Use Product Finder 360 Sorting Tools
Every time your customer answers a question, they may be displayed the product search results that are divided into two sections: "Perfect matching" and "Alternative products".
The "Alternative products" section may also be displayed under the first questions (before any questions have been answered).
From the business perspective, It is often important in which order the items are displayed in those sections. Product Finder 360 enables you to define the sorting rules at three levels:
Default Sorting: defines the general set of rules used to display the products within the Best matching and Alternative products. This is what the customer will see if no other rules have been defined.
Answer-Based Sorting Rules: if a specific answer has been given by the customer, the products that match this answer will be displayed first. These rules take precedence over the default sorting.
1. Default Sorting Rules
Default Sorting defines the general set of rules used to display the products within the Best matching and Alternative products.
For example, you can define the following sorting:
All the products that are on promotion shall be shown first, and
The items are shown manufacturer by manufacturer in alphabetical order, and
They are shown the cheapest to the most expensive inside each manufacturer
As you can see in the example above:
Bikes on promotion go first
Inside, they are ordered by a manufacturer (Bike4U, and then Giant Bikes), and
Inside each group, they are ordered by price ascendingly
Learn how to define the default sorting in the dedicated article.
2. Answer-Based Sorting Rules
Answer-based Sorting Rules define additional sorting rules, that will be applied if the customer has selected a specific answer. Answer-based sorting rules are triggered as soon as the answer has been given and applied above the default sorting. For example, you can define that if the user has selected an answer "I'd like to find a cheaper option", you can make the price sorting more important. All the default rules will be applied next. That's the order we'll get if such an option has been selected.
As you can see:
Now all the bikes are ordered by their price
If there are several bikes at the same price (see the second line in the example) - the bikes on promotion are shown first, and then they are ordered by the Manufacturer.
2.1 Multiple Answer-Based Sorting Rules
If the product matches several answer-based sorting rules, the rules related to the latest given answer will be applied last. Which means, that if at the first question set sorting by manufacturer, the second by size, and the last - by color, the Recommended Products and Alternatives will be sorted:
1. By manufacturer
2. Product with the same manufacturer will be sorted by size
3. Products with the same manufacturer and size will be sorted by color.
If one of the questions defines a sorting rule based on the same attribute as used for an earlier defined sorting rule, the earlier rule is ignored. Which means, that if at the first question set sorting by manufacturer ascending, the second by size, the third by color, and the last - by manufacturer descending, the Recommended Products and Alternatives will be sorted:
1. By size
2. Products with the same size will be sorted by color
3. Product with the same size and color will be sorted by manufacturer (descending)
2.2 Sorting By a Property Not Defined in the Recommendation Rule
If this complies with your business logic, you can define an answer-based sorting rule that is not directly related to the recommendations algorithm, but maybe rather caused by marketing issues - for example, you can decide that if the user has selected a specific manufacturer, the products colored black shall be displayed first.
Learn how to define the default sorting in the dedicated article
IMPORTANT TO KNOW
If the customer uses "Sort by" drop-down to manually order the results, both default, and answer-based sorting are ignored.
3. Next Steps
This way you've defined, the order in which the products are displayed in the Recommendations and Alternative Products sections. Along with that, you can filter the Alternative Products in such a manner that products that don't correspond to a specific customer's demand are not displayed (for example, if the customer has selected a specific manufacturer, we might want to remove the products of other manufacturers from the Alternative Products as well).