“Judging by Amazon’s success, the recommendation system works. The company reported a 29% sales increase to $12.83 billion during its second fiscal quarter, up from $9.9 billion during the same time last year. A lot of that growth has to do with the way Amazon has integrated recommendations into nearly every part of the purchasing process…

Watching and learning from the eCommerce behemoth Amazon, there is no doubt that an intelligent personalized product recommendation engine is what any online store needs in such a custom-centric era as today.

In this article, we want to focus on tips & tricks for WooCommerce merchants to customize simple but highly effective related product recommendation widgets on WooCommerce stores.

Why you need intelligent related product recommendations to increase online sales?

#1 – Helping your customers find related products while shopping on your store is important. By introducing a variety of both alternative and complementary options to customers, you minimize the chances that customers will leave your store emty-handed because they couldn’t find anything that suit them.

#2 – Selling more to current customers is less costly than acquiring new ones. Using onsite product recommendations, you can increase average order value (AOV) per customer, thus boost total revenue.

#3 – Personalized product recommendations also help you retain old customers and increase repeat purchase rate, by suggesting products they highly likely love based on their past orders.  

Basically, if you’re not enhancing related product recommending strategies for your WooCommerce store, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table.

Default WooCommerce Recommended Products Settings:

The built-in product recommendation settings in WooCommerce allow you to link related products one-by-one, in 3 ways:

  • Cross-sells (manual selection)
  • Up-sells (manual selection)
  • Related products (automatic selection defined by category and/or tag


WooCommerce Cross-sells only show up on cart page, when customers add the main product to cart. To create cross-sells, you will go to each product page and choose items you want to cross-sell with.

woocommerce cross-sell settings

Cross-sells block shows on cart page under the default text “You may be interested in…”:

woocommerce cross-sell


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

set up woocommerce upsell

Up-sell products show in a slider block below main product images, under default text “You may also like…”:

woocommerce upsell

Related products

While cross-sells and up-sells are manually selected, related products are automatically sorted and displayed on all product pages that share the same categories and/or tags with other products (excluding the currently viewed, invisible and out-of-stock products).

woocommerce related products

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, refer to this instruction.

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.

6 Ways to Customize Better WooCommerce Related Products Widgets

WooCommerce built-in recommended product features are helpful when you start building your WooCommerce store with a small product inventory.

What if you have 100 products or more? Not only is manually creating up-sells & cross-sells for each single product time-consuming, but automated related products widgets might also have reverse affects since there is a high chance that randomly picked products from a large inventory are not related at all.

If you pursue viable solutions to scale up your sales, let’s take a look at 6 ways to better related products recommendations for your WooCommerce store, with Beeketing for WooCommerce plugin.

#1 Place Best Sellers & Featured Products sliders on Homepage

When new customers first visit your store, they might already know what they’re looking for, or they might not. By showing your store’s best sellers and featured products, you introduce most popular products to customers and increase the add-to-cart rate because best sellers normally have the highest conversion.

woocommerce best sellers recommendationPowered by Personalized Recommendation app – a built-in tool of Beeketing for WooCommerce

#2 Cross-sells: Bundle up frequently bought together products and sell altogether in value combo

The most classic example of how cross-sell exactly works is fastfood combo. When you go to KFC and order a hamburger, chances are that you will be offered a combo of a hamburger, fried chips, and a coke, at a cheaper total price than if you order each item separately.

You can apply the same tactic if your products can be paired together.

woocommerce product bundlesPowered by Boost Sales app

In the example above, when customers view any of the three items in the bundle, the cross-sell widget will appear under product descriptions, recommending the combo at a discount total price. Customers can exclude items they don’t want to buy, but they won’t get the discount as taking the whole bundle.

#3 Up-sells: suggested similar products at discount price

In the fast food case, upsell means upgrading your customer’s order from beef hamburger (which cost $5) to beef hamburger with double cheese (which cost $6.99). Again, you can apply that exact same tip to upgrade customer’s order on your WooCommerce store.

When customer adds an item to cart, you can set up an upsell offer that suggests similar but better items (that are also priced higher) to motivate customers to upgrade their order:

woocommerce upsell productsPowered by Boost Sales app

#4 Notify customers of products other people are buying

One very smart trick to both introduce best-selling products to customers and create the fear of missing out is to show recent order notifications that let customers know what others are buying.

woocommerce recent sales notificationsPowered by Sales Pop app

Customers can click on the notification to explore the product that was bought by others. Beside recommending more products to customers, this strategy also leverages the power of social proof, creates the sense of a busy store, and builds trust on your brand.

#5 Recommended products based on cart’s choice

Amazon recommends products in nearly every step of the customer’s purchasing process, even when customers are about to check out: you can sell even more, or you can have one more abandoned cart.

At cart page, those who are ready to pay for your products might be willing to pay a little more for some good offers. Those who have second thoughts on cart items might leave if you don’t show them better alternatives.

With Beeketing for WooCommerce plugin, there are 2 ways you can up-sell customer effectively at cart page:

Cart recommendations carousel:

When customers review their order on cart page, a slider recommending choices similar / complementary to their cart items will be shown under the cart:

woocommerce recommended productsPowered by Personalized Recommendation app

Last-step Recommendation with discount offer:

When customer clicks checkout button, an relate products recommendation will popup to suggest more items to check out.

What’s special is, you can increase AOV with a gamification trick: offer customer a discount reward if they pay a little more to reach the threshold cart value for the reward.

woocommerce upsell at cart pagePowered by Boost Sales app

#6 Post-purchase Upsell to increase repeat purchase rate

Encouraging repeat purchase is good for retaining loyal customers. Even when customers finish their order, you can still upsell and cross-sell more related products to increase repeat purchase rate of your store.

Post-puchase Upsell on Thank-you page:

When customers reach thank-you page, you can prompt the last upsell offer with a thank-you coupon (discount or free-shipping) if they come back to make another order:

woocommerce checkout upsell

Powered by Checkout Boost app

Send follow-up emails to recommend products:

When customers are off from your site, they might either forget that your brand exists or be busy checking on other brands. Following up customers with products recommendation emails will remind them of your new or popular offerings, thus get them check back in.

It’s also a good idea to include a coupon offer with product recommendations to make customers feel incentivised:

woocommerce upsell email

Powered by Mailbot app

Make the right move if you plan to scale large

Apparently, WooCommerce is a superb eCommerce solution, bringing lots of useful built-in features handy for new starters. However, extra services always bring extra good things.

To create an intelligent related product recommendation engine accross channels for your WooCommerce store that is scaling up, you definitely need the help of top-notch third-party plugins. Who don’t want to save time and efforts, while converting more customers into sales?

beeketing for woocommercehow to sell on woocommercewoocommerce related productswoocommerce upsell