You’ve no doubt heard the word personalization thrown around a lot in the world of ecommerce. But it’s one of those buzzwords that gets used a lot, without going into much detail. Like Headless or Multichannel, Personalization is one of the top things every merchant is advised to bring into their ecommerce strategy. But how do you actually do that?
In this article, we’ll have a look at what it means to personalize the ecommerce experience as well as 5 ways that you, as a merchant can begin to improve the customer journey through personalization.
What is Ecommerce Personalization?
Other than the physical experience of being in the shop and able to touch the products, what is one of the biggest differences between ecommerce and in-store shopping? The sales assistants. When you walk into a store, there is someone, or a whole team of someones, ready to assist you in any way you need. From helping customers locate the right aisle, to recommending similar products, to a few friendly words at checkout. The human touch can make a real difference in the shopping experience.
Personalization in ecommerce boils down to bringing the online shopping experience closer to that friendly, human, personal experience in-store. By tailoring online interactions with each customer based on their individual preferences and needs. From the very beginning of the customer’s journey with your website, through to checkout and beyond. Giving them an experience that feels personal can help drive sales and increase customer loyalty.
What difference can personalization make?
Research gathered by our partner Bloomreach shows that:
- Marketers find that personalizing user experiences increases sales by an average of 20%
- 80% of shoppers are more likely to buy from an online store that offers them a tailored, personalized experience
- 60% of shoppers have said they are more likely to return to online stores that have given them a good, personalized experience.
With statistics like that, you can see why personalizing the user experience of your ecommerce shop is so important. So let’s take a look at how you can start to make changes to improve the customer experience with personalization.
5 Strategies to personalize your shopping experience
Personalization is more complex than simply another tool to boost your conversion like a one-click checkout. Personalization has to be customer-driven and customer-data-driven. You can’t use a personalisation strategy just to push offers and recommendations that are most profitable to your business. You have to actively tailor the customer’s experience to better reflect their individual needs and interests.
So, how can you help the customer achieve their goal on your website as easily and enjoyably as possible? We’ll work through the buyer journey from finding your website, through to the relationship post-checkout.
1. Customised Landing Pages
While not as real-time dynamic as some of the later AI-powered suggestions. Simply creating tailored landing pages to attract web searchers from each of your different audience segments is a great way to increase your online visibility. By improving your search rankings for terms specific to that particular type of customer, you make it easier for them to find you in the first place. It also makes their experience with you feel more tailored to their interests from the very start.
Customising content on landing pages, as well as places like blog articles, gives shoppers access to relevant information for their particular interests. It shows them you are paying attention to them and their intentions. This makes shoppers feel valued and will help increase customer loyalty.
2. Personalized Recommendations
One of the most effective ways to create a customized user experience is by offering personalized product recommendations. Depending on the available data, merchants can analyze a customer’s on-site behaviour, browsing and purchase history. Based on this, you can then offer that customer products they are most likely to be interested in. Product discovery services like Attraqt use AI to turn customer data into personalized recommendations across the home, category, product detail and basket pages.
Personalized recommendations not only make it easier for customers to find products they are interested in but also increase the likelihood of upselling and cross-selling. This is because customers are more likely to trust recommendations from a merchant that has given them a good experience and made them feel valued and understood.
3. Chatbots and Customer Service
Using chatbots to personalize the customer experience can increase conversions in several ways. Firstly, chatbots can take product recommendations even further by interacting with the customer and understanding not just their pat behaviour, but their present needs as well.
Secondly, by providing personalized offers and discounts, chatbots can incentivize customers to make a purchase that they may have otherwise hesitated to make. Consider it like the friendly shop assistant that can give that little extra nudge to an indecisive customer.
Thirdly, by providing real-time support and assistance, chatbots can help customers feel more confident and comfortable with their purchase decisions, leading to increased conversions and reduced cart abandonment rates.
4. Personalized Emails
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach customers. But you can boost your open and click-through rates with personalized messaging. Personalized emails can include recommendations based on a customer’s purchase history, wish list, or browsing history. You can also share special offers and promotions tailored to their interests.
Getting personalized emails right is all about using customer data to segment and target. Make sure you are sending relevant emails with targeted offers and suggestions to the right customer at the right time. This will help build stronger relationships with your customers post-purchase and increase their loyalty to your brand. We partner with marketing platforms such as Dotdigital that help merchants to make the most of their email marketing by leveraging customer data.
5. Loyalty Programs
Your customized content, product recommendations and chatbot have worked and your customer has made a purchase. Now what? Sending personalized emails is a great way to keep customers engaged with your brand but sometimes they need a little extra incentive.
With a loyalty program, merchants can offer rewards and incentives for repeat business, building long-term relationships with their customers. Personalization can play a significant role in loyalty programs by tailoring rewards to a customer’s interests and behavior. For example, a customer who frequently purchases makeup could receive rewards related to cosmetics. This not only makes the rewards more appealing but also shows that the merchant is paying attention to the customer’s needs. And, as we have established, customers that feel valued and understood by a brand are more likely to return.
Conclusion – Why you need to start personalizing your ecommerce shopping experience
By investing in strategies such as custom content, product recommendations, chatbots, personalized emails and loyalty programs, merchants can create better shopping experiences. Not only more engaging and enjoyable for their customers but also more effective in driving sales. Personalization can help to reduce cart abandonment rates and also increase average order value by providing real-time support and assistance. Rewarding customers for their repeat business and recommending relevant products and promotions builds long-term relationships. Making customers feel their interests and understood and valued will increase brand loyalty.
By bridging the gap between online shopping and the human touch of a friendly shop assistant in-store, personalization can help merchants to stand out from their competition and win more customers.
How can Calashock help with personalization?
At Calashock we have over 13 years of experience helping ecommerce merchants to grow their businesses. Both through ecommerce web development and consulting on strategy. Our team of experts understand ecommerce inside and out and can help you to personalize and optimise every step of the user experience. Whether you want to re-platform your store, need technical expertise on a custom project, or need help implementing a personalization strategy. Get in touch to discuss your ecommerce needs and see how we can help your business grow.