If you want to succeed in the world of eCommerce, personalizing each user’s experience is essential. It can help you both attract customers in the first place and keep them engaged with your company for the long term. This post looks at why personalization is more important than ever and steps your online store or business can take to achieve it.
The Importance of Personalization
While some people may feel a bit leery of gathering customers’ data in order to personalize their experiences, an article written by Andrea Wahbe on Shopify argues that customers actually welcome this tactic. According to Wahbe’s article, 85% of customers are aware that websites monitor their shopping behavior and use that information to provide personalized content. Three-quarters of customers “prefer that retailers use personal information to improve the shopping experience,” and nearly two-thirds prioritize relevant offers from companies over not having their data tracked.
Other data backs up the idea that shoppers want companies to use their information to provide personalized experiences. One study, cited by Marketing Week, found that 56% of consumers said a personalized experience would boost the likelihood of them using a retailer. A different study, covered at Forbes.com, found that personalization made customers more likely to make impulse purchases and less likely to return their purchases. Personalization also made many customers more likely to make a repeat purchase.
How to Personalize an Experience
If the above statistics have convinced you of the importance of personalization, you may be wondering how to give your customers such an experience. Luckily, there are many actionable strategies you can employ.
Strategy 1: Personalizing Emails
Customers are much more likely to open an email if you take the simple step of including their name in the subject line. Beyond that, entrepreneur Neil Patel has highlighted several other strategies that can be used to make email campaigns more personalized, including:
- Asking what customers are using your website for, which can help you target emails.
- Building customer personas, which involves grouping customers based on their actions or attributes.
- Paying attention to the times of day when customers are most responsive and sending your emails in those windows.
- Setting up emails that are automatically triggered base on behaviors, like inactivity.
Tactics like these can set your emails apart from the other promotional emails customers are deluged with. The more your emails stand out as personalized, the more likely people are to open them.
Strategy 2: Enhancing Website Personalization
Website personalization is a way to make customers feel more welcome and increase the likelihood of conversions or sales. One method for doing this is to personalize page overlays or other ads that run on a specific page. For instance, if a customer is browsing a page about fitness, then an overlay might pop up with a call to action to buy a fitness guide or sign up for a fitness email list. This is content specifically tailored to the customer’s interest: fitness.
Another ubiquitous personalization method is “Recommended For You” sections. Companies like Amazon use this to show customers items they are likely to be interested in. Personalizing search results is a somewhat similar method. You can even personalize your website to change with visitors’ current weather conditions or geographic location. With popular website builders around, it’s easy to put this strategy to work. The possibilities are endless.
Strategy 3: Personalized Retargeting
If a customer interacts with your website but leaves, you can use personalized retargeting to try to draw them back. For instance, you might develop a set of retargeted ads that display to users who abandoned items in their cart. These may have the goal of enticing the user to come back and complete their purchase.
Another form of personalization might target users who balked at the price: This segment of potential customers could see retargeted ads that offer a discount or free shipping. You can also target ads based on what people viewed; for example, someone interested in women’s swimsuits probably would be more enticed by seeing an ad about those than about menswear. Another type of retargeting goes after existing customers by keeping them up to date on price changes and new products.
It takes a good deal of work to draw visitors to your eCommerce store. Regardless of the form it takes, personalized retargeting is a way to get more out of each visitor, especially if they leave without making a purchase on their first visit.
Strategy 4: Personalizing Social Media Campaigns
Mobile eCommerce is expected to account for 67.2% of digital sales in 2019. With the wider social media network and mobile penetration for every country, it’s necessary to personalize your social media campaign in order to benefits from it.
As with emails, you can try to figure out the time of day that is most effective for your social campaigns to post new materials and adjust accordingly. Social campaigns can also make use of retargeting to keep customers engaged with your company. And according to the website Social Pilot, other methods that companies have found success with include personalized videos, gifts, and chatbots.
Though these strategies may involve some trial and error to implement correctly, they can provide a massive payoff once you have them humming along. There are many tools that can help you track what’s working and what isn’t in your personalization efforts. It’s worthwhile to investigate them and put a plan in place to personalize your eCommerce user experience; otherwise, your business will fall behind those that do make the effort.
Jason Chow is an Outreach Manager and marketer for Webrevenue.io, where we provide content and marketing for startups and online businesses.