Sellerscast: Using Personalization to Improve the Shopping Experience


On March 5th, 2019 our own Andrew Maff, Director of Marketing, sat down with our own Gina Milazzo, Head of Accounts, to talk about using personalization to improve the shopping experience.



Andrew Maff: What's up? Welcome to episode 17 of Seller's Cast. My name is Andrew Maffettone.

Gina Milazzo: I'm Gina Milazzo.

Andrew Maff: Today we are talking about using personalization to improve the customer shopping experience.

So, today-

Gina Milazzo: Like a cat [crosstalk 00:00:25].

Andrew Maff: Today we're gonna talk about personalization. This is always, like every time I have this conversation, people go, oh, you mean like where Facebook knows that they're listening to me all the time?

Gina Milazzo: Oh my God. They know my shoe size.

Andrew Maff: I sneezed the other day and now I see an ad for Kleenex. Did they know I sneezed? No. They don't. Sorry.

Gina Milazzo: There's another video on that. We'll link it.

Andrew Maff: Yeah, we'll talk about that one. So we're talking about personalization for different shopping experiences based on what the customer's done before, what their behaviors are, and what you can actually learn. So, in different shopping experiences, different ways throughout the customer journey you can ask them stuff. You can ask them anything you want. What's your birthday? What's your anniversary? What school did you go to? What's your favorite color? And then you can learn like, oh I see that you're interested in all this stuff because of all the pages that you visited and so on.

So there's different platforms out there that you can use. Of course, I'm a big fan of HubSpot, I'll probably end up preaching them. They have a couple different tools that I like to use where essentially you can change copy or you can change imagery or you can change any structure, you can basically AB test based on the person that's visiting. So, you can literally have it say, hey Mike, welcome back. Or you can be like, hey Mike, I know you're a big fan of whatever so here's-

Gina Milazzo: Tissues.

Andrew Maff: You love tissues so here's a picture of tissues. You can do things like that based on the customer. Now there's a level of creepiness, I never suggest actually putting the name on your site. I've been to a few sites where I like landed on the page and they're like, welcome Andrew.

Gina Milazzo: Yeah. Not a [inaudible 00:01:57].

Andrew Maff: And I'm like, no.

Gina Milazzo: Get out. If anyone has that we're not sorry, take it off.

Andrew Maff: Yeah. Don't. Take it off.

Gina Milazzo: Just get rid of it, please.

Andrew Maff: It comes off-

Gina Milazzo: It's creepy.

Andrew Maff: To me it comes off as like, welcome Andrew, here's your most recent purchase and your social security number.

Gina Milazzo: Social security number.

Andrew Maff: And I was like, no, no thank you.

Gina Milazzo: Don't steal my identity.

Andrew Maff: So don't over personalize. So now we're talking like pop-ups, we're talking emails, we're talking different situations.

Gina Milazzo: Yeah.

Andrew Maff: A pop-up you can generalize it based on the category. So, hey I know you just came from Instagram so here is an Instagram looking pop-up. Or you just came from Facebook, here's another Facebook one. Or you came from a landing page, you came from this, you came from that, you can base it on where they came from and what you kind of already know about them.

And then you have the segmentation side of it for email. My favorite thing to do is I always ask sellers, all right how big of an email list do you have? And they're like, oh you know it's a couple hundred thousand, blah, blah, blah. I'm like, all right, cool, how many segments have you been able to break that down to? And they're like, oh I don't, I just have a couple hundred thousand. And I don't know what it is with sellers-

Gina Milazzo: My email list is really big though.

Andrew Maff: All they really want to know is how big that list is. They don't really care about anything else. Like, okay great, you have a really, really big list but you don't know how to use it.

Gina Milazzo: It's the pick up truck up the eCommerce world.

Andrew Maff: Exactly.

Gina Milazzo: Sorry, he has a pickup truck.

Andrew Maff: Anyway. So I'm gonna give you an example, someone we work with is a very large collegiate apparel seller and one of the things that we looked at is okay, if I'm a big fan of UCF, so central Florida, big fan of Central Florida and if we lost a game and I just happened to get an ad for literally the team that just beat me I am not shopping with you ever. I'm going to be pissed and that's just how I am.

Gina Milazzo: He's gonna get so mad as he's like scrolling through Instagram on the toilet.

Andrew Maff: Yeah. But if you can personalize the experience so the ad is different, it's based on the team that I like. Or the emails that I get are based on the team that I like. Or the pages that I see are all branded for the team that I like. And it's not overly personalized, you want to personalize but you also want to generalize that specific type of audience, not that individual person.

Gina Milazzo: Yeah, don't pigeon hole. So a great example, I mean, the college example is perfect because you don't care about colleges other than your own.

Andrew Maff: Yeah.

Gina Milazzo: But I think as far as categories go think about categories that are still kind of related. So, if you sell women's clothing you want to make sure that you're sending all of your female customers the women's clothing. I mean not in a gendered way or anything like that but let's say you come out with a new men's line, I think it's kind of okay to bump it but at the bottom. Think about the hierarchy of your information. So if you think that that product category could still be appealing to someone maybe they're buying for a boyfriend, husband whatever. You can still include that type of content in that email because it could still be relevant to them but it shouldn't be at the top.

Andrew Maff: Yeah. And if you have the correct information of the person that you want to run both you can even test it where it's like for men and women, have men up top women at the bottom if I'm sending it to men. And then if it's sending to a female I'll flip it. And it's like, hey I'm still running the same stuff, it's still a change a may get a sale from the men's line but I'm gonna cater this a little bit more to what you're more likely to shop with.

Gina Milazzo: Exactly.

Andrew Maff: And giving people that experience ... A lot of people go, oh yeah I get it, it's great because it's a little bit more catered to them that makes a lot of sense. But a lot of people don't realize as well, the speed of purchase is what you really want to focus on.

Gina Milazzo: Yeah.

Andrew Maff: That's helping your bounce rate, that's helping your conversion rate. The faster they can purchase the faster they can make that decision the more likely they are to stay with you and be a customer because there's a really easy experience. No one wants to pull an arm and a leg like they're shopping for a car. They just want to be like, oh yeah I do want this and they go buy it and that's it. So having the personalization side they're a lot more comfortable with their purchase because they're not sifting through 500 things that aren't relevant to them. They don't have to hunt for it.

Gina Milazzo: Yeah.

Andrew Maff: It's just right there. Be like, hey we know what you like, here's what you like, if you want it great, if not we understand, have a good day.

Gina Milazzo: Make it idiot proof.

Andrew Maff: Exactly.

Gina Milazzo: I mean really the bar is so much higher now for ads. We joke that people feel like Facebook is watching them but when's the last time you saw an ad that wasn't really all that relevant to you?

Andrew Maff: Yeah.

Gina Milazzo: The bar's a lot higher. I mean people kinda of expect a certain level of customization now too.

Andrew Maff: Yeah. So, we always plug a tool. Typically I've done HubSpot before so I'm not gonna do that one today. Hub Spot you're great, love you guys.

Gina Milazzo: We still love you, don't worry.

Andrew Maff: Yeah, I'm not doing you. So, the Klaviyo is probably the one I'm gonna mention here. Great email software, you can segment out however you need to segment out your audience based on whatever information you can find. You have your customer profiles but you can also create those segments and have that locked into your Facebook which is how I love to use these. So I can basically have my live updated email list into Facebook directly from Klaviyo so I can go, okay let's run an ad to this segment today, let's run an ad to this segment today. So, that way I'm not just blasting out 5000 ads to one person that's not going to care. So, yeah, I think that's it.

Gina Milazzo: I love Klaviyo.

Andrew Maff: Appreciate it. Thanks everyone for joining us. As usual, please, of course, make sure you subscribe. Hit the little subscribe button. And then, of course, if you have any questions or if you have some ideas on something you would like us to talk about for next week please comment below and we will make sure to address all of them as much as we can. But once again, thank you for joining us and we'll see you next week.

Boom. I hope we get a cool swipe. Or maybe he does nothing and I just sit here and look ridiculous for a while.

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