, WooCommerce displays upsells on the product pages and cross-sells on the cart page. The Cashier plugin enhances this functionality by automatically recommending products based on previous orders. Review these default recommendation locations to ensure they align with your store's layout and design.

Step 4: Set Up Empty Upsells and Cross-sells Boxes (Optional): If you leave the Upsells or Cross-sells boxes empty in the product settings, Cashier will automatically pick products to recommend based on its algorithms. However, if you want to manually specify some products to be recommended alongside the automatic ones, you can add them to these boxes.

Step 5: Review and Customize Recommendation Placement: Cashier automatically recommends upsells, cross-sells, and related products. If there are empty spaces available on product pages after displaying the set recommendations, Cashier will fill them with additional product recommendations. Review the placement of these recommendations to ensure they enhance the user experience and encourage additional purchases.

Step 6: Monitor Performance: Once the automatic product recommendations are live on your site, monitor their performance such as click-through rates, conversion rates, and revenue by using the analytics provided by the Cashier plugin or by integrating with other analytics tools like Google Analytics.

Step 7: Optimize as Needed: Continuously optimize your automatic product recommendations by reviewing customer feedback, trends, and changes in your product catalog. Make adjustments to your recommendation strategy as necessary to improve results and drive more sales.

By following these steps, you can effectively set up automatic product recommendations using the Cashier for WooCommerce plugin, enhancing the user experience and increasing sales on your online store.

6 Ways to Better WooCommerce Product Recommendations

Improving WooCommerce product recommendations can significantly enhance the effectiveness of your eCommerce store. Here are six strategies to better your product recommendations:

#1. Place Best Sellers & Featured Products sliders on Homepage

Utilize the homepage to showcase popular best-selling products and featured items. Implement sliders or carousels that highlight these products, catching the attention of visitors and enticing them to explore further. This strategy increases the visibility of popular items, driving more sales and customer engagement.

#2. Bundle up frequently bought together products and sell altogether in value combo

Identify products that are often purchased together and create bundled offers. By presenting customers with value-packed combinations, you not only increase the average order value but also provide convenience and a sense of added value. Prominently display these bundles on product pages or during the checkout process to encourage customers to opt for the bundled option.

#3. Suggest similar products at discount price

When a customer is viewing a specific product, recommend similar items that are available at discounted prices. This creates a sense of urgency and promotes the idea of getting a good deal. Display these recommendations on the product page or through pop-ups to capture the customer's attention and motivate them to make additional purchases.

#4. Notify customers of products other people are buying

Incorporate social proof into your product recommendations by displaying real-time notifications of products being purchased by other customers. This creates a sense of urgency and FOMO (fear of missing out), encouraging customers to explore and potentially purchase those items. Implement this feature using plugins or custom development to show live notifications on relevant product pages.

#5. Recommend products based on cart’s choice

When customers add items to their cart, offer recommendations for complementary or related products. Analyze the contents of the cart and suggest items that enhance or complete the customer's intended purchase. For example, if a customer adds a camera to their cart, recommend compatible lenses or camera accessories. Display these recommendations on the cart page or during the checkout process to increase upselling opportunities.

#6. Post-purchase Upsell to increase repeat purchase rate

After a successful purchase, utilize the order confirmation or thank-you page to present customers with relevant upsell offers. Recommend higher-priced or upgraded versions of the products they have just purchased or suggest related accessories. This technique capitalizes on the customer's current buying mindset and increases the likelihood of repeat purchases. Use eye-catching visuals and persuasive copy to capture their interest and drive additional sales.

To implement these strategies effectively, consider leveraging WooCommerce themes and plugins specifically designed for product recommendations, such as Woostify and Recommendation Engine. These tools can automate the recommendation process, analyze customer data, and generate personalized suggestions based on various factors like browsing history, purchase behavior, and trending products.

Moreover, you should use analytics tools to regularly monitor and analyze the performance of your product recommendations, and track click-through rates, conversion rates, and revenue generated from recommended products. Continuously refine your recommendations based on customer feedback, engagement metrics, and sales data to optimize their effectiveness and ensure ongoing improvements.

By implementing these strategies, you can enhance the effectiveness of your WooCommerce product recommendations, increase customer engagement, and drive more sales, ultimately improving the overall success of your online business.

WooCommerce Product Recommendations: FAQs

How do I recommend a product in WooCommerce?

To recommend a product in WooCommerce, you can use plugins specifically designed for product recommendations. These plugins analyze customer behavior, browsing history, and purchase data to generate personalized suggestions. You can configure the recommendation settings and specify where and how the recommendations should be displayed on your website.

What is the recommendation engine for WooCommerce?

The recommendation engine for WooCommerce is a system or plugin that generates personalized product recommendations based on various algorithms and data analysis. It utilizes customer data, such as browsing history, purchase behavior, and product relationships, to suggest relevant and tailored products to individual customers.

How do you use product recommendations?

To use product recommendations, you can integrate a recommendation engine or plugin into your WooCommerce store. Configure the settings to determine when and where the recommendations should be displayed, such as on product pages, cart pages, or checkout pages. The recommendation engine will analyze customer data and generate personalized suggestions to enhance the shopping experience and drive additional sales.

How does WooCommerce decide related products?

WooCommerce determines related products based on several factors. It analyzes the product attributes, such as categories, tags, and attributes, to identify items that share similarities. It also considers customer behavior, such as browsing and purchase history, to suggest products that other customers have shown interest in or commonly purchased together. The algorithm may also consider product popularity and sales data to determine related products.


WooCommerce product recommendations offer tremendous benefits for e-commerce businesses. You can enhance the shopping experience, increase average order value, and drive customer engagement and loyalty by utilizing personalized suggestions, such as related products, cross-sells, upsells, and featured products.

Through strategic placement and effective use of recommendation engines, you can streamline the buying journey, offer valuable product bundles, and capitalize on upselling opportunities. By continually refining and optimizing your product recommendations based on customer feedback and data analysis, you can maximize sales, improve customer satisfaction, and ultimately achieve greater success in your WooCommerce-powered online store.