Product recommendations are a well-understood feature of websites, but they’re nearly always discussed in relation to B2C. Who hasn’t encountered Amazon’s promotion of what “customers like you” considered? There seems to be a consensus that consumers often make impulse purchases and can be swayed by recommendations, while B2B purchasers are experts who rely on extensive research and put a lot of thought into every purchase.
Like most conventional wisdom, this isn’t quite accurate. Marshall Wolf Automation, a 35-year-old industrial automation distributor, has proved that AI-driven product recommendations can change the game, even for B2B brands.
Tyler Jensen, Magento web developer and architect at Marshall Wolf Automation, believed that utilizing the latest version of Magento Commerce and implementing Product Recommendations powered by Adobe Sensei, could bring about substantial and measurable competitive advantage.
“Product recommendations are often overlooked in the B2B space,” he says. “Yet they provide tremendous value. Making it easy to purchase exactly what they need improves the customer experience and reduces returns, saving money on our end.”
Many B2B firms find it difficult to advertise effectively, and generating specific product awareness can be difficult. Because B2B firms tend to have large and varied product lines, not every customer can know all the possibilities.
The results proved Jensen’s vision to be prescient. Once the product recommendations feature was implemented, the average order value (AOV) rose 20%. That’s an incredible accomplishment, particularly for a stable category like industrial automation. In fact, there were nearly 5,000 clicks on product recommendations in March as new product discovery was greatly improved for their customers. As these metrics show, the value of product recommendations in B2B is very real.
More importantly for Marshall Wolf Automation, deploying product recommendations and making them live on its site wasn’t a heavy lift.
“It was very easy for us to get up and running,” says Jensen. “It took virtually no time to implement, and we don’t need to babysit the process. Product Recommendations is available to all Magento Commerce customers, and we didn’t need to spend any additional money to improve our sales results.”
And Because the feature is powered by Adobe’s AI, it delivers continuous improvements and takes a much more objective approach to delivering recommendations.
As Jensen notes, “We think we know our customers, but we all have biases. The AI-based system doesn’t.”
In addition, the automated recommendations don’t require additional staff or manpower. Marshall Wolf estimates that trying to do product recommendations manually might require two or three FTEs.
The value and benefits from Magento Commerce for Marshall Wolf are not only quantifiable, but they also position the company as a leader. With minimal outlays and limited resource investment, the company has seen a substantial increase in AOV while providing customers with recommendations they really value.