3 E-Commerce Personalization Strategies Customers Actually Want to See
Personalization is arguably the hottest trend in digital marketing, and it seems to be a topic in nearly every marketing-related conversation. Everyone recommends that marketers look for ways to personalize their websites, content, advertisements, and interactions.
Marketers need to understand the importance of customization with today’s consumers. Consider the following:
- According to 59 percent of consumers, personalized experiences were reported to be an influential factor in purchasing decisions.
- Ninety-one percent of consumers agreed that they would be more likely to buy from a brand that offered personalized details in the shopping experience.
- Sixty-five percent of shoppers expect businesses to remember specific details about them, such as their name and purchase history.
Many marketers are struggling to keep up with these demands and are constantly looking for ways to understand what their customers want. Offering hyperpersonalized experiences requires a lot of data, planning and strategy. And sadly, most marketers simply don't have the know-how or resources to deliver what they think their customers want.
However, personalization doesn't need to be incredibly complex in order to be effective. It isn’t just about putting a person’s name at the top of an email, however. The online personalization that works with e-commerce customers lies somewhere in between.
Curious how your online store can effectively incorporate customized experiences? Here are three ways you can step up your personalization game to better resonate with customers:
1. Give people personalized product recommendations.
Although it’s great to highlight your best-sellers and newest products, people mostly want to see what products they would like or benefit from the most. Therefore, when retailers are able to predict what you would like to buy or show you things that match up to your personal style, chances are that you'll be more likely to buy.
Of course, Amazon.com is the king of personalized recommendations. The online giant has access to millions of data points with sophisticated algorithms that compare past purchases and predict relevant recommendations based on a customer’s product views.
Since your online store most likely doesn't have the same kinds of resources that Amazon does for these personalized touches, your product suggestions will have to be based more on generalized data. The main idea, however, is pretty much the same: pay attention to products that are frequently purchased together and suggest them to customers.
A great way to position these products is letting customers know “You may also like these products” rather than labeling them as “related items” or “items that other customers also bought.” This makes it sound far more personalized — even if the recommendations are based on other customers’ shopping histories.
For example, which seems to be more “personalized”?
Clearly the second one seems more personal, even though Sephora is still using rather generalized product suggestions.
Another great way to make the shopping experience far more personalized is through an interactive quiz. This brings you directly to the front lines to better understand your shopper’s interests and needs. Fabletics and Hum Nutrition actually require first-time visitors to answer a few simple questions to narrow down their product lines to match up to shoppers’ preferences.
2. Ask people for their individual feedback.
Personalization isn’t always about products and advertising, however. At its core, personalization is about connecting with the individual by making them feel important and recognized. This helps to build a more emotional connection between your brand and its customers.
A great way to do this is by focusing on each individual’s experience with your business. Sending out surveys and requesting feedback can help with customer engagement and give customers the personal experiences they’re seeking. Focus on asking your customer to share their exact experience — and don’t shy away from the details either. Encourage them to share what they liked, disliked, and any other thoughts or suggestions they have for your company.
Remember too that your engagement with a customer shouldn't end with a purchase and request for a review. Look for ways to personally connect with your audience long after a sale. And remember, the engagement with reviewers doesn’t just stop there.
On Trustpilot’s Facebook page, it will frequently engage one-on-one when customers leave feedback, whether it's positive or negative. Trustpilot also uses this platform to ask customers for suggestions, and it even announced a brand revamp that was entirely based on feedback from its customers.
3. Send emails that keep people coming back.
Email is one of the easiest ways for marketers to create personalized content. But remember, consumers these days are looking for a little bit more than just an email addressing them by name. Therefore, instead of using email content as a separate marketing tool, look for ways to make it an extension of the personalized shopping experience.
One of the best ways to do this is with customized abandoned cart emails. Not only are these highly effective for re-engaging consumers and closing sales (abandonment emails have about a 50 percent clickthrough rate), they're also the perfect opportunity for meaningful personalization.
In addition to just using the customer’s name and alerting them of the items they left in their cart, let them know you really care about them getting these items. You can create a sense of urgency by letting them know how many are left in stock, and urge them to buy before you run out, like this email from ModCloth did.
Another great option is to position your email as a personalized promotion rather than just a cart abandonment email. Let your subscriber know that the item they added to their cart or wish list is now on sale, or offer a customized incentive if they decide to buy now.
Personalization isn't nearly as scary as it appears. The trick is to understand what customized experiences will have the greatest effect on your audience, and then create opportunities for these personalized connections.
Always look for ways to include personalization so that it will benefit the customer, whether it be relevant product recommendations, personal connections through product reviews, or incentivizing emails for re-engagement. By keeping customers’ needs and interests first, your business will finally be able to provide them with the personalized experiences they're looking for.
Manish Dudharejia is the President and Co-Founder of E2M Solutions Inc, a San Diego Based Digital Agency that specializes in Website Design & Development and eCommerce SEO. With over 10 years of experience in the Technology and Digital Marketing industry, Manish is passionate about helping online businesses to take their branding to the next level.