New Feature: Author Recommendations

Hi All,

We’ve just finished our bi-annual Hack-Fort(night) where a few of us chose to work on a feature which allows authors to recommend other items to their customers. Authors are already designing their items to be compatible with other items or using other items in their preview so it makes sense that we create an easy way for authors to recommend these items while providing a consistent way for customers to view them.

This Hackfort project is purely aimed at testing author and customer usage.
Do authors want to recommend other items? How will they use the feature (e.g. by recommending compatible items, items used in the preview, their own items, etc)? And do customers actually want recommendations from authors?

How it works:

Create a Collection
In order to make some recommendations you’ll need to first create a Collection with the items you want to recommend. Collections is an existing feature that allows users to group items together for public or private consumption. For our purposes it won’t matter if it’s public or private. If you haven’t used Collections before then you should first read the help centre article.

We have made a small enhancement to Collections to allow users to add a short note/description to each individual item in the Collection. This is totally optional and will only be displayed to users when added through the new Collections field (below).

Add Collection to an Item
Now when you edit an item you can add a collection to it through a new section in Update Description. Just select the collection you want from the drop-down and save your changes.

Display Collection on Item page
Collections added to an item will be displayed on the Item page below the Item Description. Customers will now be able to view and add the recommended item to cart straight from the original item page creating a much better user experience (especially for items like photos and audio where there it is not as important to view the Item Details).

A maximum of three items will be displayed on the item page but customers will be able to click through to see all items in the Collection if there are more than three.

To provide clearer intent/purpose, initially the site will be used to determine what heading the related items are displayed under:

  • “Here are some items I recommend” (PhotoDune, AudioJungle)
  • “You know what goes well with this item?” (CodeCanyon, ThemeForest)
  • “I used these items in my preview” (VideoHive, GraphicRiver, 3DOcean)

Here are just a few suggested uses:

  • Cross-selling background music, footage, and placeholder photos used in your video template preview on VideoHive
  • Cross-selling video templates that make use of your music track on AudioJungle
  • Cross-selling other photos from the same location/photoshoot on PhotoDune
  • Cross-selling compatible add-ons to your plugin on CodeCanyon
  • Cross-selling HTML, Email Template, or other CMS version of your WordPress theme on ThemeForest

Test
As mentioned, we’re launching this as a test so any authors using the feature should subscribe to this forum post for updates. For example, while the current description on the Item page is quite specific (e.g. “items in my preview”) we may change the description at some point to make it more open-ended (e.g. “items I recommend”). That way we can get a better idea of how authors want to use it and what works best from a customer perspective. At this stage the feature will be around until the end of June where we’ll be much better placed to make a call on the future of it.

Feedback
As always we’d love to hear any thoughts you have or if you see anything fishy.

Thanks,
Andrew, Eric, Lorena, Manny, Paul, Pete, Shevaun and Steven

30 Likes

I sell a couple of themes on ThemeForest that only work for one of my CodeCanyon items.

Perfect scenario. Thanks guys!

(just tried it and couldn’t see any changes on item page, still rolling out? will it replace the “more items by dtbaker” part at the bottom or will it display on the purchase confirmation page?)
seems it takes a few minutes for the change to appear on the item page :slight_smile: all good

Any thoughts on including these items on the cart/checkout process with an easy “ok buy these as well” option?

Cheers.

Hi Dave,

Glad you like it.

Agree that below the Item Description is not the ideal place for this but given we only had two weeks we had to make some compromises. If authors and/or customers get behind it then I’ll have a strong case to implement this feature properly.

FWIW initial thoughts are either the right hand side of the Item page and/or the Add-to-Cart modal but that’s just a gut feel at this stage.

Andrew

3 Likes

There is a ‘problem’ with collections with many items.

I see that this feature is set to show limited amount of items from linked collection (which is good). However, it only shows the oldest three items, and currently there is no (or I don’t see any) way to change which three items will be shown.

6 Likes

Currently it has 2 choices, author can select to show a collection or “myFavorites”.
Now it’s impossible to cancel this feature once a collection was selected.
You should also add a feature that entirely cancels the display of the collection on item pages. @andrewfreeman

So we need…:

  • Collection Name (to display a collection on itemDescriptionPage)
  • MyFavorites (to display authors’ favorites on itemDescriptionPage)
  • CANCEL (to display nothing on itemDescriptionPage)
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and also please look at this New Feature

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haha interesting bug!

ping @andrewfreeman - it’s pulling soft disabled collection items into the mix ^^

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Also if you’re in the code again any time soon are you able to make it skip a collection item if it matches the current item id (example - I use this same 2-item collection elsewhere promoting this particular “bundle”)

@andrewfreeman Great initiative.

Few Bugs to be fixed.

  1. Option to add Custom Titles, Its does not always your title matches our needs. for example, I’m adding the collection to a church template, I’d like to read the title as “Check out our other Church Templates

  2. Styling: In Envato Style Guide, All Listing is in a grey box. I think that should be same for item page as well.

  3. View collection: The Link is not noticable. Its better to make it center + a button BG, instead of link. Also it would be super cool if I click that button, other items slide down on the same page instead of other page.

  4. Let us sort the item: As you are showing 3 by default, I wanted to show one particular item as First. Now I have no option to do that. So please give us an option to sort by “Date, Sales, Accending, Rating, Pricing etc…”

Hope you will consider this.

~Surjith

3 Likes

It’s nice idea but seems like you didn’t tell your front-end guys about it, why it looks that bad? It’s so cramped

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I think this is a great idea and I’ve already started using it! Thanks :slight_smile:

I think it’s interesting idea… I use it already!)
Thanks)

Cool feature! Thanks Envato! The end of item’s description is the great place. It gives customers alternative solutions instead of existing one, create a tight connection between authors :slight_smile:

It’s good to have the control with ordering items, i.e. which one to show first, second and third.

1 Like

Good idea! I like it

Nice update :smiley:
I think we should choose items carefully to maximize CTR, not just listing your other themes under your theme :smiley:
My try http://themeforest.net/item/applay-wordpress-app-showcase-app-store-theme/9381060 :wink:

1 Like

I like it, I’m already using this feature!

I think it’s really great idea. As for me it looks very good) http://audiojungle.net/item/indie-pop/14650788
But I agree with guys, that it needs some improvements. Especially I agree that authors should have an opportunity to change what items from the collection they want to show. And it’s a good idea from @surjithctly about “+” button instead “View collection” and if you click that button, other items slide down on the same page instead of other page.

Happy days, nice Feature.

^ It seems we still don’t have a “CANCEL/REMOVE COLLECTION” option, right?