3 Last-Minute Tweaks to Give the Gift of Personalized E-Commerce Experiences
Holiday preparations can be exhausting — from baking cookies to filling stockings, consumers are exceptionally busy this time of year. Shopping for holiday gifts only adds to the stress as consumers are scrambling to cross off the items on their list. Additionally, this season will likely look different as shoppers are currently facing the impacts of worldwide inflation.
Retailers and brands can stand out by leveraging personalization to create a unified, convenient and stress-free shopping journey. Retailers that also simplify the shopping experience and help customers make the most of their tight budgets will win big.
With so much to worry about this season it’s a welcomed gesture for retailers to offer customers a personal touch that makes them feel seen and understood. To go above and beyond expectations, there are a few tweaks any retailer can make this holiday season even if they’re already leveraging personalization.
1. Differentiate between cross-sells and upsells.
Recommendations on product detail pages (PDPs) are one of the longest-standing and most effective uses of personalization. Cross-sells, which display adjacent items, and upsells, which encourage the purchase of higher-priced items in the same category, are effective in guiding shoppers to make smart purchases.
However, for the holidays, retailers need to decide which type of recommendation works best for each category and each shopper. This could include using both recommendations to help customers complete looks by purchasing additional items of interest.
For example, say a customer was looking for a blue sweater as a gift. Upon viewing the PDP for a blue cardigan sweater, the shopper may be presented with the option to “complete the look” and be shown complementary items, such as a blazer or a scarf. This is an example of a cross-sell.
An upsell, on the other hand, could be leveraged by retailers to suggest more luxury items that a shopper might also like. For example, while a customer may have visited the PDP for a blue cardigan sweater, an image of a blue cashmere sweater may be offered as a more expensive option for purchase.
Through suggested product pairings, personalization is leveraged by savvy retailers to help shoppers build unique, custom gifts that will satisfy recipients. As a bonus, retailers see a boost in add-to-cart and average order value rates, resulting in more revenue.
2. Polish up triggered emails for the holidays.
Triggered emails deliver ultra-relevant messaging based on specific events. For the holidays, touch up these messages to emphasize exciting offerings. For example, new subscriber emails should emphasize holiday-centric features, from e-commerce gift guides to gift finder apps and seasonal hashtag campaigns on social media.
Transactional triggered emails to purchasers should include return and shipping information specific to the holidays, as well as promotion of in-store holiday events and other relevant services.
Timing is an important factor, too. While many retailers send their first abandoned cart email within 24 hours, that cadence may be too slow for sale days, when an abundance of discounts are available and top-selling items are going fast.
Retailers should also coordinate triggered email campaigns carefully to ensure they don’t overload subscribers who also receive other promotions from the brand.
3. Test targeted ads to ensure they’re relevant.
During the holidays, retargeting ads are crucial in identifying individuals who abandoned an e-commerce site or an online shopping cart. These ads are effective in recapturing sales and reminding shoppers to complete their holiday purchases.
However, retailers need to make sure their ads are relevant and not creepy or a nuisance to shoppers.
Consider capping the frequency and duration of ads and adjusting settings for peak sales days when limited-time pricing may be in effect. Ad content should also be customized for the holidays, with links to gift guides, gift card promotions and other seasonal picks.
Tying a Bow on E-Commerce Personalization for the Holidays
During the holidays, when shoppers are inundated with messaging and competition is fierce, relevance is more important than ever. Personalized touches, including targeted emails and special promotions, help holiday shoppers make educated purchases that stick to their budget but still manage to bring joy this holiday season.
Those who take these final weeks before the holidays to fine-tune their personalization features will deliver spot-on relevance leading to sales growth and satisfied holiday shoppers.
Brian Wilson is the CEO of Monetate, an all-in-one personalization platform empowering companies to get smarter about their customers and deliver engaging experiences.
Brian Wilson is the chief executive officer for Monetate and is driven by providing solutions for today’s and tomorrow’s digital experience. Customer value has always been at the center of Brian’s philosophy of how to build successful companies and organizations. Prior to Monetate, Brian held executive roles at Zenoss, Quest Software, and Convergys Corporation.
Brian is thrilled to be based in Austin, TX, home to a vibrant running community and with abundant activities to keep his family of 5 active and outdoors.