With 99% of marketers saying that personalization helps to advance customer relationships and 80% of consumers being more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences, eCommerce personalization is no longer an extra perk to consider, but a standard expectation.
Personalized eCommerce is just one of many eCommerce marketing strategies that are essential to anyone interested in starting and growing their eCommerce business.
What Is eCommerce Personalization?
eCommerce personalization is when you use data that you have collected about your consumers and their preferences to give them a more catered experience that feels relevant and contextual to them.
eCommerce personalization stats drive building solid, long-term relationships with the customer
bases of some of the most successful companies including Spotify, Netflix, and Amazon.
Do it smoothly enough and to customers, it almost feels like magic. eCommerce personalization makes them feel seen, their preferences noticed, the context of the content relevant.
In fact, when brands don’t make adjustments according to customer preferences, many get annoyed at the lack of personalization.
Major Benefits of eCommerce Personalization
You may be asking yourself, how beneficial is eCommerce personalization really? The short answer? Very.
Here are the top results experienced by brands that do personalization well.
Increase Sales by Improving Conversions
Human psychology claims that we have “selective attention.” This means we like to focus on one particular object for a period of time while ignoring irrelevant information. Naturally, we focus on things that we actually value or have an interest in.
In short, we have a very short attention span.
This means brands have a very small window of opportunity to capture that attention long enough to land a conversion! With personalization tactics, however, this herculean feat becomes a lot less impossible.
Personalization helps to capture the attention of your target audience with customized content, taking their behaviors and preferences into consideration to offer something that will appeal to them, leading to a sale!
And according to a study by Infosys, 86% of consumers said that personalization has some impact on their purchase decisions.
Increase in Average Order Size
With the right personalized promotion techniques, your customers will also be more likely to buy more per visit.
Say, when purchasing my DSLR camera, I found myself filling my cart with all kinds of accessories including a camera bag, a remote shutter release, spare batteries, and an SD card. All thanks to the friendly suggestions made to me on the site.
The magic of personalization in eCommerce.
Increased Engagement with Brand
Simple things, like an online store remembering the contact details and purchase information of a returning customer, save them valuable time and the extra hassle of having to dole out that info all over again.
Personalized calls to action, for example, have a higher rate of success than those that are created for the general public.
The stronger your eCommerce personalization game, the more engaged your customers will be with your brand.
Improved Customer Experience
The bottom line is improved customer experience. With personalized eCommerce you can build a strong, long-term relationship with your consumer base, using all points of engagement from your landing page, to targeted ads and personalized email messaging.
With content that appeals to their specific needs, you’ll give the impression of being customer-centric.
Improved Customer Loyalty
And finally, a happy customer = a loyal customer. Taking that extra step to make your customers feel special, picking up on their inclinations, and actively working to make their lives just a little bit easier, communicates to the customer that you care.
That type of attention also results in advocacy, where customers would go out of their way to recommend your brand to others.
Strategies You Can Use For eCommerce Personalization
Time to dig deeper. Below I’m going to list some of the best eCommerce personalization strategies that you ought to consider for your eCommerce personalization journey.
Offer Solutions Based On User Behavior Analysis
Your first step is to get your hands on some qualitative and quantitative data.
Every piece of data that may give you insight into your customers’ behaviors, from surveys to tracking consumer interactions with your website and recording all transactions that take place, can be used towards eCommerce personalization.
The most common types of statistics collected for eCommerce personalization purposes are:
- Demographic data, including age, gender, location, or how they found out about your brand.
- Descriptive data, which is the information that reveals their intentions, including their lifestyle, behaviors, habits, family, and careers.
- Qualitative data, including consumer preferences, their pain points, what motivates them, how they feel about your products, etc.
- Engagement data, i.e. how they interact with your business, what touchpoints they take, products they click on, and what point in a survey they get fed up and click out.
- Attitudinal data, the customer satisfaction level and what they think about your business (from a post-purchase survey, for example).
Once you have this information, you can cluster your customers into groups of people (called segments) who show similar behavior and create buyer profiles. Then you can start honing in on eCommerce personalization strategies.
For example, let’s say you are a skincare brand selling products online, and you asked your first-time visitor to fill out a simple survey describing their pain points, skin type, preferences, etc. One customer mentioned they have oily skin. As they are browsing the products on your website, you may notice that they are looking at moisturizers. You can suggest a line of moisturizers that specifically cater to oily skin. After they make their purchase, you can then send an email a few months later, reminding them that it is time to restock on their moisturizer.
Location-Based Products/Content Display
Tailoring personalized website content to what would otherwise be an anonymous segment of users is vital. In addition to personalized content, marketers can create targeted inspirational content surrounding a specific location.
Say, there is a very popular annual festival taking place in a specific location, increasing the interest in items such as thermoses, coolers, sunscreen, blankets, sunglasses, and jewelry. Assume that you sell one or more of these products. You are looking at a golden opportunity to target that geo-location with advertisements letting festival-goers know where to get their hands on the products that they want.
In another example, your website can use IP locations to customize the currency displayed, the language used, etc.
Another popular personalized promotion technique and powerful tool is email personalization.
Emails are one of the key brand touchpoints for consumers. That’s why emails are sent for every occasion including after purchase transactions, onboarding new account sign-ups, special offers, new products, giving incentives like free shipping or a coupon code, retargeting products that were added to a cart at some point but not purchased, and so much more.
According to Experian Marketing Services, personalized emails generate six times higher transaction rates!
Many brands track the customer’s interaction with the emails that were sent. For example, if a consumer opens one of your emails three or more times, clicks on the links to specific products, and doesn’t make the purchase, you can send an additional email with similar, more affordable products (down-selling), or give them an offer to trigger that conversion.
Use Upsells, Cross-Sells, and Down-sells For Boosting Sales
One of the best eCommerce personalization strategies implemented in marketing is the process of boosting sales with upsells, cross-sells, and down-sells.
Upselling is when you are trying to push a better, more expensive high-end version of the same product than the one that is being purchased.
Cross-selling is when you are recommending other products to go along nicely with the one being purchased (think back to earlier with the camera accessories). This way you are still getting the customer to spend more money purchasing more products.
In the event that you notice a customer interested in a specific type of product but not taking that last step of making the purchase, a common tactic used is down-selling, where you offer an alternative product with fewer features but at a more affordable price. Any sale is better than no sale.
Real-time, Dynamic, User-generated Content
One personalization strategy example lies in processing the collected data in a meaningful way and in real-time. This will help you to show your customers that you understand them with every single click.
Keeping shopper and user data updated in real-time helps to make sure that the customer’s experience is fully personalized, eliminating irrelevant images, copy, and product impressions that may harm your brand perception and sales.
You can use real-time personalized messages to increase sales, conversions, and retention!
These stats can also be used to change prices based on real-time estimations of various customers’ geographic locations, incomes, etc. Popular brands like Amazon and Staples are known to use this personalization tactic. In fact, Amazon changes prices about every 10 minutes!
Online shoppers that use Mac computers or Android devices are often charged higher prices by brands such as Home Depot, Macy’s, Orbitz, Travelocity, Expedia, and more!
You can also use dynamic product ads and serve each segment a personalized experience with dynamic content. Adjust the prices of your products dynamically based on factors like the time of the day, your competitor’s prices, geographic location, income rate, etc.
Another personalization strategy example is making use of your customer reviews.
Highlighting ratings and using social media user-generated content is one of the best eCommerce personalization strategies for creating a buzz around your brand or product and putting you ahead of your competition.
What’s great about this method is that it’s a genuine recommendation from actual customers. Organic, user-generated content will always have more value than paid sponsorships.
Proper navigation and personalized website content is other important factor for providing the best experience to your customers.
In eCommerce, personalized search engines and recommendation engines use more than just demographic data to suggest products based on observing and collecting data on your customer’s purchasing habits and interests.
This, in combination with features like cookie retargeting, allows your eCommerce navigation to constantly update and present relevant products to your customer, based on their previous browsing history.
Some brands add features like personalizing the home page and navigation menu by addressing returning visitors by their first name. Usually, it would be a welcoming message like “Welcome back, John!” near the shopping cart, at the top right of the page.
Some websites have a separate homepage for new visitors, geared towards onboarding, while return visitors get a totally different and more personalized experience with targeted messages.
A common personalization strategy example is when a website’s homepage or navigation changes based on a customer’s interest.
For example, if you are a returning visitor to a site that sells clothing, your second visit may display winter sweaters for plus-sized women on the homepage, because those were the products you were interested in during your last visit. This is a prime example of cookie retargeting, which is often a feature for eCommerce personalization tools.
Using these personalization tactics is a surefire way to keep engagement high, speed up the shopping journey and land more sales!
Key Considerations For Choosing an eCommerce Personalization Platform
Each eCommerce personalization software has its own set of features. Let’s take a look at some of the factors you’ll want to take into consideration when choosing the best eCommerce personalization platform for you.
Provide New Visitors With a Welcoming Experience
Third-party software can help you collect the data you need to implement a solid eCommerce personalization strategy. Many include the tools you need to implement that strategy as well from monitoring user behavior to helping you create personalized messaging and recommend relevant products.
Use Automated Segment Discovery Tools
A segmentation tool is among many web personalization instruments that can be used to help you group your customers and time actions in such a way that you show the right type of messaging/product/advertisement/content etc, to the right customer and at the right time.
Omnichannel Personalization Solutions
Omnichannel personalization is a feature that helps you build customer experiences based on real-time data across all of your channels and touchpoints. This ensures a stable and healthy relationship with your customers, regardless of how they choose to interact with your brand.
According to empirical research, design aspects of a personalized website like the personalization of information, presentation, and navigation, can have a positive effect on the customer’s experience, making the website feel more useful, easy to use, and pleasant. This leads to higher customer satisfaction and more chances of a return visit!
Automated Algorithmic Decisions
Many eCommerce personalization platforms use AI, machine learning, and algorithms. They analyze the collected data to make predictions on customer behavior and make recommendations. Predictive analytics can also be used to suggest which products your customer might need to replenish (like our moisturizer example from earlier).
Software That Allows You to Micro Target Your Audience
Some eCommerce personalization platforms are better at getting you all the essential details you need to truly pinpoint individual customer behaviors. The more you can micro-target your customers, the more you can shape your offerings to appeal to their individual wants. This is achieved with one-on-one targeting via an eCommerce personalization software that can recognize customers as well-rounded individuals.
eCommerce Personalization Tools
Finally, it’s time to understand what options are out there. Let’s try and get acquainted with some of the best eCommerce personalization software and personalization marketing tools, to see which one would best fit your needs.
OptinMonster is considered to be a very powerful lead generation and conversion optimization platform for eCommerce websites, marketing agencies, and small businesses.
OptinMonster can be used to grow your email list by converting abandoning visitors into subscribers using popups, scroll boxes, and welcome mats. It also has features for reducing cart abandonment and boosting sales conversions with intelligent targeting.
It can conduct A/B tests to easily make data-driven decisions.
Plus it has the perk of being able to connect with over 500 marketing integrations including MailChimp, Klaviyo, Infusionsoft, Constant Contact, HubSpot, Active Campaign, AWeber, and more.
Perfect for targeting your customer base with email and SMS marketing, Omnisend eases the workload while helping to increase sales.
Omnisend boasts of full integration with eCommerce platforms, pre-built automation workflows, and intuitive, no-code editing (making it easier to use). This tool is for those who want to convert their customers with highly-relevant emails and text messages and is perfect for sending newsletters and targeted campaigns.
It can add coupon codes, automatically select products, and automatically resend campaigns to customers who didn’t open the first time around. All without any manual work on your part.
Kibo Commerce (fka Monetate)
Another popular personalized marketing tool is Kibo eCommerce (formerly known as Monetate). This cloud-based platform is packed with features that are designed to empower B2C and B2B retailers and brands to deliver the personalized experiences that customers look for.
It allows users to manage B2B and B2C functions from one place, giving you full control on features for pricing and promotions and a shared product catalog. Kibo is well-known for its flexibility and ultra-customization capabilities, claiming to be a comprehensive one-stop-shop for all your eCommerce personalization needs.
If you’re looking to provide your customers with a personalized omnichannel shopping experience, then [ might be the eCommerce personalization tool for you. It includes features like cross-channel personalized product recommendations, behaviorally triggered emails, live social proof notifications, and real-time onsite personalization!
Clients of Barilliance are surprised with the accuracy and relevancy of the product recommendations made after only a few days of gathering data on customer browsing behavior.
One of the top eCommerce personalization tools on the market, Dynamic Yield is known to be used by global brands like IKEA, Sephora, Lands’ End, and more. They claim to help eCommerce businesses quickly build and test personalized, optimized, and synchronized digital customer experiences.
Known for its very powerful and highly flexible recommendation engine, Dynamic Yield allows businesses to mix and match different recommendation strategies and test recommendation algorithms until you get the ideal results.
Successfully running your own eCommerce business is no easy feat. Today, we are expected to personalize, optimize, and use data to enhance customer satisfaction at every possible brand touchpoint.
From eCommerce enterprise systems to email marketing services, web analytics solutions and so much more, everything can have an effect on how our brands are perceived by the public.
Understanding the importance, and the best practices of implementing eCommerce personalization can be the difference between a happy customer, more sales and conversions, customer loyalty, and the overall success of our eCommerce enterprise!
Thanks to eCommerce personalization tools, the journey to the top doesn’t have to be so difficult. It’s just a matter of finding the tool that makes the most sense to you to start gaining that competitive advantage!