Contextual Merchandising

Contextual Merchandising allows for dynamic recall or ranking of Recommendations based on contextual parameters. Without Contextual Merchandising, your merchandising rules can only work on the attribute values that you specify. Contextual Merchandising allows your merchandising rules to dynamically change values for the specified attributes, based on the attribute values of the product being viewed. This makes your merchandising rules more flexible.

For example, you could create a Contextual Merchandising rule for a similar products Recommendations widget that boosts brand and category. Someone who views a DeWalt power drill sees other DeWalt power drills in their Recommendations. They then view a Milwaukee power drill and see other Milwaukee power drills in the Recommendations instead. 

How to enable Contextual Merchandising

Contextual Merchandising is enabled by default for all Recommendations v2 APIs.

Contextual Merchandising is currently supported for Widget Global rules on the following primary algorithm types:

  • Similar products
  • Frequently Viewed together
  • Frequently Bought together
  • Experience-Driven recommendations

Contextual Merchandising User Guide

Create or edit a rule for Contextual Merchandising

Step 1

In the Bloomreach Dashboard, go to Pathways & Recommendations to view the Widget Configurator. 


If you haven’t already, we recommend reading the Widget Configurator and the Pathways and Recommendations Merchandising documentation to learn how to configure and merchandise your widgets.

Step 2

Visit the Product Grid tab for a widget.

For existing widgets, you must first find the widget in the Widget Configurator, then click ManageWidget Global Settings, then click ManageEdit Rule.

Step 3

Go to the Attribute tab. You may edit an existing attribute rule or create a new attribute rule.

Step 4

Select Product Description Attributes, then select an attribute for the rule to work on. Make sure to also select the merchandising operation for the rule (Boost, Bury, Include only, Exclude).


Note: Numeric Attributes are not supported for Contextual Merchandising.

Select **Product Description Attributes**Select **Product Description Attributes**

Select Product Description Attributes

Select an attribute and a merchandising operation.Select an attribute and a merchandising operation.

Select an attribute and a merchandising operation.

Step 5

To use Contextual Merchandising for that attribute, select Value of the viewed product under Dynamic Merchandising, and click Done. Contextual Merchandising rules will be displayed with a Context-Based tag.


Note: Attribute rules cannot use "Value of the viewed product" at the same time as other attribute values.

Test your Contextual Merchandising rules

In the Product Grid, click Preview to test your Contextual Merchandising rule. Enter a product ID to preview what products will be recommended contextually for that product.

For example, suppose you have a Frequently Viewed Together widget with a contextual rule to boost products based on the “color_groups” attribute. You could preview the Recommendations that a customer sees when they view this Red Lounge Cushion.

Without the contextual rule, the other red cushions are not ranked highly in the Recommendations. With the contextual rule, however, red cushions are ranked higher since they are part of the same color group as the product being viewed.

Conflict Resolution

In case of conflicts, the same conflict resolution rules for Search & Merchandising rules also apply for Contextual Merchandising.

If there are multiple products (that is, multiple product IDs) on the page such that multiple attribute values are passed, then Contextual Merchandising rule will apply to all values.

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