Personalization is likely the best way to achieve the e-commerce’s sector holy grail – customer loyalty. Having loyal, returning customers means that you can steadily grow your business. In this article, we will show you how you can introduce e-commerce personalization to your online store and what benefits you can expect from that.
Almost every e-commerce report says the same thing – a personalized shopping experience is a must-have today. People expect that your store will know them and their needs and act accordingly. But before we start talking about various e-commerce personalization techniques (we have four of them for you), let’s talk about e-commerce personalization. What it actually is and why it’s so important today.
What is e-commerce personalization?
The ultimate goal of e-commerce personalization is to deliver personalized experiences in your online store. In practice, this means that:
- Customers that are logged in see their details (online stores frequently greet logged customers by name), and they see personalized product suggestions.
- You gather data about your customers and their activity (e.g., viewed products and categories, purchased products, asked questions, shared reviews) and use it to improve customer service.
- You use personalization techniques, e.g., upselling, cross-selling, smart product suggestions, and shopping advice (e.g., chatbots offer such a service).
Why is e-commerce personalization important?
Two reasons: First off, your customers simply expect that. In the recent Gladly.com report, over 70% of customers said that personalized customer service is more important than personalized marketing. Customers expect you to know their details, purchasing history, and interest. You can achieve that with decent analytics software and intelligent product recommendation algorithms.
Secondly, with this strategy, you sell more products and can expand your business. Most likely, there are diverse customer segments in your store, correct? Each of these segments requires a different approach and offer. A quick example – if you have a fashion store showing women’s coats to a teenager who’s recently purchased a pair of sneakers is just a waste of time. But with personalization, your product suggestions are better tailored and, thus, effective. As a result, you can encourage customers to buy more products and return to your store more frequently.
E-commerce personalization examples
Volcom, an American lifestyle clothing brand, uses smart product recommendations that, depending on the products that you view, present different products. These recommendations are presented in every product tab, right after the product details:
And here’s another example: Levi’s offers their customers to personalize the products they purchase. That offer is called customized & personalized clothing, and customers can decide what color, graphic, and text they want on their item, e.g., a t-shirt:
Now, let’s take a look at our list of four proven personalization techniques.
Effective techniques for personalized shopping experience
CONTINUOUS SHOPPING FOR RETURNING CUSTOMERS
Your store should remember each logged customer. When a user places an item in the cart, don’t delete it from there when they go somewhere else or view other products. If the purchasing process was stopped at some point, help your customers restore it to the point where they stopped it. Show that your store “waits” for the customer to return and finish their order. You can even send them some subtle reminders, e.g., via social media and push notifications.
CREATE PERSONAL RECOMMENDATIONS
As you know from our other blog posts, personalization is actually a very wide term that can refer to the site’s layout, products, and discounts. Create personal recommendations comprising products and special offers. Some stores use birthday discounts, maybe that’s an idea for you? This way, you show your customers that you value them and want to fulfill their needs.
PERSONALIZE YOUR EMAILS AND CAMPAIGNS
Every email you send and every marketing campaign needs to be personalized as well. Start your email with something like “Dear Emily”, or “Hey, John!”. This way, you build more personal, deeper relationships, and customers will surely appreciate that. It’s the same story with your ads and campaigns. They also should be filled with customized recommendations and offers. Again, don’t offer a discount for women’s furs for someone who’s clearly interested in shorts and sneakers.
USE USER-GENERATED CONTENT (UGC)
That last element is also important as it enables you to give voice to your customers. With user-generated content, your customers can share their opinions about the store and the products that you offer. Enable them to post comments, share them via social media, and rate products (e.g., from 1 to 5). You can even go one step further and offer the possibility to publish product tests, unboxing, and other materials that are product-related. Again, creating a space just for your customers shows that you are serious about building long-lasting relations with them.