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How to Integrate Recommendation Engine with E-commerce Platforms 15 September 2021

 

The whole idea behind e-commerce platforms is to provide the customers with a smooth online shopping experience without them needing to step out of their homes. So, why is it that the stakeholders of e-commerce platforms tend to forget the most important factor of shopping – recommendations. Can you recall how every time you went to any shop, there were people guiding you and suggesting to you what to pick and what not to? More importantly, these people were always there to lead you wherever you wanted to go. Why not give the same importance to customers when they shop online? All one needs to do is get a recommendation engine and then integrate it with their website. 

 

What is A Recommendation Engine?

Recommendation Engine is a tool that analyzes user’s behavior and products available on a particular website, and then based on algorithms or filtering methods, it recommends products to users. We have already covered this topic in detail in another blog – what is an AI-based recommendation engine and the evolution of a recommendation engine. You can read it to understand better.

So now that you know what a Recommendation Engine is, you obviously need to find the right one as per your needs and understand how to integrate the same with your platform! In this blog we will explore how simple or difficult is it for someone to integrate a recommendation engine with their existing platform! 

 

Integrating Recommendation Engine with a Website or App

There are multiple recommendation engines available in the market, and the steps to integrate them, in general, are – 

  1. Configure your platform on a Recommendation Engine
  2. Find the relevant codes as per your platform and send them to your engineering team
  3. The engineering team will then do coding to integrate the recommendation engine 
  4. Add the website’s data to the recommendation engine through API or Javascript
  5. Configure the data
  6. Create Banners/widgets for all recommendation types and then add it
  7. Add recommendation product’s Image URLs by using the relevant codes
  8. Add ‘Add to Cart’ option
  9. Select the Algorithm
  10. See the Output

The above ten steps are what recommendation engines usually follow. Sometimes, it can take weeks to understand these steps and then to actually implement them. The burden usually falls on the technical teams to collect all the relevant codes for their platform, and the end result cannot be made into a promise. Which is why we recommend taking a free trial of any recommendation engine before you finalize your decision.

However, there are also some recommendation engines that won’t make you wait long to use them, such as Alie. Alie is an AI-based recommendation engine that can be integrated with any website in mere five steps. In fact, you will get assistance every step of your way. Based on the past experiences of customers, it can be easily said that you won’t have to do any coding whatsoever; they have it ready and will help you all along. Here are the five simple steps of Alie through which you can integrate your website with it – 

 

1. Create a Project on Alie CMS

The steps are quite simple to be performed by anybody. All you have to do is create a project by logging in to Alie. The benefit of using Alie is that you can create multiple projects if you wish to; this helps in comparing the different algorithms used and in deciding which algorithm works best for your website. 

 

 

2. Add data

There are several factors that come into play when you are adding data to your project. The first and foremost is that if you only wish to see how Alie operates, then you can simply choose from the data available in Alie; the sample data covers the three prominent industries – E-commerce, Food, and Media & Entertainment.

 

 

Now, if you want to try Alie with your website’s data, then there are two methods through which you can add data.

Adding Data Manually

For this, one only needs to follow two steps, but remember in mind you will have to repeat these two steps for User, Content, and Behavioral data from your website.

  1. Click on ‘Add data’
  2. Add ‘Import User Data’, and add the file from your website. Repeat this by clicking on ‘Import Content Data’ and ‘Import Behavioral Data’.

 

 

Adding Data Automatically

For this, the steps are a little complicated, but once you are done with it the data will be automatically extracted from the website. You won’t have to add the data again and again.

 

API Integration

  1. Click on ‘Add data’
  2. Go to ‘Configuration’
  3. Click on ‘General Information’ and type your domain name
  4. Once you have added your domain name, you can see your data set and your universal ID for API integration. Important to keep in mind is that this universal ID will be different for each project you make under ALIE. To learn more about how you can add the data through API click here

 

JavaScript Integration

  1. Click on ‘Add data’
  2. Go to ‘JavaScript Code’
  3. Copy the entire code by clicking on ‘copy’
  4. Paste the above code into the head of HTML file (Look the below video for reference)
  5. Your data can now be automatically imported from your website. To learn more about how to add different parameters of importing data through JavaScript Integration, click here.

 

 

3. Configure the data according to your requirements

Once the data is imported from your website, you now need to configure the data fields and train Alie.

  1. Go to ‘Project’
  2. Click on ‘User data’ and add field to ‘User ID’ and ‘User Name’
  3. Click on ‘Item data’ and add field to ‘Unique ID’ and ‘Item Name’
  4. You also have the option of adding data types, but it is not mandatory as Alie itself detects the data types. You will get options such as ‘String’, ‘Float’ and ‘Integer’.
  5. For ‘Behavioral data’, you do not need to do anything as Alie is already trained. 
  6. Click on ‘Proceed’.

 

 

 

4. Select your preferred algorithms

There are different algorithms available in Alie for you to choose from. List of algorithms – 

  1. Other Users Choice
  2. Most Viewed
  3. End-User Interaction
  4. Cookie Based Recommendation
  5. Most – Purchased
  6. Customizable Recommendation

 

 

5. See the output in tabular grid or download it in JSON format. 

You can see which product is being recommended to which user through the following steps – 

  1. Select the ‘User ID’ or ‘Name’ from the available options in drop down
  2. Click on ‘View Output’
  3. See the output in JSON on the right side of the screen
  4. To see the output in tabular grid structure click on ‘Preview’

 

 

With Alie, you won’t have to wait for months in order to integrate it with your website. Interestingly, if you have any particular requirements for a recommendation engine, Alie’s team will make sure you get it within a reasonable amount of time. More importantly, Alie can be integrated with any website, doesn’t matter if the website is made on any hosted platform or through any programming language such as Php, Java or Python. 

Hosted platforms like Magento, Shopify, or Wix are in much demand these days. According to Internet Live Statistics, there are nearly 1.8 billion hosted websites globally. But, the recommendation engine of these hosted platforms is not as strong as it should be. The website owners are not aware that the outside recommendation engines can also be integrated with these platforms with the help of API and extensions. If you own a website on any of the following platforms, you can read how to integrate a recommendation engine with it – 

  1. Magento
  2. Magento 2
  3. Shopify
  4. Wix
  5. Big Commerce
  6. WordPress
  7. PrestaShop

 

Conclusion

One should never rely on a tool that doesn’t offer a free trial for you to experience its advantages and disadvantages. It can lead to a longer waiting period, and there’s a risk that you may face disappointment in the end. Additionally, Recommendation Engine is the need of today’s e-commerce world, so integrate it with your website sooner than your customer chooses to shift loyalties. Try the 14-day free trial of Alie – an AI-based recommendation engine that offers multiple algorithms for you to choose from, and it is user-friendly. 

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kritika
Kritika Verma is an Associate Content Writer and works with Muvi Marketing Team. She is an inbound marketing professional and ensures high-quality traffic on the Muvi website through her blogs, articles, and more. She has an engineering background but always had a knack for writing. In her free time, she is either on Quora or on chess.com (Mostly losing).

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