You’re likely losing money if you’re not using eCommerce personalization. Sufficiently customizing the customer experience can elevate revenues and improve brand loyalty. Without personalization, there isn’t much to differentiate eCommerce brands. Customers can switch companies without giving the decision a second thought.
The main reason people use Amazon is the top-notch customer experience. One study found that a lack of trust and poor personalization cost companies $756 billion in revenue. Personalization can help a company create memorable experiences that improve all areas of the business.
What Is Ecommerce Personalization?
eCommerce personalization is how brands deliver personalized shopping experiences online – made possible through data collection and dynamically using that information to show relevant content, such as product recommendations and messages based on previous website interactions.
Some of the data gathered to make eCommerce personalization possible include purchase history, browsing behaviour, demographics, and other data.
For example, Amazon uses machine learning to analyze its users’ shopping patterns and browsing history, among other data points, to provide frighteningly accurate personalized recommendations.
Additionally, trends suggest consumers want more personalization, not less. Epsilon and GBH Insights surveyed 1,000 US residents and found most want retailers to personalize their experiences (80 percent of respondents). Another study by Salesforce found that 51 percent of consumers expect brands to anticipate their needs and make relevant suggestions.
If you want to engage more shoppers, increase sales, returning visitors, and conversions, eCommerce personalization is paramount.
What Is Good Ecommerce Personalization?
It’s worth pointing out the characteristics of good personalization. Sometimes, companies overdo it, and as a result, personalization ends up hurting the eCommerce site and individual customers instead of helping. There has to be a balance.
A good eCommerce personalization strategy should:
- Focus on meeting the needs of consumers.
- Deliver relevant recommendations, not random suggestions, in an attempt to drum up sales.
- Elevate the customer experience by, well, providing personalized customer experiences.
- Make sense to your overall business situation – the potential return must justify the investment.
The following examples of eCommerce personalization should inspire your marketing strategy.
1. Apply Seasonal Personalization
You can use seasonal personalization to enhance the consumer experience. That means showing content to users based on the seasons (summer, winter, fall, and spring).
For instance, Very shows customized promotions on their homepage based on the weather.
2. Product Recommendations
Product recommendations work better when items are relevant to the customer. A great example of personalized product recommendations comes from Amazon.
When customers log in to the site, it automatically shows categories based on previous site usage data, relevant upcoming events and holidays.
You can also push products more directly based on the customer’s shopping trends and past purchases.
Amazon’s ‘inspired by’ recommendations is a great example.
Macy’s also makes personalized product recommendations by showing items inspired by the user’s views – immediately after the consumer adds a product to the cart.
Doing it at the cart level can keep shoppers shopping for much longer, which should increase the average order value per customer. Additionally, this level of personalization doesn’t require prospects to register. It can rely solely on browser history to show product recommendations.
An eCommerce site that offers personalization has the potential to increase sales by up to 10 percent. And while some may think a high level of personalization is intrusive, it’s not.
As noted earlier, the vast majority of consumers want more personalized experiences.
3. Personalize Email Messages Based on Behavioral Data
You can use email to send personalized communications as long as visitors opt-in to receive information and promotional offers. For example, you can email specific product offers that may interest the consumer, which Amazon did in the following example.
Image source: HubSpot
Email is a great way to continue marketing to visitors after they leave your eCommerce site.
4. Personalize the Navigation on Your Site
Another good way to use eCommerce personalization is to personalize the homepage and navigation menu based on consumer interests.
For the majority of eCommerce brands, consumers come from different locations when visiting the site. That means you can personalize experiences based on currencies, nationalities, languages, weather, cultural expectations, and other geo-related data.
Geo-targeting allows retailers and advertisers to pinpoint a user’s exact location and dynamically tailor content to engage the shopper.
For example, Adobe redirects visitors to the right web store using geo-targeting.
While there are limitations to how much personalization is possible with geo-targeting alone, you can do a lot.
Other eCommerce personalization made possible through geo-targeting include:
- Show products that are relevant to the current climate.
- Segment promotions by region. For instance, you can promote special thanksgiving offers in November for the United States and separate ones for Canada in October.
- Provide location-dependent shipping offers.
- Show the contact information and address of the closest physical storefront upon a user’s visit.
- For regions where your business doesn’t have to collect sales taxes, you can let users know that all orders are tax-free.
7. Suggest Products That Compliment Items
Complimentary products are items customers can directly use with things they are about to purchase. For instance, if the customer adds a microphone to their cart, the site can suggest the purchase of a pop filter.
Forever 21 uses complimentary product suggestions to offer customers the opportunity to complete outfits.
8. Upselling or Cross-Selling
Research by Accenture revealed that 75 percent of customers are more likely to purchase from retailers if the given brand offers personalized recommendations.
So there’s a massive opportunity to increase sales by cross-selling, such as recommending products during the checkout process.
Amazon shows products frequently bought together.
You can also upsell after the purchase is complete through email or text messaging, though during the checkout process is ideal.
Hopefully, you’re excited and ready to rock. Use all of these eCommerce personalization examples to inspire your strategy and improve the customer experience.