E-commerce Personalization - Creating Ultimate Shopping Experience - Higher ROI

28 Jan. 2020

E-commerce is probably the most lucrative business idea right now. Still, it has some secrets to success -- one of them being e-commerce personalization, the holy grail to succeeding in e-commerce. Different people might present a varying definition for personalization, so it's something we will discuss in detail over the next few minutes. For starters, just keep in mind that more than 80 percent of shoppers prefer buying from a company that offers personalization, and 71 percent of the consumers are likely to express frustration when their experience is impersonal.

Now that you know the significance of e-commerce personalization, let's dive into it and discover how you can implement it to create an ultimate shopping experience for your visitors, thereby generating more revenue and ROI.

E-commerce personalization: An overview

E-commerce personalization is a marketing strategy utilized by e-commerce retailers to create personal experiences and interactions for visitors on their website. It is primarily facilitated by showing content, product recommendations, and media based on demographics, physiographic, browsing behavior, and purchase history data.

Don't confuse it with customization, though; customization is a user-end process where a user manually makes changes according to his desired experience; whereas, the company makes personalization through predictive technology and customer data.

How to implement personalization?

Personalization strategies can vary widely, ranging from the standard ad recommendations to more advanced personalized email marketing. Let's hover over some of the essential tips to follow to ensure your visitors enjoy the best-in-class, personalized user experience.

Personalized homepages

The homepage of your website is like the front desk of your store, where a user gets the initial impressions of what you have to offer. It also gives you an opportunity to greet your new or recurring customers the best way possible, providing them with initial engaging experience. In an online business, you have access to monitor visitors' online behavior once they visit your store.

You must have seen websites collecting cookies; if you do the same, you are already getting enough information about your visitors to offer them a personalized experience. Now, instead of displaying the standard homepage, you can show a tailored version consisting of ideas and recommendations based on the users browsing behavior.

Recently viewed items

You must have been in a situation where you are contemplating purchasing a new smartphone but not on an immediate basis. You simply browse a couple of websites, check out models, and may add a few in your wishlist. If your e-commerce store has an ample amount of traffic coming in but not many of them converting, the chances are that people are coming just to browse around.

You can add a "Recently Viewed" section on your homepage with a strong 'call to action' to remind your visitors of what they might be looking for. You can also show suggestions related to the recently viewed products, thereby providing a diversified shopping experience. This way, you will seamlessly generate more sales and conversions for the company.

Location-based personalization

There are several ways you can use to determine your visitors' location -- cookies, Analytics, or surveys. Many store owners don't utilize this valuable information. Still, the location is one of those attributes that enable you to make simple adjustments to your site to significantly enhance the user experience. Two primary ways in which you can use location are:

  • You can display currency and size information as per the location. Let's take the example of an apparel store. If a visitor is from the UK, display the currency as Euro and size information in UK sizes. For the US, make the currency USD and the size information in US sizes.
  • Another way to use location is geo-targeting. If you globally and the products you sell are season-dependent (like clothes), you can use location to display the right kind of products. For example, in January, America is freezing, but Australia is quite warm. So, you can show winter clothing options for people in America and summer clothes for those in Australia.

Personalized guides

You must have been in a store where as soon as you walk in, a person sticks with you until you leave, and assists you with your shopping. Doesn't it feel good? Then, why not provide a similar experience to your visitors? Chatbots are the hot topic in e-commerce and rightfully so; from helping with recommendations to common queries, they are known to offer visitors the ultimate personalized experience. Personalized guides can display a list of products based on a user's past preferences, along with suggesting complementary clothing options to complete the look. With personalized guides, you can also provide quizzes and style guides to help visitors find the ideal product, which will eventually lead to improved conversions.

Personal recommendations

The significance of product recommendations is something you must have understood by now. But, the hassle here is to recommend products without being overwhelming. Sending messages over multiple channels every day can be too pushy, which will end up annoying the customers.

You can take a slightly subtler route -- something like weekly reminders about "items are waiting in your cart" -- and send these recommendations via mail or text message. Both emails and text messages have their set of benefits and drawbacks. Text messages are more accessible but can accommodate limited information. Emails, on the other hand, can be more detailed and personalized but have less open rates. Therefore, be sure to figure out what works best for you.

Personalized campaigns

First-time visitors and recurring visitors are different in many aspects -- intent, requirements, information -- and it is essential to treat them differently; with personalization, you can do it. For first-time visitors, try giving them a small bonus, like a 20% discount on first purchase, or free credits for signing up for the email list. For recurring customers, you can suggest products similar to their previous product purchases or recent browsing behavior.

Personalized email marketing

Email marketing is the 'old dog' of sales, having an ROI of whopping $42 for every $1 invested. You might be already using emails to generate sales, but adding personalization to it can help you multiply your existing conversions. A few email personalization tactics to keep in mind include:

  • Tweak your email subject lines
  • Send birthday and anniversary wishes
  • Send different emails based on user behavior
  • Don't completely abandon inactive leads.

Benefits of e-commerce personalization

By this time, you must have got a clear idea about how e-commerce personalization can help you with increased customers and conversions. Here is a quick wrap-up to the benefits of e-commerce personalization.

  • Improved conversions that lead to increased sales and revenue
  • Increase in average order size
  • Enhanced customer experience
  • Improved user engagement
  • Increased number of loyal, recurring customers
  • A significant competitive edge

Final thoughts

E-commerce personalization is not a choice but a necessary addition in today's competitive e-commerce market. Customers tend to stick to brands that offer a personalized experience, and with customer loyalty being one of the crucial success factors online, personalization is something that cannot be looked over. Moreover, it is not at all difficult to implement. Many ready-to-use tools enable you to make changes to your store with mere drag and drop functionality, making the process seamless for non-techies as well.