Think about this: You are visiting your favorite retail store. The employees already know what suits you and what you like the most. They even know what you have been longing to have in a long time, and they have all options ready the moment you walk into the door.
Simply put, they understand your needs so well that they make your purchase journey easier. No guesswork, no stress.
This exclusive and customized shopping experience is referred to as personalization in e-commerce. And every customer expects it.
According to a recent survey by Accenture, approximately 91% of consumers say that they are more likely to buy from sellers who remember them and strive to provide relevant offers. Furthermore, about 83% of consumers are willing to share their data in exchange for personalized shopping experiences.
In simple words, customers feel special when you strive to understand them and personalize your offers to them. The results can be enormous since it improves conversion rates and turns one-time shoppers into loyal customers.
It also increases the average order value (AOV) and creates relevant customer touch-points.
Today, we want to talk about the basics of e-commerce personalization and how you can easily leverage personalization to improve your conversions. So, let us get started.
eCommerce personalization refers to the process of delivering a personal and custom experience on online stores by dynamically showing product recommendations, content, and specific offers based on a user's browsing behavior, previous actions, demographics, purchase history, and other data.
Personalization provides merchants with a unique way of engaging with online shoppers and fulfilling their needs. In return, sellers enjoy improved conversion, which drives sales and increases the volume of repeat purchases.
The primary objective of eCommerce personalization is to customize a customer’s buying journey. While it might sound simple, many marketers only execute a small fraction of it and think they are done. Most of them are only hitting the tip of the iceberg.
Customers expect relevant offers. They want to see the products they care about and love. Therefore, flooding them with a multitude of products/offers to choose from doesn't work.
The biggest problem with most online stores is that they don't care about customer experience at all. With increased competition, lower production costs, and endless shelf space, most sellers are presenting customers with too many options than any time before.
The result? Low sales volumes, increased rate of cart abandonment, and a dwindling number of returning clients.
The same survey conducted by Accenture revealed that approximately 40% of shoppers had left a store to purchase from another store because they were overwhelmed with too many options.
Even if they don't leave, at least 75% of your prospective customers will be frustrated with irrelevant offers that are not specific to them and won't return.
Therefore, it is your responsibility to help your prospects find relevant products to convert them into happy and returning clients. The solution is personalization.
While we focus on personalization benefits from a seller's perspective, it is also essential to mention some of the benefits that customers receive from personalization:
Data is the main component of personalization. In fact, personalization won’t work if you don’t know anything about your customers. The more relevant and accurate data you gather, the more refined and detailed your personalization will be.
The good news is that most customers are willing to provide you with their data in exchange for personalized shopping experience.
Therefore, when prospects sign up on your site or check out for the first time, make sure you take advantage of that opportunity to collect as much information about them as possible. This will help you in personalizing their shopping journey in the future.
As the relationship grows, continue learning more about them. How often do they shop? What is their average AOV? What campaigns have converted for them?
Keep in mind that relevant customer data can come from anywhere, and it is your job to be on the lookout and gather as much data as possible. In summary, focus on the following data points:
Enabling social logins such as connecting with Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook can also help you gather valuable information about your customers quite easily.
Now that you understand what eCommerce personalization is all about and the cognitive psychology behind the strategy, it is time to look at some of the most common personalization tactics.
Your website serves as the primary entrance to your eCommerce store. When people land on your site, they expect you to treat them uniquely. That is where website personalization comes in handy.
So, what is website personalization? The term is used to refer to the process of dynamically altering a website based on who is viewing it. Some of the common website personalization tactics include dynamic messages, content, visuals, and offers for every shopper.
The KPIs for website personalization are:
Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to personalize your website. They include:
If you want to be successful, you need to ensure that your personalization goes beyond your site. Email remains one of the most effective communication channels, and personalizing your email marketing strategy can help multiply your results. The different types of personalization for triggered email campaigns include:
Personalized social notifications offer you an incredible platform to send real-time updates and notifications to your prospects. Although it is still a relatively new way of personalizing eCommerce, some merchants are already leveraging this technology to provide relevant and contextual information about their products.
Marketers have already come up with several ways to use social notifications to optimize conversions and increase sales. They are:
One common example of implementing this strategy is by showing how the number of people who are currently shopping on your site. For instance, you can display a message such as “36 other people are currently shopping with you.”
When displaying social proof notifications, consider using distinct font color, fonts, and call out buttons for each item in your message. Make the notification unique and easy to see to grab the user’s attention.
You can use social proof notifications to encourage sales, communicate value, or encourage users to take a specific action such as downloading your price list.
Once you have established a strong relationship with your customers, you can start personalizing their shopping experiences based on their previous activity and shopping history. Keep in mind that at this stage, you have collected plenty of information about them from past interactions.
You can also use this information for upselling and cross-selling products that are relevant to them. Typically, before purchasing, visitors check multiple pages of your site. They might even visit your website several times before they finally purchase a product.
A surefire way to get them to convert is by personalizing this journey and making them feel valued. For instance, you can start by showing them a customized list of products they recently viewed and even offer discounts and free shipping on some of the products.
Now that you know what eCommerce personalization is all about, it is time to start implementing what you have learned. Just keep in mind that eCommerce personalization is something that isn’t going away any time soon.
In fact, it is an unavoidable part of modern user experiences. It is too prevalent such that you cannot afford to ignore it unless you want to fail. Big brands such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, and Instagram are implementing personalization and ensuring users feel valued.
Do you want to go against the standards set by such companies? We don’t think so.
So, it is time you started thinking about eCommerce personalization because it can help you achieve higher conversions and sales.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please let us know in the comments below. You should also feel free to share some great examples of eCommerce personalization you might have come across.