Personalization was the hottest marketing trend of 2018, but we anticipate it will be a necessary staple of e-commerce by the end of 2019.
E-commerce personalization creates a tailored customer experience to best meet consumer needs. It’s time to start personalizing if you want to compete in the e-commerce world.
What is Personalization?
“Personalization” is when brands use customized interactions to engage website visitors and customers. Personalization typically comes in the form of content, media, or product recommendations that are segmented and targeted based on the customer’s data.
Websites can “grab” visitor data using cookies and other tracking methods. Marketing software can then use this data to understand each individual customer’s browsing behavior, purchase history, demographics, and psychographics. Some variables these trackers look at include:
Recently viewed products and categories
Items added to an abandoned cart
Previous email interactions
Time and type of device when browsing
Heat maps on-site
Personalization gets you closer to the consumer by segmenting users and showing them the content they want to see.
For example, your site is tracking customer A. Customer A purchased a water bottle and was looking at a hot coffee tumbler, but they never bought it. Your smart marketing might market coffee products to them moving forward, especially the coffee tumbler. You might also upsell the water bottle with similar lifestyle products, like a water purifier. You might curate these products when they come to your website, or you might even send them personalized emails with product recommendations.
Your site can also see how “customer A” found your site initially (the referral source). They came through Instagram, so you know to keep advertising to that audience member on there.
It can even track their engagement patterns. Your site sees that “customer A” usually browses your site on the weekends between 9 and 10 am. That means that’s likely also the best time to send them emails. Then, you can track the email open rate to determine the success of this strategy.
Personalization software takes all of the available data points about a customer and creates a highly specific sales funnel. This specificity encourages greater engagement, which in turn pushes for a higher conversion rate.
What are the Benefits of Personalization?
Why should you consider personalization for your e-commerce site?
1. Grab Customer Attention
Today’s consumers have an attention span of about 8 seconds, especially millennials. You have only a few moments to grab your customer’s attention, let alone keep them on your site for an extended period of time. The best way to grab and keep their attention is by showing them products and content that they want to see.
If your customer has shown an interest in buying coffee products, they don’t want to weed through all the tea products to find the coffee. The faster you show them what they want, the faster they’ll be interested and make a purchase.
2. Increase Conversions and Sales
Now that you have their attention, it’s easier to sell them. You’ve already shown your visitor content and products that they’re interested in. So now they’re more likely to make a purchase.
In fact, 86% of consumers say personalization has some impact on their purchasing decision. One-third of customers want more personalization so they can find applicable products faster and easier. Personalization streamlines the process of finding products customers want—which simplifies and speeds up the checkout process.
3. Boost Order Size
Personalization is a great way to upsell—and it’s quite possibly the only way to upsell online.
Let’s say someone is looking on your website for a New York Giants’ sweatshirt. You can show them other Giants gear that they might be interested in, like sweatpants or hats. These are “related” products that leverage your customers’ previous interest to get them more products they might like.
You can also upsell complementary products. If they’re buying a phone, they might also want to buy a phone case and headphones. Your site can show recommendations, which can encourage them to buy those accessories then and there.
Most people know exactly what kind of product they want to buy when they come to a website. But personalized recommendations can turn it from a single-item order into a multiple-item receipt without intruding on the customer.
4. Improve Engagement
Personalization makes customers feel that you know and understand them more. When they see content and products customized to them, they start to associate with your brand more.
They’ll be more likely to click on your blogs, check out your products, and even share these pages with their friends because it’s more relevant to their interests. This bump in engagement can further boost conversions and engrain customer loyalty.
5. Gain a Competitive Advantage
Most small retailers aren’t using personalization as they should be. Be the company that makes a difference. Get on the level of the big dogs, and don’t play small. Personalization can be an instant differentiator because you’re offering an enhanced customer experience that your competitors aren’t.
Image via Marketingland.com
How can smaller E-commerce Stores Use personalization?
Does personalization seem “out of your league”? It’s not! The big retailers are using complex, in-depth personalization software to keep track of each of their thousands of customers. But that shouldn’t scare you away from personalization. There are a lot of options for smaller retailers to get in on this hot marketing move. In fact, if you want to compete and succeed in the coming years, personalization is going to be vital.
Jump aboard the train to gain an early jumpstart ahead of your competition. Personalizing now can start attracting new customers and engaging brand loyalty, which will grow your business exponentially. With this growth, new forms of personalization are just around the corner for you—and soon you’ll be competing with the big guys yourself!
Start small by personalizing small aspects of your site based on the user experience. Programs like Weather Unlocked let you tweak the display of your homepage theme based on the user’s current weather.
Products recommendations based off of past purchases enhance the buying experience as well. Engines that track user purchases on your site will boost your conversion rate and offer guidance to ease the customer through the steps of browsing and buying.
Cookie retargeting will allow you to track the visitors’ internet movement to personalize and customize web pages. Display information that is pertinent to the consumer in order to make their reintegration onto your site as smooth as possible.
Personalization is the best way to attract, engage, and retain today’s busy customer. If you want to see success in this highly competitive e-commerce world, marketing personalization on your site and in your emails are a must.
Don’t feel overwhelmed! You can start to personalize your marketing with just a few plugins and help from the expert Seller’s Choice team. Contact us for a free consultation to start personalizing, boosting conversions, and growing your brand fan base.