Personalization: Bridging the Gap Between the Clicks and the Bricks
The brick-and-mortar storefront is no longer the only place customers can see the personal face of the business. Today's e-commerce is graduating into a new phase of personalization where customer segmentation capabilities and the ability to serve targeted content in real time are a viable reality for most online businesses.
Consequently, more and more companies are graduating from A/B testing to personalization to enable their sites to adapt to the immediacy of real-time marketing. It's for this reason marketers are faced with the task of personalizing the customer experience by engaging each visitor with tailored content.
Persuasion and upselling are two personalization tactics retailers can implement today to not only improve the customer experience but incentivize them to purchase and return at a later date.
The Art of Persuasion
No one likes to miss out on a deal. Urgency messaging such as limited-time offers, countdown timers, live updates indicating low-stock levels, and information on current observers and recent purchases are easy to implement on your site and are highly effective in driving conversions. That's only half the battle, however.
To create a true sense of urgency, demand should be transparent. Showcasing the number of current observers and recent purchases instills a feeling of scarcity in consumers and encourages them to buy now. Recent purchase information acts as a type of best-sellers list, causing people to flock to popular items and validating the purchase decision. American Apparel, for example, will warn you when the stock of an item is low. If a shopper is sitting on the fence, this tactic can really push them to make a decision.
When at First You Don't Succeed, Upsell
Upselling involves suggesting higher-priced products to customers who have purchased a lower-priced item. In most cases, customers are open to the idea of purchasing other items, but to drive upsell you must target them with the right message. Drive purchase and conversion rates by offering discounts, recommendations, free shipping, or extra services like gift wrapping and insurance.
Bundling products together to create a discount for price-sensitive consumers also gives them the "thrill of the steal." It's no secret that some shoppers are always on the lookout for a bargain. Target them with your best offers once they've put something in their cart to drive up average order values. U.K.-based Moss Bros., for example targets consumers with an offer of two shirts with a suit at a significant discount.
Think about tailored offerings and making the purchasing process more valuable in the eyes of the customer. Recommending accessories, for example, allows the customer to benefit from the natural synergies between products without having to search the website, while free shipping (particularly over a certain price threshold) increases average order values as customers purchase extra items to obtain the offer.
Website personalization has been rapidly evolving over the past 10 years, and has proven to be the optimum way to reach consumers at every phase of their shopping journey. By embracing persuasion and upselling tactics, retailers can unleash the true magic behind engaging customers.
Graham Cooke is the CEO of Qubit, a company that gives online retailers the power to optimize their sites and drive sales in real time.